The virtual currency "V Bucks" is a game-wide payment method for Fortnite players. More specifically, players can use it in order to purchase various in-game items for their pleasure. No matter whether you have Dollars or Euros, you will have to get them converted V Bucks for making purchases. You can convert your currency in multiple ways. For example:
- Purchase multiple packages which also grants you access to other things in the game.
- Convert your currency to V Bucks through Amazon, Microsoft Store etc.
- Get a share of V Bucks by completing daily challenges which are quite difficult.
One thing that should keep in mind is that the purchases made through V Bucks don't enhance your in-game performance - they merely improve visual cosmetics. Even so, millions of players purchase V Bucks on a regular basis. Through purchasing this in-game currency, the developer Epic Games earns around $120 million monthly.
Moreover, the overwhelming in-game popularity of V Bucks has led many newbies to think that Epic might be ambitious enough to create a fully-fledged V Bucks cryptocurrency.
The idea behind the idea
The main reason why people have proposed this is the fact that Fortnite already have an established community. Furthermore, the V Bucks currency is firmly ingrained within the community as a means to give millions of players the items they need. This is partly why observers have reasoned it would not take Epic much effort to reach a $1 billion market cap. Through releasing a V Bucks cryptocurrency, owners would be able to simply mine these without having to fulfill the daily in-game challenges quota. This would make a lot of players very happy.
However, there are multiple barriers when it comes to releasing a V Bucks cryptocurrency. The first thing that comes to mind is the economy and the user interface. Cryptocurrency transactions can be quite costly and difficult to manage. Furthermore, the need to use special plugins for your browser is just not good enough to spend hundreds of hours using. An optimal user interface is also not available at the moment, which will not attract any player.
Nonetheless, it is also worth noting that the game is not about economy, it is about action, shooting and having fun. Economic incentives are completely ignored by the user, which is the very idea behind cryptocurrency.
Epic Games' role in selling
We have talked about the consumer, now it's time to talk about the seller. Epic has made substantial investments in its Fortnite title. The company has even shut down its MMO title, Paragon, to see Fortnite flourish. So if Epic wants to get into the crypto business, they will have to make a gigantic investment into the development and management of crypto. Even if the company makes hundreds of millions every month, they don't have any experience in the crypto business. Let's just say they have the resources. However, in reality, why would they want to gamble on the future of the most successful title to date?
A dangerous stance
If Epic goes into the crypto business then they could - in all honesty - potentially wreck the future of Fortnite. It is possible that players might not be interested to play the game at all for fun, which would ruin the essence of the game. The so-called “game” will be nothing more than a money-making trend which could die out over time.
The reason why people flock to cryptocurrency is due to the privacy and security it offers. So Epic will have to hire engineers and developers for cybersecurity purposes. They are acquiring these services for free at the moment. Credit Cards and PayPal have to do this security work for their customers. All Epic has to do is keep offering V Bucks, without having to scrutinize over potential security loopholes in the game.
Volatile nature of crypto
The volatility of cryptocurrencies is another huge reason why Fortnite developers will not go into the virtual business. The instantaneous rise and fall of one of the biggest currencies, Bitcoin, is a very logical measure why Epic shouldn’t take the risk. In just a matter of months, Bitcoin has its value reduced by 50%. So why would Epic fall to the terms of the public? At the moment, they are offering V Bucks on their own terms which the community loves to buy and spend millions paying for it.
Moreover, introducing a V Bucks cryptocurrency would come with many technical barriers. The use of digital currency is not possible without substantial technical aids. Each transaction requires a computer/smartphone with client software installed on it and Internet access. In addition to this, the dependency on software runs the risk that security updates for all clients may be required due to software errors or cryptographic algorithms behind the cryptocurrencies. These updates of millions of machines could lead to a complete disruption of the system, while no transactions would take place. It is indeed difficult to imagine the situation in a global economic system. Meanwhile, at the moment no one has needed to go through complicated processes in order to simply purchase V Bucks.
Lastly, if Epic decides to use V Bucks as a cryptocurrency, then they could develop smart contracts, which could work as a kind of tax system. More specifically, Epic games could take a certain fee from the all the transactions done by everyone that buys sells or just sends their "V Bucks token". You might think that this would benefit Epic but the issue is a bit more convoluted that that. Just image if you buy are going to sell your old car and the manufacturer is demanding to have a cut on all sales or changes in ownership.
Epic doesn’t need to do anything other than to sit back and enjoy the success of its title. The only fear they have at the moment is the battle for supremacy with the recently released Call of Duty title Black Ops 4, which offers "Blackout". Blackout was consistently in the top of Twitch Charts following the initial days of its release.
Honestly, Epic has bigger things to worry about than investing in the crypto business.
Ivan on Tech also speaks about the topic in this great video: