A new type of Ethereum token with properties specifically designed for video games has been unveiled today. It reportedly addresses major development issues with games designed to run on the blockchain.
Known as an ERC-1155, it has a simplified process for token swaps that recognizes the different qualities of digital items found in video games.
Rather than the network having to process and confirm each transaction for each item separately, ERC-1155s are designed so that any number of items can be sent to multiple recipients in one single transaction, putting far less strain on the network.
ERC-1155s are also designed to distinguish between the different properties of in-game items from the completely interchangeable (or fungible), like ammunition or health packs, to ones that can be customized, such as weapons.
The ERC-1155 was announced by Witek Radomski, the CTO for the video gaming company Enjin.
Mr. Radomski said that a video game running off the blockchain is limited because of the unsuitability of ERC-20 and 721 tokens, which effectively requires that each item has to have its own, slightly different, smart contract.
In a blog post on the company’s website, Mr. Radomski said:
“The biggest problem with existing token designs is that they require deploying a separate contract to the blockchain for each and every item type! … It’s like being forced to buy a brand new computer for every single app you want to use.”
Blockchain-based video games have potential. Although the Crypto Kitties super-happy-cuteness brought the Ethereum network to a standstill back in December, there a growing number of companies are creating platforms for decentralized video games.
The Loom Network, unique at least for not publishing a whitepaper, uses the same architecture as the Lisk network, with individual games running as DApps off sidechains – a feature which Loom claims can make their platform scalable.
Similarly, the London-based Terra Virtua platform, which is planning its public sale for next month, is creating a platform specifically designed for developers to build virtual reality games. According to the company’s website, the first phase of the platform is set to launch in Q1 of next year.
Crypto Briefing has previously highlighted the similarities between cryptocurrency and video games. World of Warcraft, the most popular MMORPG game of all time, released its own WoW token to stop a burgeoning black market for in-game ‘gold’ tokens.
Launching an Ethereum token specifically designed for use in video games highlights the growing sophistication of blockchain as it begins to find clear and tangible real-world use-cases.
Although some have raised eyebrows over the possibility that crypto could overhaul the world’s major financial institutions, it might be able to take the video game world by storm.
Disclaimer: The author is invested in ETH, which is mentioned in this article.