Take 5 with Nick Rose Ntertsas of Ethernal Labs
We sat down with Nick Rose, co-founder and CEO of Ethernal Labs and Ethernity, to discuss his outlook on the relationship between blockchain and gaming and how Ethernal Labs is disrupting the space.
Q: Tell us about what Ethernal Labs is currently up to in the gaming space?
A: Ethernal Labs is currently focused on developing a cutting-edge science fiction media franchise, which encompasses a AAA play-to-earn game, being built under the invaluable guidance of Thomas Vu, formerly of Electronic Arts (EA) and Riot Games. Our plans for this year are filled with big milestones, including the launch of the Exorians comics crafted by legends in the comic industry. Additionally, we’re working towards sharing a potential pre-alpha game demo, allowing our community to begin to explore and delve into the immersive Exorians Universe.
Q: What inspired you to add game creation to your repertoire when you already have a successful NFT company?
A: As an avid gamer, game creation has always appealed to me, but blockchain technology opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me to integrate opportunities into games that I felt were lacking in the space. When I would play a game like Fortnite, for example, I would accrue all of these skins, weapons, etc, but I wouldn’t have the ability to resell them. This technology provides the opportunity to not only enable selling and trading items among players, but also potentially across games.
From the earning perspective, I noticed that the only people that could financially benefit from games were not necessarily the best players, but rather the players with the best marketing and streaming who would get sponsorships and viewership money unrelated to the actual game. I wanted to create a game that is both extremely fun to play, and also capable of making players money based on their skillset within the game.
Q: AI is a hot topic worldwide right now. What is your take on the use of AI in game development?
A: Generative artificial intelligence is a polarizing topic, particularly when it comes to the livelihood of artists and developers. I’d first like to point out that AI has been used within gaming for years with NPCs. I am pro-AI usage as a tool to speed up the more intricate and time-consuming tasks involved in game creation to allow more room for creators to dream up the next revolutionary game element. It also enables mid-size game creators like Ethernal Labs the accessibility to create bigger, better games that we couldn’t otherwise without AI, as this technology allows us to create on a larger scale with a smaller budget. But I also believe it will be many years before generative AI is at a level high enough to take the jobs of human creators, if at all.
Q: Where do you predict the game industry will be in five years? Will blockchain in gaming be relevant?
A: Blockchain is the future of gaming, but to get to that point, blockchain elements will need to be worked into games (and society as a whole) in a way that doesn’t force the idea of blockchain technology. When online gaming became popular, there wasn’t a huge focus on the technology and intricacies behind what made online games possible. Instead, it highlighted the benefits of online gaming and what new, cool tools and capabilities it brought to the table for gamers. We need to make blockchain technology more approachable, showing gamers that it can bring an entirely new universe of assets to trade, collect and use across players and games without pushing the intricacies of how the technology works. If we can do that, I think the use of blockchain and gaming will be the norm for all games in the very near future.