Empowering indie game developers with blockchain technology


  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Xhai Studios co-founder and president Otto Von Nostitz wants to revolutionise the way we consume and pay for apps and in-game content, by providing an alternative to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store duopoly. 

The Malaysian-born Canadian has set up a new distribution platform called Xarcade. According to Von Nostitz, Xarcade allows game and apps developers and publishers to keep a bigger share of the profits as it only takes a 1% to 2% cut of the sales price, compared to Google and Apple, that take as much as 30%.

He added that the publishers could then opt to charge gamers less. 

The payment method for the games also differs from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It does not require credit or debit cards or telco billings for purchases made. 

All transactions on Xarcade involve proprietary XAR points that can be exchanged with a cryptocurrency, called XEM, that is backed by the NEM Foundation. This cryptocurrency can be purchased from exchanges like Poloniex and Bittrex.  You can also purchase the cryptocurrency using your PayPal account.

"Gamers will also be able to make in-game purchases and be able to convert game points (tokens) into Xarcade’s credits called, XAR." said Von Nostitz.

The cryptocurrency uses a public blockchain technology, where an open, distributed ledger records every transaction done in a permanent and verifiable way. That means that transactions between two parties will be recorded on the public ledger.

The authenticity of each transaction is authenticated by digital signatures and at the same time, each transaction is checked against each other on the network.

“Blockchaining games provides the advantage of bypassing the middlemen (app stores) to create a direct relationship with the game publisher and gamer,” said Von Nostitz.

Similar to most app stores, a Xarcade user will be able to view and download games on the platform, with additional features from the integration of blockchain technology, such as purchasing and exchanging in-game tokens.

Von Nostitz claims that similar to other cryptocurrencies, XEM can be converted into real money.

The platform is still in development and will be fully up and running by Q4 this year. 

To date, the startup has also published an Android game called Send ‘em to Hell, a modified version of the classic endless runner game genre commonly found on mobile. The game can be downloaded for free on the Google Play Store. Users can also link the game to the NEM Wallet app (also available on Android) to manage their in-game purchases with XEM.

In the game, players will take control of avatars of lookalike world leaders such as Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and PewDiePie, the world’s most successful YouTuber.

The characters will then be subjected to a free fall “down a hole to hell” and have to avoid as many obstacles as possible to achieve the best high score possible.

According to Von Nostitz, there are currently two more new games in the pipeline from the startup, which currently has four full time employees based in Cyberjaya.

Von Nostitz said that Xhai Studios’ adoption of XEM will open it up to more cryptocurrency users, whom he believes a large majority are avid gamers as well.

 

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