FlowPlay CEO Derrick Morton on why blockchain is a game changer for indies
Embracing Alto.io’s Item First approach with a strategic partnership
It’s often argued gamers are the perfect audience for blockchain projects as they inherently understand the value of virtual currencies.
That’s something Derrick Morton, CEO of Seattle-based developer FlowPlay echoes.
“Our entire business is selling virtual goods; that’s over $100 million of lifetime revenue,” he explains.
The company first found success with its teen girl-focused ourWorld web portal back in 2010, but the business really took off in 2012 with the release of its social casino game Vegas World, which now spans web and mobile apps.
There are a lots of trends, but this one is different. It’s going to be a game changer.
“Digital items are worth something. They have real value and people spend hundreds of dollars buying them,” Morton explains.
“And you can create more value if you make them tradeable.”
FlowPlay’s blockchain experiment
But despite his personal enthusiasm, Morton says it wasn’t a simple decision for the 80-strong outfit to venture into blockchain games.
“We’re not a startup, we’re a mature company,” he states.
This caution meant FlowPlay didn’t ICO in early 2018 as it had been considering.
“It felt like the dust hadn’t settled in terms of the regulations,” Morton points out.
Instead, it decided the more sensible approach was to start working with partners to better explore the available opportunities. Initially FlowPlay experimented with the Disney-blessed Dragonchain project, but as it developed, it became more enterprise-focused.
“We realised gaming is really specific so we wanted to find an all-in games project,” Morton says.
Partnering with Alto.io
It was this requirement that saw FlowPlay strike a strategic partnership, and invest into, Singapore outfit Alto.io. It will also advise in terms of the project’s ongoing development.
“I’ve known Gabby [Dizon, Alto.io’s chairman] for a long time and I think they’ve nailed it,” Morton says of Alto.io’s blockchain gaming suite of tools including a wallet, storefront and ability to create collectible blockchain items, which it label’s its “Item First” approach.
“ERC721 is an incredible idea,” Morton enthuses, more generally.
“And it’s especially great for indie developers as they can help build out a network of games, which enables everyone to find a larger audience. That creates a bigger story and means more power.”
Given the problems most game developers are struggling with in terms of discovery and scaling up their audiences, it’s another reason that Morton is so bullish about the future for blockchain games.
“I’m a 25-year games veteran and to me it feels like the start of the browser explosion in the mid-1990s,” he says.
“There are a lots of trends, but this one is different. It’s going to be a game changer.”