Fractal unveils FStudio tools to make building blockchain games easier
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Justin Kan’s Fractal unveils FStudio, a set of tools that make it easier for game studios to build, market and monetize Web3 games without blockchain expertise.
Kan, the co-founder of Twitch who started Fractal in 2021 to build tools for blockchain games, believes that blockchain technology is the best way to get to a player-driven economy.
But he said the problem is that the gaming industry has become obsessed with talking about that backend technology — turning off players and distracting Web3 startups from their main mission: creating excellent gaming experiences. To move forward, we need to refocus the conversation on the players, not the technology,” Kan said in an interview with GamesBeat.
“Over the past eight months or so, we’ve been working on a bunch of features that help empower the next wave of developers for Web3 games,” Kan said. “We call it FStudio. We solve the problems we learned from talking to developers. Many developers have launched their NFT collections, but they haven’t delivered their games yet. We help them solve these problems by breaking them down into builds , acquire and earn money.”
Can think of this as turning Fractal into something like Steam for blockchain games. That is actually his long-term goal.
“We’re trying to add a lot of community game discovery layers on top, and the whole point is to make Web3 easier,” Kan said.
Right now, Fractal has around 150 blockchain games on its platform.
So Fractal has built tools that abstract the blockchain jargon and complexity while still leveraging its benefits. Built to achieve that, FStudio is the culmination of more than a year of talking to game developers and understanding what’s holding them back.
Based on these discussions, the company built a platform that allows game developers to build, market and monetize on the blockchain without blockchain expertise. That way, the narrative remains strongly centered on creating great games – both for developers and players.
Build, acquire and earn
Hiring blockchain engineers can cost millions of dollars a year, and teaching current engineers how to build on the blockchain can also set companies back months. But FStudios allows developers to use simple application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) known (like Unity, Unreal and React) to get on the blockchain quickly.
“When we think about these three categories, blockchain is often confusing for game developers,” Kan said. “They’re not quite sure where to start.”
It includes what developers need to get started, such as authentication, coining, and marketplaces. In fact, most developers Fractal works with said they can get authentication set up in less than 30 minutes (the record so far is five minutes).
Developers don’t even need to choose a blockchain to start building with FSstudio. It only becomes critical when the developer gets ready to start making money.
Kan said that by removing the complexity of the blockchain, developers can go to market faster, start testing earlier and stay ahead of the competition. And then developers can reallocate budgets to user acquisition or creating gameplay. They can refocus developer efforts on game mechanics and experiences.
Acquire and engage real players
In every conversation Fractal has with game developer partners, they say their most pressing challenge is user acquisition, Kan said. If we break it down further, there are two main problems to solve: scale and quality.
In terms of scale, the largest Web3 games today have 100,000,000 users, while the largest W3b2 games have more than 100 million. In addition to limitations in performance marketing and attribution, it largely goes back to the first problem from above: the industry became obsessed with talking about the blockchain and turned off millions of users.
This in turn contributes to the quality problem. The hard part is finding users who actually like to play and want to stick around and aren’t just there to turn things around, make money and leave. That’s why Fractal focused on building channels that developers can easily tap into (scale), and then add sticky, engaging social experiences on top (quality).
FStudio gives developers access to three main distribution channels:
- Fractal Web – an online gaming platform
- Fractal Desktop – a desktop launcher, available on Mac and PC
- Creator Program – a way to spread the word about the game
For each of these channels, retention is the number one priority. Can say you can think of Fractal as a “digital arcade” – where players come for the great games, but stay for the fun experiences. With FSTUDIO you can organize prize pool tournaments; run community events; awarding rewards and prizes; and enables crafting to unlock special rewards.
The bottom line is that, by deploying on Fractal, developers can access a pool of valuable players, who just want to have fun.
Earn money like any other in-app purchase
Typical game monetization has all but disappeared from Web3. In the past, developers would monetize their projects before they even launched the game – as a way to raise money through imprint events. But asking players to become investors is not a winning strategy for most people.
Instead, the goal as an industry should be to create and sell blockchain goods as you would any regular in-app purchase, so that developers can more easily harness the power of player-driven economies. That way, it’s easy for developers to handle, and easy for players to understand – no learning curve required.
To create blockchain elements, developers can either use Fractal’s simple APIs or its no-code platform. Just hit “create”, name the item, choose a chain, and you’re done. It’s that simple, Kan said.
To sell blockchain goods, developers can create a primary in-game store with Fractal’s API, embed and white-label the Fractal in-game trading market with the API, and enable credit card payments for users. Developers can also create on-chain or off-chain items based on player actions in the game, allowing developers to more easily add these elements to the core gameplay loop.
The end result is an in-app purchase flow that doesn’t put the burden of understanding blockchain on the player or you.
“Blockchain technology is important and critical to achieving the overall mission of player-driven economies, but we truly believe there’s no reason developers and players need to get hung up on the technical details of how it works,” Kan said. “Let’s deal with it so we can all focus on the fun.”
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