Gaming is one of the most competitive industries in the world, innovations are essential for survival: game mechanics, technology, design and business models – all of this is constantly put to the test. There are three areas in particular where the games industry uses massive resources to achieve a sustainable innovative advantage: cloud gaming, metaverse, and blockchain gaming.
Cloud gaming: Complex games require special hardware from the gamer, whether it’s a high-end console or a PC. Various companies have been working for years to make games streamable like movies on Netflix: the picture goes over the internet, the home device only has to process the player’s reactions. This breakthrough, long anticipated, is here, at least in part of the market. Microsoft customers, for example, can stream certain games to a range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. This is a technical innovation that changes the market mainly because Microsoft has also managed to innovate in the business model at the same time: their Game Pass system combines a Netflix-like subscription model that did not previously exist in the games with the possibility of also streaming some of the games offered there.
Metaverse: Ever since Facebook went meta, the term metaverse insider has become a buzzword. The vision is an unlimited 3D world that forms the interface with everything else, whether shopping, entertainment or communication. Some market players with good odds are currently trying to crack the big nut: Epic Games, for example, has Fortnite, a popular game that has evolved over the past couple of years from a pure game to a “virtual place” where concerts and meetings also take place. Gaming companies like Epic or Roblox may have a technological edge in this race, but tech giant Meta (Facebook) has direct access to billions of users.
Blockchain: The third pioneering area is blockchain gaming. One of the pioneers is The Sandbox game, which is a platform for people who want to build their own games on it (and therefore already the basic form of a metaverse), but not under the central control of a single company. , but via the blockchain under the direct control of the users. In general, blockchain gaming consists of making the values generated by players while playing tradable: For example, when a house built by a player in the game becomes worthless after leaving the game, it can be sold to others players with the blockchain. . Currently, we are seeing promising developments where player exchanges match the theme of a game, such as The Football Club football game. The simple premise that everything can be decentralized and players create value through gaming is poised to fundamentally shift the balance of power in gaming. Where closed platforms are currently being built, the future could seem much more open and cooperative.
Daniel Stammler is an entrepreneur and an investor. Together with friends, he founded the game company Kolibri Games, which was sold to Ubisoft in 2020 for around 120 million euros. With his company BLN Capital, he invests in the fields of technology, games and cryptography.
This article appeared in our number 2-22 on the theme “Innovation & Research”.