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Gaming is one of the most intriguing industries throughout the world. It’s difficult to find a person who does not love playing video games. Our tastes in games may differ, but most of us have played and continue to play video games, whether it is to pass time on a flight or just because of our love for playing games.
As it stands, the current gaming industry lacks on multiple fronts. In 2020, the revenue of the gaming industry has surpassed that of the film and sports industry combined. And yet, what do the gamers get in return? Nothing. This is only one of the major issues traditional video games face today.
Blockchain games bring the promise of solving these issues and putting the gamers at the center of the gaming industry economy. They have the potential to create open economies that favor the gamers without harming the profits earned by the game developers.
To explore the concept of blockchain gaming and how it is changing the course of the gaming industry, I interviewed Kris Vaivods, the CEO of a blockchain gaming startup called Vorto Gaming.
Without wasting any more words, let’s dive in.
I took my first step into the blockchain and crypto space back in 2013 when I found out about the anonymous digital currency Bitcoin. I set up a small mining operation in my one-room apartment and that helped me acquire my first BTC, which I sold for around $400 to pay my electricity bill. Over the years, my journey into the crypto space slowly piqued my interest in DLT technology and the global financial access that it promised for everyone.
This hobby slowly grew into my main job and in 2017, with the rise of tokenization, we saw an opportunity that had the potential to change the gaming landscape. The gaming industry has forgotten a really important point: anybody's dream is to make money through something they love doing. For us, as gamers, it is playing video games. That is why in 2017, we set out to build games with economies centered around the players and that are owned by the players. We imagined virtual worlds where participants could freely trade with each other and make real money in the process.
Q2. Take us through the background of the gaming industry. How did this world of geeks grow into a multi-trillion-dollar industry and what factors played the most important roles?
Nerds and geeks over the last few decades, as ridiculed as they may have been, kept to reading comic books and playing games that had a good story. People want to escape, whether it is from school, social life, politics, or other things. And we think video games provide this escape from your daily life and allow you to be whoever you want to be. This leads to many creative people from across the world to make their own games, their own stories, and in most cases, those are the ones that hit home.
I believe that companies never imagined how normalized gaming would become, since there was a time when gamers were considered lazy or anti-social people. Now gamers rule. With sites like Twitch and Youtube, thousands of young adults stream their gaming experiences, and they are being followed by millions of people. So, if I had to summarize in a few words why the industry has grown so much — pride and dignity. Gamers take pride in who we are, and we have dignity for the work that we do.
With the rise of esports and streaming, gamers worldwide more than ever see that they can monetize the time they spend playing games. The problem with existing options is that it only provides profit for a tiny amount of gamers worldwide.
Blockchain gaming is changing that. It provides any player a chance to enjoy a game and through competitions and trading earn money while doing that. We call it play-to-earn! The model is simple… the more you play, the more you earn. The play-to-earn model gives power and control back to the player. It celebrates their dedication to creating bespoke virtual spaces and experiences with financial reward. You don’t have to be a competitive gamer or esports icon to succeed. You just have to invest your time in the game and the reward will come.
Q4. Where do you see blockchain and cryptocurrency technology coming into the gaming world and what’s your personally unique vision of this?
The existing games offer little ownership of in-game items to the players. There’s no use of the in-game items in the outside world. Blockchain games are set to change that as in-game items of blockchain games can have real value and they can be traded in dedicated digital marketplaces for real money. This means gamers who pay for premium subscriptions and skins will get in return something that has real value.
This is possible due to asset tokenization on blockchain. With this, we can create a safe way for players to freely trade their in-game items to others for real money. Players, and not the developers, are the market makers in this scenario.
It will create an economy owned by the players, and through that it will democratize the gaming landscape. Blockchain provides an open and transparent economy, where the opportunity to monetize your input is an opportunity for all.
Vorto Network is currently solely focusing on games, more specifically on blockchain-enabled play-to-earn games. Vorto Gaming AB believes that there are two missing links, which when added can attract mainstream gamers to blockchain technology.
The first thing is user experience. We need to provide a smooth onboarding process and seamless blockchain experience. Vorto Network will provide a full package for their users: wallet, which will provide the bases of receiving NFTs through gameplay, and then with few keystrokes interacting with the P2P marketplace without unpredictable gas fees attached.
The second part is content. Content is king in the gaming industry and we know that! Gamers will come for the content and stay for the immersive and financially rewarding experience. We are currently focusing on launching the well-recognized play-to-earn RTS title Hash Rush this July as our showcase title for Vorto Network MVP.
At the same time, we have already activated the 1st stage of the network growth strategy, which is bringing well-established gaming studios in our existing network in the immersive world of blockchain gaming. With sharp aiming we have already identified three potential opportunities, 2 listed companies in Sweden, and 1 studio in Poland.
Q6. How do you see NFTs impacting the gaming industry over the next five or ten years? What aspects of gaming with NFTs disrupt for the better?
As the real world evolves and services become ever more digitized, blockchain technology will continue to innovate the marketplace, providing a variety of experiences and opportunities across the digital landscape. NFTs will provide a layer of value in areas where people initially thought it was impossible to do so. I believe that gamified NFTs in the upcoming years will provide financial freedom through something that 2.7 billion people across the world love doing! Isn't that beautiful?
Q7. One of the key parts of Vorto’s vision is to monetize the gaming experience for gamers of all levels. Why do you think major players in the industry will be willing to change their existing models or transition to this one? What challenges do you see ahead in the implementation of blockchain and crypto in gaming?
World Asset Exchange did a study back in 2018 that showed 62% of gamers would be more likely to invest in digital assets if they were transferable.
The key thing behind a successful game is a community that feels connected, appreciated, and in control. How do traditional microtransaction models work? You as a gamer buy, for example, a limited edition item. You enjoy it and show it off to your friends. Slowly the game gets boring for you and you lose interest in it. I have been in this situation many times. This rare item that you bought just stays on this inactive account and you as a developer lost a paying customer.
But what if the player could sell this limited edition item before leaving the game? If this item would live on Vorto Network, that would be easily possible. Developer receives a cut from the trade so they are able to monetize the player one last time. The player selling the item receives money, making them feel more in control and appreciated. The one who bought it receives something that they eagerly wanted and their urge to collect has been satisfied. It is a win-win situation for both the game developers and the gamer. So, why wouldn’t the companies want to implement blockchain technology to their games?
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