How blockchain platform Ultra plans to become Steam on steroids for PC games
There’s no lack of companies angling to become “Blockchain’s Steam”.
Brian Fargo’s Robot Cache is perhaps the most high profile to-date, but the likes of Gameloot, KorroBox, TokenPlay etc. are also in the running.
Even if Valve wanted to, it would take it some time to catch up to what Ultra is doing
And into that mix comes Ultra.
Based out of Estonia with the main office in Paris, as well as team members in China, India, the UK and the US, the 40-strong team can boast a decent track record in the games industry.
“Previously we were building a game console for the Chinese market,” explains co-CEO Nicolas Gilot of the management team.
“I can’t say too much about it. It’s an ongoing project, but we had to build out a distribution platform and started thinking about doing that for PC too.”
Blockchain was always on the cards as Gilot, and some of the other founders had been playing around with Bitcoin since 2011.
“That was too early. There weren’t smart contracts. You couldn’t do much with it, so we went back to games,” he explains.
Ultra on EOS
Ultra is the combination of all that previous experience.
It’s a PC game distribution platform using a forked version of the EOS blockchain, powered by its UTA token, that will attempt to close the circle between game developers and players regarding all aspects of community and discovery.
“Ultra will be an integrated platform,” Gilot explains.
“You can buy games, resell games, buy game items, play games, play in tournaments, bet on tournaments and get tokens for engaging with advertising and through affiliate fees when your friends join.”
There will also be Ultra Go, a mobile chat app for continuing the experience on the go.
Of course, as with most blockchain projects, the biggest question isn’t whether it will work or not, but whether Ultra can get enough players in the first place.
Gilot says he has no fears over the technical aspects of the project. As for gaining scale, he says the company will be spending big to get exclusive games to attract gamers.
We’re already partnering with studios and working with developers who have consoles games we can bring to PC.
“We’re already partnering with studios and working with developers who have consoles games we can bring to PC,” he reveals.
Having already closed its initial funding in 2017, Ultra will raise more in 2018, selling tokens in a private placement.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about finding strategic partnerships,” Gilot says, adding given the founders’ track record, they haven’t had any issues getting access to the resources they need.
Raring to go
As for the future roadmap, there will be a closed beta in Q3 followed by an open beta in Q4.
The public launch for Ultra in early 2019 will likely be a phased one with China being a territory Gilot says will have particular prominence thanks to the local partnerships the company expects to announce shortly.
And regarding the ever-present question – What happens if Valve announces it’s bringing Steam to the blockchain, Gilot is nonplussed.
“Even if Valve wanted to, it would take it some time to catch up to what Ultra is doing in terms of all the features we’re offering,” he says.
You can find out more about what Ultra is up to via its website.
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