Ultra is a blockchain in development that seeks to serve as a distributor for indie games. It uses EOSIO architecture, the same software that EOS does.
This article will explain what Ultra is, and what makes it different from other blockchains or game distribution platforms.
The gaming distribution problem
There are many game distribution platforms today.
For mobile devices, app stores such as the Google Play and Amazon App Store dominate. Indie game developers must get their products placed in these stores or gamers will not know that they exist.
For PCs, this role is mostly filled by Steam and Epic Games. But the result is the same: players of PC games will usually not know about an indie game if it is not on Steam or Epic.
Game developers must pay these distributors a portion of their sales, and this portion is often as large as 30%. But despite paying this fee, many high-quality indie distributors still have a difficult time getting attention.
This is the problem that Ultra hopes to solve.
Ultra uses a version of the EOSIO blockchain architecture. This is the same software used to create the EOS blockchain.
Blockchains that use EOSIO rely on a DPoS consensus protocol. As a result, players and developers do not need to pay a “gas fee” each time they initiate a transaction on these platforms.
Instead, developers and players only need to stake enough tokens to have adequate RAM for processing transactions.
Problems with EOS
EOS has been around for a while, and there are many popular blockchain games that run on it. However, most of these games are popular only in East Asian markets.
The problem EOS game developers have run into is that gamers in the West tend to be unhappy with the idea of forking over $100 or more to buy tokens to allocate RAM. As a result, these games have failed to gain traction amongst these players.
Ultra seeks to solve this problem by incorporating those aspects of EOSIO that help to ensure scalability while also rejecting those aspects that turn off potential players.
Differences between Ultra and EOS
The developer of Ultra has provided a list of differences between Ultra and EOS. Here is an explanation of each item in the list.
Free CPU and NET transactions
In EOS, resources are allocated to users based on how many tokens they stake. This means that developers and players must make a large investment in the platform before they can begin to transact.
In Ultra, 60% of resources are distributed in an egalitarian way. Any user with an account can get an equal amount of resources from this pool.
The remaining 40% of resources are distributed to users based on tokens staked. This means that if the network is especially congested, a large developer with high stake can still push its transactions through.
But under normal circumstances, ordinary users will not have to buy tokens to process transactions.
DPoS systems have always had a difficult time onboarding users. Usually, this problem is solved by a large stakeholder offering to sell a small amount of tokens to prospective users.
For example, the Steem blockchain solves this problem by having Steemit.com sign users up at a cost of $5 per account.
Even this small price is probably too high for most gamers. So to deal with this issue, the developer of Ultra is offering to give away free accounts to anyone with a unique phone number.
The cost of creating a new phone number should be enough to deter spammers without charging ordinary users $5 or more just to sign up for an account.
EOS has been plagued with allegations of corruption. To prevent this, Ultra will have no voting for Witnesses. Instead, nodes will be handpicked by the developer itself.
Some critics may argue that this is a centralized system. But the developer of Ultra believes it is necessary to keep the platform from being taken over by anyone who could act against the interest of players and developers.
Unlike EOS, Ultra will include a “token factory” at launch that will make it easy for developers to create NFTs.
Ultra will include an interface that allows developers to make the games themselves into non-fungible tokens. After a period of time, initial players will be able to sell these tokens, granting a license to the buyer to play the game.
When a buyer purchases a game from a previous player, he will also own the account associated with it. This will allow players to buy games, level up characters, then sell the games for higher prices than they paid.
Advertising and marketing
The ultimate goal of Ultra is to facilitate the marketing and advertising of games, similar to the way Steam and Google Play does – but without the high cost of these platforms.
To serve this goal, Ultra will include ways for players to monetize referrals and reviews, and it will provide faster payouts to developers.
The developer of Ultra hopes the savings blockchain provides will help to usher in a more beneficial relationship between distributors and developers.
It’s too soon to know how successful Ultra will be. But they certainly have ambitious plans. We’ll keep an eye on this platform as it is further developed. And if we can get access to the closed beta when it launches, we’ll let you know what further information we find.