Trading card games and the digital world are becoming a huge market for game players searching for a place to legally trade their in-game assets — so much so that Tokyo-based IndieSquare and Swiss-based EverdreamSoft have released their Book of Orbs, a mobile Counterparty wallet that is optimized for game item collection and trading.
IndieSquare, which provides developers with digital token management features to save them the task of running their own Bitcoin and Counterparty systems, along with EverdreamSoft, which specializes in the development of online trading card games for smartphones, are together tapping into this potentially large market.
In a recent Fortune article, in-game assets are predicted to reach over $46 billion next year and are estimated to grow by a compound annual rate of over 6 percent, according to consultancy firm SuperData Research which specializes in interactive entertainment markets.
Speaking to Bitcoin Magazine, Co-Founder of IndieSquare, Koji Higashi, noted that the examples cited in the Fortune article remained centralized entities, unlike IndieSquare and EverdreamSoft’s decentralized and open platform which could translate into a correspondingly significant expansion in the market.
“I think this new paradigm will create a completely new market due to its openness and interoperable nature,” said Higashi.
Book of Orbs, which is available on Android and iOS, permits players to collect, send, receive and trade blockchain assets known as ORBs (Ownership Revolution on the Blockchain) for games like Spells of Genesis (SoG), which was the first game to use the tokenization of game items on the blockchain.
Another game supported on the Book of Orbs is Force of Will (FoW), popular across the world with 100,000 players, notably in North America and Europe. Takara, the first ever bitcoin geocaching iOS app, is also part of the Book of Orbs network and allows players to pick up bitcoin anywhere in the world.
Higashi states that game players will have true ownership of their in-game items with decentralized peer-to-peer trading of tokens.
“Users can securely trade their game items with each other without a need for middlemen,” he said.
Augmentors, the augmented reality game that is backed by the Bitcoin blockchain, is a game title that is expected to join the Book of Orbs platform.
With the creation of the Book of Orbs, the ORBs were developed so that they are interoperable between games and apps. As game items live on the open blockchain, cross-game promotion and collaboration through tokens becomes easier, says Higashi.
“For example, some of the FoW cards will be playable in SoG, and another example is through Takara [where] tokenized game items can be dropped and picked up on the map.”
"The ORBs are truly the premise of a whole shift for the game industry,” EverdreamSoft CEO Shaban Shaame told Bitcoin Magazine. “Book of Orbs is an opportunity for players to have "true ownership" of their digital game asset. We were amazed by how many people are collecting ORBs and using the app so far. The blockchain guarantees the scarcity of limited game assets making them valuable, exchangeable and tradable not only within their respective games, but in the real world too."
Higashi believes that this open platform of game items on the blockchain is likely to create many new and exciting phenomena across many different games and services.
The team expects to add more games in the future as big and small gaming companies realize the potential of game items on the blockchain. By bringing back the ownership of game items to players, Higashi and the team are hopeful that they can pioneer this new open interoperable paradigm of gaming on the blockchain.
The idea is that, as more games join the Book of Orbs network, the mobile app will be able to expand on each one, providing new interactions between the various games involved.
“This will potentially bring millions of new users to the ecosystem and help push the whole Bitcoin industry forward,” Higashi said.