It seems as if every big studio, publisher, or peripheral company in the gaming industry has started making moves toward Web3, even if they are not public with that information yet. What’s more interesting still is that some of the overlords of the modern world are also moving in that direction. Most recently, Google has become a network validator for Axie Infinity’s Ronin chain.
Sky Mavis, creators of Axie Infinity, the game that put Play-to-Earn (P2E) on the map, had moved the game to the Ronin sidechain on Ethereum to overcome the myriad issues games experience on the network. Ronin, however, experienced a rather high-stakes catastrophe when the bridge between it and the Katana DEX was exploited for around $600m. In Sky Mavis’s defense, they threw everything at the problem — as they should — including a $1m bug bounty.
One of the heavy criticisms of the Ronin network in the wake of the hack was to do with the validator nodes. The Ronin chain used 9 validator nodes and only 5 were needed to “agree” on a transaction to sign off on it. This has been where Sky Mavis has put a lot of effort: they have increased the number of validator nodes to 18, increased the number of signatures required, and drafted in some big names to run different nodes and be network validators. Two familiar network validators to those in Web3 are Animoca Brands and DappRadar for example. Now, they have made Google Cloud one of the 18.
Sky Mavis is a strong example of how the cloud can enable blockchain technologies to yield innovation and value creation for individuals […] Alongside Searce as our implementation partner, we look forward to working with Sky Mavis to accelerate its product roadmap and grow the Ronin network with secure infrastructure as its core. We’re also excited about the possibilities that could emerge from this latest collaboration – be it entertaining experiences for users or new business models in games distribution.
— Ruma Balasubramanian, Managing Director of Google Cloud Southeast Asia, via Decrypt
Although Google Cloud is number 18, the aspiration is said to be 21 validator nodes in total. It is also worth noting that the increasing of validator nodes and signatures required isn’t a complete solution, nor does Sky Mavis see it as one. Blockchain is a new enough technology that many problems are found with shins, unfortunately, and Sky Mavis’s last proverbial table tried to take both their legs, let alone a shin.