Virt-U: revolutionising game development with blockchain
Virt-U's Daniel Doll-Steinberg explains to Crypto Finder how the company plans to innovate within the competitive game development industry
Interview from Blockchain Week London. 23rd January 2018.
Read the transcript:
This interview segment opens with Daniel Doll-Steinberg explaining why traders should be interested in Virt-U.
People should get involved because it's a company solving a need. It's moving gaming into the next level. Gaming is an enormous industry. It's 100 billion dollars a year today, it'll be 128 billion dollars by 2020. But the important thing is 500 billion dollars a year is left on the table that cannot be accessed, and that's based on current thinking.
Once this solution is available that 500 billion will be unlocked, which means that even the big game developers will do better. But the smaller game developers will thrive. It's what blockchain was built for.
So what is it you're offering that no one else is offering?
We offer a number of things. Firstly we've merged a couple of companies together. The first is a platform company. The platform company pretty much innovated the activation key delivery mechanisms that Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and all the games companies use for delivering their value around the world. Activation keys are the value. The platform company did that in the early 2000s and it became a global company. It understands how to build global platforms. It also understands how to build global platforms on very early stage tech.
So the tech was used – and it seems ridiculous now – on dial-up modems and ISDN lines. That's what the communication was like in the early 2000s. Now everyone assumes you've got gigabyte Internet. And the blockchain is similar you know. All these platforms have scalability issues, but this [development] team has built through those.
And the second team is a group of gamers. Guys that have been building games for 25 years. Some of the biggest games. Always at the forefront of development. So they were very early into disc and they had a very big disc market. Then when download came along they built some of the most famous games, like Luxor. It downloaded 100 million copies in the first week.
They were part of the team that went on to do Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, you know the first-person shooters. Then they were very early on into in-app purchasing, and they had product in that. And they've been looking for a solution to this problem for five or six years.
They've been testing it with certain games they built on a very small scale [which is] how you build these things. But when the blockchain came around and the two of these companies got together, we realized that the two of them working together were greater than the sum of its parts. That's the first thing.
The second thing is we also understand the gaming industry. So a lot of people that are doing gaming blockchain products are from outside the gaming industry They say they're in the gaming industry because they trade skins, or they run sites that sell games. That's not developing games. We have people that develop games.[Another] thing is our board of directors is very strong. We have people from the industry, you know, icons in the industry that really understand how it works. And so adding all that together makes us a formidable force. You know I got into the blockchain with the idea of bringing industrial solutions to the blockchain.
When I was looking at the blockchain in 2016 you had these guys trying to build solutions for industry. They understood the blockchain but they didn't understand the industry it applied to.
From late 2016 I always had this vision of bringing industry into the blockchain. People that understand the industry they're going in to understand how to sell it into the industry and understand what the industry needs. If you know that and you have technology behind it, and you convert it to the blockchain, then you're obviously going to get a solution the industry needs.
And you mentioned the scalability issues, so you don't have scalability issues?
We will have scalability issues. I mean we had scalability issues in in 2000-2001 with the platform business that we have. But if you design for the model and platforms that exist, then you create a technology that works. As the technology and the platforms improve, your systems scale up with it.
I think that's a mistake made by people that have never really developed and built systems and global systems before – that you can build on something, and then you hope that the technology improves. That's not the way to do it. You [build] it on what you've currently got. You design the systems around what you've currently got and as improvements come along you take advantage of it.
And what kind of speed are we looking at? What's the transaction rate?
Well we haven't really got to that stage yet. We have proof of concept systems being built. We're about starting alpha at the moment. We've got a long way to go. The project we're building is very very large. We will probably have first systems out there – we're going to have multiple platforms. We'll have the first ones coming out towards the end of the summer. but they will be built around what we can do.
One of the people who work with us is Jez San who created FunFair. In fact he was our first director. He's built systems based on what exists today and very highly scalable systems. So along with him and one of our blockchain directors Anish Mohammed, who is on the board of Ripple and Ethereum swarm. You know, they understand what you can currently build and we will design our systems around those. And if a lot of it has to be done off-chain and we only put some on chain, and we have to use channels etc., that's what we will do.