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Interview: How is blockchain gaming surviving the bear market? Zilliqa Chief of Staff

One area I have perhaps somewhat neglected in my ongoing analysis of the crypto industry is that of blockchain gaming.

I’ve long thought the area is ripe for blockchain integration, so I’m not really sure why I have been slower to dive in. The concept of players being able to own in-game assets as NFTs, buy, sell and trade them, and various other utilities seems to be a perfect match for the blockchain.

After all, gaming already exists in the digital realm, so it feels like innovation should be ripe here. So I want to focus a little more on the space going forward than I have to date.

I noted the announcement recently from Zilliqa, a top 100 cryptocurrency by market cap which has made a bit of noise within the gaming space. Zilliqa is partnering with XBorg, one of an esports 3.0 organisation, to advance the development of its gaming ecosystem. 

There are a lot of buzzwords there, so I was curious to find out more and begin to deepen mu understanding of the space. I interviewed Zilliqa’s Chief of Staff, Matt Dyer, to do so.

Invezz (IZ): How has blockchain gaming been affected by the bear market, compared to other aspects of crypto?

Matt Dyer , Chief of Staff at Zilliqa (MD): As we see globally, we are all operating within a challenging macroeconomic environment at present – and crypto is no exception. At the same time, bear markets are a great time to build and gaming has shown itself to be a resilient industry with strong growth prospects irrespective of external market conditions.

At Zilliqa, we see Web3 technologies and blockchain-based features playing a huge part in the next wave of innovation to emerge in this space, which has only strengthened our resolve and ambition to continue to develop our capabilities in this arena, despite the tough contemporary conditions.

IZ: How valuable is it that the pool of players coming from XBorg will now have more exposure to the Zilliqa blockchain?

MD: One of the most important factors for success – both for games and blockchain ecosystems – is the user base. Valentin Cobelea – our Head of Gaming Technology – and his team are building out a fantastic array of games, so heightening awareness of these as they drop, improving the overall visibility, and bringing in new players is critical to moving the needle with these first and foremost, which the XBorg partnership will help to drive.

We are confident that the quality and value of the games that we are developing will stand alone, regardless of the underlying technology powering them. The fact that many of the unique features and capabilities are powered by the Zilliqa blockchain – and by extension, the exposure that new entrants to our ecosystem will gain from that – is a huge added bonus for our wider community and all of the different applications that comprise it.

IZ: Is this partnership indicative of a greater focus on gaming from Zilliqa, or are there any other plans to develop more within the blockchain gaming space?

MD: As a Layer 1 blockchain, Zilliqa can be leveraged by any business making the move into Web3 and deriving the benefits from these innovative new technologies. Gaming is one area where we saw huge potential to demonstrate the capabilities, not just of Web3, but also Zilliqa, which is why we are investing in it heavily as an ecosystem. 

Last week, we announced that Zilliqa is currently developing our own game console, which will serve as an all-in-one device for gamers in the world of Web3 – integrating not just games from ourselves and our partners, but also a hardware wallet and the ability to mine ZIL tokens when not actively in-game.

All of that said, the wider-Zilliqa ecosystem is made up of more than just gaming, with a wide array of dApps covering a multitude of use cases, including everything from inherent Web3 technologies like DeFi and NFTs, through to disruptive applications in more traditional spaces such as event ticketing and education.

IZ: What separates Zilliqa from other Layer 1 projects? 

MD: A key aspect in the Web3 space in the coming years will be the wider world looking not just at the different businesses that have been successful and emerged as leaders, but the blockchain platforms that underpin them and have enabled them to be innovative and thrive.

Since its inception, Zilliqa has had a reputation as a ‘blockchain-for-business’, with a feature set that has enabled the creation and deployment of unique businesses and concepts – even when looking exclusively in the blockchain space.

As more businesses continue to turn to Zilliqa as the solution for their blockchain and Web3 needs, we foresee further growth. As a blockchain ecosystem, the best sales pitch for new prospects is the demonstrable success of other businesses that have come before them.

IZ: Zilliqa claims to be the world’s first blockchain to run entirely on a sharded network. We recently saw the Merge occur on Ethereum, and sharding is slated to be implemented in the future. Do you think this could have an effect on Zilliqa?

MD: Like with every other Layer 1 blockchain, Zilliqa is in a constant state of evolution, so while we have been a leader in bringing sharding technology to market, it is just one component of the value proposition that Zilliqa offers to prospective businesses and developers.

With sharding technology moving increasingly closer to becoming a reality for the Ethereum network following the merge, in many respects, the increased attention on the benefits of sharding and what it enables could be seen as a real positive for Zilliqa as an early leader in the space.

IZ: How can Zilliqa try to take market share from other projects and propel up the rankings? Secondly, do you believe there is a place for many blockchains, or will it be more a world of interoperability? 

MD: In my view, we are increasingly moving towards a multi-chain world where there will be no single right answer for building on, but rather, many competing platforms with different feature sets and value propositions – much like we see with different competing software solutions in other areas of business, like with CRMs.

What will set these various platforms apart will be finding the blockchain that best fits the intended use case, as well as the community of potential users and ecosystem of supporting applications?

In this world, market share – and by extension rankings and value – must be earned. That means attracting new projects, businesses, and dApps that not only illustrate the value that Zilliqa offers, but also that attract new users into the community.

That makes engaging with key projects and demonstrating the unique points of difference that Zilliqa offers an essential part of our work to grow our ecosystem. To that end, we are constantly working towards making Zilliqa an attractive and accessible platform to build on, with the impending addition of EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatibility a key initiative in this area.

   

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