Somewhere in 2020 gamers will be able to access the virtual world of Decentraland through a standalone version. The client should lower the amount of data required, and therefore improve the user experience. According to the developers they finished the client for 80 percent, and they want to release it in a few months.
The request for a client comes a few days after Decentraland opened its doors to the general public. Over the weekend the virtual world hosted a treasure hunt in which players could win virtual items. Sometimes the loading times were ridiculously long, causing lag and disrupting the player experience.
Many decentralized applications can run from within a browser. For example Cryptovoxels, another virtual world application, also works from within a browser. However, Somnium Space requires an installation through Steam, or players could install a dedicated Somnium Space client.
Still early for Decentraland
Even though the game officially launched on February 20th, it’s still not finished. Development has moved from the development team to a community-powered foundation. This foundation is funding the development team. They are working on the standalone client, but also on voice chat, a mobile version, support for VR headsets, and so on.
The Block Runner, a podcast and entrepreneur in Decentraland, build a series of mini-games that third parties could deploy on their virtual land. Each mini-game needs to be bought from The Block Runner. Players who play the game need to pay 10 MANA, currently 42 cents, per try. At the end of the day they have a chance to win the daily prize. The game builders made over 150 thousand MANA during the first week. That’s 6300 dollars.
However, like Mateen from DCLblogger puts it, this is ‘a validation that developers and creators in Decentraland can make money and build a business on the platform’. Similar things could happen in The Sandbox, Somnium Space and Cryptovoxels. For example, especially in Cryptovoxels there’s a big focus on showcasing art. Users can buy digital art directly from within the digital world.
This also underlines the idea I brought up in my exclusive interview with Nathan Sexer from The Sandbox. Any business can open a shop in a virtual world. Amazon could offer a virtual interface into their webshop, Domino’s Pizza could allow gamers to order pizza directly from within the game world, and technically a tax office could allow people to submit their tax registrations from within a virtual world.
Also published on Medium.