Crypto Disrupt recently got the chance to speak with Co-CEO of Ultra, Nicolas Gilot, to discuss the effect that blockchain technology is having on the gaming industry.
Recent news that Microsoft will be working in conjunction with gaming giants like Ubisoft in an attempt to control royalties is yet another sign that blockchain technology is making its mark on the gaming industry.
Ultra, which is the brainchild of former Xbox, Atari, Dell, Uber and Time Warner executives, is building a first-class PC game publishing platform on the blockchain, with plans to disrupt an industry that has long had a reputation of being unfair to developers.
Nicolas Gilot is the Co-CEO of Ultra, and founder and director of consulting agency Gamika.
Having led Xiaobawang as CSO, a game console project undertaken in partnership with AMD with a budget of over USD 100 million, Nicolas is also responsible for the success of numerous game and app projects such as Plants vs. Zombies and Highnoon.
CD: Certain companies have monopolized the gaming industry for as long as most of us can remember. What can Ultra bring to the table to try and change that?
NG: As all industries try to adapt to emerging technologies, in any technological renaissance, there is usually one company that must take the first leap into the unknown and pioneer industrial change. In only a decade, we witnessed this drastic transformation in the PC games publishing market from physical boxes to digital downloads. The gaming “platforms” of the past, local arcades or video game stores, have been replaced and young generations of gamers now get to experience an entirely new landscape that in those years was unimaginable.
Today blockchain is faced with the same adoption issues that the emergence of the internet overcame, but is just as revolutionary. Recognising the capabilities of this powerful technology, Ultra utilizes blockchain to create new publishing and community models that weren’t possible before.
Now developers can regain control of their content, acting as their own publisher on the Ultra platform while still enjoying the same benefits of other industry behemoths. Community is king. Providing the ability to work together, help each other, play together, by offering new ways to interact with games, gamers, and developers is what Ultra is all about.
CD: For any game developers reading this, what will your platform do for them? And for gamers themselves?
NG: Ultra is a new PC games distribution platform built on the blockchain, that focuses heavily on community and a strong ecosystem. It brings many of the things I enjoyed about gaming in the physical world to the digital world of today. I can learn from the Ultra ecosystem what the hottest games are. Sophisticated Machine Learning can predict new games for me based on my Ultra interactions. Furthermore, all users in the ecosystem are incentivized to help each other out. The discovery challenges of today’s platforms all but disappear; gamers and developers win bigger, and more often.
CD: What opportunities does blockchain technology provide that will allow you to accomplish your goals?
NG: Blockchain networks optimize all of the previously mentioned. Better than traditional digital payment systems today, blockchain is useful for executing and recording transactions in a decentralized manner while providing transparency and tight control of user permissions. Ultra is currently evaluating EOS, primarily due to it’s expected low latency blockchain processing as well as the assumption of low transaction fees specifically when compared to other Blockchain networks. We are closely monitoring the current EOS constitution situation and preparing to engage with the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) when appropriate.
Our leveraging of blockchain will enable not just micropayments, but what we like to call nanopayments. If a developer wants to award an influencer a mere cent for promoting even a relatively obscure game, that transaction becomes a possibility. If a gamer wants to resell a digital game or even a virtual item therein, the blockchain executes that transaction, stores the record, and controls the user access; all of this is fully transparent, giving gamers and developers alike confidence to carry out transactions on our platform seamlessly.
CD: What kind of strategy do you have for growing Ultra?
NG: We need a “system seller” that drives adoption of the platform. Ultra has planned for this and is negotiating a number of limited exclusives for the platform.
This is one of the ways in which we will engage in user acquisition to grow the platform. Beyond this, we will feature very strongly some of the best indie games on the planet, as well as an extensive catalog which will bring back hit titles that have been popular among gamers for years.
As the ecosystem and the platform grow, the proposition for both gamers and developers alike becomes all the more compelling.
For more information on Ultra be sure to check out their website.
Lover of all things crypto, blockchain and AI, professional tech scribe & part of the editorial team at Crypto Disrupt.