(Bloomberg) -- Public blockchain technology isn’t close to being compatible with the demands of fully powering the biggest video games, despite pushes by game studios to engage in the space.
That’s according to Colleen Sullivan, co-head of ventures at hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management’s crypto-focused division. She said that major public blockchains like Solana can only complete around 2,000 user-generated transactions per second — a far cry from what’s needed to get a popular mobile game running on-chain, let alone an AAA-rated title.
“That’s still a fraction of what it would take to put a game like Monopoly GO, its game logic and game state fully on-chain,” said Sullivan, speaking on a panel at the Mainnet conference in New York on Thursday.
Gaming studios like Assassin’s Creed maker Ubisoft and Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix sought to position themselves as at the forefront of blockchain adoption for major game titles when crypto prices peaked in 2021, despite widespread backlash from staff and users.
Read: Crypto Speculation Falls Out of Favor With Game Studios
Brevan Howard Digital co-led a $40 million funding round for Horizon Blockchain Games last October.
Sullivan said she was convinced blockchain networks would evolve to be able to support larger games in the future, but that it may take several years to develop.
“It’s like internet bandwidth. You and I couldn’t stream Netflix in 1995 but by the mid-2000s, it was there,” she said. “It’s inevitable that public blockchains will do more than what Scopely [Monopoly GO’s creator] needs, but not today.”
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Sullivan stressed that despite current limitations, today’s blockchains could still handle parts of many major titles’ operations. These include elements like managing ownership of in-game items and consumables like skins, she said. The technology is also robust enough right now to potentially bring a game like Candy Crush on-chain in its entirety, Sullivan added.
“You can bring portions of massive AAA games fully on-chain today,” Sullivan said. “Turn-based games could be fully on-chain today.” As blockchains’ capabilities improve, they should be able to handle all major game titles, Sullivan said.
“Eventually, I think public blockchains will exceed what Monopoly Go! will need,” she said. “I have no doubt we’ll get there.”
(Adds additional comment from Colleen Sullivan starting in eighth paragraph. A previous version corrected the story to remove a photo with an inaccurate caption.)
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