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Will There Ever Be Another CryptoKitties?

Image source: ConsenSys Media

CryptoKitties is well-known for its viral success, and for being the first demonstration of the ERC-721 token. The creators of CryptoKitties used ERC-721 tokens to allow people to breed and sell digital cats, each one completely unique. When CryptoKitties launched at the end of 2017, so many people wanted in that the volume of traffic temporarily choked the Ethereum blockchain.

Since then, many have predicted that non-fungible tokens would be a game-changer for the gaming industry. There is a vast, $50 billion global market for in-game assets, which now also attracts hackers and fraudsters. If a user has invested heavily in their game account and bought expensive skins and other in-game items, then their account is at risk of being stolen and sold online. With blockchain, the ownership of the asset can be securely recorded, and the owner can protect their account and assets with private keys.

No Repeat Performance

Despite the predictions that blockchain technology will soon dominate gaming, no other game has achieved quite the same success as CryptoKitties did. The global games market has sustained double-digit growth for more than a decade now, with the most successful games like Fortnite boasting over 75 million users each day.

On the other hand, State of the Dapps reports that the most popular blockchain game, EOS Knights, had a little over 6,000 users in the last 24 hours at the time of writing.

Even though CryptoKitties was a success in the crypto world, it didn’t take off in a way that encouraged the mass adoption of blockchain gaming. For that to happen, two challenges need to be addressed.

Firstly, the infrastructure needs to be in place. Gamers won’t tolerate slow networks that can’t handle high volumes of users. Secondly, game developers need an incentive to move to blockchain-based gaming. Therefore, in blockchain gaming, the companies that are working to address these challenges are the ones to watch. Thankfully, some are making inroads.

Laying the Foundations of an eSports Ecosystem

DreamTeam is a project with some ambitious goals of creating a comprehensive system of infrastructure for the eSports sector. eSports is the billion-dollar industry which has sprung up around the world of professional competitive gameplay. Fans stream their favorite players taking part in tournaments and leagues to find the best players of games such as League of Legends or Counter Strike.

DreamTeam aims to create a single network to connect the various players, teams, sponsors, and all other parties in the sector. This will pull a fragmented market together, with the ultimate aim of creating more professional eSports teams and encouraging new eSports participants.

eSports tournament

Users of the DreamTeam network will use the DREAM token to purchase games, skins, subscriptions, merchandise, and anything else connected to gaming. The team behind DreamTeam foresees that in the future, the platform will be the primary network connecting gamers, coaches, managers, sponsors, media representatives, and many more, similar to how Airbnb dominates the property leasing sector today. Smart contracts will automate payments between network participants, thereby reducing instances of non-payment.

Last year, DreamTeam secured $5 million in venture investment from Mangrove Capital, a Luxembourg-based fund. The co-founder and CEO of DreamTeam is Alexander Kokhanovskyy, who is a veteran of the eSports sector, responsible for creating one of the most successful and popular eSports teams ever, Natus Vincere.

Ripple’s $100m Developer Fund with Forte

Forte is a blockchain gaming startup established earlier this year, with a view to speeding up the adoption and integration of blockchain into the gaming industry. Its co-founders have an impressive industry background. CEO Kevin Chou founded Kabam and his colleagues at Forte bring experience from Linden Labs, GarageGames, and Unity. Backers of Forte include Andreesson Horowitz and Battery Ventures.

Even more impressive is that Forte has recently announced a partnership with Ripple, generally better known for its fintech innovations. However, Forte will be using Ripple’s Interledger protocol and a smart contract service called Codius.

Perhaps most notably, Ripple is also putting in a $100m fund to be managed by Forte, which will be distributed to developers to encourage them to move their games onto a blockchain infrastructure. The fund will be specifically targeted to developers with existing games which attract more than 50,000 daily users.

The Future of Gaming Is Blockchain Infrastructure

So, if you’re still watching the ICO and STO landscape in the hope of discovering the next big viral blockchain game to eclipse CryptoKitties, maybe now is the time to take a different perspective. CryptoKitties was a kind of unicorn due to its role as a proof of concept for the ERC-721 protocol.

For the next big blockchain game to go viral, the fundamental infrastructure needs to be in place. The projects that are taking the time to lay the foundations of blockchain gaming now have a substantial likelihood of achieving lasting success.

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