After years of being seen as little more than a curio for crypto kids, it seems as though blockchain-gaming is finally making inroads into the $385 billion mainstream gaming industry.
In just the past two weeks we have Observed:
- AAA blockchain-powered first-person shooter, Shrapnel, attract $20 million in a Series A funding round ahead of an early-access launch planned for December.
- The release of Solana Labs’ GameShift, which allows developers to easily add Web3 elements to games without knowledge of blockchain coding, providing a user experience which hides offputting elements such as opening a wallet and converting funds to crypto well in the background.
- Saudi Arabia’s NEOM investment fund commit $50 million to Web3 initiatives through a partnership between its futuristic 170km-long ‘The Line’ megacity and Animoca Brands.
- And the impending launch of Illuvium onto the Epic Games Store later this month, which will see it debut in front of the platform’s 230 million gamers.
Now, gaming behemoth Ubisoft has set its sights on the Web3 space, as it announced a collaboration with the Immutable blockchain-gaming platform this week.
As the developer and publisher of a whole host of popular gaming franchises, such as Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Watch Dogs and Rayman, it would be fair to say that Ubisoft knows a thing or two about delivering high-quality AAA games.
Bringing this wealth of experience and knowledge to bear on blockchain and Web3 gaming should produce results that appeal to a fair portion of the world’s estimated 3.09 billion gamers. Ubisoft’s Strategic Innovation Lab intends to develop full-fledged Web3 gaming experiences that focus on the fun, rather than the technology behind it, as the company’s Vice President and Head of Blockchain Initiative Nicolas Pouard explained:
“Immutable offers both cutting-edge technology and a unique expertise in seamlessly integrating decentralized technologies into games. We’re excited to partner with them and look forward to bringing that level of fluidness within a full-fledged game, so players only have to focus on the fun of the experience.”
Immutable is no slouch itself when it comes to games, having developed the popular NFT trading card game Gods Unchained, and with mobile role-playing game (RPG) Guild of Guardians currently in production.
However, it is the company’s technical expertise that Ubisoft will be most interested in. Its gaming suite includes pre-built solutions to seamlessly add blockchain functionality to games, and it has delivered zero-knowledge-based Ethereum scaling solutions in the form of Immutable X and Immutable zxEVM.
It looks as though the Web3 gaming space is about to get very exciting indeed. We shall continue to Observe.