Digital distributors such as Valve’s Steam have dominated the selling of games to consumers. But Ultra, a startup founded by game industry veterans, plans to disrupt PC game distribution with blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
In doing so, it is following the game plan of a number of other blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, such as Brian Fargo’s Robot Cache. The common aim is to overthrow the oligopoly that has held back game developers from enjoying the fruits of their labor, according to Ultra. Ultra calls Steam a monopoly in the PC distribution market. Tallinn, Estonia-based Ultra promises to be fairer to developers, introduce new revenue streams, provide effective marketing tools, and establish a rich token-based economy that can be used to improve cross-selling, rewards, and merchandising.
“The success of Steam, Google and Apple’s app stores over the last decade means that users have grown to expect and demand the kind of ease-of-use and seamless purchasing experience that these platforms provide,” said Nicolas Gilot, co-CEO of Ultra, in a statement. “This effectively means that developers are having an increasingly difficult time selling their software outside of these walled gardens, which results in large commission fees and loss of control over their own customers.”
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