XPLA Welcomes Ubisoft to Its Blockchain Network as a New Validator

The blockchain gaming sector is certainly picking up some steam as Ubisoft becomes a validator node on the XPLA blockchain and MapleStory expands its gaming experience to the Avalanche blockchain.

Ubisoft has become a node validator on the XPLA blockchain. This collaboration is expected to boost the network's security and governance. Meanwhile, Nexon's MapleStory is expanding into the Avalanche blockchain with "MapleStory N,". The announcement of "Open," a third-person battle royale game set in the Readyverse is also creating a lot of excitement in the blockchain gaming space. Coinbase's introduction of Base, a layer-2 solution built on Ethereum, also makes it easy to develop these games as it aims to simplify dApp development and usage.

Ubisoft now a Validator on XPLA Blockchain

Ubisoft, a very well known French gaming company known for blockbuster franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, recently made headlines by joining the XPLA blockchain as a node validator. As a node validator on the XPLA network, Ubisoft will not only contribute to the network's security and stability but will also actively participate in governance proposal decisions.

XPLA, a Tendermint-based, layer-1, open-source blockchain, was designed to ease the transition from traditional Web2 to Web3 gaming. Launched in August of 2022, XPLA plans to empower players with a "play to own" gaming paradigm, hosting popular games like The Walking Dead: All-Stars and Summoners War: Chronicles. The addition of Ubisoft to its list of validators is seen as a major growth milestone for XPLA that could enhance the network's robustness and appeal to other potential validators.

Ubisoft's foray into the blockchain space is certainly not new. The company has been a pioneer among gaming firms when it comes to embracing Web3 and blockchain technologies. Some of Ubisoft’s main focuses are on player agency and ownership as the broader industry shifts towards decentralized gaming assets and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Despite the growing state of blockchain gaming and its yet-to-be-fulfilled promises, the sector is witnessing gradual growth, fueled by the entrance of major gaming companies like Ubisoft and Square-Enix.

MapleStory Expands its Gaming Experience to the Avalanche Blockchain

MapleStory, the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by the South Korean game publisher Nexon, is set to expand its horizon to the Avalanche blockchain. "MapleStory N," a blockchain-powered version of the game, was announced on Mar. 11, and aims to improve the gaming experience by offering new content-generating opportunities to its users. This initiative will leverage an Avalanche subnet, eliminating the need for a separate implementation partner and ensuring a more convenient, supportive, and swift transition to the market.

MapleStory N is anticipated to launch later in 2024, and promises a stable and complete blockchain ecosystem through its partnership with Ava Labs. This collaboration is expected to boost the game's competitiveness quite a bit by enabling various decentralized applications (dApps) alongside the new blockchain venture.

Since its inception in 2003, MapleStory has gathered more than 180 million registered players, particularly gaining immense popularity in the Asia-Pacific region. The game's move towards Web3, called MapleStory Universe, incorporates non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to elevate in-game experiences.

This isn't Nexon's first rodeo when it comes to blockchain technology. On Mar. 22, 2023, the company announced its collaboration with Polygon, an Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution, to create a Polygon supernet. This initiative integrated blockchain technology in MapleStory, allowing players to earn and collect in-game items as NFTs.

The decision to adopt the Avalanche network for MapleStory N comes at a time when Avalanche is attracting a lot of interest and partnerships from traditional financial giants like JPMorgan and Citi. These collaborations are more focused on real-world asset tokenization and new technological deployments on the Avalanche blockchain.

Futurverse and Readyverse Debut 'Open’

Futurverse Studios and Readyverse, co-founded by "Ready Player One" author Ernest Cline and producer Dan Farah, recently launched the trailer for "Open," a new third-person battle royale video game. Open will be the first major gaming title for the Readyverse, integrating multiple genres, IPs, and environments through web3 technology. The game promises a genre-defining AAA metaverse gaming experience, offering interoperability across various beloved IPs in numerous formats, from simple skins to immersive experiences.

Readyverse will feature iconic assets and gameplay from the "Ready Player One" franchise, as well as Warner Bros’ IPs. Although it is pretty short, the trailer included a Nintendo Entertainment System, an Atari 2600, a DMC Delorean from "Back to The Future," and a giant robot. Although no gameplay has been shown just yet, the game was announced as a third-person battle royale, and is expected to offer gameplay similar to popular shooters like "Call of Duty: Warzone" and "Fortnite."

"Open" plans to embody the principles of an open metaverse, placing extra emphasis on security, decentralization, and digital ownership, potentially allowing players to transfer characters and assets between environments

Coinbase's L2 Solution

Creating blockchain games is also becoming easier with the introduction of innovations like Base. Last year, Coinbase announced the launch of Base, an Ethereum-centric layer-2 (L2) blockchain. This was a pivot from the company's traditional focus on trading and exchange services towards improving utility for developers and users in the decentralized application (dApp) space.

Jesse Pollak, the lead for Base and head of protocols at Coinbase, pointed out the current challenges developers face in creating dApps and users in accessing these applications on-chain. Base is Coinbase's endeavor to simplify the development and usage of dApps.

Constructed on the MIT-licensed OP Stack in collaboration with Optimism, a layer-2 blockchain similarly focused on Ethereum, Base is destined to be a "secure, low-cost, developer-friendly" platform. This initiative is intended to provide a robust foundation that supports developers and users alike, enabling easier access to decentralized services. To achieve this, Coinbase is dedicated to making Base as affordable, secure, and decentralized as possible. The company firmly believes that decentralization is crucial for fostering an open ecosystem that can accommodate a wide range of participants.

Base will be integrated across Coinbase’s suite of services, including its exchange, wallet, NFT marketplace, and developer products. Additionally, it is designed to be interoperable with other blockchains beyond Ethereum.