Ripple has announced that it will launch a $100 million fund in collaboration with Forte, a San Francisco-based startup that is aiming to leverage the economic models of blockchain systems to build better economies and marketplaces in the gaming industry.
Forte will oversee the fund that will be allocated towards the integration of blockchain technology with in-game markets that will allow players to make transactions with each other more conveniently. In the past, users have often moved to third-party platforms to sell in-game items.
Speaking to Fortune, Ethan Beard, a senior executive at Ripple’s development division Xpring, is hopeful about blockchain making gaming economies more equitable:
Video games have long been quick to adopt new technology, from console to the PC to mobile. Now, blockchain will help game designers who’ve had a hard time facilitating an economy that can serve all types of players.
As the Fortune article notes, this is an expansion for Ripple, which have previously made a lot of progress in the cross-border payments niche. Should game developers get on board, the use of Ripple’s Interledger Protocol and the XRP token would give Ripple an enormous amount of exposure.
Forte was founded by Kevin Chou, an entrepreneur with experience in the gaming space. Chou was the Chief Executive Officer of mobile-focused Kabam and esports company Gen.G. Forte is backed by the likes of Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures.
In Chou’s announcement post, he said of the direct interactions between stakeholders in the system:
I envision a future where players can transact with each other directly instead of only with the developer. A future where developers don’t need to figure out the maximum value they can extract from their player base, but instead are creatively and economically motivated to foster new types of peer-to-peer gameplay.
Blockchain in gaming is not a new idea.
Several projects and initiatives have been undertaken already, including the Enjin token (ENJ), which will be available on the Samsung Galaxy S10, and TRON’s $100 million funding for the gaming industry.