While other online game distributors like GOG, Humble Bundle and first-party Publisher stores exist, Steam has long dominated video game sales on the PC platform. Enter Robot Cache, a new store front that aims to offer some big changes to the scene, allowing players to sell their digital games.
Robot Cache was unveiled by Brian Fargo, a veteran video game executive best known for founding Interplay Productions (Fallout 1) and InXile Entertainment (Wasteland 2). The service is meant to help publishers, developers and gamers alike through the use of blockchain technology. This helps to reduce the fees publishers and developers pay by around 80 percent, as well as allowing gamers to sell their games on similar to console users.
“The blockchain is the most secure technology that we know of for ensuring 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.”
The new platform also aims to respect publishers and developers. Where Steam and GOG take 30 percent or more for a cut of the games sold through their platforms, Robot Cache allows publishers and developers to set their own sale and resale value with a limit of 95 percent for the former and 70 percent for the latter. The platform itself will only take 5 percent from initial sales and resales through its platform, with the remaining 25 percent of resales going in the pocket of the gamer in the form of its own cryptocurrency, Iron.
Iron can be used to buy more games and software on Robot Cache and while it can be obtained through the resale of games, players can also opt-in to mine using the power of their PC. It has also been revealed that Iron will be awarded when community milestones are reached, and incorporated into a rewards program.
With Iron being based on popular cryptocurrency Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard and blockchain being a largely untested platform in terms of the scope that Robot Cache’s scale is aiming for, there is plenty to be sceptical about. It will work similar to that of pre-established cryptocurrency, however, in that players will be able to cash out. A vendor has not yet been chosen but will be revealed before its full-fledged release in Q2 2018.
KitGuru Says: There might be plenty to be sceptical about but it seems like a relatively fair system for all parties involved, and solves the issues of the digital video game platform alongside the reselling of video games hurting creators. Unfortunately, it might also suffer from the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. What do you think of Robot Cache? Is it something you will opt-in to?