A natural evolution in the face of the challenges of modern video games
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"I'm convinced that we can build an open version of the metaverse over the next decade based on open standards and open systems, and with companies that want to share more of the value with their users. You could have an account in one game, and be able to play in another. That would create healthy competition for everyone. That was the original idea of the Web. But this has been destroyed because of systems that now operate in silos."
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games
Most experts will tell you, gaming is certainly one of the sectors where blockchain presents itself as a logical response to the evolution of digital technologies and the needs of gamers. Vitalik Buterin, the mastermind behind Ethereum, provides a striking example of why this technological crossover is full of promise.
He has often recounted how a bad experience with the game World of Warcraft (WoW) influenced him in his vision of "decentralisation". At the time, the young Russian-Canadian was an avid WoW player. But an update to the game removed a spell that his character frequently used. This change, imposed arbitrarily by Blizzard's developers, upset the man who was to become a landmark of the crypto universe.
This episode made him realise the fragility of a system where a central authority held absolute power over the ecosystem, with the ability to change the rules overnight without consultation or recourse for users. It was this experience, among others, that prompted her shortly afterwards to create Ethereum, a decentralised platform where intervention by a central entity would be impossible.
Applied to the world of gaming, the principle of decentralisation offers considerable advantages. Firstly, it gives players back real control over their objects and their activity in the game. In a blockchain game, a rare object or a developed character truly belongs to the player in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). Unlike traditional virtual objects, these NFTs can be traded, sold or kept independently of the game itself.
Then, blockchain gaming introduces a real economic dimension, both for users and for... game publishers. It's no coincidence that start-ups such as Sorare, Axie Infinity and Cometh have already managed to carve out a place for themselves in the industry. The appetite of traditional players such as PMU and Française des Jeux (FDJ) is also a sign. Not forgetting traditional gaming giants like Ubisoft.
For them, it's a way of diversifying their business by generating new revenue, but also of multiplying partnerships with other brands.
Finally, decentralisation promises greater durability and resilience for games. Whereas traditional games can be modified or closed down by their publishers, a decentralised game relies on a community and a blockchain, making it theoretically eternal as long as the community supports it.
The aim of this report is to present to you the opportunities brought by Web3, the challenges weighing on the shoulders of development studios, the best experiments, as well as the various strategies pursued by the traditional video game giants.