Understand - Article 1
A natural evolution in the face of the challenges of modern video games
Understand - Article 3
The advantages of Web3 gaming
Understand - Article 4
The challenges of Web3 gaming
Understand - Article 5
The evolution of gaming business models
Challenges - Article 6
Innovative new models made possible by blockchain
Challenges - Article 7
Sorare, the symbol of an entire sector
Challenges - Article 8
Brian O'Hagan (Sorare): "There has been huge inflation in image rights in 2021-2022"
Challenges - Article 9
Constantin Garreau (Stables): "It's good for PMU to take risks".
Challenges - Article 10
Gaming Web3: a flourishing ecosystem
Challenges - Article 11
Beyond Sorare, 5 games that left their mark
Challenges - Article 12
Julien Bouteloup (BlackPool): "Fantasy games have the model best suited to Web3".
Challenges - Article 13
Sébastien Borget (The Sandbox): "We need to focus on attractive gaming experiences".
Perspectives - Article 14
Account abstraction: the miracle solution for the general public?
Perspectives - Article 15
Jérôme de Tychey (Cometh): "We have developed solutions for the general public".
Perspectives - Article 16
Jonum: a regulatory framework for experimentation
Perspectives - Article 17
William O'Rorke (ORWL Avocats): "Not everyone can become a Jonum".
Perspectives - Article 18
The position of the traditional gaming giants
Perspectives - Article 19
Nicolas Pouard (Ubisoft): "We're exploring in real-life conditions".
Perspectives - Article 20
Conclusion & thanks : Playing should always be fun!

The position of the traditional gaming giants

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The position of the traditional gaming giants

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Web3 has attracted the attention of many sectors, including the traditional gaming industry. Many of the giants are experimenting more or less officially, but the subject is still tricky for several reasons.

The first is regulatory. The world leader in mobile games, France's Voodoo, has suspended its cryptocurrency project, which was to have been at the centre of the business model for its future blockchain platform Voodoo Infinity. The reason for the pause is the uncertain regulatory environment in the United States, where the financial regulator is on the hunt for digital assets. Vooddo's plan was to offer to acquire game items in the form of NFTs using Voodoo Coin. But for the company, which generates a large part of its traditional business across the Atlantic, the risk of sanctions was too great and probably not worth the risk.

Generally speaking, many international players are paying close attention to what is happening in the United States, even if this is not stopping some from moving forward. In early June 2023, EA Sports announced a partnership with Nike and its Swoosh NFTs platform to enrich the experiences of its famous sports franchises (FIFA, Madden, etc.)

This project is the ideal demonstration of what the interoperability brought by blockchain makes it possible to envisage: it would be very easy to make avatars wear special, unique Nike shoes in EA Sports games. The owners would then be free to resell them to other players. The end result would be more revenue for the brands and a more engaged community. What's special about this project? The term "NFT" is never used by EA Sports.

"Like the adult entertainment industry, gaming is fond of technological innovations, and its users are often the first to get hold of them," analyses Jérôme de Tychey, CEO of game development studio Web3 Cometh.
"Most American publishers have experiments running internally, the Europeans are in the process of selecting partners and the Asians are already doing things", he explains.

Ubisoft is probably one of the "big boys" that is most advanced. The publisher has been working publicly on the subject since 2016 and at the end of 2021 launched its Quartz platform where you can acquire NFTs that can be used in its titles. The tactical shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint was the first to be tested. It is not yet known which licences will be selected next, but Ubisoft is expected to continue along this path once the market conditions are right again.

This type of project is not without risk for a brand as exposed as Ubisoft, however. When Quartz was presented, it was roundly criticised by some gamers who feared the risk of financialisation at the expense of what gaming is all about: the pleasure of playing. These criticisms were moderately well-founded, given that Ghost Recon's NFTs were free to players (although it was possible to resell them on secondary marketplaces). Nevertheless, this analysis has a hard edge.

"Reactionary movements have always been present in gaming and these individuals are often the loudest", points out Jérôme de Tychey. In his view, this epidermal reaction stems from the proliferation in recent years of models for charging gamers. There are countless examples of additional paid-for content, integrated purchases and the widespread use of free-to-play, which is free in name only.

"Gamers have been mocked for trying to squeeze money out of them by any means possible," insists Jérôme de Tychey. "With blockchain, we can assure them that they really own their gaming assets, this digital ownership is a huge plus, especially as if you buy a car you can reuse it in other universes and even improve it," he points out.

In order to avoid reputational risk, the gaming giants have opted for more discreet strategies but continue to forge ahead. In the case of Ubisoft, it has been decided to create Rabbids in the form of NFTs for use in The Sandbox metaverse. Other collaborations are planned with Web3 platforms. Not to mention investments in start-ups in the sector.

Ubisoft has notably invested in Animoca Brands, the structure that finances many Web3 games, including The Sandbox. The French company also has a stake in Cross The Ages. But "Ubi" is not the only one to get involved, far from it...

"Square-Enix (which develops the Final Fantasy licence, ed. note) has invested in several studios and has already launched titles exploiting blockchain technology", points out Sébastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox. "My perception is that many giants have an appetite for the subject and are experimenting under the radar", he bellows.

For Jérôme de Tychey, it is very likely that we will see the arrival of new licences created especially for the occasion before Web3 is implemented in the most popular ones. "This is how it happened when 3D appeared in the 1990s: it wasn't added all at once in Final Fantasy, they first experimented with it in small games before deploying it on their star licence", he points out.

Many are now waiting for a publisher to manage to align the planets by developing the solution that will produce a "wow" effect on gamers. A certain amount of anticipation surrounds Fortnite (Epic Games), a veritable cultural phenomenon since 2017 and one of the finest achievements in open worlds. "If Fortnite added NFTs to its gameplay it would produce a huge blast on the sector, everything is already there for it to hit because they already do a lot of co-branding with many brands," argues Sami Chlagou, creator of Cross The Ages.

His publisher Epic Games has already shown its interest in the subject by welcoming games using NFTs on its online shop Epic Games Store. The Cometh studio has been selected to offer one of its titles there. "It's all going to happen in small chunks, but I'm convinced that blockchain is the most important technological upheaval for gaming since the Internet and the networking of games," concludes co-founder Jérôme de Tychey.