While the gaming industry is highly competitive for all game developers, those looking to integrate Bitcoin into their games face an additional challenge: besides the need to develop a go-to-market strategy to capture the right audience, Bitcoin game developers often find themselves seeking ways to integrate Bitcoin that offer minimal disruption and require little effort from players who may not be familiar with Bitcoin.
With its latest project, Bitcoin-focused game development studio ZEBEDEE has set out to make one of those challenges a little easier. The studio pairs esports favorite Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with the ability to instantly earn satoshis, commonly referred to as "sats," the smallest unit of a bitcoin, while playing.
Called Infuse, the new feature pays players sats per kill achieved in-game. ZEBEDEE co-founder Christian Moss demonstrated Infuse in a Sunday livestream hosted by Bitcoin esports tournament platform MintGox, as he played a test session with ten other gamers. Infuse distributes sats to gamers via the Lightning Network, allowing for instant credits upon successful hits.
Elaborating on his motivation behind the new project, Moss explained that "one of the difficult things is actually making a game people want to play." Developing a good game presents only the initial step to making a title successful, especially as small studios and indie developers have to compete with multi-billion dollar gaming giants like Ubisoft, SEGA, and Blizzard. "Even if you make a game that is good, [and] even if it has Bitcoin, it's probably not going to be attractive to people who can play existing games that they know and love."
With Infuse, ZEBEDEE seeks to tap into that market and, rather than develop new games, "add Bitcoin into games people already love."
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a popular esports title, and professional tournaments awaiting gamers with large prize pools: in 2016, the game's developer Valve set the prize pool for its tournaments to $1 million.
While Moss presented the Infuse prototype via a much more modest prize pool that was collected through a 10,000 sat entrance fee (around $2.70 at the time of writing) paid by each participant, Infuse demonstrated the utilization of Bitcoin via Lightning in gaming, using an environment that is familiar to many gamers.
In the future, Moss plans to make Infuse available for additional game titles in the future and "infuse existing games with Bitcoin."
Infuse is currently not available to the public. The BTC Times has reached out to ZEBEDEE for further details on Infuse's public launch.