Chia wants to be a player in the NFT Gaming Space. Can it catch up?

Chia wants to be a player in the NFT Gaming Space.  Can it catch up?

The Web3 the gaming industry is growing on blockchain networks that Avalanche, Solana, Polygonand even the newly launched Sui. A platform you won’t find on that list is Chiathe new storage-based blockchain network – but that could soon change.

Last week, Chia Network-like recently signaled plans to go public-launched what it calls Chia Open Digital Economy (CODE) frameworks, which are infrastructure and tools designed to run an open metaverse of games and applications that use interoperable assets.

Alongside this initiative, Chia will launch a proof-of-concept trading card game on May 19 called ChiaTCGwho will support everyone NFTs currently on Chia and turn them into playable cards.

Leading the gaming push is Richard Tsao, Chia Networks Chief Metaverse Officer, who spent two decades working for giants in the gaming industry – from Microsoft back in the early Xbox days to Ubisoft divisions in China and eventually the League of Legends creator Riot Games.

Tsao told Decrypt that it was at Riot Games that he recognized the need for an open ecosystem of tradable assets truly owned by players. He said he tried to pursue the concept while at the company, but ultimately it “didn’t work” — he couldn’t find traction for the idea in a large studio with its own thriving, closed ecosystem of assets.

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Ultimately, he set up shop with Chia and is now leading efforts to adapt the blockchain network to better support gaming.

Created by Bram Cohen, the inventor of the BitTorrent protocol, Chia uses a unique “proof of space and time” consensus mechanism that is secured by users’ storage space, rather than requiring advanced computers and massive amounts of energy like Bitcoin’s network does.

Tsao sees potential advantages to Chia’s game plan compared to other blockchain networks. Special NFT1 token standard pairs with Chia’s offering system to enable peer-to-peer atomic swapping without the need for a marketplace or escrow smart contract in the middle. It’s a nuanced variation that Tsao believes is a meaningful differentiator.

For the most part, though, it seems Chia’s gaming ambitions are still very early. Chia Network has a plan and a proof-of-concept game demo, but these are just the first steps.

By the end of the year, Chia hopes to release a white paper and complete code to enable interoperability between future games, as well as create an “abstraction layer” that will make it easier for developers to build games on top of the network.

ChiaTCG is simply designed as a “very generic, proof-of-concept” game that can support all NFTs on the network, Tsao explained, giving all projects and communities an opportunity to see how their assets can work in a game. It’s a two-player co-op experience designed as a “starting point” for creators, he said.

But Ethereum NFT based trading card games like Estates Unchained and Skyweaver have been online for years and some of the aforementioned blockchain networks have many live games with many more in development. Chia’s NFT market is much smaller than platforms like Ethereum and Solana, given that only began to take shape last year.

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Chia starts behind the pack, in other words – far behind the pack. But Tsao believes that the infrastructure will appeal to developers, and that the network can unlock real functionality all around premise for interoperability which has largely been a pipe dream in Web3 gaming to date. It just might take a while to get there.

“We do not claim to be game developers. We are great technology developers… who really want to make use of metaverse games come to life, Tsao said. “So we will work with experienced game developers to provide that technology – and they will deliver great games.”

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