Xpring, an investment and incubation initiative from Ripple, has announced a new partnership with the blockchain gaming startup Forte. The result is a brand new $100 million fund for game developers. With this money, Forte will fund developers who want to make use of blockchain technology—especially those that want to monetize their games.
The Partnership in Detail
According to Xpring’s Medium blog and press release, Forte will “deeply embed” three different Ripple products in its platform. The Interledger network and the XRP token will be used to perform base pair settlements. Meanwhile, Codius will be used as a hosting solution and will facilitate “seamless transactions across blockchains.”
Forte CEO Brett Seyler also explains that the gaming industry has frequently driven the adoption of new technology and new business models. Gaming, he says, is a $140 billion industry that is largely reliant on microtransactions, and blockchain technology can improve on that model by providing “integrity and resilience.”
Neither Xpring nor Forte have mentioned which games, if any, are in line to receive money from the new fund. However, they have revealed that the fund will target games with online economies that experience over 50,000 daily active users. (For a sense of scale, the most popular Facebook games have between 1 million and 10 million daily active users.)
It is not clear exactly which elements of games will be monetized. Xpring briefly mentions the business potential of “virtual self-expression” and online events. However, the announcement primarily suggests that the fund will help developers move away from selling virtual items first-hand and will allow them to create peer-to-peer trading marketplaces instead.
This implies that blockchain-based tradable items (aka cryptocollectibles) will play a large role in Forte’s plans. Other companies have shown interest in this as well: Scatter has recently expressed an interest in monetizing EOS games in this manner. TerraVirtua has also undertaken a similar project on WAX, while Enjin has done the same on Ethereum.
It should be noted that CryptoKitties—the earliest game that popularized collectible blockchain items—is less than two years old. This means that the race to bring trading technology to mainstream gaming has grown intense very quickly. It remains to be seen whether Forte, with the help of Ripple, can make its mark in this area.
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