In the past I have written about NFTs in general, as well as NFTs for gaming. In those instances, I have discussed how NFTs are being used in gaming and how I would like NFTs to be used for more impactful things, not just “owning the bored ape JPG”. Personally, as I’ve said in the past, what I want is for blockchain technology to be used for more. Today I am bringing you an interesting proposition that I will be using personally, and I would like to see become more widely used in the future: software distribution via blockchain.
A lot of people in the gaming industry dislike the NFTs and they are very vocal about it. I don’t agree with the industry sentiment on NFTs. For an industry that cares so much about progress and technology advancement, they are not open to any form of discussion on NFTs for various reasons. Some of those are valid, like how NFTs could be exploited to get more money from consumers like what certain developers (like Blizzard or EA) have done with loot boxes and in-game marketplaces. However, I don’t see how others can be valid criticisms. For example, they always mention how blockchain transactions need to consume a lot of electricity (which is only half-true since NFTs use POS transactions, which are more efficient than POW transactions used by Bitcoin), while at the same time not being at all bothered by the fact content-creation hardware and gaming PC/consoles manufacture relies on mining different materials to make circuits and petroleum to make plastic cases, which cause a lot of pollution, nor too bothered by the fact disposal of electronics has a big environmental impact and how “electronics recycling” is just a big scam and a big lie (oh, and content-creation workstations and gaming PCs also consume a lot of electricity).
If you’ve read my articles about blockchain in the past, you know I am all for crypto and that technology, because it is decentralized. I am also big into the idea of my company having its own distribution platform (I’ll get into that in a future article, because that’s something I’m actually working on right now), and being able to distribute games in the blockchain is something that fits into that plan perfectly.
Valist is a company that does just that. They have this platform where you can use blockchain technology to make software sales and then distribute the software. Software purchases are handled with cryptocurrencies and the software licenses are handled through NFTs.
Making a software for blockchain distribution is the same as making software for regular distribution, and you can distribute pretty much any kind of software. I am curious about distributing other kind of content, though. For example, what if you made a film and you want to distribute it using Valist’s services, could you do it? How does that work? Does this distribution method mean you actually own the video file or is it more like current distribution platforms (Apple, Steam) where you just own the “access” to the movie but you lose your movie as soon as the service goes down?
Licensing also uses blockchain technology, this time in the form of an NFT. I am all about protecting your product and verifying only real purchases can run your product. However, I in these past years I’ve become an enemy of DRM, because DRM only punishes actual purchasers. For example, Denuvo, “the world’s most advanced and super-best of the-bestest DRM of the world” makes your game run like crap, because it takes system resources that could instead be used to run the game. Steam also has its own form of DRM so you can’t run a game unless you are authorized by the Steam algorithm. The problem comes if these DRM systems cease to exist. We know for a fact you won’t be able to download the games you purchased (meaning your games were just glorified rentals), but I also want to know if you’re going to be able to run your game if Steam ceases to exist. Games have already turned into no more than useless bits on your HDD because a developer decided to turn off their servers (which were meant for authentication and such).
The reason I mention this is because, at least for the example I saw, Valist software distribution also does an internet-check before you can run your game. In this case, that pretty much means you won’t be able to run your game if you don’t have internet access, and to me that’s a problem if the game is a single-player game (the only type of game we make at my company). However, I am sure there must be an alternate way to check software ownership using the blockchain, that doesn’t require users to be connected to the internet to play a single-player game.
Personally, I am very interested in this technology and how it can be used for software distribution, and I am glad NFTs are going to be used for something useful, rather than just being used to distribute page drawings.
Learn more about Valist: https://www.valist.io/
Watch Valist’s presentation: https://youtu.be/avdbyimijmg