From Cometh to Voodoo: French Video Games Use Web3

The French gaming sector is opening up for NFTs, whether they’re web3 native studios or historical publishers.

Among the leaders of French Web3, The Sandbox is not the only player to combine video games and blockchain, despite the long-standing reluctance of gamers burned out by what they have long considered a scam. As shown by two evenings organized respectively on February 1 by the Paris Blockchain Society and on February 2 by Pyratz Labs, dedicated to new studios such as Cometh, Starchain Gazer and Dogami, as well as big names such as Voodoo, there are more and more of them in France, to want to integrate Web3 technology components into the game.

“There is no finer property on the Internet than inside a game”

After raising €10 million last May, Cometh made a name for itself with off-the-shelf products – a rarity on Web3 – such as the tactical card game Cometh Battle, the first of which was integrated into the Ledger Live software last January. For the founder of the studio, Jérôme de Tichet, the choice of blockchain infrastructure was obvious, in particular, because of the advantages that NFT support provides in the digital economy. “It stems from a very deep belief within the team that there is no more beautiful property on the Internet than inside the game. This direction is native to us: many utilities have been born for the blockchain. -platform console game, no blockchain, ed.), when you need to exchange iron for leather, you need to find a merchant. For me today, with blockchain, iron and leather are NFTs that can be exchanged in a decentralized way. And everything that is created and is used in the game, is associated with the user’s wallet, which means that the player has a universal identifier for all his games, ”says a former representative of Normales Sup, Consensys and Ledger.

“A wallet allows you to get to know your audience better”

Without the need for personal data, a studio can actually learn a player’s behavior through their wallet, a way to “get to know their audience better”, according to Jérôme de Tichet, who also mentions the famous royalties received from player transactions. “The cards are given to players who win, and the economy of the game is based on the fact that players trade them,” he explains, before admitting that “with about 3,500 active players per month, it would currently take about three to four times as many players to make this model viable.”

Screenshot from the game Cometh Battle. © Comes

With a staff of about thirty, the studio, still “in the research and development phase”, is taking its time: in addition to this recent fundraising, Cometh is also drawing its know-how with blockchain technology from a dozen other video games or entertainment clients such as the studio Darewise with her “Life Beyond” or even Lacoste.

To launch Time Breachers, their 4-way strategy game (exploring, expanding, exploiting, and exterminating), Starchain Gazer studio first studied the competition by “reverse-engineering” according to its founder Dan Beaton, who insists on the most frequent blockchain defect -games: “lack of playability”. The game is still under development, but the company is already close to closing its first fundraiser of around 1.5 million euros. With twelve people on the team, including co-founder Julien Lacroix, Jennifer Kashe-Gearing (former manager and producer of World of Warcraft and League of Legends), Sasha Duke (ex-Gameloft), Starchain Gazer has seen significant support in the near future. The protocol ecosystem, a blockchain infrastructure designed for interoperability, is an important feature for this team that aims to “welcome players who have assets on different blockchains like Aptos or Polygon.”

The stars of the mobile game are very invested

The omnichannel approach is also chosen by Voodoo, the French mobile video game unicorn, one of the first in-store game publishers with six billion downloads and now well established in Web3. In addition to investing in Polygon, the Ethereum sidechain used by Starbucks, Reddit and Adidas, the company is planning a token sale — in limited supply — “by the end of 2023,” Yoni Lasri, director of blockchain investment, announces. in voodoo. According to the latter, “Web3 makes sense for Voodoo because it will allow us to connect our games, interoperability that can create a richer gaming experience for the player.” As part of its Web3 strategy, the publisher also plans to “sell integrated assets with the ability for the player to trade them, transfer them from one game to another, or resell them.” Finally, Voodoo sees blockchain as a new social layer and asset for its relationship with the gaming community: “A wallet is a kind of business card that shows what you own, where you have been with POAP, etc. there is a lot of information and players will be able to communicate with each other based on these assets, and we can do the same with them,” continues Yoni Lasri.

“Web3 makes sense for Voodoo because it allows us to connect our games”

Already a buyer of blockchain gaming studio Volt, Voodoo is hankering for other startups in the sector and is even publicly announcing applications from game creators interested in Web3. “We have the experience to help them, all the technical tools, the SDK, and also support, for example, at the marketing level,” he boasts. A welcome message that will spread much more widely behind the scenes. Unless Yoni Lasri confirms anything, we know negotiations are underway to include well-known franchises in terms of intellectual property in this Voodoo ecosystem.

Route du Rhum 2022 virtual regatta press release – Destination Guadeloupe. © 52 Entertainment

In mobile video games, another well-known brand among players is learning about Web3: Virtual Regatta, the official Vendée Globe game with over a million active players, has developed a partnership with Ternoa’s hexagonal blockchain to integrate NFT into the system. “We realized that our players have a strong sense of belonging to their boats, and there’s also an emotional side to it,” explains Benoît Coupez, general manager of 52 Entertainment, the game’s studio. “We wanted our players to be able to become real owners of their boats and develop the story.” With dynamic NFTs included in the Ternoa network, these boats will be scalable and have characteristics related to their routes. “The main blockchain functionality we are interested in is is the uniqueness that it offers to our boats,” continues Benoît Coupez, who claims that this development, scheduled for the first half of the year, uses a “test and learn” approach. new functionality, but this is not an end in itself. Blockchain is not our business.”

Ternoa’s NFTs could increase user play time

However, for the Ternoa network, this project embodies a choice that demands others in the video game sector. This is the blockchain chosen by French mobile video game publisher Tap Nation, whose blockchain manager assured us last October that they want to “convert at least 1% of their millions of mobile players to Web3.” For Clément Teki, Managing Director of Capsule Corps Lab, the startup behind this blockchain, it was the “technological edge” that attracted the two companies: “We offer NFTs in all forms, either with very simple attributes or with very advanced features. for example, the possibility of renting, delegating or separating them. We have created a development kit that allows the creator to directly choose between these features. Finally, within the Capsule Corps Lab itself, we have established an NFT Transformation Strategy Advisory Unit, we support these partners.”

In addition to this collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Tap Nation, Capsule Corps Labs is collaborating with The Orbwars, a demo that demonstrates Ternoa’s technological advantages, as well as proving that “NFTs can increase users’ gaming time” and therefore its exposure to ads. , tendons of war in mobile games.

However, this surge of NFTs in video games may be tarnished by proprietary app stores, specifically the App Store, as Apple prohibits in its terms of use the ability of NFTs to unlock in-app functionality, in addition to a 30% tax on their purchase. “Obviously this is a theme and issue that we always keep in mind,” admits Clément Teki, when Yoni Lasri believes that “the blinds have also been a huge contributor to the success of Voodoo and that there will be a strategy that is compatible with what they offer.”

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