On Wednesday, January 17, during the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, key players in the video game industry announced the development of a new game investment company dubbed Planet Digital Partners (PDP).
According to the company's white paper, PDP will focus on developing video games with budgets of $2-10 million rather than the typical minimum $100 million dollar budget of bigger name developers such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Activison. PDP hopes this business model will address "the operational needs of traditionally independent game development while providing commercial opportunities for investors."
In addition to helping smaller game developers, PDP wants to enhance the experience for gamers by using blockchain technology. Although several game developers are already using blockchain technology, the most popular use case is for "digital ownership" of in-game assets such as weapons, skins, and other helpful items. PDP hopes to take blockchain gaming to the next level by providing unique private keys that will make games "subtly different and personal to the user." Gamers, the project's leads say, will be able to personalize the in-game assets they own by altering them within the platform. PDP will also host blockchain-powered tournaments where players' scores, achievements, and statistics are recorded on a blockchain platform.
The members of the gaming industry who have joined the conglomerate are part of what distinguishes PDP from other gaming investment companies. According to the PDP website, PDP's CEO is Steve Grossman, former executive producer of the Nintendo World Championships. Grossman also ran XS games, which developed Bass Pro Shops' fishing games and Cabela's hunting games. PDP's board of directors includes Kelly Sumner, former CEO of Take-Two Interactive, which published the Grand Theft Auto series, and Chris Deering, former president of Sony PlayStation's operations in Europe. One of PDP's launch partners is Saber Interactive, the studio that gave the world the ever-popular Halo and Quake franchises.
PDP has secured partnerships with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to bring blockchain-powered games to the most popular gaming consoles, PC, and mobile devices, and to give smaller developers a chance to play with the industry's heavy hitters. The company has also developed a relationship with a "global physical and digital distribution partner who can optimize the sales channel." The only thing needed now is the $38 million to get started.
To raise these funds, PDP is going to conduct a "Private Placement Digital Security Offering (DSO)" using its native Rocket Token (RKT). RKT tokens are ERC-20 compatible and, PDP says, backed 1:1 by the US dollar.
PDP is not the first company to recognize blockchain technology's potential to revolutionize the video game industry. In July 2018, ETHNews spoke with Ubisoft's blockchain initiative manager, Nicolas Pouard, about how the gaming giant saw blockchain technology affecting the video game industry. In November 2018, ETHNews interviewed representatives from blockchain game developers Enjin and Eight Circuit Studios about the role blockchain technology will play in the creation of the metaverse. Later the same month, game developer Arcade Distillery announced that its new game passed all required tests to be the first blockchain-powered game available on the PlayStation 4 console.