Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong 2019 will take place on July 17th to 18th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
For more details on PGC Hong Kong and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
Today we're speaking to 8Hours Foundation co-founder and general manager Shane Zhu, ahead of his panel appearance discussing what’s next for blockchain games.
Alongside his role at 8Hours, Zhu co-founded the San Francisco-based tech company Blok Party. The firm has been working on the world’s first tabletop gaming console known as the PlayTable. Boasting a community of over 100,000 members, the device has won several awards and will be launching commercially in the near-future.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about the company?
Shane Zhu: 8Hours will bridge the gap between physical collectables and digital in-game assets using blockchain technology.
Developers and publishers can integrate physical toys with proof of ownership into their game mechanics, offering users unique gaming experience.
What does your role entail?
My role sees me involved in fundraising, different aspects of business development as well as working on big title games to get on board to our platform.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I’ve always known that gaming has the power to bring people together. I know what it’s like to feel lost and alone, and I want to create a community the lets games be used as a weapon against loneliness. Simply put: a way to bring people together.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Deep dive into the core blockchain technology first and foremost. Then figure out what really blockchain is and how blockchain can change regular people's life.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
Cryptocurrency markets are constantly up and down like a rollercoaster. The companies who are doing blockchain games are not really contributing to the real gaming world and these firms seem to be trapped in blockchain space only. Breaking out of this needs to be the next step.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
For sure, the next 12 moves will see a rise in DAPPs (Decentralised Applications) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
When I first started in the games industry, there was no such thing as NFTs and digital assets. People are now playing games for fun but with the function of NFTs and digital assets.
The meaning of playing is becoming more valuable for players and individual developers as a whole that they can trade their own gaming asset into real value.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
I'm looking forward to seeing more interesting development to do with blockchain gaming. Something that really stands out and represents the industry in the best possible way.
Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects Hong Kong 2019 on the website.