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October 5, 2016updated 25 Oct 2016 1:29pm

Digital Catapult makes a play into gaming with blockchain

Based on Ethereum it aims to drive democratised team work.

By James Nunns

Digital Catapult is the latest technology company to throw its hat into the blockchain ring.

The company, which is focused on helping to grow the UK digital economy by working with SMEs, has been collaborating with the UK Games Fund to create a working prototype smart contract for games development.

Designed to help individuals to work outside their circles of trust and create new intellectual property, it uses Ethereum blockchain technology to formalise the process of fractionalising IP ownership and revenue sharing.

Ultimately its purpose is to help drive democratised creative team work, the company said.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult said: “In looking at ways to better support games developers we identified a number of challenges facing those working in the early-stage ecosystem. Company law and practice is too often an inhibition on creative innovation.

“Our work with the UK Games Fund is focused on discovering better ways to serve those in creative teams, providing them with the freedom and tools to develop the games of the future. Our aim is to build an inter-connected ecosystem that supports new approaches and helps to remove barriers.”

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The blockchain technology will enable the ability to keep a register of individual contributions to a project and provide connections between the smart contract and real currency.

So far it has been tested by the UK Games Fund with a group of 20 creative teams that are part of the ‘Tranzfuser’ funding program.

Paul Durrant, Director of UK Games Talent and Finance CIC said, “We’re working to strengthen the UK’s early-stage ecosystem for independent games developers and we see this as a way to both simplify and democratise the creative process. We’re also really keen to build a trusted business system that incentivises creative talent to work outside their circles of trust as that will lead to greater innovation.”

Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund are continuing to look to work with other partners from both the creative and wider digital economy sectors where a smart contract could be applied to similar issues, in the hope that it could further be developed.

A sandpit environment is also going to be created by Digital Catapult in order to facilitate further innovation around the smart contract concept.

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