FlowPlay, a builder of virtual worlds, creates a strategic alliance with DragonChain, builder of seamless blockchain integration, to introduce cryptocurrency to the social gaming platform.
Starbucks isn’t a coffee shop.
I see the same people in between the sun rising and the moon taking over. The workers and the lonely. The workers tap away so hard you can watch their fingers melt like glaciers, the lonely have their head stuck in a book or a video game.
The gaming industry is like Clint Eastwood strolling into town digging his spurs into the hide. The sports industry is Lee Van Cleef. The most recent numbers pulled out of the ether from Newzoo show the gaming industry to be worth £149 billion, and the sporting industry a billion more.
And we all know that it doesn’t end well for Van Cleef.
FlowPlay understands the power of video games. Founded in 2006, more than 75 million people have fixed their dislocation of spirit by playing ourWorld and Vegas World, and that crowd is about to bear witness to a new way of doing things.
The virtual world and social casino behemoth are about to emerge from the dry ice holding hands with DragonChain. The open source blockchain platform began life in 2015 as the Disney Private Blockchain Platform, becoming an open source platform a year later.
Dragonchain simplifies the integration of business applications onto a blockchain, providing features such as easy integration, protection of business data and operations, and multi-currency support.
FlowPlay believes blockchain tech and virtual world gaming go together like cigarette smoke and an episode of Mindhunters and is excited about their new strategic alliance.
I sat down with FlowPlay CEO, Derrick Morton, to pick his brains over the new partnership and this is what he said.
Why is now the time to do this? Why you?
The simple answer is the sooner we figure out blockchain, the better position we’re in to seize the opportunities and set the stage for other games developers. Blockchain is a disruptive technology and has a lot of potential to become a powerful tool for our space. At FlowPlay, we have managed complex virtual economies for more than ten years, and this experience dovetails well with the process of establishing and managing cryptocurrencies.
You are well-known for your utilisation of the virtual goods process, how does blockchain tech change things for you?
To date, we have been hesitant to allow player trading within our games, to avoid player abuse and fraud, such as players tricking each other into doing things they should not do. Unfortunately, we see this regularly. With blockchain, it’s easier to ensure transactions are secure and no one is being ripped off, which gives us a better way to award players with a virtual currency they can trade.
Is this something your company wants (Blockchain tech/cryptocurrency options), or are you taking a punt that this is what they want and how do you know?
Our audience likely has little to no current knowledge or understanding of cryptocurrency or blockchain. But we believe in the next four years; it will be something every household knows about it – especially among the younger demographic. It will take our team at FlowPlay some time to build, deploy and configure blockchain correctly in our games, and expect that our timing will align with the market’s readiness to accept it.
FlowPlay plans to license and leverage the company’s blockchain technology to develop an in-game monetization platform for casual social games – can you expand upon this, please?
Similar to how we offer a white-label platform for companies looking to bring a uniquely branded social casino to market, we are looking to do the same thing with the Cryptocurrency we plan to launch. This would allow players to earn cryptocurrency within any social game.
In addition to integrating blockchain into its current game suite, FlowPlay is exploring further opportunities to create and power games with cryptocurrency. What are these?
While the casual games industry as a whole will benefit from the power of cryptocurrency, we particularly believe it will be a game changer for social sports betting.
In the release, you stated the addition of Dragonchain would “eventually promote the universal exchange of in-game digital goods across the entire gaming ecosystem.” Can you expand upon this, please?
We believe this technology will allow consumers to trade goods across any game, on any platform, in any market. This means two players, who may or may not know each other, will be able to trade any virtual good across two completely different games. And once you have a tradeable virtual good, it automatically becomes more valuable because that good is worth something to another person.
Thinking long-term, blockchain will enable this kind of value-trading between consumers. Today, players could invest thousands of dollars while playing a specific game, but once they leave, they also leave that investment behind. By implementing blockchain, players will be able to take that investment with them whenever they leave to any other games they may want to play. This will also give consumers an added level of comfort when investing in a game because they know their investments go towards an ecosystem of games rather than just handing money to one title or company.
“With the technology’s roots in loyalty and rewards programs, we see several key areas of our business that can be enhanced and expanded through the Dragonchain platform.” What are these key areas?
There are two main areas where we see Dragonchain’s technology boosting our platform. The first area comes down to increasing customer intention and gives us the ability to offer players a loyalty reward system that has real, tangible benefits. The second area is the customer acquisition aspect. If people hear about a game where they can collect a valuable cryptocurrency as part of the gameplay, they will likely come and check it out.
What are the next milestones?
We are currently working on the algorithms that will power how cryptocurrency is awarded for a new game we are building, which we expect to launch in the first half of next year.
How will the changes affect your products from an end-user experience?
Once it is implemented, our platform will offer the first opportunity for players to earn a viable, tradable currency from their gameplay. Currently, all currency in our games has been truly virtual, meaning players have been earning and winning virtual coins and obtaining virtual awards. By adding cryptocurrency, people will be able to earn real money by playing the same game they love. The real trick will be to have this deep technology layer be invisible to the player.
The blockchain industry is sort of like the Wild West, and we were looking for a trustworthy and reliable partner. Dragonchain’s roots at Disney, being locally based in Seattle, and my personal connection to some of the company’s staff gave us the confidence that this is a solid organisation. Dragonchain’s team and innovations come with a pedigree that makes them an easy choice over other organisations in the blockchain industry.