Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund are joining together to utilize Ethereum smart contracts to change the way game development is handled.
Digital Catapult’s October 5, 2016, press release reveals a PoC (proof-of-concept) smart contract that’s “designed to inspire talented individuals to work outside their circles of trust and create new intellectual property (IP).”
When the UK Games Fund released a whitepaper that discusses the challenges faced by creative teams when they come together to develop new creative IPs, they proposed a distributed ledger as a solution. Digital Catapult has stated that “early stage development teams often require a level of flexibility that makes company law and standard legal frameworks less appropriate. This inflexibility provides numerous challenges for those collaborating on a creative project particularly when new people come on board of leave at different stages, or when people are contributing very different things into the mix.”
Ethereum’s smart contract is a solution to that problem by providing these creative teams with the flexibility they need. The smart contract will be able to keep a register of individual contributions to a project as well as provide easy connections between smart contracts and currency.
“Digital Catapult aims to create a sandpit environment to facilitate further innovation around the smart contract concept.”
Read their full press release below:
New game, new rules: Blockchain technology set to revolutionise contracts for games development
Smart contracts designed to boost innovation and inspire talented developers to create innovative new intellectual property
5 October 2016, LONDON: Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund have today revealed that they have created a working prototype smart contract designed to inspire talented individuals to work outside of their circles of trust and create new intellectual property (IP).
The smart contract uses Ethereum blockchain technology, which formalises the process of fractionalising IP ownership and revenue sharing, to ultimately help drive democratised creative team work. Whilst currently being trialled for games development, the smart contract application has potential for the creative, digital industries and beyond. This technology could be invaluable in any collaborative work, which requires a complex blend of inputs and unpredictable outputs and outcomes, in areas such as virtual and augmented reality through to the creation of music.
Early stage independent games development teams often require a level of flexibility that makes company law and standard legal frameworks less appropriate. This inflexibility provides numerous challenges for those collaborating on a creative project, particularly when new people come on board or leave at different stages, or when people are contributing very different things into the mix.
Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult: “In looking at ways to better support games developers, we identified a number of challenges facing those working in the early-stage ecosystem. Company law and practice is too often an inhibition on creative innovation. Our work with the UK Games Fund is focused on discovering better ways to serve those in creative teams, providing them with the freedom and tools to develop the games of the future. Our aim is to build an inter-connected ecosystem that supports new approaches and helps to remove barriers.
“We’re committed to supporting digital innovation and collaborations such as this one with the UK Games Fund allow us to develop a solution that addresses a real industry need. Our smart contracts demonstrate the practical potential of blockchain, and how this kind of technology can be applied to varying business problems to transform the way people collaborate together on creative projects. This really is just the start.”
As part of today’s announcement, Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund has released a whitepaper, titled ‘Tal™ Stories: A new concept for creative teams to share project ownership and revenues’. The paper details how blockchain technology can be applied to help ensure individual inputs and outcomes are in correlation when creative teams come together to develop new creative IP.
Using Ethereum blockchain technology, the smart contract prototype will be able to keep a register of individual contributions to a project and provides simple-to-use connections between the smart contracts and real currency.
Initially the UK Games Fund has tested the prototype, with a group of 20 creative teams that are part of its graduate ‘Tranzfuser’ funding programme. Real-world feedback from those currently developing games will be essential to its development and will help identify opportunities for its application across other sectors and by a global audience.
Paul Durrant, Director of UK Games Talent and Finance CIC said, “We’re working to strengthen the UK’s early-stage ecosystem for independent games developers and we see this as a way to both simplify and democratise the creative process. We’re also really keen to build a trusted business system that incentivises creative talent to work outside their circles of trust as that will lead to greater innovation.”
Both Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund are looking to work with other partners from the creative or wider digital economy sectors, where a smart contract could be applied to solve a similar issue and help develop it further. Digital Catapult aims to create a sandpit environment to facilitate further innovation around the smart contract concept.