Hedera Hashgraph Eyes ‘Next‑Generation Gaming’ with Ubisoft Partnership

The HBAR Foundation, an independent organization funded and established by the Richardson-based distributed ledger technology company, is partnering with French videogame developer Ubisoft in an effort to support gaming and entertainment innovators worldwide.

A local group sees the future of gaming living on the Hedera Hashgraph network.

The HBAR Foundation, an independent organization funded and established by the Richardson-based distributed ledger technology company, is aimed at providing resources for entrepreneurs developing on the network. Today it announced it’s partnering with French videogame developer Ubisoft in an effort to support “next-generation gaming.”

“Through this initiative, Ubisoft and the HBAR Foundation are forming a deep collaborative partnership, which recognizes the value proposition the Hedera network presents for the video games industry,” said Alex Russman, director of the HBAR Foundation’s Consumer Engagement Fund, in a statement.

Ubisoft to join Hedera’s Governing Council

As part of the partnership, Ubisoft will join Hedera’s Governing Council and operate a node on the company’s network. One of the first focused on the gaming industry, Ubisoft joins 25 other firms on the governing council—which could include up to 39 companies—including Google, IBM, Boeing and Wipro. Council members serve two-year terms, providing stability and reliability to Hedera’s network protocols and operations.

In addition to Ubisoft’s seat on the council, The HBAR Foundation is teaming up with the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab, an incubator program focused on entertainment-focused startups, to develop a Hedera-dedicated track within the lab. The foundation and Ubisoft plan to provide mentorship and financial support to entrepreneurs and startups building on the Hedera network. According to its website, the Ubisoft Entrepreneur Lab will be accepting applications for the next cohort of its six-month program early this year.

“(Ubisoft’s) decision to directly engage with the HBAR Foundation to enhance the support it provides to entertainment and gaming innovators provides tremendous opportunities for developers, startups, and users alike,” Russman said.

Follows last month’s opening of Hashgraph source code

The partnership comes on the heels of Hedera launching an upgrade to its Smart Contract Services, integrating it with its token service. Last month, the company opened the source code for Hashgraph, in an effort to ramp up development on the network by expanding the number of contributors.

“The benefit of it being open source is that there is a large community of developers that will now be able to participate in the development of their companies,” Hedera CEO and Co-founder Mance Harmon recently told Dallas Innovates. “So, this will drive the growth of the number of contributors to the software, as well as make it possible for those that do use the platform to choose to use the same software to create their own networks.”

Hedera was formed in 2017 and moved its headquarters to Richardson in 2019, the same year it opened its network to the public. Since its launch, the company has raised nearly $125 million from investors and initial coin offerings of its HBAR token. According to Coinbase, the token has a market cap of $4.3 billion and as of 11 a.m. had a value equivalent to $0.24.

HBAR Foundation established last September

The company established the HBAR Foundation last September with the aim of helping “entrepreneurs form digitally-native economies and ecosystem” via grants in the form of HBAR tokens and technical support. At the time, Hedera and its governing council earmarked 5.35 billion of its tokens—at the time worth around $2.5 billion to establish the foundation and provide it with resources to distribute grant funding.

The HBAR Foundation partnership announcement also comes alongside recent changes at Ubisoft, which in its most recent financial filing reported net booking of more than €2.2 billion (or about $2.56 billion). Earlier this week, the company announced it was consolidating its esports department into in a single global unit, rather than operating as it had with a regional format. In a blog post, François-Xavier Deniele, Ubisoft’s senior director of global esports and competitive gaming, said the move will help “increase our agility and streamline our decision-making processes to better respond to shifts in our industry.”

“At Ubisoft, we believe that the distributed ledger technology holds a key to the future of gaming by opening new opportunities for players to become true stakeholders of our games,” said Didier Genevois, blockchain technical director at the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab.

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