Technology 3 min read

Kabam Founder Starts Forte, a Blockchain Gaming Startup

Though still in incubation, the gaming startup Forte has experienced leadership in Kevin Chou from Kabam -- known for mobile games. The startup seeks to leverage blockchain technology to improve free-to-play, microtransaction, and in-game economies for end users.

Kevin Chou, considered an eSports and mobile game veteran, wants to popularize blockchain in gaming. | LinkedIn

Kevin Chou, considered an eSports and mobile game veteran, wants to popularize blockchain in gaming. | LinkedIn

Many Edgy readers will know of blockchain technology, largely due to the rise of cryptocurrency.

Whether it was the Tesla owner who turned his car into a Bitcoin machine or how a top hedge fund uses the tech to keep their employees honest, the difficult-to-decrypt technology offers many uses.

Kevin Chou, the founder of the interactive entertainment company Kabam, wants to leverage the tech to make video games now. Well….kind of.

A Foundation of Success in Mobile Games

Chou isn’t alone in this endeavor, however; peers from other companies join him including:

  • Former Unity and GarageGames GM Brett Seyler
  • Tech investor Mahesh Vellanki
  • Kabam peers Weiwei Geng and Kent Wakeford

Kabam, for those who may not know, is a multi-million USD free-to-play mobile gaming company. It has hundreds of employees and its clients include movie studios like Universal and Disney. 2015 estimates of one of their games (Marvel: Contest of Champions) said the game generated more than $100-million in revenue in just about seven months.

It may not rival Fortnite in its meteoric rise to profit, but its long-term success is profit enough.

image of a person wearing headphones in from a blurry tv screen with a video game on it for article Kabam Founder Starts Forte, a Blockchain Gaming Startup
In-game trading generally doesn’t happen with things such as character skins due to profit loss for game publishers.

Blockchain-Based Peer-to-Peer Economies

The focus won’t necessarily be on development and how blockchain affects it. The biggest focus will be on a game’s overall economy.

As some gamers and others have expressed, the free-to-play game and microtransaction model doesn’t work for everyone. Chou even acknowledges this in a GamesBeat interview.

“…while we got hundreds of millions of people to play, a very small percentage paid. So the incentives for the game developer were very hard to align with the incentives for the players. It devolved into ‘pay to win’” schemes that left many users frustrated.”

This led Chou to look to blockchain technology to attempt to amend the issues inherent with microtransactions. He believes that the immutable transparency of the tech can “…bring people who made game engines and games before to using blockchain for peer-to-peer economies within games.”

This means that, though users could go through “normal” channels to buy something from an in-game store, they might also be able to trade with each other in ways outside the publisher’s purview.

Though the initial goal is to speed up the adoption of the tech in games, Chou also says that Forte is doing work to “demystify” blockchain for game developers.

Read More: Minds Uses Blockchain And A Decentralized Platform To Revolutionize Social Media

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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