Here is episode three in AIKON’s Mighty Capital-sponsored podcast series on building blockchain products. In this conversation, AIKON Co-Founder and CEO Mark Blinder sits down with Newmoon Accelerator MP Trang Le Bozon. They touch on several topics, all related to the acceleration of the New Age in gaming with blockchain technology. First, they discuss challenges in blockchain game technology, as well as opportunities presented by NFTs.
Many of the topics revolve around the way blockchain changes the relationship between ownership and digital assets. The relationship between gaming and blockchain runs deep, so it only makes sense that blockchain game technology is at the forefront of this decentralized technology.
On the challenges in blockchain gaming
“If you talk to a gamer, and you say, here we have this blockchain game. And you can make money. And here you have the game of Bloodborne. Which one do you want? Gamers don't play games to make money. They play games for fun, to get away. Making money is a great idea. That's a great sidenote and can happen. Like Axie Infinity, there were a lot who left their work in the Philippines, for example, because they made money from it.”
Gamers “want to have the same game experience. Like when you log in to your game, it takes two seconds. And okay, if we told him, You have a private key, or you have to do this, or you have a wallet. They would look at you like, That's five extra minutes where I can be playing games with my friends! They probably wouldn't sign up for that.
“And that's the demographic. It is generally young kids, or men who are single, who just want to play and dive in. And you have to explain a lot of the logistics of blockchain. It's gonna scare a lot of people.
“I ran into you guys because of what you guys offer that oh, God, this is so simple. I don't have to deal with this. Because I mean … there's no way I will let my daughter play an NFT game and give her my wallet. … But if she could log in with her gmail account that she has at school, using your solution that you guys have, well, then why not? And I know it's all secure. Then it's on. I think that is the biggest hurdle right now.”
On how game developers can use NFTs
“I think one of the things – and it's something you're going to hear about a lot in the next few years; it was at the very beginning, when blockchain came out – is decentralized autonomous organizations. DAOs.
“And a lot of game developers are looking at that. How to associate a DAO to their game, where you let your players come together and collaborate. What the gameplay should look like. What kind of decisions can be made together. And that can make the game a lot more fun.
“There's very creative ways that gamers and developers are working together to make it more fun and more interesting that you don't find in these triple A games yet. Or they don't do because there's a risk of the IP and whatnot. So it's a very different way of looking at gaming that we haven't seen yet.”
Mark asks, “I know there's no one answer to this. But in your opinion, do you think more NFT's are going to be in game items, like swords that have different levels of power? Or more cosmetics like skins and different looks for the players?”
Trang says, “I think it depends on the type of game. So if it's an MMO game, like a massively multiplayer online game, where there's a lot of actual gaming happening, it would be like the swords that you're talking about. But if it's a kids game, where there’s collectibles, like Animal Crossing, like a Pokemon, like Axie Infinity, I think it would be skins. Because kids love avatars.
“And there's something that's also happening in fashion, which is called wear to earn. There are a lot of designers coming up and saying, here's some things you can create for your avatar that you can put on and wear to earn. So I think those two will cross over, eventually, like fashion into gaming. On the collectible side, at least. I see a lot of companies come in.”
On how blockchain changes digital ownership
The metaverse is a virtual reality where it is possible to enter into a whole alternate world of commerce. Because of that, the ownership of content on the Internet is changing. Mark says that change is huge.
Mark says, “To me, this is one of the most concrete differences between the blockchain approach and the sort of traditional approach. The traditional approach to the internet and user-generated content is that the users generate all the content on the Facebook social network, and Facebook makes all the money.”
He continues, “On the blockchain, the content you create you own and you make all the money, if there's money to be made. It's just such a different mental model to say, but you're saying, here's some land, build your city. Good luck. We hope you have fun. We hope you put in a lot of work and make a lot of money for all that hard work, but we're not going to take it from you.”
Trang takes this further, saying, “When you tie a DAO [decentralized autonomous organization] to it. And people collaborate and discuss and say I would love to do this in the game. Or if you're going to make a change, we all need to vote on it. That gives another whole different experience to someone who loves gaming.
“A lot of gamers wanted to change World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft had another version of it made by their players, and it was shut down because it was illegal. They had a million players using it.
“And that is the lore that surrounds Vitalik [Buterin] and Ethereum. Why he created Ethereum, one of the reasons was, he was playing his game and he knew he was going get his sword and they said, No dice. And then he's like, forget this. I need to have ownership of my digital assets. Supposedly, that's the birth of Ethereum.”