Singapore-based Layer-1 blockchain Zilliqa (ZIL) announced it will launch a dual-purpose video game console and mining rig in early 2023.
Zilliqa's new game console will launch with two games developed in-house, a web3 wallet, and mining utilities. The idea is that gamers will use the console to earn ZIL while they play. After Steam banned NFT games, Zilliqa sees an opportunity in the space. According to Zilliqa's Head of Gaming Technology Valentin Cobelea, Zilliqa has “no doubt that we can become the Steam equivalent for Web3 games.”
From the way Zilliqa is talking about its new console's economics, I'm not expecting gamers to earn much ZIL for their efforts. Players will earn ZIL by completing in-game challenges and tasks, but Zilliqa isn't creating career opportunities in Asia:
“We don’t want to compare ourselves to the Axie approach but instead compare ourselves to the Counter-Strikes of the world, where the focus is on the gaming experience and not the earning part.”
The console's specs are unknown, but Zilliqa shared an image of the console's ports. Zilliqa also hasn't disclosed the price of its new console. Given the relatively low production volume of a system like this, I'm expecting the first generation Zilliqa console to have poor specs and a high price tag.
It's a little surprising to see Zilliqa, of all blockchains, planning to release a game console. Once known mostly as an Ethereum multimine token, Zilliqa has rebranded itself as a web3 services provider. Metapolis, Zilliqa's “Metaverse as a Service” product, is expected to launch in Q1 2023. Metapolis will allow users to build their own metaverses operating on the Zilliqa blockchain. For now, it's unclear how the new game console ties into Metapolis.
Zilliqa also isn't a leading blockchain in gaming or web3, with limited partnerships and a market cap of just $439M. How is Zilliqa expecting to draw developers into its gaming ecosystem without offering major incentives?