As the use of blockchain is becoming more widespread, one area of immense interest is that of ”dapps”, or decentralized applications. Now, an Ethereum project is making the rounds with a plan to facilitate token integration for traditional video games, allowing users to potentially bring items from one game to another.
Palm allows developers to use Epic Games’ established and widely praised game and graphics development ”Unreal Engine” to connect to Ethereum-based smart contracts.Whilst this sounds comparatively straight-forward, it would give game developers the option to structure in-game items and purchases as cryptocurrency tokens.
The in-game objects would be built as ERC-721 tokens. Unlike the more common ERC-20 tokens, the ERC-721 tokens are not mutually interchangeable, and the ERC-721 standard is for example used in the CryptoKitties tokens. Through structuring in-game objects and items as ERC-721 tokens, this will allow gamers to withdraw the objects they earn or purchase, just as if using a traditional cryptocurrency exchange to withdraw coins.
Moreover, games that use Palm’s solution can even trade ERC-721 tokens between different games, if the relevant games all use the ERC-721 standard. Palm is also opposed to the currently dominating business model of using microtransactions in video games, something which will surely play well with gamers, who have also expressed widespread dissatisfaction over the increasing amount of microtransactions in games. Nonetheless, this could potentially make large game development studios less inclined to adopt the system.
However, it should be noted that the system proposed by Palm is mainly intended as an ”academic exercise” of sorts. Although its founder, Tim Clancy, has stated that he expects similar types of blockchain-based integration to be brought to fruition in the future, he highlighted that it is still early days for his idea. Clancy, himself both an avid gamer and blockchain aficionado, first started dabbling in the Ethereum smart contract programming language Solidity whilst a part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Blockchain Club.
Clancy also made a point of how this ERC-721 system would give gamers the option to bring their favorite items, weapons or equipment from one game to another. He went on to add that this would provide both indie developers as well as large, established game studios with more tools to build immersive games. It remains to be seen whether the Ethereum blockchain is eventually used in video games – however, the opportunities that Clancy lists certainly makes this all the more appealing.
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