Gaming in the Metaverse is the Next Big Thing

 

During the panel “Gaming in the Metaverse” at 6th European Blockchain Convention, Rudy Koch, Co-founder at Mythical Games, Sebastien Borget, Co-founder at The Sandbox, and Sarutobi Sasuke, Head of Partnerships at Yield Guild Games, along with Maria Eneva-Olms, Creator of Ledger Nation and Manager at LPA, discussed different aspects relating to the Metaverse, ranging from barriers to entry, to virtual realities to regulation.

Visual of Rudy Koch, Maria Eneva-Olms, Sebastien Borget, and Sarutobi Sasuke at the 6th EBC

By Maria Eneva-Olms

By Bianca Buzea

 

The first discussion point was around business cases for games in the Metaverse. Here Rudy emphasized that before everything, “Games are for fun!”. For him, the most important thing is to create a nice experience. The concept of P2E (Play-to-Earn) shows that players can participate in the value chain, bringing power to the ecosystem while making what they love. Sarutobi added that Yield Guild Games represent the “workforce of the Metaverse” by also adopting the play to earn concept.

“One of the most important current challenges is to create a seamless onboarding experience for the players and to decrease the high barrier of entry” – Sarutobi Sasuke, Head of Partnerships at Yield Guild Games

“The concept of Play-to-Earn shows that players can participate in the value chain, bringing power to the ecosystem while making what they love” – Rudy Koch, Co-founder at Mythical Games

Future of Gaming in the Metaverse

Sebastien, who is building a Metaverse through The Sandbox, sees the greatest potential in the open economy that the Metaverse creates, where people have the chance to own their digital assets.

“The Metaverse will create new jobs around creating content and experiences. Brands will be able to create their virtual representation in the Metaverse” – Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder & COO at The Sandbox

Rudy explained that one of the most important characteristics of the Metaverse is that it allows players to customize their experiences, they can bring their identity and social networks in the digital space. With NFTs and the Metaverse, players can finally benefit directly from the value they create. Interoperability is something that should be still worked on, but it will eventually happen in the future. Additionally, augmented reality and virtual reality will be hugely impactful to the space for creating immersive experiences.

Traditional Gaming Industry and Blockchain Technology

When it comes to the traditional gaming industry embracing blockchain technology, the biggest challenge is to make concepts that characterize blockchain technology not become an entry barrier. Rudy explained how at Mythical Games they are building a bridge for the traditional gaming companies to go into the blockchain space. This includes overcoming obstacles such as handling private keys or paying gas fees. Since large gaming companies are risk-averse, they are looking for ways to test NFTs without putting at risk billion-dollar franchises. For traditional gaming companies the concept of Web 3 with decentralized ownership clashes with their culture of centralized ownership. Experimentation and innovation exist, while still far away from a straight transition and from full tokenomics.

Sebastien added that the top 10 gaming companies have started to experiment with the Metaverse in one way or another and that he expects even greater adoption by next year. Nevertheless, he emphasizes the need for actual innovation, not only copies of games that already exist and have proven to have great success, such as Axie Infinity or Blankos Block Party.

“The top 10 gaming companies have started to experiment with the Metaverse in one way or another” – Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder & COO at The Sandbox

Panel discussion Visual elaborated by EBC team

The Gaming Industry and Its Regulatory Challenges

Regulation protects citizens from abuse. However, the regulators need to work to establish the right framework, otherwise different bypassing mechanisms will become popular, as noted by Sarutobi. He offered as an example the case of the USA, where in-game tokens are considered securities. Because of that, companies have started to leverage off-shore entities to launch tokens separately from the development house that resides in the USA. Moreover, there is need for clarity on the taxation of income from gaming and in-game token sales. Rudy also emphasized the importance of regulation in the context of Anti Money Laundering, customer service and protecting the customers from fraud. Sebastien concluded that regulation is indeed needed, but innovation should be protected for the greater good.

What Will Be Next?

The panel ended with questions from the audience that revealed that eSports will play an important role in the Metaverse, especially because of the idea of ownership, enabling fans to get closer to the team they love, through merchandise, or different in-game items. 

The final question was about interoperability of assets. Sebastien explained that at The Sandox they are pioneering in developing interoperability. Users will be able to develop NFTs in the Sandbox and use them anywhere else. Also, it will be possible for users to import and display any NFT in the Sandbox. Users will also be able to turn any 2D image into a 3D character, which can for example jump or dance. Rudy concluded that players should be able to use their digital identities across different games. “Identity is as much physical as digital!”

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Published January 4rth,  2021, Barcelona