CEO Brad Robertson answered some questions about why blockchain is the new go-to tech for gaming, and how it helps consumers.
There’s been a big to-do about blockchain recently. Particularly, what it can do for gaming. The big draw for use of the technology is that it allows gamers to “own” their loot. That became a key selling point for Skyweaver, one of several digital card games that tried to usurp Hearthstone during that whole Blitzchung fiasco. Letting players own their cards prevents them from being lost if an error should occur – and allows players to make their own trade economy rather than letting a corporation drive prices. But where does Polyient Games fit into this?
Polyient Games is an investment firm that’s focusing on blockchain. It’s not making games directly, but it is helping games that use blockchain get funding. CEO Brad Robertson answered some questions about why blockchain is the new go-to tech, how it will help gaming, and how owning digital collectibles can make gamers some cash.
Why blockchain? And why blockchain gaming?
Robertson: Technology has always fascinated me and blockchain technology might be the most fascinating technology I’ve seen in my lifetime. We started Polyient to incubate tomorrow’s blockchain rockstars.
In 2017, the gaming industry generated about $116 billion; by 2025, industry analysts predict it will be worth $300 billion. Few things can compete with gaming when it comes to holding the public’s attention.
Don’t take my word for it. In 2019, in a letter to shareholders Netflix told investors it wasn’t concerned about competing against other streaming services. Instead, Netflix said, it was concerned about competing against Fortnite, a game valued at $15 billion and boasting 80 million users.
I think once mainstream gamers understand what blockchain can bring to the gaming equation, the entire industry will embrace decentralized gaming.
Does the mainstream gaming industry share your enthusiasm?
Just today, Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, tweeted that “ownership of digital items should be a universal notion, independent of stores and platforms”, which is the foundational appeal of blockchain gaming – true ownership of digital items.
Now that’s just a tweet from Sweeny, but it might explain Epic Games announced last year it was partnering with another blockchain gaming platform.
What is your background in gaming?
The most valuable background of all: I am a father of five gamers.
My understanding of the industry has been shaped by 15+ years of real-life gaming experience. This includes my own days of dabbling in rudimentary diversions such as Pong and PacMan.
More importantly, I’ve watched as my kids got swept up in a wide variety of nearly-addictive games over the years.
I saw how Sims (which may be the most popular game of all time based on unit sales) captivated them. Later on, when first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty became the rage, I saw how that took over the imaginations of my sons. And, as one child outgrew a game and put the controller down, I saw what the next infatuation was, be it Minecraft or Halo or something else.
Why do you think owning digital items will be a game-changer in gaming?
In every hit game I just mentioned, gamers were confined to a single gaming environment and a single gaming experience. If a gamer won something in Call of Duty, those winnings only had value in Call of Duty.
Blockchain gaming changes all of that. Blockchain games, powered by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital collectibles and even VR can deliver an entirely- new, fully-immersive gaming experience. And – because the playing takes place on a decentralized platform – all of those rewards gamers work so hard to earn in a game can now transfer to another game. This transferability means gaming rewards – for the first time – truly belong to the gamer.
Right now, if a centralized game folds up shop – no matter how popular it is – the player loses everything. In a blockchain environment, those winning would still be there even if the game was gone.
But would the winnings still have value?
Yes, because digital collectibles can accumulate genuine value.
They can be bought and sold in blockchain-supported marketplaces for other tokens of even cryptocurrencies.
This is also huge because – for the first time – gamers (and their parents) can actually earn real money by playing games. Imagine as a Dad of a family of gamers how exciting that prospect is to me. Conservatively speaking, I’ve spent about $50,000 in gaming over the years.
Has anyone made any money off of blockchain gaming collectibles yet?
But those numbers explain only part of my enthusiasm for blockchain games. A few weeks ago, after introducing my 16-year old daughter to another blockchain game – Axie Infinity – I could see she was hooked. She didn’t want to stop playing. That’s when I knew I was seeing the future of gaming.
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