Projects like Qudo have already begun to transform both development and gameplay forever
Now is arguably the best time in history to be a gamer. Big console releases are exciting as ever, mobile gaming is available to almost everyone, streaming and social are deepening the sense of community around popular games, and new technical innovations like augmented reality and virtual reality are pushing the graphics envelope.
For the most part, developers enjoy all this as much as players do. But there is one constant sore point for the devs: Monetising your creative work is hard as ever, especially if you’re an independent.
With the increasing popularity of game platforms, the space has become hypercompetitive. Companies with the most marketing dollars typically fare the best, which puts indies at a huge disadvantage. Ultimately, many feel forced to make not-so-favourable deals with game publishers.
Luckily, we also live in an era of blockchain innovation. By integrating tokens and distributed ledgers into games, indie devs can gain new monetisation options — and thus creative freedom to take the entire gaming industry to a whole new level.
Telos-based projects like Qudo are leading the way on creating such a future, including vastly more rewarding and engaging gameplay. Platforms like Qudo and the games built on them will disrupt the very nature of gaming rewards, cutting out middlemen, upping rewards for creators, and distributing rewards to the player community as well for the first time.
To understand how all this can be accomplished, let’s first take a look at the current landscape of gaming monetisation. Then we’ll consider what blockchain-based projects are putting into the space.
You will notice the current models completely ignore the players and community in terms of rewards. This is a significant missed opportunity to not only engage gaming communities but to sure up the success of high-quality indie games that are missing early marketing power and player engagement to drive network effects.
The status quo for developers
At present, here are some common monetisation models on non-blockchain platforms:
- Pay to Play (P2P): One must pay to “get in the game”, with the sports analogy frequently arising.
- Arcade/Coin-Operated: Users pay a fixed amount of money, such as a quarter, to play one turn of a game. One of the oldest models, of course.
- Purchase to Play/Premium Games: Users Purchase a physical or more recently digital version of a game representing ownership of the game.
- Subscribe to Play: Users pay a subscription fee to play. Example: World of Warcraft, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Playstation Online. Subscriptions pay for server costs and ongoing running costs of providing online competitive play.
- Freemium or Free to Play (F2P): Players get access to a largely free game but have access to purchase premium in-game items such as clothing and skins for their character or avatar. The most prominent example of this is Fortnite which takes in billions of dollars in sales of in-game currency.
- Play to Win: Similar to Freemium, except that the items available in this model have tangible competitive advantages whereas freemium items are more akin to a cool pair of sneakers in the offline world.
The search for alternatives to publishing rights
For a game developer, working with a publisher can be a huge opportunity. You can take advantage of the.publisher’s resources, marketing reach, and development know-how to get your game out the door and have a chance at success.
The downside? Publishing rights deals come with a wide range of conditions, many of which may not be so favourable to the indie developer. Yes, the corporate funding and marketing help may be handy, freeing the dev to spend more time on coding and gameplay. But in return, the financial upside typically goes to the publisher, not the dev. If a game turns out to be a big hit — the scenario everyone is pursuing, at the end of the day — the dev may end up leaving a lot of money on the table.
Unfortunately, a lot of indie game developers rely on such publishing rights deals at present. But alternatives are beginning to sprout in the marketplace.
How blockchain changes gaming
Blockchain not only provides the rails for digital items and currencies but also conveys the additional benefit of being able to code virtually any new monetisation model. With blockchain, it’s now possible to enable models that decentralise the role of the publisher back to the gamer community. In the process, rewards and viability can both be increased for indie developers.
How and when people are paid is efficient, transparent, and trusted among all contributors in the gaming economy. This is possible because the programmatic features of open blockchain platforms enable creation of gaming ecosystems where developers, players, marketers, service providers, and artists can earn from contributing to a game’s success.
A few key gaming features that can be built using blockchain:
- Referral Systems: Building these on-chain can allow professional marketers or more social players on platforms like Twitch to be rewarded for growing the community.
- Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): A red-hot corner of the blockchain world in general, NFTs can be useful for game devs in particular as a way to offer digital items for sale or in-game collectibles. Limited-supply items such as character clothing, swords, gun skins, et cetera are all possible.
- Micro Transactions: Traditionally, monetary rewards in games and other apps entail withdrawal minimums. Limits around payment processing are the major reason that platforms like YouTube only pay content creators who have reached a certain level of viewership, for example. Blockchain changes this as there is no significant paperwork or cost burden to doing payouts of smaller size. This opens up instant earnings for all and no minimum withdrawal limits.
Qudo exemplifies the new possibilities
Qudo, a new gaming platform built on the Telos blockchain by the team at BlockBastards, is a prime example of the new possibilities being opened up to developers in a tokenized world.
Qudo is a proof-of-gameplay reward mechanism aiming to revolutionize the gaming industry. Crucially, it is also compatible with any game built on the popular Unity engine. This means that Qudo functionality can be easily added to a wide array of existing games across various platforms.
The addition of the unique proof-of-gameplay technology developed by BlockBastards allows verifiable rewards for time spent in game, achievements, and competitive scoring/gameplay. Being part of the game is valuable for network effects and other assumed benefits. Players earn tokens for their time and achievements in the game.
In other words, gamers are rewarded for their time spent playing, while developers grow their gaming community, earn crypto, and get help from related services. Everybody wins!
In the Qudo-enabled gaming economy built on the Telos blockchain, 90% of rewards go to the gaming community, including players and game developers. That’s a much better cut than under the centralised, publisher-oriented model that currently dominates the industry.
Of course, here at the Telos Foundation, we’re proud to be working hand-in-hand with Qudo to offer exciting new possibilities for game developers and players everywhere. But the broader point is that a full-blown revolution is underway in the gaming space in general thanks to blockchain. We’re beyond excited to see where it all leads, and we hope you are as well.
Fancy trying QUDO out? Get gaming via the QUDO App: https://games.qudo.io/