According to a press release this morning, Ripple’s Xpring developer initiative and Forte, a blockchain gaming company, have teamed up to create a $100 million fund for game development.
Forte provides tools for blockchain integration to game developers. Xpring works to advance the XRP ecosystem through developer funding and development of tools.
Forte will manage the fund and targets game economies that have more than 50,000 daily active users.
The press release mentions that Ripple’s Interledger protocol will be used to settle transactions across blockchains.
By focusing on cross-chain interoperability out of the gate, Forte is setting the foundation for long-term, sustained consumer adoption of blockchain technology. Forte’s platform components blend this supporting technology behind easy to integrate components for game developers.
To date, Ethereum is by far the most popular blockchain platform for gaming, with Enjin Coin leading the way. Enabling multiple blockchain architectures to work with Forte will mean that the existing blocckhain gaming ecosystem gets a boost. XRP’s wide-ranging liquidity in fiat pairs means that game tokens integrated with the platform will have a value more easily achieved than before.
Forte has investment from several known blockchain capital firms, including Coinbase Ventures and Andreesen Horowitz’s a16z crypto. The founders come from such known gaming companies as Unity, which provides the backbone for thousands of games. In a sense, Forte is creating a Unity-style toolkit for blockchain game development.
In a recent blog post, Forte’s Brett Seyler writes of the emergence of microtransactions in gaming, which he witnessed as a developer throughout the 2000s.
If you ever wondered why so many games have so many currencies, item types, and siloed systems, it’s not because this is what players want or what designers want. It’s what designers need to make sense of and effectively manage the complexity of a game economy, doing their best to anticipate every demand with adequate supplies and a system of sources and sinks.
In-game transactions are by far the most common way to monetize video games in the current era. Mobile gaming is massive, and may eventually usurp PC and console gaming.
As you can see in the above chart, mobile platforms are one of the most popular among game developers.
Back in January, Brad Garlinghouse said at Davos that Ripple was looking at expanding into the games market.
Specifically, Garlinghouse says:
I don’t think there’s going to be a winner-take-all in that space. […] I know there’s a couple being built upon the XRP ledger and it’s going to be an interesting space to watch in 2019.
This new fund and partnership with Forte is a huge step for Ripple. It could lead to XRP being a serious player in the burgeoning blockchain gaming industry.