June 16, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Solana Labs launches GameShift beta to simplify blockchain game development

3 min read
Solana Labs launches GameShift beta to simplify blockchain game development



Solana Labs has launched a beta for GameShift, a platform that makes it easier for game developers to create blockchain games.

The platform makes it easier to create seamless Web3 experiences in games on the Solana network. With GameShift, developers can now easily build Web3-powered gaming experiences using a single, user-friendly application programming interface (API) without the need for extensive blockchain coding or knowledge.

Game development on the blockchain has historically been challenging, requiring developers to possess in-depth knowledge and expertise in order to build applications on-chain. These obstacles often divert valuable time, energy, and resources away from game creation, compromising overall game quality, said Davis Hart, product lead for GameShift, in an interview with GamesBeat.

GameShift eliminates the need for extensive blockchain knowledge by providing a unified Web2-friendly API, allowing developers to focus on creating engaging games, Hart said.

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“By integrating GameShift’s API to handle blockchain complexity under the hood, developers can allocate more resources directly to game development,” said Hart, in a statement. “Moreover, developers can offer gamers a Web2-friendly experience, reducing the frictions typically associated with Web3 that can impede user acquisition and engagement.”

GameShift is meant to simplify game development.

GameShift simplifies the process of working with blockchains, streamlining content storage, gas fees, and smart contract implementation. Through GameShift, developers can seamlessly create in-game marketplaces where assets can be listed, purchased, and traded, all without requiring players to hold cryptocurrency.

Transactions can be conducted using U.S. dollars through credit card payments. Solana Labs powers GameShift with support from ecosystem partners, including Crossmint, Coinflow and Metakeep.

GameShift is the kind of investment that blockchain companies need to make to get developers to use their networks. Solana also touts its ultra-fast speeds, scalability, and low transaction costs for game asset minting, transfer, and trading positions.

The beta launch of GameShift was unveiled during Breakpoint, the Solana Foundation’s annual event held in Amsterdam. Breakpoint 2023 celebrates the achievements and innovations of the entire Solana community and features keynote speeches, panel discussions, demos, and more from industry leaders and Solana community members.

Davis joined Solana Labs in August. By that time, work was already under way at Solana Labs on GameShift.

“We serve the high level goal that a lot of Web3 studios have. And increasingly Web2 studios are figuring out how to create a Web2 gamer-friendly interface for blockchain,” Davis said. “How do you do this in a way that is not obtrusive to the players and doesn’t kind of create a lot of the friction that blockchain and cryptocurrency has for players onboarding.”

“The problem that we that we’ve discovered is building those experiences requires either having a bunch of crypto and blockchain expertise on staff, or requires going the vendor integration route and the challenge of the vendor side as well,” Davis said.

It’s tough to figure out all of the vendors in the space and assess the risks of various partnerships. It means the company itself has to become a blockchain expert. Solana Labs wanted to create an ecosystem with a single clean, Web2-friendly API that would enable vendor integration.

Web3 gaming companies have had a tough couple of years with the slowdown in blockchain gaming investments. But Davis believes a lot of foundational work is getting done during this challenging environment.

“I’m optimistic that that foundation will appear and more studios will take interest in blockchain,” Davis said.

He said GameShift simplifies matters such as cryptocurrency wallets, the creation of assets on blockchains, and integration with traditional payment systems. It also has a marketplace where developers can sell assets for games.

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