Cometh, the rising star of Web3 gaming

The French video game studio will soon be offering one of the first Web3 games on the Epic Games Store, one of the biggest gaming platforms on the planet. Here's a look at a phenomenon.

Do you know Cometh? If you're not already, you need to take an interest in this French start-up, which is making a name for itself in gaming.

The distinctive feature of Cometh, which was founded in 2021 by Frenchman Jérôme de Tychey, is that it is totally Web3, but with a global ambition. Its blockchain-based games are not intended to remain within the closed circle of insiders. In a sign that things are moving forward, Cometh's game, Cosmik Battle, will be joining the Epic Games Store by the end of the year.

The Epic Games Store is the virtual shop from Epic Games behind global hits such as Fortnite and Gears of War. Cosmik Battle, which is a "Trading Card Game" pitting players against each other in space duels, will be one of the first Web3 games present on this platform, which counted 62 million active monthly players in 2022.

"After several years of mistrust, Web3 games are beginning to be more widely accepted", stresses Léopold Wenger, CFO of Cometh.

The major video game distribution platforms, such as Steam (130 million monthly active players in 2022), have in fact long held back from offering games using NFTs. The main arguments were price volatility, the risk of rip-offs, but also the longer-term risk to platforms of losing their juicy commissions on in-game purchases (Apple charges 30%, for example) because NFTs can be acquired anywhere and are interoperable.

But Epic Games is something of an iconoclast in the industry. Its boss Tim Sweeney has repeatedly stated that he doesn't want to prohibit developers from designing the games they want. Hence the arrival of Cometh on the Epic Games Store, alongside a dozen other Web3 designers...

"Epic is very open on the subject, but they disclaim any responsibility if there's a problem. The deal is that they only offer us referencing on their platform", insists Léopold Wenger.

The partnership, which has experimental value for Epic, is for the moment largely to the advantage of Web3 game developers. The distributor will - initially - receive no revenue from any in-game purchases.

The challenge of adoption by this new, less tech-savvy audience will centre around "account abstraction" (read all about this new standard). To put it plainly, games will have to hide the fact that they use blockchain as much as possible in their user experience.

"The main friction we find in Web3 games is the notion of a wallet," stresses Léopold Wenger. "We're therefore going to offer a hybrid game in which it will be possible to play as usual, while offering players the chance to go further in a second step by having them explore the interests of actually holding the assets present in the game."

In the longer term, Cometh hopes to have a presence on the AppStore, the holy grail for any mobile video game developer. "Those who criticise the conditions of the AppStore are those who are already very successful, that's normal, but the AppStore is an essential platform when you're in an emerging phase," says Léopold Wenger.

The Cupertino firm has recently been more open about games that use NFTs (provided the 30% commission is met), but no title that really uses blockchain has yet appeared on the AppStore. Cometh games coming soon?

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