A Dec. 12 press release revealed that the chip manufacturing giant is partnering with blockchain technology providers Robot Cache and ULTRA — both of whom are working to develop and operate blockchain-based online gaming marketplaces. These marketplaces aim to establish new, secure purchase options and distribution channels for game publishers and users.
The Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) is an organization committed to the adoption of blockchain technologies in gaming by promoting the creation of common standards, facilitating networking and knowledge-sharing and encouraging cooperation and the implementation of best practices.
AMD is reportedly the first major hardware manufacturer to join the Alliance, which counts Enjin token creator Fig and veteran blockchain game developer EverdreamSoft as members.
According to the press release, both marketplaces will integrate AMD’s graphics cards and processor technology for a range of purposes, including their back-end servers and blockchain infrastructure. AMD’s Ryzen processors and Radeon graphic cards have reportedly been designed to provide optimal cryptographic compute performance.
AMD claims its CPU and GPU technology will serve as a powerful motor for compute-intensive blockchain and gaming workloads. The hardware manufacturer will also provide robust security protection to help protect digital content from a range of online attack vectors.
Earlier this year, AMD outstripped market expectations, reporting significant gross margin expansion as its Ryzen and EPYC processor and datacenter GPU revenue more than doubled year-over-year.
Gaming as an entry-point to blockchain
Beyond initiatives such as BGA, household names in the gaming industry have entered into a number of licensing agreements with new blockchain ventures in the space — notably Tetris and Pac Man developer Atari, which has signed contracts with the blockchain gaming startup Animoca Brands.
In Feb. 2018, Atari saw its share price skyrocket by over 60% after announcing that it would itself be investing in cryptocurrency.
World-renowned racing series Formula 1 also lent its brand power to Animoca via a global licensing agreement this March, paving the way for the development of the blockchain-based F1 Delta Time Game. This November, F1 Delta Time hosted an auction of digital collectibles — F1 car-branded non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — each at starting price of 30 Ether (ETH).
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has previously made the case that developments such as NFTs and gaming are potential areas that can help broaden blockchain technology’s appeal beyond financial applications.