Fuel Games has partnered with Coinbase Ventures, Continue Capital, Sora Ventures, and Nirvana Capital to build a gaming infrastructure platform called Apollo. Apollo allows a game, like their own competitive card trading game Gods Unchained, to play as seamlessly as traditional centralized game (such as Hearthstone), but every card has it’s own value, statistics, and even card ownership history stored within an Etheruem-based ERC721 token.
The value of this may not be apparent to many non-gamers. But to those who spend a good deal of their lives playing these types of games, the major change blockchain brings to the table is true, unchangeable, ownership. When you play a centralized game, you’re playing under a user license that states they can take, or modify, your hard earned items and skills whenever they like. And to a hardcore gamer, this is a nightmare.
As it turns out, this issue was one of the inspiration points for Etheruem’s creator, Vitalik Buterin.
“I happily played World of Warcraft during 2007–2010, but one day Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved warlock’s Siphon Life spell. I cried myself to sleep, and on that day I realized what horrors centralized services can bring.”
The game changing element Fuel Games, and Buterin, have brought to the table is the end of losing your hard earned status within the game. This opens the door to other possibilities, such as an exchange for game items, and even cross-game compatibility. For example, if you have a cape that lets you fly in one game, it’s possible for another game to incorporate that item and skill.
The additional benefit of tracking every owner of a card is a bit more esoteric. If a celebrity, say a pro-gamer, previously owned this card, that will show on the record. It’s even possible with the Apollo technology to digitally sign the card for additional value.
Fuel’s system isn’t exclusive to their Gods Unchained game. They’re hoping for it to become a platform for other game makers to leverage. Fuel likes to think of it like how Stripe is used for credit cards across many website for ecommerce transactions.
The value of this technology is substantial, especially when you consider Blizzard makes over $400 million per year with their Hearthstone game. It’s also a big boost for Etheruem itself, as this is the exact type of usage that makes the ETH currency valuable.
Some may be concerned about latency issues, as Etheruem has traditionally slowed to a near halt with games a simple CryptoKitties. Fuel has dealt with this by minimizing the amount of time Etheruem needs to be directly accessed. Players only interacts with the Etheruem network when managing game assets. In addition, Raiden, a technology that should significantly increase scalability of the Etheruem network, just launched their final version on the Testnet.
This is the future of gaming, and computing technology as a whole.