Let’s focus on one of the most fundamental features that Ultra has– our developer center. We’ll explore the major pain points facing video game developers and explain how the Ultra platform is addressing them. A robust developer back-end combined with blockchain technology makes it possible for developers to have an unprecedented level of control over their digital distribution options.
Through Ultra’s UI, developers are able to upload their game builds and create the rules through which these games are sold and distributed. The flexibility of this system allows developers to distribute their games in the most effective way for their communities, their companies, and their long-term growth.
For Ultra, attracting game developers has been mission critical from day one, with a fully dedicated team going to games shows around the world for the past several years, including E3, ChinaJoy, GDC, Gamescom, etc. Over 150 game developers have signed up to try our beta.
The development focus of our Developer Center revolves around a simple ethos: Without games, there are no players…
To understand Ultra’s decisions in building this platform, it’s key to understand the pain points developers face in the current digital distribution landscape. Long wait times until revenue is remitted back to the developer, poor discoverability making it difficult to gain players, limited options for monetization and undercutting of games due to unscrupulous reselling all create a difficult landscape for selling games.
Publishers and developers continue to look for solutions to these issues, but all of the current options have their own limitations. At Ultra, we realized early on that transparency and having a seamless transaction process helps ameliorate a large number of these problems and allow for some impressive new features and revenue models as well. So let’s jump into some of these issues and how Ultra addresses them.
First, let’s look at some of the financial issues. Currently, on all of the digital distribution platforms (GOG, Steam, Epic Store, Kongregate, etc.) developers have a necessary waiting period to get paid, as traditional accounting mechanisms require a review process prior to releasing funds. Often, to ensure the success of a good title, early marketing budgets must match or exceed development budgets. Combine that with platform fees and development costs, making money from games quickly becomes a daunting task. If the platform a developer chooses isn’t able to help bring players to their titles, it quickly creates an unsustainable ecosystem. Developers are limited in their publishing options, and there has been little innovation in creating new revenue streams that have been introduced in years.
The reselling of keys on the secondary market poses another challenge for developers. Resellers often take advantage of things like regional price differences, sales or quantity-based purchase incentives to buy a plethora of keys at a discounted price. They then dump the keys on the secondary market and make a profit resulting in the developer being unable to sell the same game at a profitable margin. Because we’re gamers and game developers, we’ve been thinking about how to solve these types of problems. We think that it boils down to the underlying technologies.
The key to our platform, is that each and every game on Ultra can be tokenized via a friendly front-end interface.
Developers can customize various parameters like whether or not to allow reselling and secondary market trading of their game. Developers also have the power to decide when to allow resell, for how long, and how much of the revenue share they want to receive. In the image below you can see some examples of those customization options.
On the backend, Ultra converts each set of pre-defined parameters into a unique tokenized package which is then published for sale. Where and how the game is sold is dictated by which parameters the developer has set. Developers will even have control of which regions they sell which builds in. They can even control how many copies of their game they want to sell. Being able to limit the maximum amount of games or DLCs sold in a given area and given time frame opens up completely new game types and new revenue opportunities for developers as players rush to be part of a limited release.
Ultra Games isn’t only about finding new ways to monetize but also about making existing systems cheaper and faster. This allows us to provide a larger revenue share to developers and to do so at the time of sale. The auditability and transparency of transactions enable developers to easily prove payments, track purchases, monitor the flow of assets, easily export sales and tax reports, and much more.
However, one of the biggest advantages to blockchain technology is what we call programmable money. Showcased below, programmable money is what allows for the revenue share feature which will allow developers to instantly split revenue with various parties.
Those parties could include a publisher, an influencer, a marketing agency, an IP holder, a localization firm, etc. Currently this is limited to developers and publishers, but as a part of our future feature development, those other external actors will also be able to instantly split their revenue with the partners they have contracts with. Contract negotiation and signing will also be handled directly on the platform, heavily reducing the manual workload of payments and speeding up business deals. Each transaction will create an instant payment to developers and the parties they split revenue with.
These same control mechanisms allow developers to transparently set clear conditions for events like beta testing, versions, and DLCs. This will mostly include details about who gets access to those games and can be based on multiple variables.
Ultra offers many advantages for players as well. Players have the opportunity to explore new types of games and interesting concepts within existing game genres which, without blockchain technologies would be difficult to implement. In addition, the transparency of the asset flow provides clear advantages in solving the problems previously mentioned about buying on secondary markets, but on the player side. Players can now easily prove in case of dispute that they made the necessary payment and that the game was not received.
There has been much said about gaming and the advantages of using blockchain technologies, but little real world adoption. So, what makes Ultra different?
From day one, Ultra has been focused on creating solutions that players and developers in the games distribution space have been looking for. We know what pieces are missing to make our solution successful because of our deeply embedded culture in the gaming industry.
For example, we have a partnership with one of the largest companies in the PC games space in China. They will operate Ultra there, providing even more players and turn-key solutions for developers interested in publishing in that region. Although we can’t announce this partnership yet, we want to highlight it because it’s part of what makes Ultra so attractive to game devs. It’s also central to understanding how Ultra is fundamentally designed. We are not just building a game distribution platform, we’re building a technology that companies around the world will be able to use to fit their own needs and target their own market.
We’re excited to evangelize blockchain capabilities and the monetization opportunities which can help game developers generate new revenue streams. To sign up for developer closed beta, click here (https://ultra.io/sign-up-for-closed-beta/) or Join us on Telegram!
Ultra is a unique blockchain-based technology stack which is reinventing the gaming economy by enabling real ownership of digital assets, and creating new opportunities for fun, community, and profit.
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