Video game publisher Trendy Entertainment is partnering with startup Signal Zero to integrate a blockchain-based rewards system with its flagship Dungeon Defenders franchise.
Trendy, best known for creating the popular Dungeon Defenders series, will base the entire rewards and ranking system for the game's sequel on a blockchain, said chief business development officer Drew Curby. He explained that the company was looking for a way to monetize Dungeon Defenders II – which is free-to-play – while still ensuring the game is fair to players.
Using a series of smart contracts to automatically generate rewards for players is how Trendy might create such a system, he told CoinDesk. To that end, Dungeon Defenders II will utilize the Loot blockchain, currently under development by Signal Zero.
Whereas another blockchain might require central or graphic processing units (CPUs/GPUs) to execute a proof-of-work algorithm, Signal Zero chief executive and founder Tobias Batton said players' game systems would handle Loot's version of PoW.
"With our protocol, the work being done is actually the players playing video games," said Batton. "We have a mathematical model to measure the player's skill."
He went on to explain:
"The way it would actually work is the developer like Trendy would open a node on the network, so they would actually run the node. Because they own the software, every machine would act like an oracle to the central node."
He referred to the system as "proof-of-activity," saying that gamers would receive new tokens based on both their skill level and their rank in any particular event.
While Dungeon Defenders II will be the first game to utilize Loot, Batton does not believe it will be the last. As envisioned, the system will ultimately enable players to earn tokens in one game but redeem them in another – or even purchase rewards independent of any game.
"That's actually a functionality we intend to release with early next year," he said. "Signal Zero has a rewards exchange already and it has rewards for Amazon or Steam or Xbox, and it has a few cryptocurrencies so gamers can trade the [tokens] they own for these."
As part of this effort, the Loot protocol will one day be compatible with ERC-20 tokens, Batton said.
While Trendy is looking to integrate Loot with Dungeon Defenders II right now, Curby said his team has not yet fully established how it will work within the game, given the early development stage.
"We expect in the coming months to work closely with [Signal Zero], the design team, to work on a series of potential implementations to see … what makes the most sense," he said.
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