The Leisure Economy is the embodiment of the hope that sometime we might all receives a commission to play video games. It has been a standard matter at our GamesBeat Summit occasions, and got here up once more at our GamesBeat Summit 2020 occasion in a hearth chat with John Linden, CEO of Mythical Games.

As so many individuals battle with joblessness now, video games are creating a brand new economic system of people that could make a residing by getting paid to play video games. These folks embrace esports athletes, cosplayers, influencers, YouTubers, livestreamers, modders, and plenty of different folks getting paid to play. Many of those careers didn’t exist a decade in the past.

The discuss on the Leisure Economy at our GamesBeat Summit 2020 occasion was moderated by Harold Goldberg, founding father of the New York Game Critics Circle. He writes about video games for the Washington Post and New York journal. And he’s additionally the writer of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How 50 years of video video games conquered popular culture. Goldberg additionally not too long ago began a podcast series with Reggie Fils-Aime, former president of Nintendo of America, about how video games can positively influence younger folks going through poverty and homelessness.

The massive query is whether or not sport firms can create an extended tail for these people who find themselves inventing careers that didn’t exist 5 or ten years in the past in order that extra than simply celebrities can money in. We beforehand talked about this at our 2018 occasion.

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Linden is a veteran of the Seismic Games (maker of Marvel Strike Force) and Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty, Skylanders). He began Mythical Games in 2018 with chief artistic officer Jamie Jackson and vp Rudy Koch. The firm introduced it raised $19 million in November. The thought is to allow gamers to become profitable by means of digital possession and player-owned economies.

“It’s the concept that we can eventually make money in games,” Linden mentioned. “A player could end up being in these virtual worlds and making a living in these virtual worlds. There have been a lot of examples of this in the last 10 years but we still haven’t quite nailed it to the mass adoption point.”

To get funding for his personal firm, Linden assembled a workforce that had expertise as studio heads. But he additionally promoted the concept of player-owned economies, the place you possibly can wind up with a much bigger whole addressable market. If the sport trade is $150 billion as we speak, you may broaden the dimensions of that trade by increasing the variety of stakeholders concerned, Linden mentioned.

The pandemic economic system wants this

The Leisure Economy: How to make money playing games in 2020

Above: John Linden of Mythical Games talks concerning the Leisure Economy with Harold Goldberg (proper) of the New York Critics Game Circle.

Image Credit: GamesBeat

Linden believes that gaming is rising in the course of the pandemic, and that utilization will keep excessive for some time. That enthusiasm for gaming might be a catalyst for what Linden is speaking about.

“We also look at it in the context of esports teams, influencers, brands themselves, in addition to players,” Linden mentioned. “We think there are two new player archetypes that come out of this economic change. One is the trader or speculator. We have seen some of that. People buy assets that could be rare and hold on to them until they are worth more in the future. The other is the game entrepreneur, the one who figures out how they can be really good at something and there is a financial aspect to that.”

If you take a look at streaming, what’s attention-grabbing is that these persons are making billions of {dollars} this 12 months.

“And they’re not in the game itself,” he mentioned. “That’s a separate industry that sits on top of the gaming industry.”

Goldberg requested for examples, like folks sporting masks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or different indicators of do-it-yourself (DIY) earnings.

Linden pointed to the 27.7 million individuals who witnessed the Travis Scott live performance inside Fortnite, the massive battle royale sport with greater than 350 million customers.

“You brought a major artist into a major game and you see the effect of that,” Linden mentioned. “And now most of his albums are in the top 100 again.”

Linden additionally mentioned he preferred the 100 Thieves esports workforce, which gave out their digital gadgets at no cost in Animal Crossing. As a outcome, the workforce has gotten a variety of publicity for themselves within the sport. There have additionally been 100,000 transactions on the grey market of eBay the place gamers are transacting with one another on Animal Crossing items.

Mythical Games is engaged on an open-source answer dubbed Goods (brief for digital items) to create a commercially endorsed benchmark for creating, managing, and distributing in-game belongings utilizing blockchain, the decentralized, clear, and safe ledger know-how. That know-how makes it attainable to trace transactions and make it straightforward to audit issues. Mythical Games is making a title dubbed Blankos, a sandbox world the place gamers can create their very own toys within the sport.

Players can promote their creations to different gamers, and people gamers can take the creations and use them in new gadgets. If the brand new merchandise will get offered once more, the unique creator can receives a commission a chunk of the general fee. You should purchase characters and blend their elements collectively to create new characters. This, in flip, ultimately fuels a loyalty for the sport, identical to the frequent flyer packages constructed loyalty for airways.

“People can make up their own rules and bring out new game patterns,” Linden mentioned. “The creator is in for the ride. They have the ability to make money long term off of these assets. We think this is a staple of where games are going to go. We start bringing these stakeholders into the economy.”