Saturday, 25 May 2024

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‘The social benefits are huge’ — Web3 gaming to shift digital ownership

‘The social benefits are huge’ — Web3 gaming to shift digital ownership

There is no substitute for experience. Even when an experience can feel regrettable, like getting your brother’s Runescape account banned.

Robbie Ferguson grew up as an avid gamer, accumulating thousands of hours playing his favorite games. One fateful day, he logged into Runescape and set in motion a series of events that would forever change his view on digital ownership and the world of Web3 gaming:

“I logged into my brother’s Runescape account which we shared and went into the wilderness and lost all his Red Dragon Armor. The next day, I felt so bad, I went and bought gold from a gold farm to replace it. The following day, the account was banned.”

The incident left a mark on Ferguson, a software developer who became involved in the blockchain space through his introduction to Bitcoin in 2014. His interest was super-charged in 2015 with the advent of Ethereum and the potential of the ecosystem.

Ferguson’s Runescape banning incident provided the impetus for his move into blockchain gaming development, having been left frustrated by what he described as the “arbitrary impunity” in which gaming economies and assets were governed by mainstream companies.

Speaking to Cointelegraph during the Token2049 conference in Singapore in September 2022, Ferguson unpacked how he, his brother James and Alex Connolly went on to co-found blockchain technology firm Immutable in 2018 after their first attempts to build a decentralized game.

Robbie Ferguson presenting at the Asia Blockchain Gaming Alliance summit during Token2049 week in Singapore.

Ether Bots, their first attempt at an Ethereum-powered game, taught the trio what should go on-chain versus off-chain and laid the foundation for what would become an infrastructure platform for building Web3-based games and nonfungible token (NFT) functionality. Furthermore, Ferguson was intent on disrupting the status quo of digital ownership of in-game assets:

“The reason we started with games is because they’re by far the most exciting use case for NFTs. There’s $110 billion spent every year on digital property that people have zero rights to and it’s a complete scam.”

With lessons learned from their first foray, the successful launch of blockchain-powered play-to-earn tactical card game Gods Unchained played an integral role in establishing Immutable, a platform for blockchain development firms to build Web3 games with NFT integration.

Understanding the solution

Immutable consists of two separate but…

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