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Gaming-centric Web3 startup and NFT marketplace Fractal has announced Fractal Studio, or FStudio, a three-part product the firm says will enable video game developers to more easily add crypto integrations into their titles without having to code.
FStudio gives developers the ability to “build,” “acquire,” and “monetize” their projects, according to a statement. Developers will be able to turn in-game assets into NFTs with FStudio, enable credit card payments for in-game crypto items, and create their own in-game NFT shops.
“It’s been about 18 months since we started the company, and I feel like in that time we’ve been through several decades of time in crypto,” Fractal co-founder Justin Kan, who previously co-founded streaming platform Twitch, told Decrypt in an interview.
FStudio users can also add their games to Fractal’s desktop game launcher for app-based games, which already boasts roughly 150 titles. Browser-based games can appear on the Fractal web platform, meanwhile.
“Fractal is kind of like an arcade," Kan said. "We’re creating this space where all these games come, and the players can try them out."
Over time, Fractal has evolved from being known as a game-focused NFT marketplace on Solana and other networks to being both a Web3 game platform and launcher for users. Now with FStudio, it’s also dipping its toes into developer software.
FStudio will allow game developers to host their own tournaments with prize money, create events, conduct giveaways and give players rewards, and create a “crafting” mechanic that allows gamers to earn prizes.
“Asking players to become investors is not a winning strategy for most,” Fractal wrote in a blog post announcement, regarding its approach to Web3 gaming.
Instead, Fractal is offering a Web2-friendly approach it believes will appeal to mainstream gamers and game developers alike—and build an organic game economy instead of one that attracts “flippers.”
Play-to-earn gaming saw a sudden rise in popularity that peaked in 2021 with NFT games like Axie Infinity, but the model has yet to see mainstream adoption following the collapse of that game's economy. Since then, many crypto gaming proponents have advocated instead for games that offer optional crypto elements and put gameplay above all.
“It has to go back to people having fun,” Kan said. “I think we kind of tried the experiment where it was like, ‘Can we create an economy where everyone’s playing for money?’ And I don’t think that works in the long term. It’s not durable.”
“The games have to be fun experiences to compete with Web2 games,” he added.