The games industry is a broad and far-reaching beast in 2021. While many will associate “gaming” with AAA titles like Call of Duty and FIFA, there has been a fast-growing movement of social games that has enticed new demographics to the sector. One company has had a large hand in that growth and now they have partnered with a big name in crypto to begin the use of blockchain in their work.
Who Is Zynga?
Zynga’s stamp in gaming is significant insofar as it pioneered the “social gaming” area. That is, browser and mobile games, often integrated into social media, that saw millions upon millions of players. What is most interesting about Zynga to my eyes is the sort of players they attracted; everyone from traditional gamers through to older demographics with no gaming background.
While some may scoff at titles like Farmville being used in the same sentence as “gamers”, it would be foolish not to appreciate the impact Zynga has had. Not only have these games fleshed out our growing industry into unchartered waters, but one could argue they have paved the way for modern Play to Earn (P2E) games.
You needn’t be an industry expert to see the clear parallels between social games, the likes of which Zynga has been producing for years, and some of the most successful P2E games in 2021, like Farmers World. In fact, when I have spoken about P2E games, I have leaned on Farmville as the perfect hypothetical use-case.
Blockchain technology feels almost tailormade for the brand of games that Zynga produces, and so their adoption of it is not unexpected. Our positivity towards their adoption ought to be no surprise either as my interest in, and of, support in Gala Games was initially born from it being co-founded by Eric Schiermeyer, a co-founder of Zynga.
Who Is Forte?
Forte is a fascinating name in blockchain and one I have been following carefully. They have raised over $900m in investment this year alone as they aim to build a comprehensive, end-to-end blockchain platform for games publishers. The team is a veritable feast of games industry veterans and they are in and around most investment news this year.
“We are proud to partner with Zynga as we look to advance the blockchain gaming ecosystem in a responsible way that will engage and benefit gamers, and provide them more economic opportunities. We have built the Forte platform with best-in-class interoperability mechanics and compliance measures in our continuing efforts to bring safety, stability and trust to both developers and players … Zynga is a renowned leader within mobile games; we are honored to be a part of this partnership to further our goal of promoting and creating a transformative experience where players can unlock and capture new forms of value and property rights within the games they enjoy.” — Josh Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of Forte
Why This Matters
There are so many partnerships occurring in the world of crypto that you could be forgiven for overlooking most of them. So, why does this one matter? This is a quiet sort of announcement that may not draw the eyes of the gaming enthusiasts, but for the investor and industry types, this is news worth following. Zynga championed its own genre of gaming utilizing Web2, but like many of the contemporary digital titans, they have decisions to make about Web3.
Early integration of blockchain technology from large institutions has been met with backlash, which paired with the lack of regulations, has many dragging their feet. This reaction is simply par for the course when it comes to new technology and innovation and a slow uptake could negatively affect the reluctant companies’ role and influence in Web3.
Zynga has shown it can consistently create moreish, low-barrier of entry games with satisfying game loops; the exact objective of the new Play to Earn genre. And Forte is the perfect candidate to facilitate Zynga’s blockchain adoption.