Ultra.io aim to build a PC gaming marketplace, with incentives for both the user and publisher.
The three main problems Ultra have identified are monopoly, discovery failure and missed opportunities. Developers incur large fees with platforms and often have little control or say in what exactly happens with their product. As gaming grows in popularity, so does the number of games which can make finding a game suitable to your taste difficult.
The total PC gaming market is worth over 32 billion dollars, and the most notable name associated with PC gaming is the popular platform known as Steam. They take an 11.9% share of the market, making them the largest gaming platform, too. One huge problem with Steam is the 30% revenue charge, which is where Ultra.io comes in.
Ultra.io promise to deliver around 21% more revenue to developers, with faster cash outs, give game developers access to a wide range of business-orientated tools to help with growth, introduce new revenue opportunities, provide rewards and incentives for referrals (such as bonuses, digital goods and reward programs).
You may be thinking, what does a gaming platform have to do with cryptocurrencies? After all, there are ways to incentivise the industry without giving away tokens… Ultra.io uses blockchain technology which allows for nano-payments to be cleared instantly, proof of ownership for each item a user owns, complete transparency over your funds and allows them to give developers better deals and more incentives for players, too.
Unlike most other gaming platforms, Ultra.io is centred not only on players but instead both the developers and players. For small indie game creators, uploading games and sharing them with a wide audience can be difficult, whether that's due to a lack of funds or struggling to find a platform on board to list a small game. Ultra.io aims to change this, allowing indie developers and AAA developers to co-exist under one roof, whilst providing tailored benefits to suit the developer and their needs (i.e. a team of AAA developers who create premium titles will receive different benefits compared to an indie developer that develops free-to-play titles).
UIltra.io benefits users directly in the following ways:
Play Immediately — Using a unique software downloading technology, users can play titles within minutes of purchase.
Earn Money — Users can earn $UOS through watching ads, participating in beta testing and many other ways.
Open Platform — Users can access third-party gaming services directly through the Ultra.io platform.
Play Exclusive Games — Users can play AAA titles that are exclusive to the Ultra.io platform.
Community — Users will have access to an innovative open community.
Reselling — Users will have the ability to resell and purchase second-hand digital games, which is a very unique feature.
Referrals — Users can refer friends to sign up to the platform to earn $UOS.
Ultra.io benefits developers directly in the following ways:
Marketing — Devs get access to a powerful marketing toolbox that includes promotional tools and an influencer program.
Earn More — Devs earn up to 21% extra revenue from sales.
Community — Game specific clubs are available, allowing developers to take into account the opinions of users directly, and allowing them to interact with the community.
Build Better Games — The community are more inclined to support developers by offering financial incentives for beta testing, debugging and giving feedback.
Game Porting — Games can be easily ported with little work from platforms such as Stream, XBOX and PlayStation using the universal SDK.
Get Paid Quickly — Faster payouts allow developers to reinvest their money into their products and business and gives them the freedom to spend their hard-earned money.
New Streams of Income — Advertising, secondhand sales and item-trading are just a few of the ways developers can profit directly from the platform.
Content Distribution technology — Previously licensed to major organizations such as Bandai Namco, 343 Industries and Bethseda, it includes uploading, software versioning, software branching, download and patching, real-time error handling, network traffic optimisation and dynamic CPU throttling.
Overlay Tech — This technology is compatible with over 5000 games and provides the ability to inject any UI inside these games. It is compatible with DirectX 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 games, OpenGL and Vulkan, all of which cover the majority of most modern titles.
Ad Tech — Currently serves 33 billion adverts a day and provides audience targeting, advertiser API, over 20 ad formats and communication with ad exchanges.
Ultra-GO — A companion app that provides convenient and simplified features for users on the go, in turn adding new sources of income for players and increasing traffic to the platform.
Ultra-Protocol — Allows developers to ‘plug’ new features through trusted nodes.
An in-depth look into Technology Content Distribution:
If you have ever played on the recent PlayStations or Xbox consoles, chances are you’ve faced slow download speeds on large files, however, you were able to play the part of the game after a specific download point. The technology allows games on Ultra.io to do the same, allowing them to enjoy the game and continue the download in the background. It also allows for automatic game updates and automatic error fixing which work in harmony to provide a seamless user experience.
Developers can publish content on the platform to gain access to their own ‘token factory’, which allows them to materialise their games into a cryptocurrency token. Ultra-coins are sold through Ultra and can be sold on external marketplaces. By owning tokens, users can download games and get updates like XBOX and Steam. Developers are also free to customise the rights passed across to the users through the token grants. The secondhand market can be configured, sale revenue can be split, referral programs can be enabled, game subscriptions can be introduced (similar to the Battle Pass system in Fortnite) and monthly game update subscriptions.
Tokens can also be configured by developers too, for example, consumable items (such as mini-shields in Fortnite) can be destroyed when consumed and allow for subscription items (such as a 24hr XP boost).
Other restrictions include the ability to add a time limit to reselling, blocking users from reselling games close to launch to increase launch sales revenue. Once this period is over developers have the option to profit from pre-owned sales, which allows them to generate a lot more revenue (not only at launch but for the entire lifespan of each copy).
Another huge problem with creating a central currency used for payments on a platform is the volatility cryptocurrencies often bring. To counter this, Ultra.io use what they call the ‘1 Dollar Solution’, which means sales are calculated in USD, and then pull the value of $UOS from its internal coin exchange and use it in real-time through the use of an optimised smart contract.
5% of all profits generated will go to Ultra.io’s “Game Development and Acquisition War Chest”, where funds will be frozen for a minimum period of 2 years, and once unfrozen can be used to bring new, exclusive titles to the platform. Coins are released to studios when development milestones are reached, as a reward.
Mining often requires expensive GPUs, and the process of mining can shorten the lifespan of the card and be expensive to maintain. Ultra.io promise to combat this through one-button mining, as mining is not needed to secure the network. This means Ultra.io users can mine other altcoins, and in return, these are sold for $UOS.
TL;DR: Ultra.io aims to be a first-class PC game publishing platform that benefits both users and developers through numerous forms of incentivising. The platform will use blockchain technology to make nano-payments efficient and allow users to ‘mine’ altcoins which will ultimately aid the Ultra ecosystem.