Independent game publisher Fig announced this week that it is acquiring UK-based blockchain development company Ownage.
Fig is “a community funding and publishing platform for independent video games. Fans back games on Fig to get exclusive rewards, or invest to earn returns from game sales.” The company also helps game developers with startup investing, marketing, and community building.
The platform has already published several popular games, including Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, Phoenix Point, and Wasteland 3. Now, it aims to use blockchain technology to develop a new, decentralized platform called Shard, and this project has received external funding from Neopets creator Adam Powell.
Gaming Benefits from Blockchain
Fig CEO Justin Bailey believes that the acquisition will help the company’s goal of building community, a big attraction for MOO games.
“Shard seeks to accomplish what we set out to do with Fig, center the publishing process around the people who are most passionate about the properties being created – the community,” Bailey said in a statement, adding:
“Shard will be offering a unique community-based approach to the funding, engagement, and cross-promotion of games. We’re really excited to add the talents of Alex, Jack and the Ownage team to help Fig develop this platform for the games industry.”
Fig plans to expand the platform by working with game developers and marketing companies. Shard will be “owned” completely by the community of developers and gamers, and thus developers do not have to run a Fig campaign to use the platform.
“While Fig is sponsoring the development of Shard as an open, decentralized platform, it can be used and modified by publishers, developers and gamers completely independently of Fig,” said Alex Amsel, creative lead for Shard. “Fig intends to support the growth of the Shard community throughout its early development, with a focus on working with game developers to explore new innovations and opportunities enabled by the platform.”
Ongoing Gaming Projects
As CCN reported, blockchain technology is gradually working its way into the general video game industry. While decentralized apps (DApps) like CryptoKitties have exploded in popularity, more traditional games are exploring ways to integrate blockchain technology into their networks.
Particularly interesting are projects that tokenize in-game items such as character skins or weapons with the help of Ethereum’s ERC-721 protocol, as CCN reported on May 4. Game developers are finding new ways to implement blockchain ideals as a way for building communities, in addition to encouraging funding.