Unity Technologies, the developer of one of the most widely used 3D game engines, has introduced “Decentralization” as a category in its online asset store. It aims to support developers interested in web3 and decentralized gaming technology.
According to the company, in 2021 every month 3.9 billion users played games built on Unity. It says its tech underpins 70% of the top 1,000 mobile games and over 50% across all types of platforms.
Considering the market penetration of Unity in the gaming sector, the latest addition of decentralized gaming technology is a natural extension of the company’s product offering. For games, decentralization refers to game mechanics that allow players to create, earn, or obtain in-game resources that they can sell or trade. For example, that could be land, clothing, or weapons.
Currently, both Decentraland and The Sandbox – which are widely used metaverse worlds are examples of “Made with Unity” games that incorporate this technology. At launch, the Unity asset store supports 13 web3 third-party solutions, including Dapper Lab’s Flow blockchain, ImmutableX, the MetaMask wallet and Tezos SDK.
Besides Unity, other companies provide tools to integrate blockchain services in video games. This includes Forte, which provides embeddable token wallets, non-fungible token (NFT) minting and selling services. It raised $725 million in funding in 2021.
Venly provides similar services and has previously provided NFT solutions for well-established names, including The Sandbox metaverse, Bondly and Ubisoft. However, these companies provide tools and are not blockchain-native game engines. Video games still rely on conventional game engines provided by Unity or Unreal Engine to develop games and virtual worlds like Decentraland and Roblox. Blockchain features such as NFTs and tradable in-game objects can be added by providing additional tools.