Mythical Games: The Key to Mainstream Blockchain Integration?
By: Andrea Millard
Mythical Games is a game company on the cusp of benchmarking blockchain integration. Activision veterans, John Linden and Rudy Koch operate Mythical as CEO and head of Blockchain, respectively. Their past titles combined include World of Warcraft, Skylanders, and Call of Duty. Their games are known for offering players rich worlds. With their new game, Blankos Block Party, Linden and Koch are looking to combine their collective world-building experience into something even more ambitious than their previous projects. Blankos allows for players to create their own worlds with some elements of platforming like the popular console game, Little Big Planet.
Mythical’s company mission is to create immersive games which allow players (and developers) to have blockchain-powered economies to buy and sell digital assets. They believe players are the key to mass awareness and adoption of blockchain integration.
What is Blockchain? According to the Harvard Business Review “blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.” Imagine a world of digital, transparent transactions that are secured. A system of record-keeping which could utilize digital currency for digital transactions in a digital marketplace. It could disrupt our current economic system entirely.
Though not officially released, Blankos seems to provide the space for Mythical Games to potentially test out Dgoods, a collaboration between Mythical Games and blockchain firms EOS Lynx, Scatter along with others (Token Pocket, pixEOS, Cypherglass, Bloks.io, Math Wallet, Infiniverse, Grey Mass, Meet.One, NOVA Wallet). Dgoods is an open source downloadable standard for virtual asset management on the EOS blockchain. Dgoods offers developers a chance to create and manage fungible and non-fungible assets for games.* Part of its standard offers individual assets a kind of certificate of authenticity, assigning a number to each one single type of asset. For example, if there is only a hundred of one type of limited edition Blankos character, each Blankos character in that type will be assigned a unique identifying number creating a finite supply. This concept could be applied to other applications such as ticket sales to ensure that each ticket has a unique number which will help create a safe transaction system. This kind of signature system helps protect against internet scamming, a big concern for those purchasing digital goods.
An example of a limited edition Blankos character from @PlayBlankos Twitter
Mythical’s vision brings the people one step closer to a consumer-friendly relationship with cryptocurrency which utilizes blockchain. On the other hand, this kind of blockchain integration could also bring consumerism to the game space in a way players do not want. Especially if it creates a barrier to entry, in the sense of Star Wars Battlefront II which utilized in-game purchasing in a way that created a pay-to-win atmosphere. Games are already expensive ranging from $40-60 for new releases. If players must pay to get any of the cool stuff that allows them to enjoy the game they already paid for, why pay for the game in the first place? On the developer front, it could be another way to charge players even more to have fun. On the player front, however, it could be a revolutionary step that gives players the chance to exchange virtual goods in an integrated, protected manner. A virtual world-building place with virtual goods to buy and sell sounds like something out of the Matrix. It could be the new model that people use to sell/exchange goods beyond the scope of gaming and into the realm of ebooks, emusic, and other digital items with one another. The larger implications are tantalizing. Mythical thought of something to draw consumers into what could be bigger than they realized through the use of something most people enjoy doing – playing.
*Here, fungible means interchangeable, exchangeable. Non fungible means unique, non-interchangable. Fungible is associated with things like dollars, bitcoins, paper while non-fungible is associated with game characters, art, etc.
Sources: Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-truth-about-blockchain