Yet Another “Game Store”
If you’re subscribed to AMD’s marketing materials, you may have received a notice about access to the open beta of Robot Cache. AMD’s membership in the Blockchain Game Alliance appears to be driving this promotion. The “currency” utilized within the Robot Cache universe is IRON and it is NOT a cryptocurrency that will hold any value outside of the Robot Cache store. A unique feature that Robot Cache appears to be bringing to the table is the ability to resell games through the platform. The interesting use of blockchain for in-store currency and resale transactions does offer something different when looking at established competitors such as Steam, GOG, Origin, Uplay, Fanatical, GamersGate, the PlayStation Store, the Microsoft Store and the Epic Game Store.
Although the revenue sharing model within Robot Cache’s universe does provide a benefit to developers and publishers, we have to wonder how many people may jump into yet another ecosystem. There is a unique feed at the bottom of their desktop client that provides a status of what users are doing. A Top 25 miners list, recent activities which may include playing the free game Trapped that is currently being given away at no cost, and the unlocking of “cores” or bonus packs shows some level of adoption in these very early days for the program.
Within the promotional period, the stacked mining bonuses may enable early adopters to earn somewhere between the equivalent of $10-$20 USD worth of store value in the system. The main caveat here involves the inability to sell games which may be obtained through the mining bonus program. In the time it took to write this, we’ve already mined some IRON. Although the founding ideas behind the service and store are novel, there are better uses for donating available CPU and GPU compute cycles such as Folding@Home.
While we wish Robot Cache luck in their competitive journey, they’ve entered a very territorial market where customers have established considerable loyalty to their store or ecosystem of choice. We don’t expect Robot Cache to have “Fortnite levels” of money available to snag some exclusives for their store. It is unclear if they’d be willing to partially pivot and offer options to integrate or partner with competitors. Only time will tell whether this latest experiment and potential avenue for fragmentation achieves some level of success.