Published on: 23/02/2022
FTX US to expand crypto services to video game market
The Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, FTX is eyeing to set its foot on the video game market by providing cryptocurrency services for gaming companies.
Earlier this month, FTX US, the US affiliate of the company made two job postings which both require software engineers with particular expertise in C program language as well as the Unity game engine.
These job postings are made as FTX US is looking to establish a dedicated gaming division called FTX Gaming to assist video game companies to integrate blockchain technology and NFTs into their games.
FTX Gaming division
An FTX representative spoke to Bloomberg about the reason behind the company’s gaming division and the big market opportunity of more than 2 billion gamers.
“We are launching FTX Gaming because we see games as an exciting use case for crypto,” FTX spokesperson said. “There are 2 billion+ gamers in the world who have played with and collected digital items, and can now also own them.”
The spokesperson also added the gaming division would provide a “crypto as a service” platform enabling video game publishers to launch tokens and support for in-game NFTs.
Back in December 2021, FTX US president Brett Harrison tweeted about video games will play a crucial role in the company’s 2022 ambitions.
“Of all the awesome things on this thread, this one’s worth highlighting: FTX and gaming in 2022. Excited for the tech challenges this will bring for us – integrating NFT, crypto trading, and wallet tech directly into in-game economies at massive scale.” Harrison’s tweet reads.
Skepticism in gaming community
Additionally, FTX US’ move to the video game market, and as the company is trying to push both blockchain technology and crypto products-alike in the gaming environment has led gamers to have voiced their skepticism about whether such a move is a necessity or not.
The opportunity to integrate NFTs and their related technology into the gaming scheme is lucrative, with more than 2 billion potential customers to tap into.
Both video game developers and retailers are aware of this, however, in the past few months some of the video games companies had just given up on integrating NFTs and blockchain over the swift and loud backlash of the gaming community.
Harrison spoke to The Verge through an email that the backlash is solely about the concern in which cryptocurrency will push away video game developers from making their best game possible for players to enjoy.
“I think the backlash is primarily out of concern that the focus on cryptocurrency will divert the efforts of game studios away from making the best game possible for the players,” Harrison said.
Furthermore, Harrison added, the company believes blockchain technology will take on already existing features in video games and expand its use from simple in-game cosmetics or items to investment-worthy items outside of the game.
“We believe that blockchain technology takes features of games that already exist, such as in-game avatars, skins, and rewards, and makes it possible for players to own, invest, and trade these items outside of the game. But the enjoyability of the game for all players, including those who don’t wish to participate in these kinds of economies, should always be the primary objective regardless of whether blockchain tech is involved.” The company president added.
FTX US’ debut in the video game market is the company’s effort to expand its services beyond to a new market. Although, in January 2022 there are 398 active blockchain games, a 92% increase from last year as per DappRadar.