On Monday, cryptocurrency exchange FTX announced the launch of a new gaming unit.
Dubbed FTX Gaming, the new “crypto-as-a-service” platform will offer an end-to-end solution for gaming studios and publishers to launch their own NFTs & tokens, custodial wallets, trading, compliance & licensing, and more – all white-labeled and in-house.
Why The Big Push For Gaming?
In a sense, gaming and crypto were always the perfect marriage. There are over 2 billion gamers who have played with and collected digital assets (in-game items) and now, largely thanks to NFTs, you can own (and trade) them.
The growth potential of the blockchain gaming category has attracted billions of dollars worth of investments in recent months and continues to be very popular among VCs. Just three months ago, for example, FTX also launched a $100 million blockchain gaming fund along with Solana Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners to invest in startups focused on building blockchain gaming studios.
You bet. Many gamers (including us in a previous issue) have been skeptical about the incorporation of NFTs in games, viewing the technology as nothing more than an opportunity for publishers to make money rather than make the game more fun for individuals.
But, as Amy Wu points out, there were also naysayers about free-to-play and mobile gaming – two markets that forever changed the face of gaming. “Game studios should be a lot more thoughtful and careful about how to communicate with their player base, especially if you’re taking a beloved game and adding blockchain components to it,” she added.
In Hindsight, It Was Inevitable
Interestingly enough, many thought-leaders in the world of crypto wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for gaming…
- Kraken CEO, Jesse Powell, is a former gaming professional at Magic: The Gathering
- Founder of FTX, SBF, is infamous for playing League of Legends while on phone calls
- CryptoKitties, an early pioneer in the adoption of NFTs, was just a game to begin with.
And we’ll never forget the legendary tale of Vitalik Buterin creating Ethereum after his beloved World of Warcraft character was hobbled by the developers, awakening him to the “horrors centralized services can bring.”