On 12 March 2019, a retweet by Ripple’s official Twitter revealed the latest installment of Ripple’s development. The tweet by Ethan Beard (Senior Vice President of Xpring) announced the partnering of Xpring with Forte, a game industry blockchain platform. This joint initiative involves the creation of a $100 million fund to support the integration of blockchain technology into gaming. The $100 million will come from Ripple, while Forte will be allowed to manage these funds.
Who is Ethan Beard? And what is Ripple’s Xpring?
Ethan Beard is the Senior Vice President of Xpring and Ripple’s developer program. As Director of Facebook’s Developer Network from 2009-2012, he oversaw worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API. Since then, he served as an advisor to several technology companies, before arriving at Ripple.
The initiative founded by Ripple known as Xpring, was first announced in May 14 2018. Xpring aims to support the community of entrepreneurs in the world of blockchain and digital assets. This involves investing in, incubating, acquiring, and providing grants to companies and projects with proven potential. With the support of Xpring, Entrepreneurs will be able to continue solving the problems of their customers, through Ripple’s open-sourced, decentralized technology.
Aside from XRP’s role in helping financial institutions alleviate friction from global payments, Xpring also believes in the influence that XRP can make on industries like gaming, virtual goods and digital media.
Forte as a way for Ripple to step into the gaming industry
Forte is a San Fransisco based startup launched in February 2019, with the goal of accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology into the gaming industry. Forte’s platform is said to allow easy application of blockchain technology into game economies, which will lead to deeper monetization and engagement between developers and their players.
The global gaming industry as of 2018 was sitting at nearly $140 billion, and with the ease of access to the mobile gaming industry which contributes to 47% ($63.2 billion) of this massive industry, it’s not hard to see how conveniently the gaming industry will continue to grow. A statement by Brett Seyler, chief platform officer at Forte states: “Blockchain technologies’ key innovations unlock vast potential for nearly all forms of digital interaction. Gaming is a $140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of blockchain technology.” This idea of micro-transaction economies in the gaming industry benefitting from blockchain technology does seem to align well with the application of XRP and the XRP ledger, but how long will it take?
Towards the end of 2018 on 29 November, another altcoin by the name of TRON announced a similar initiative under the name of Tron Arcade. Through Tron Arcade, a $100 million fund is set to be invested over the next 3 years to encourage the development of blockchain based games. Much like the Xpring encouraging the use of XRP and the XRP ledger, the fund entices developers to build a global, decentralized internet ecosystem under Tron’s native ledger.
With the development of blockchain technology in the gaming industry, there is potential to consider. One potential upside is the alignment of the economic relationship between players and developers. This could take the form of peer-to-peer economies allowing users to be active participants, driving a marketplace to new levels of diversity. Such a case would create a new level of innovation to the gaming experience, instead of the unidirectional economy, where developers simply moderate in-game economies. All of this sounds revolutionary to both ends of the industry, but more time is need to see the development of blockchain in the world of gaming.