When blockchain use cases became a wondrous thought for developers keen on the technology, gaming may not have been highest on the list of ideas. However, the emerging technology — better understood as a decentralized or distributed ledger — sits at the core of the next evolution of digital trading card games (TCGs).
Switzerland-based mobile game developer, EverdreamSoft, is said to be set to take the digitized genre a step further by way of innovating its TCG’s economy, building into it, blockchain technology.
The aspects of evolution
Launching in full this September, the digital TCG, Spells of Genesis (SoG), incorporates blockchain technology on two fronts, in real-world terms and within the game, allegorically.
The game’s storyline is buttressed by collaboration and event-based cards associated with the blockchain industry, while the decentralizing technology offers a network for peer-to-peer interaction, facilitating and securing the exchange of assets.
In the case of SoG, EverdreamSoft founder and CEO Shaban Shaame explained, in-game assets are tied to Bitcoin’s blockchain via Counterparty, an open source distributed cryptocurrency platform that harnesses the power of the Bitcoin network.
Last August, the company launched a crowdsale of its Counterparty assets to help fund development. These assets come in form of BitCrystals (BCY) and act as the premium in-game currency to purchase items and are assets that can be traded freely on the blockchain, outside of the game.
Additional features to come after test-running
Currently in beta, SoG has been operating under testing seasons, currently in the sixth iteration, with players rewarded with BCY for in-game achievements, essentially points gathered for the leaderboard.
When the game is launched in full, it will continue operating in this manner, with additional features like level creation and guilds, according to game designer Jasper Damman.
However, seasons will run much longer, for about half of the year, and while it will still be leaderboard-based, the game will operate with a key pivot: the cards in-game will change with each new season.
In other words, there will be a new lot to take their place tantamount to what occurs in physical card games and collections, explained Shaame, increasing value of older editions or collections given the heightened rarity of the items.
“Right now we have pure blockchain cards. Those cards are sold only on the blockchain, but we also have off-chain cards, cards that are stored in our database — in the game database — the old-fashioned way,” said Shaame.
A particularly alluring “asset” in SoG is the Satoshi card, based on Bitcoin’s enigmatic and anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Marketing Manager at EverdreamSoft, Marketa Korteová explained that the card was initially created in a lot of 1,000. However, EverdreamSoft decided to “burn” or remove from the lot 800 copies before issuing out.
The value of the digital cards
Korteová said 140 were gifted away during the token sale to backers that contributed a certain amount to the project, while several more were sold afterward during “flash sales”.
The current price for the Satoshi card is about 0.7 BTC, but the price point was lower than this at the start. On social forums like Reddit, card collectors haggle over pricing, with some placing the card at a current market value of around US $2,500 (roughly, 3.7 BTC).
While value is subjective, the underlying significance is that blockchain technology allows these digital cards to attain a status representative of real assets. So, while playable as cards in-game, they are also tradeable or sellable online, peer-to-peer, utilizing the power of blockchain technology.
In game assets, such as cards, can be traded via personally set up and managed online “bots”, which are essentially personally-owned stores.
The venture is a pioneering blockchain project. Come fall, it could also spark an evolution in digital card collecting games — a billion-dollar genre — bringing to digital form what physical collections are representative of: a collectible, an investment, able to be bought, traded and exchanged.
EverdreamSoft is currently accepting applications from blockchain-based companies that wish to have a card of their own within the realm of SoG.