GDC: Metaverse Mixer, will the blockchain change the video game industry forever? | Pocket Gamer.biz
The Metaverse Mixer, presented by BeyondGames.biz and PocketGamer.biz, saw David Kim, Head of Publishing at WAX Studios, Ben Cousens, Head of Business Development at Zebedee, and Johnny Casamassina, Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Jam City, discussing the potential of blockchain to change the gaming industry forever. Here are some snapshots of their discussion:
What will be the metaverse
David Kim: Most people have already had a metaverse experience, and it won’t be Zuckerberg’s version but rather Tim Sweeney’s version. If you’re a Firefly fan, Verse is short for universe, with some blockchain connectivity. That’s it, practically.
Ben Cousens: I think metaverse is a marketing term and we’ll come back to it as we do for the information highway. As an entity, it goes from a 2D environment to a 3D environment. It is inspiring and will require huge infrastructure. One is a deep natural evolution of the Internet and the other is rooted in commercial exploitation – not that that’s a bad thing.
How do you envision various metaverses working together
Johnny Casamassina: It will take time. Some people want it to remain a confined experiment, but there will inevitably be new partnerships.
Cousens: The most obvious need for interoperability is a payment structure and the maintenance of identity in the ecosystem. How you link payment systems is also how the real world works. It’s not about blockchain, it’s about income, and income isn’t something people tend to think about explicitly.
Casamassina: interoperability is not about moving an asset from one space to another, but rather a question of identity. What the blockchain allows, with the metaverse, is trust in the transaction. And by trust, I mean you won’t need trust: as a system without trust, different metaverses will talk to each other like a decentralized system.
What is the big breakthrough
Casamassina: Accessibility. That’s when people will take notice of something they weren’t doing before. But I don’t know what it will take for my mom to buy cryptocurrency!
What obstacles do we have to face?
Cousens: What cryptography lacks is overt utility. It’s like 90s arcades, using tokens. The point is that you are entering a tokenized system. What we need is access.
Kim: One is regulation. The problem with crypto is that it is unregulated. Clarity would be extremely valuable, and there is still misinformation about most blockchain transactions. It’s not like there aren’t any scams, but blockchain is more than just scams. Ten years from now, people will be wondering, how did we live without blockchain?
Watch AR and VR
Cousens: AR is incredibly interesting. The VR install base is significant, but there is still the perception that VR is new. But a pair of glasses would be a really compelling product. The limitation is material.
Casamassina: AR is closer to mass adoption. But I think there are more interesting applications in P2E games. When someone invests money and time in something meaningful, it becomes real to them. For me, what blockchain and Web3 offer is to bridge the gap to live out our fantasies. That’s when you have skin in the game.
Advance the story
Kim: There’s a lot of resistance from gamers – I mean, mainstream gamers are naturally resistant to change anyway, but it’s based on misinformation, scams and misunderstanding of what NFTs are. But the biggest misinformation is the question of what problems NFTs can solve that the game can’t right now. You can’t allow players to sell anything in-game without a real momey transition license, which is incredibly hard to acquire, so players are forced to sell in gray markets.
Blockchain makes it possible to take an item – plus a key – over which players have full control, and they can bring it to a sexondary market that can handle transactions.