The indie game industry has always been and probably will continue to be for the foreseeable future, extremely volatile. Even after releasing a smash hit, many developers are finding it difficult to replicate their initial success. As it turns out, there is no magic formula for creating a blockbuster. In the extreme unpredictability of the gaming industry, only one thing’s for certain: indie game development is not for the faint of heart.
The Problem With Centralized Gaming Platforms
Right now, Valve’s platform, Steam, is one if the largest and most popular stores for users to purchase games. There is a huge selection available – from those made by large, multinational corporations, to solo indie developers.
However, whilst this platform undoubtedly provides an excellent service for its users, the situation for developers is quite different. As it stands, Steam takes a 30% cut from all game sales.
While this might not seem like such a large amount for large companies who can afford to take the hit, the story for small indie developers – who, quite often, are living paycheck to paycheck – is quite different.
Tim Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games, has stated that Steam could actually be profitable by taking only an 8% cut, as opposed to the massive 30% it currently takes.
At a keynote address, Sweeney stated, “the game market system is pretty unfair. All of the app stores take 30% [of revenue per transaction]. That’s strange because Mastercard and Visa can do a transfer for three dollars.”
The First Blockchain-Based Game Marketplace
The first blockchain-based game marketplace, known as Game Protocol, is here. By using decentralized ledgers, this application can solve many of the key problems that currently exist within the video game market.
This will increase transparency across the whole industry, and ultimately create a strong community of gamers, while empowering the indie developers who are so often overlooked within this massive sector.
The platform will be based on Ethereum smart contracts, therefore guaranteeing that it is 100% transparent. Because the blockchain is a trustless ledger, this will prevent Game Protocol from manipulating any aspects of the platform.
Jonathan Swerdlow, the CEO of Game Protocol, is confident that “the gaming industry will be fundamentally disrupted by blockchain technology.”
A Decentralized Fundraising Platform
The main barrier that prevents many talented developers from creating quality games is the lack of funds. It is the primary reason why so many projects are canceled before completion. Game Protocol will allow developers to use their “GameStarter” fundraising platform that will help small developers to achieve the funding they need to make a good quality game.
To encourage fans to take part, developers will be able to incentivize them with rewards (such as in-game currencies or items). Fans will also have the opportunity to give feedback on the projects. This will make it more likely that they will get the content they want the most, and it will also give the developers a better idea of which direction they should move in next.
The Rise in the Popularity of Indie Games
Ever since Minecraft was released, then subsequently sold to Microsoft for a massive sum of $2.5 billion, there has been a huge surge in the number of indie games available on the market.
More and more developers are choosing to take the plunge and go independent. Even Patrice Désilets, the creator of one of the best-selling video game series’ of all time, Assassin’s Creed, has decided to break away to create his own small studio in Montreal.
Despite having a small team that consists of only 24 people, he is determined that he can make games that are good enough to compete with some of the most popular publishers in the industry. Undoubtedly, going solo has far more risks than working for a large corporation, but the rewards are also much larger. For many, the trade-off is more than worth it.