Exploring the Future of Gaming: A Conversation with Yat Siu
I recently attended Roblox’s Q4/FY 2023 earnings videoconference and couldn’t help but notice the massive bottom-line losses reported by the company year after year. This led me to reflect on the state of the gaming industry as a whole, which was also highlighted in Matthew Ball’s essay, “The Tremendous Yet Troubled State of Gaming in 2024.” I had the opportunity to sit down with Yat Siu, Chairman of the Board at Animoca Brands, to discuss the differences between traditional gaming and blockchain-based gaming.
Traditional Gaming vs. Blockchain-based Gaming
The main difference between traditional gaming and blockchain-based gaming lies in the concept of digital property rights. In traditional gaming, all assets benefit the game and its ecosystem, while in blockchain-based gaming, the focus is on the assets themselves and their owners. This shift in perspective aligns more closely with how we behave in the physical world, where we have individual freedom to do as we please with our possessions. Blockchain-based gaming allows gamers to truly own and control their digital assets.
Technological Obstacles for Blockchain-based Gaming
Contrary to popular belief, the main obstacles for blockchain-based gaming to reach the same level of popularity as Roblox or Fortnite are not technological in nature. In fact, many blockchain-based games are just as advanced and visually appealing as their traditional counterparts. The key challenge lies in shifting mindsets and overcoming procedural barriers. Web 3 games require a level of financial literacy that is currently lacking among Web 2 players. However, this is changing rapidly, especially in Asia where there is a strong cultural emphasis on financial interests and ownership.
Potential Impact of SEC Approval of ETF Bitcoin
The recent approval of ETF Bitcoin by the SEC opens up new possibilities for in-game rewards and tokenized assets. This could be particularly appealing to adult audiences or branded programs. Games have become the modern platform for storytelling and entertainment, and they have the potential to teach people about finance in an engaging way. The approval reinforces the idea that we can truly own digital assets and challenges the rent-based model of Web 2.
Notable Blockchain Games by Animoca Brands
Axie Infinity and Pixels are two successful blockchain games developed by Animoca Brands. While Web 3 games may not have hundreds of millions of users like their Web 2 counterparts, they offer a more diverse and engaging experience. Blockchain-based games have the potential to be profitable with a smaller user base, thanks to a fair distribution of resources across the ecosystem. This allows for faster financial sustainability and protection of intellectual property, while promoting innovation and diversity in the gaming industry.
Overall, the future of gaming lies in embracing blockchain technology and redefining the relationship between gamers and their digital assets. By recognizing the value of individual ownership and creating a more inclusive and financially literate gaming community, we can pave the way for a thriving gaming industry that benefits both players and developers.
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