The tech startups disrupting the gaming industry
The gaming industry is by nature a great space for innovation and is native to most technological trends other industries are only starting to adopt. The application of AR was arguably introduced to a larger scale of users through Pokemon Go way back in 2016, while millennial-age Club Penguin had metaverse tendencies before Roblox and Fortnite were even born. A digital battle-ground, this makes it difficult for startups to disrupt the game business and present something novel. Though, there are a few new companies on the rise who show promise.
Founded in 2021 by CEO Mitchell Smallman, Pocket Burger Games (PBG) is a remote UK-based game development studio which puts creators first, with the company operating on four-day work weeks and unlimited vacation days. In November 2021 the startup raised $1million in a seed funding round, acquiring investors like SISU Game Ventures and Concept Ventures to their name. The company aims to create games that mobile gamers “don’t know they want yet”. In other words, the team is committed to identifying, inventing, and developing new game genres for the mobile gaming realm. The founding team have refined their skills in some of the top companies across the globe, including Rovio, Gram Games, Space Ape, and others.
As veteran mobile developers, they have seen a disappointingly huge number of weird, fantastic and wonderful games lost to time as developers chase the next big trend or look for the next billion-dollar game. PBG was not created to make games that appeal to everyone - recently developed Puzzlesaur and Emergency Hospital are not everyone’s cup of tea. Aside from being the first mover in the space, for the team, it’s about creating games that ought to have existed already. Every game should find an audience.
Gamers currently spend $100 billion each year on games and in-game items, investing significant amounts of money and time on in-game assets, like expansion packs or cosmetic skins. However, gamers are unable to extract any value from these investments outside of the gaming world. From player to game, the value chain comes to an abrupt end. Even in prominent game brands, acquired assets are rarely transferrable to future releases, making them useless. The problem with these NFTs and their scalability goes further; Despite having official benefits, a lot of sports collectibles for fans rely primarily on the value of the IP to market their goods. The worth they may obtain is greatly influenced by the amount of money gamers invest in the game and the luck of the draw in collectors packs. Essentially, only a small return on time invested is received. Additionally, with high transaction costs and network congestion, the Ethereum Mainnet is unsuitable for gaming and uses a lot of energy.
Introducing Eterlast, founded in 2021 by CEO Joan Roure, a startup merging the worlds of gaming utility and digital sports collectibles. The presented solution: To “Create holistic products that incorporate sports gaming, entertainment and use blockchain technology with Layer 2 IMX to empower users with instant, gas free, carbon neutral transactions”. Eterlast is aware of ways to improve the NFT game experience, and concentrate on creating a more personal connection between players and their collections. The startup opens the door to an emotional journey that is consistently gratifying from discovery to exchange. Immutable X (first carbon-neutral scaling solution for NFTs on Ethereum) removes distractions like not being barraged with GAS charges and swifter transactions, making this critical process far easier.
The startup goes further than others who realise the gap, presenting an original, innovative solution, building the bridge for global sport communities and gamers to enter into Web3. Gamers can freely explore and take pleasure in the sensations provided by the games and experiences created by Eterlast.
Designed by athletes with endless content to explore, the Quell Impact could give fitness company Peloton a run for their money. The world’s first dedicated fitness gaming platform brings high-intensity gym workouts to players’ homes with no clunky headsets, cameras or fuss. Users must fight their way through a vast selection of worlds, which have infinite replayability.
A list of features setting Quell apart from the esports crowd include a live heart-rate monitor, calorie tracking, powerful next-gen optics and customizable athlete-grade resistance to name a few. Developers claim that playing with Quell can help players burn more calories than a spin class, but if losing weight isn’t the goal, players are able to tailor the games to their own unique fitness goals. Users can play alone or tackle the challenges with a friend. Finally if all that doesn’t sound exciting enough, the hero grows stronger in sync with the player.
This tech is surely set to become a leader of the growing space in the esports market.
PBG, Eterlast and Quell, while still on the rise, are three brilliant examples of originality and innovation in the current gaming industry - a tough feat. These startups are well-worth keeping an eye out for.
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