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Blockchain could help legalise the loot boxes

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Blockchain could help legalise the loot boxesReading Time: 3 minutes

Loot boxes, which have been in existence for about a decade, have run into legal problems in countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium. The redeemable virtual rewards system, which involves accessing maps, weapons and a whole range of upgrades to your in-game functionality, had already become so popular that some developers have wholly shifted their monetisation models away from paid-for-games to free-to-play games because of the revenue they provide.

But the legal issues are threatening the core business model of loot boxes. That is why developers are thinking of reverting to a business model based on advertising or selling games rather than giving them away for free.

However, there can be another option. Rather than making such a drastic U-turn, they could find salvation in the shape of the blockchain. By implementing a new tokenised economic model that this technology provides, game developers could not only continue to make money without having to rely on advertising but also implement a system that would reward gamers for the time they spend playing games.

The problem with loot boxes

Loot boxes first emerged in Asia, but have become more well-known after social game developers like Zynga successfully implemented them. Since then, loot boxes have slowly begun to embed themselves into the fabric of most games, even where their incorporation seems unnecessary. Then loot boxes’ presence in triple-A console games like Overwatch, Battlefront 2, and Shadow of War ramped up their presence in terms of public awareness.

When an entry fee or cost is present in a gaming monetisation scheme, along with luck or chance, and the potential for some type of monetary gain, the scheme is almost definitely going to be considered gambling as a result of those three key elements. Since loot boxes have both a cost and a “random element,” they have landed game makers in hot water with regulators. The cash purchase of these boxes, for regulators in the Netherlands and Belgium, resembles gambling – and is therefore an illegal offering.

While companies like EA have said they will persist with loot boxes, confident that other regulators do not see the situation in the same way as the Belgian or the Dutch authorities, there is no guarantee that other authorities would not act to quash them.

Blockchain as a solution

Rather than putting these key revenue flows at risk though, one potential path that publishers could pursue is to leverage a new form of blockchain monetisation. For example, my company, Loot, has a new mining process that leverages player skill to generate new units of cryptocurrency instead of GPU or CPU mining.

All blockchain networks have some sort of incentive mechanism built into them, which helps the network to function properly. In the case of Bitcoin, this is the proof of work algorithm that keeps the network secure and trustworthy by making it hard to add new transaction data to the blockchain. For game networks, the algorithm could be based not on computational power, but gameplay and the “work” done by players. This would eliminate the initial entry fee, which would prevent regulators from labelling it gambling.

Even though you can already earn virtual currencies within games, cryptocurrencies that are mined and awarded as a result of gameplay are a unique new solution because traditional virtual currencies in games have no value outside of the game, while cryptocurrencies hold their value everywhere. This is the key, because if the coins players spend in the game to buy loot boxes and other items have real value outside of the game, the developers can accept their own in-game coins as real payment for their items. This solves the problem of traditional entry fees and ultimately eliminates the consumer risk that is arguably the most important of the three elements that define what is gambling and what is not.

From the game publisher’s perspective, this would mean they could continue to offer loot boxes but just have them paid for with cryptocurrency that gamers have mined and earned from their skill in play, instead of with real money.

For example, in Overwatch players are currently unable to spend in-game credits and have to spend real money or wait for a level up to grab a loot box. If the in-game credits were a cryptocurrency generated on a blockchain as a result of player skill, Blizzard could accept the credits as payment (at no cost to the user) and exchange the credits for dollars like any other cryptocurrency. This means the players do not have to spend any of their “real” money while the developer has the same revenue they did before.

As publishers and developers consider the effect that loot box regulation might have on profits, they should consider blockchain technology as a potential solution. Publishers should understand that this innovative new technology could safeguard existing revenue streams and also incentivise gamers to play more.

 

 

Tobias Batton is CEO of Signal Zero. The company behind Loot, the world’s first blockchain protocol that allows gamers to earn and mine tradable tokens as a result of their skill and without entry fees.


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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Digitain Secures Greentube Distribution Deal

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Digitain Secures Greentube Distribution DealReading Time: 1 minute

 

Digitain, the multi-channel sports betting and casino platform provider, announced its new partnership with the NOVOMATIC Interactive division – Greentube. An outstanding selection of Greentube’s market-leading slots is now available on the Digitain platform, for distribution to regulated online casinos in Armenia.

Digitain’s Chief Commercial Officer, Suren Khachatryan, said: “We are delighted to secure this partnership agreement with Greentube. They are without question one of the market-leading premium slots games providers with a global reputation for innovation and quality engagement for slots players. Our first licensee to go live shall be Totogaming, one of Armenia’s leading iGaming operators and they will be able to offer classic NOVOMATIC slots such as Lucky Lady´s CharmTM deluxe, Sizzling Hot TM deluxe, Apollo God of the Sun and Book of RaTM Magic, as well as other exciting gaming content.“

Daniel Lechner, Greentube Head of Sales, added: “We are more than excited to work together with Digitain and provide our wide range of games to players in Armenia. Moreover, we are certain, that this is only the first step in a long-lasting, strategic partnership, giving us the opportunity to grow together into further markets. The speed of the technical integration was outstanding – making it one of the fastest integrations we have ever completed.”


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Digitain Secures Greentube Distribution Deal

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Microgaming makes its debut in the Czech Republic

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Microgaming makes its debut in the Czech RepublicReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Microgaming’s celebrated content has gone live in the Czech Republic, with a range of the leading software supplier’s most popular games now available through Tipsport, with more operators to follow in due course.

Microgaming’s entrance into the Czech Republic continues a well-executed strategy of expansion into key regulated markets around the world, following successful entries into Colombia, Bulgaria and Denmark in 2018, and Sweden at the beginning of the current year.

Devised specifically for the Czech Republic market, a tailored software solution will offer customers of Tipsport, one of the country’s leading operators, access to an extensive selection of titles from Microgaming’s innovative, diverse portfolio of premium casino games, with more content to be added in the near future.

“We are excited to be extending our offering into the regulated market of the Czech Republic. Tipsport are a major operator in the region, and a leader in the European sports betting industry as a whole. We are delighted to begin a partnership with them that will provide their customers with an expanding library of our best online slot gaming content.” – said Andrew Clucas, Chief Operating Officer at Microgaming.

“With the addition of Microgaming’s exceptional casino titles, we look forward to seeing players enjoy a wealth of thoroughly entertaining gaming experiences. Our partnership with Microgaming signals our commitment to diversifying our product offering, providing players in the Czech Republic with access to the largest and most diverse online gaming portfolio in the industry.” – concluded Jiří Švarc, Director of Online Casino at Tipsport.

 

For more information about the Czech market market make sure you don’t miss the 2019 edition of Prague Gaming Summit, which has the aim to give a quality report on the activity of the industry in the Czech Republic and neighboring countries such as Slovakia, Poland and a special DACH regional panel discussion.

 

About Microgaming:

Microgaming developed the first true online casino in 1994. It has been breaking records, breaking new ground and breaking its back in pursuit of original gaming ever since. Developer of thousands of unique, genre-defining casino, mobile, poker, bingo, land-based and multiplayer games, and a pioneer in virtual and wearable gaming, the software giant hosts the world’s largest progressive jackpot network. Its products include Live Dealer, Sportsbook, Business Solutions and Quickfire. Microgaming is an award winner. A millionaire maker. The father of player protection and responsible gaming. And through Microgaming PlayItForward, it is a pillar of its local community on the Isle of Man.

About Tipsport:

As the market leader, Tipsport is pushing the boundaries of sports betting, developing largest active online betting community in the region, with unique approach to its clients – encouraging them to share expertise, copy tickets and develop winning strategies. Established as a regional company in 1991 with just one branch, Tipsport quickly became an international holding company and the leading bookmaker in Central and Eastern Europe. With turnover of over EUR 2bln/year, the group currently employs more than 3,000 people at Tipsport and Chance in the Czech Republic and Tipsport in Slovakia. As the overwhelming majority of bets are placed online, the company’s main focus is technology. Thanks to its unique in-house solutions, Tipsport is now the No.1 sports betting operator in the Czech Republic and one of the major players in Europe. Recently, the company has firmly established itself also in the field of online casino games, now its fastest growing segment.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Microgaming makes its debut in the Czech Republic

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Bede Gaming set for Spanish expansion

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Bede Gaming set for Spanish expansionReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Provider is building on established market presence with fully-licensed and scalable platform

 

Bede Gaming, the award-winning supplier of software to the online gaming industry, is to kick-start 2019 with a concerted expansion in Spain.

The Bede platform is fully-licensed by the DGOJ, the Spanish gaming authority, and features a wide range of cutting-edge, proactive marketing tools alongside a portfolio of more than 3,000 games and two direct sportsbooks with Kambi and SBTech live on the platform.

Responsible gambling is central to the Bede platform, with deposit limits and automated flagging of players displaying signs of problem gambling behaviour setting it apart as the safest place to play.

Ross Haselhurst, Commercial Director, Bede Gaming, said: “Spain is a core target market for Bede as we look to capitalise on the significant commercial momentum of our platform. Spanish operator groups are well placed to take advantage of the transformative impact our vast range of high-quality content and powerful automated marketing tools can have, and we are enthused by the possibilities as we push further into the market.

“We are seeing more and more operators that are looking to expand their footprint but find themselves crippled by the resources required to service new markets while maintaining performance in their core markets. By offering a direct and single route into the Spanish market, we’re predicting significant growth for Bede and our partners in the months to come.”

The growth opportunity in the Spanish market is clear, with online GGR rising 30% year-on-year during Q3 2018 according to the DGOJ.

The provider’s technology is already live in the Spanish market with leading operator Enracha.

Bede has enjoyed a strong period of commercial growth, having been selected by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in September 2018 to provide the lottery’s new enterprise-wide digital platform.

This agreement came alongside a series of recent content integrations with leading providers including Play’n GO and SBTech.


Source: European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Bede Gaming set for Spanish expansion

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