Gala Games, a blockchain games startup that Zynga cofounder Eric Schiermeyer help create, cut a little-noticed but very interesting promotional deal this week with Brave, the maker of the privacy-focused Brave Software web browser. And their deal shows a path for how blockchain-based game companies can survive and even thrive as they wait for their big audiences and big hits to come.
Blockchain games have a chicken-and-egg problem. They have cool technology — the transparent and secure distributed ledger technology behind tokens and cryptocurrencies — that makes them more appealing for gamers. But they are also so new that most gamers don’t understand how they work, and so they have small audiences. But those audiences are enthusiastic, and they spend a lot of money. The result is that they could siphon off some of the biggest spenders and savviest gamers, and become profitable as a niche until the day comes when larger audiences see their value and better blockchain games come along. The challenge is to create blockchain games that are simple to play and can ultimately drive huge audiences in the long run.
That’s the situation that Gala Games finds itself in now, albeit early in that chain of theoretical events. At Zynga, Schiermeyer was a proponent of casual games that could appeal to everyone, such as Zynga Poker. At Gala Games, his team including lead game designer Michael McCarthy created a FarmVille-like game, Townstar, with the added twist of blockchain support. And now they’re creating a fantasy role-playing game called Mirandus.
These games are built on the Gala Network, a platform that uses blockchain to identify the assets in games that players own themselves. In the games, you can buy and sell assets and reap financial benefits via the game’s Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are connected to the Ethereum blockchain. After connecting with an Ethereum wallet, players in Townstar can harvest crops and build a house and eventually a city. Players can purchase items in the game with Bitcoin or Ethereum. And because blockchain can identify the one-of-a-kind items, the players can own the items they buy.
These may sound like simple games that have been done before. But Schiermeyer said in an interview with GamesBeat that Townstar has made his company profitable, even with its staff of 14 people. Townstar has a leaderboard where players compete to get rewards, and that has been motivating players to engage with the game and stick with it.
PUBLISHED BY– venturebeat.com