Brian Fargo is looking to compete with Steam. The developer who founded Interplay and inXile Entertainment has established Robot Cache, a new PC storefront that will use blockchain technology to allow for the second-hand sale of digitally distributed PC games.
As might be expected, there are limitations. The storefront will allow users to buy their games using a credit card, much like any other digital storefront. However, when they sell a game, it will be at a price set by the developers and/or publishers, and those parties will take 70% of the proceeds, with Robot Cache netting another 5% and the person who actually sold the game receiving 25% of the re-sale price. As for the developers and publishers selling their games through Robot Cache, the platform will take a 5% cut of revenues.
On top of that, the user who re-sells the game will receive not cash but IRON, a cryptocurrency based on the ERC-20 standard. The IRON can then be used to purchase other games, but Robot Cache also said users will be able to cash it out for traditional currency. Additionally, users can opt-in to mine IRON.
"Earning any money on the video game resale market is unheard of for game publishers, and earning up to 70%, which is equivalent to the best margins publishers and developers currently receive on today's most popular digital distributions platforms is crazy," Fargo said. "Allowing creators to keep 95% of new game sales, and 70% on game resales, provides developers, like us at inXile, with a strong financial stream. This gives us more resources to create new content and new IPs for fans."
Joining Fargo in this endeavor is Robot Cache CEO Lee Jacobson. Jacobson has been in the games industry for over 20 years, with stints at Virgin Games, Atari, and an 11-year run at Midway Games. More recently, he has been serving as the CEO for analytics outfit Apmetrix.
Robot Cache is looking to raise $15 million through a token generation event "to obtain exclusive content, develop partnerships and the digital PC video game distribution platform" that the company will sell games through. The company has said it will launch its storefront in the second quarter of this year.