Game developer has global ambition
Shelter-in-place and remote working have not hindered a Bermudian-based computer gaming studio that aims to secure a slice of the sector’s global marketplace.
And with that in mind, Bermuda Island Games has teamed up with a Canadian company to explore ways to incorporate in-game digital assets into games using blockchain technology.
Bermuda Island Games created the educational video game The Legend of Sir George Somers, and also the Hidden Gems of Bermuda tourism app. It won the BEDC’s Rocket Pitch in 2018, and was a winner at the 2019 TechAwards.
The video game development company has announced a partnership with Enterprise Gaming Canada Inc, which will look at ways of using EGI’s proprietary in-game blockchain technology.
Adrian Lodge, chief executive officer of Bermuda Island Games, said: “Our EGI partnership is perfectly timed, as they give us the capability to explore adding digital collectables and the facility for exchange among our gamers to our upcoming games through their technology. Our long-term goal is to continue to expand the video game development industry in Bermuda, and we see the exploration of this technology as core to achieving that goal.”
Speaking to The Royal Gazette, Mr Lodge explained that digital collectables would be something that can be traded between games; a collectable from one game would be worth something in a different game.
"It adds an extra layer that can be between multiple games, so it’s not just playing in one game and that’s as far as it goes,“ he said. ”It depends on each game itself how valuable each thing is. It is up to the developer to decide.“
It is the first time Bermuda Island Games has looked at bridging fintech with video gaming. It views blockchain technology and the potential benefits it brings through immutable records as likely to increase the attractiveness of its games to players.
There is no date for when digital collectibles will feature in one of its games. Mr Lodge said: “What we are working on is putting out a concept for the next game that will feature [collectibles], but that won’t be until ’21, ’22.”
He believes the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in more people playing computer games “because they were restricted to their homes when we had shelter-in-place, that was a huge amount of time they had not had before. Now certain countries are going into second lockdowns, and with the recent PlayStation Xbox that just launched there’s going to be even more [gaming]. It is definitely on an upwards trend”.
Mr Lodge said: "The World Health Organisation did a ’180’ and said that games are actually good for you under these circumstances.“
His goal is to get Bermuda into the computer gaming global market space, “because currently we don’t have anything even close to touching that”.
Mr Lodge said the next game from Bermuda Island Games will be sold globally, “but we are still going to keep it Bermudian-themed, because that’s the hook that separates us from the rest”.
Meanwhile, in a statement regarding the partnership with Bermuda Island Gaming, Pascal Leblanc, CEO of Enterprise Gaming Canada, said: “Blockchain has been a boon to many industries that lacked accountability and transparency. Its unique capacity to bring authenticity to digital objects has been proven through projects such as bitcoin, ethereum and cryptokitties.
“Blockchain solves some of the major problems in the gaming industry today when it comes to the idea of digital in-game valuables and exchange. We’re committed to helping our adoption partners, such as BIG, grow as stand-alone studios while becoming front runners in this upcoming era of gaming.”
Bermuda Island Games has a website at https://www.bermudaislandgames.com/