TECHNOLOGY

Blockchain Meets Gaming in Singapore: Let The Fun Begin!

The odds are in the gamers’ favor

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BY Tricia V. Morente - 11 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies are doubling down on the $51.2 billion mobile gaming industry. And Asia, which accounts for 47% of the overall global gaming market, is the digital arena.

Nitro, a cryptocurrency powered by the Ethereum blockchain, wants to democratize the gaming industry by making it easy for users to participate in the video game economy.

The goal is to address one of the biggest challenges getting in the way of realizing the gaming industry’s full potential: an oligopoly of 10 players dominating more than half of global revenue.

As it is, independent game studios find it hard to access funding and resources needed to launch new games to take advantage of this lucrative market. Managing the end-to-end process of mobile game development—from localization to distribution—is challenging enough for any developer, but the industry is also so cutthroat that game studios need to pay exorbitant fees to promote their games in traditional marketing platforms.

According to Kin-Wai Lau, CEO of iCandy Interactive, the Southeast Asian mobile entertainment group backing Nitro, the cryptocurrency can disrupt all that. “Cryptocurrencies will transform how payments are made within the massive gaming industry,” says Lau.

How? By participating in the blockchain-based platform, promising game studios can gain access to alternative funding options outside traditional funding rounds. At the same time, these studios are able to connect with gamers earlier on in their business cycle; feedback from gamers, often early adopters of blockchain technology, would greatly improve the quality and variety of games produced.

Gamers themselves can even be token-holders and earn off the video economy by funding new games using NOX tokens. Game titles funded by Nitro will share a portion of their revenue with Nitro, and NOX holders stand to receive rewards for participating in and contributing to the Nitro network. Studios may also entice gamers into trying out new games using crypto incentives.

“iCandy Interactive believes that the Nitro project will be an important game-changer to the video games industry. Nitro will connect the fragmented and disconnected value chain of the industry, envisioning an inclusive and holistic platform where all parties are able to contribute to and benefit from the growth of the video games economy,” says Lau.

There will be up to 60 million NOX available for sale, raising up to 75,000 Ethereum, which carry a value of approximately $20 million as of press time. iCandy Interactive, an ASX-listed company, is the first to unite game studios in a group collaboration system in Southeast Asia; currently, no other mobile gaming authority is attempting to consolidate the ecosystem and link across markets in the region.

With the prevalence of internet access and smartphone penetration, the mobile games market in Southeast Asia is rife with opportunity, with the fastest growth areas coming from emerging markets like the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.