Most Common Blockchain, Web3 and NFT Gaming Questions Answered
In today’s Web3TV video, we’re with Rami James from ultra.io and we’re going to dig deeper into the most common questions people are asking in regards to blockchain, Web3 and NFT gaming.
Why do we need blockchain gaming?
According to Rami, the way that gaming has been proferred to gamers over the last couple of decades has been very much about value extraction from them. It’s not about providing them access or functionality as much about making sure that they pay as much money as they possibly can. So that’s been either through higher game prices that player’s can’t resell or through things like micro transactions like exorbitant amounts of dlc. It has been all about more money going out of the pockets of gamers than providing them with a better play experience.
In the Web3 gaming space, what we’ve been trying to do is give more access, more functionality to end users in a way which is decentralized and is, of course more fair to them.
What Is An NFT and How Can You Use Them In A Web3 Game?
NFTs are a really simple concept when you talk about them inside the context of gaming. They’re basically things that you own, so that could be an account. that could be a sword in a game.
So when you’re talking about blockchain-based gaming, when you talk about NFTs and games, all that you’re doing is you’re saying is ‘Here’s stuff that you own and you actually own it, you can actually do stuff with it’. You don’t need anybody’s permission and it exists on an open network.
Go do what you want to do. So the types of things you can do include reselling, giving away or access some specific functionality. If you have one NFT and you have another NFT, you’ll be the only one that if you own them you can join them into something else, which also becomes an NFT which you can also sell or give away or use in the game.
A lot of this stuff exists today in Web2 gaming but it’s very limited. It’s limited by the companies that build the games as they run their own software and their own networks. They do all of the development on their own and it’s not accessible, it’s not transparent, it’s not fun and it’s not fair.
So all that we’re doing with NFTs and blockchain in gaming today is we’re trying to make it more fair, bringing the power back to the gamer.
Why do you think gamer’s hate the idea of NFTs?
In Rami’s opinion, gamers hate the idea of NFTs because they’ve been abused for like twenty years. If you’ve been abused by an industry of people that are making games, then your expectation is to continue being abused, so especially, if you’re talking about micros transactions, if you’re playing a game, and your expectation is to have fun, if you have to pay like ten bucks to get some extra gold, so you can actually play and then another ten bucks and then another ten bucks and another twenty bucks and another fifty bucks and all of a sudden you’re a thousand dollars in that’s not fun.
People look at an NFT as a continuation of that kind of mentality where businesses can come and say, ‘hey, you have to buy a five hundred dollars NFT to play our game’. That’s not fun, and the truth is that that’s not what they should be. That’s not how smart developers use them, and I think that in general, there has to be a movement away from that kind of mentality in the developer or publishers space.
What are the biggest technological road blocks for bringing blockchain based games to the mainstream
Blockchain technology today is still very, very complicated, very hard to understand. There’s a lot of concepts. Rami generally describes going into the blockchain space for the first time that you’re like drinking from the fire hose. There’s so much that you have to learn and if you just want people to play a game and get benefits and value from playing that game, you can’t expect them to go and learn all that stuff, because that’s that’s too much for them and lot of people are not interested.
So when you want to provide an easy onboarding experience for people in blockchain-based gaming right now, for the most part it doesn’t exist. For example, you go to ethereum and you want to play a game and when the network is very overloaded, every transaction can cost you fifty bucks and that’s not fun, especially if you’re playing a game where there’s going to be like a dozen transactions during the course of play over a couple of hours. You’re out six hundred bucks. That’s a lot of money.
So that’s like one one part of it. But, even before you get to that, you’re talking about somebody has to create an address on say ethereum or polyon. You have to somehow manage the access to that address securely, which is no joke. You have to fill up your wallet with gas and you have to go and buy some ethereum or polygon or whatever, and then understand that every time that you’re doing a transaction, you actually have to like cover those costs and, like there’s a whole bunch of complexity there.
So there’s a bunch of technological solutions you need to have such as how do you create accounts or addresses for people in a way which is really easy for them.
Then you have to have non-custodial access to your account afterwards, which means that, like me as a business, I don’t hold your keys for you as a user. If you also don’t hold your keys, there has to be a smart solution for how that’s managed in a way which is secure and to technologically sound and, of course has to be fair, so that’s like a very big roadblock for many different companies.
With so many different networks today you’re talking about basic security. So if you have a bunch of NFTs that you just happen to get while you’re playing and all of a sudden there’re worth thousands of thousands of dollars, you become an attack vector. That means people are going to try and steal your stuff. How do you make sure that your stuff is safe, that’s really hard.
If you’re looking to offload all of those solutions on a developer, for example, then them having to implement and integrate all of those different solutions is very complex.
Because of these challenges, the first set of Web3 games according to Rami were terrible and there’s definitely a technological chasm which is currently being crossed. Some developers are going to fall into the chasm and some people are going to make it to the other side.
When Are Blocking Gaming Platforms Like Ultra.io doing to help?
Part of Rami’s job at Ultra is to talk to a lot of developers and game developers who are both in Ultra’s ecosystem and in other ecosystems. A handful of them are really really close. According to Rami, Ultra has been developing for almost four years, know the issues well and have really good solutions to them.
This means when people on board, they do it with an email address and don’t even know they’re creating a blockchain account or worry about that stuff. Transactions on all networks should be free or minimal and any cost should be paid by the game developer.
If we’re talking about security, there are some super smart people working on really interesting solutions for non-custodial security, of either your cryptographic keys or accounts etc.
When do you think the blockchain based gaming will hit the mainstream?
Rami knows of a dozen of projects which are in very advanced stages that have play testers and an amazing gameplay experience. He expects at least a handful of really good games are going to be coming out in the next eight to twelve months.
In his opinion, once the larger investment space sees that there’s solutions to those problems a lot more money is going to be pumped into the ecosystem, which means that a lot more development is going to be funded and it’s going to snowball.
So his guess is we’re going to have in the next, like eight to twelve months, a handful of really good games that people will be playing, and that will be relatively accessible for mainstream gamers, but still a little clunky. They’re, going to be a little hard to use from like an onboarding perspective, like they’ll have two out of three things solved.
In a timeframe of twelve to thirty six months, he’s thinking hundreds of games, like lots and lots of games, really good ones. Games built on Unreal and Unity and games that are going to be available on mobile platforms. Games that are going to be on Playstation and Xbox, as companies like Sony and Microsoft are interested in this and once those roadblocks are kind of like paved over, then you’re going to see an explosion of interest in the space.
What one of the types of games you’re seeing being built?
So every game that somebody has built in the Web2 space, there is somebody that is building it in the Web3 space. This includes first person shooters, sports games, rts games, card games, casino games, whatever you like.
You’ll be able to buy the game. Of course, the license is an NFT so you can resell it on the market. Currently, there’s a bunch of different competitors that do it but Rami thinks they’ll be very interconnected in the next couple of years, like the games that you’ll buy on one platform will be re-sellable on other platforms, and the reason that that will be allowed is because it’s all based on NFT technology.
That means one launcher is going to have NFTs and then another launcher will be able to integrate into that network and then sell those NFTs and then get royalties because it’s sold on their platform. So it is a win for both the gamer and the game developer.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what type of game you’d like to see developed using Web3 technology. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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