InXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo has unveiled a new, blockchain-based digital distribution platform called Robot Cache that will enable gamers to buy games, just as they do on any other platform, and then resell them when they're finished. Robot Cache will also have its own cryptocurrency called Iron, earned through mining or game resales, that can be used for games purchases or cashed out.
"Just a handful of companies dominate the multi-billion dollar digital download PC video games market," Robot Cache CEO Lee Jacobson said. "Robot Cache plans to revolutionize the industry by launching the first-ever workable decentralized video game marketplace that benefits both the creators of video games and gamers. All of this is accomplished by expertly leveraging the power, flexibility, safety, and transparency of blockchain technology."
It may sound like a good start to a "buzzword bingo" card, but the use of blockchain technology is specifically what enables the resale of digital games, according to Robot Cache. "The blockchain is the most secure technology that we know of for insuring there are not duplicate copies of items and that faith is one of the key factors to giving the publishers confidence in trusting a service that allows for a resale of a game," a Robot Cache rep explained. "In addition, it allows for a lower cost of distribution which gives us extra margin to share with gamers for a resale."
Robot Cache promises big benefits for game developers and publishers, too. Both Steam and GOG take a 30 percent cut of games sold through their platforms, but game makers will keep 95 percent of revenues earned through new game sales on Robot Cache. They will also take in 70 percent of revenues earned from the resale of used games, addressing a long-standing beef that publishers have with pre-owned game sales at retail outlets, while 25 percent will go to the former owner in the form of Iron.
"Allowing creators to keep 95 percent of new game sales, and 70 percent on game resales, provides developers, like us at inXile, with a strong financial stream," Fargo said. "This gives us more resources to create new content and new IPs for fans."
Robot Cache is slated to launch in the second quarter of this year, and promises to be a "full-featured and live platform" when it goes live. "Robot Cache expects to offer the latest and greatest video games on the Robot Cache platform for gamers’ immediate enjoyment," the company said.
Will it work? There's plenty to be skeptical about, especially when it comes to the embrace of a new technology that a lot of people don't have a firm grasp on, but it's at least worth following along with to see what's cooking when it goes live. Until then, you can find out more about what's going on at robotcache.com.