3 - 5 minute read
Ultra, a long-running Web3 gaming startup, is set to launch its Ultra Games marketplace later this month. The store will come with a rare twist: the ability for users to resell digital games that they’ve purchased, via a secondary marketplace. The new digital PC gaming store will launch with about 60 or 70 titles, including both Web3 and traditional “Web2” games without NFT or token elements.
The Ultra Games marketplace is built on top of the startup’s own Ultra layer-1 network—a fork of the EOS blockchain—which has been in development since 2018. Since then, the Ultra gaming ecosystem has gradually expanded with products like the Ultra Wallet, upcoming Ultra Arena esports platform, and Uniq Marketplace for NFTs.
Ultra Games will let players resell purchased games via the Uniq Marketplace thanks to tokenized license rights. Although game publishers can opt-out of this program, Ultra Co-CEO Nicolas Gilot believes there is a compelling reason for game studios to enable the secondary sale of games.
“Game publishers have the opportunity to leverage [the secondary marketplace],” Gilot said, explaining that studios can set an initial no-resale period (such as for three months after launch), determine a minimum resale price point, and choose the royalty percentage that it automatically receives. “You can really tweak the entire lifecycle of your games,” he added.
Freedom to Experiment with Business Models
Game developers and publishers will have further freedom to experiment with their business models compared to traditional digital game stores. With games being tokenized, the proof-of-ownership feature could be used by publishers or partners to give out discounts, unique in-game items, and more.
Ultra Games will be accessible to non-Web3 natives, meaning users can sign up with an email and phone number. Crypto elements (such as your wallet address) are hidden beneath a Web2-friendly interface, but that information is accessible to users if desired. Ultra Games also doesn’t charge users network gas fees for transactions.
Furthermore, Gilot said that Ultra Games is designed to support NFT initiatives from publishers and developers. They’ll be able to launch digital collectibles called “Uniqs” that can be traded in a similar manner to the tokenized game licenses.
The Future of Cross-Game Interoperability
Digital collectibles and assets are already firmly established in popular Web2 games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), which has seen individual item sales for over $100,000 each. However, such assets are typically confined to a particular game or platform, while user-owned NFT assets open up the possibility of cross-game interoperability.
“Technology-wise, [a cross-game collectible] is totally feasible. That works really well if you’re the same game developer in multiple games,” Gilot told Decrypt, but he admitted that it’s “going to be extremely tricky” to navigate cross-game compatibility between multiple game makers.
Ultra Games is putting these features and capabilities out into the world later this month, but the true measure of success will be whether game developers embrace them—and if players take interest. Gilot believes that Ultra’s game industry partners, which include gaming giant Ubisoft, the crypto-focused Atari, and Web3 metaverse game The Sandbox, plus the unique monetization options will entice studios to take part.
For traders, the ability to resell digital games adds an interesting dynamic to the gaming market. However, it’s important to remember that trading carries high risk, and it’s essential to do your research and invest responsibly. This is an exciting new development in the gaming industry, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves over time.