Game engine creator Unity Technologies has teamed up with messaging app company Kik to enable game developers to use Kik’s Kin cryptocurrency to reward players.
Kik joined the crypto bandwagon in September, raising almost $100 million from the sale of its tokens, dubbed Kin. And now Kik, through the Kin Ecosystem Foundation, is signing deals with partners to make its cryptocurrency broadly available. To that end, the foundation created a software development kit (SDK) that makes it easy to incorporate Kin into a game.
Kik’s goal for Kin is to create an ecosystem of digital services. As more partners like Unity join and expand the ecosystem, Kik and Kin will drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. As more partners join, Kin will launch the Kin Rewards Engine (KRE), which can incentivize developers to create valuable digital services for users in the Kin Ecosystem. This will allow them to make a fair return based on the number of users of their services. Through the KRE, Kin will introduce a daily reward, distributed to developers based on their contribution to the entire ecosystem.
“Developers benefit when they can monetize digital experiences and quickly expand transactions across global markets,” said Hubert Larenaudie, president of APAC at Unity Technologies, in a statement. “We are continuously looking for top companies in the space who understand consumer experiences and believe that the combination of Kik’s experience and user base, along with Kin, provides many opportunities for developers.”
The Kin Gaming SDK will be available via the Unity Asset Store, which is available to millions of Unity game developers. That allows the developers to build and design with Kin as an integral part of their games from the very beginning.
“Unity is at the point where they feel cryptocurrency is interesting to game developers,” said Dany Fishel, executive vice president of partnerships at Kin, in an interview with GamesBeat. “Our SDK makes it very simple. The player can look in the wallet and see how much Kin they have, and then spend it inside the game or on things that go beyond the actual game.”
The gaming market represents a huge opportunity for cryptocurrency-enabled digital services. In 2017, games represented nearly 80 percent of total consumer app spend (Google Play and iOS App Store) and accounted for roughly 35 percent of total app downloads worldwide, according to a report by App Annie and IDC. The Unity platform powers 50 percent of all new mobile games and touts 24 billion app downloads running on six billion unique devices in 2017.
Once the SDK has been built and tested through a unique beta program with select Unity partners, game developers will be able to build, design and monetize apps with Kin cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at their core. The Kin Gaming SDK will be open source and shared on GitHub.
For players, Kin can serve as a reward for behavior that helps a game’s ecosystem, Fishel said.
“You do something for the ecosystem, be a good citizen of the game, and you earn Kin,” he said. “It’s a transaction economy.”
The Kin Ecosystem Foundation is a nonprofit corporation established for the governance of the cryptocurrency Kin and is tasked with growing an open ecosystem of digital services.