Why Microsoft and EY are bringing blockchain to the gaming industry

Why Microsoft and EY are bringing blockchain to the gaming industry
Photo Credit: Reuters
22 Jun, 2018

Professional services firm EY and tech giant Microsoft have joined hands to launch an enterprise blockchain network for content rights and royalties management.

With an aim to streamline processes for entertainment rights and royalties, the solution will first be deployed within the gaming industry, according to a statement.

Game publisher and Microsoft partner Ubisoft is currently testing the solution and will be one of the early adopters.

Once fully operational, the blockchain network plans to encompass thousands of business partners and process millions of transactions a day.

With blockchain technology, transactions are recorded online in an encrypted manner that provides enhanced security.

EY and Microsoft said they have designed the solution to serve any industry where intellectual property or assets are licensed to other parties and where the creators are paid royalties based on royalty agreements.

Within this value chain – which can include authors, songwriters, production houses, and developers, among others - the intellectual property generates millions of transactions aggregating to billions of dollars per month in royalties to be paid.  

The royalty calculations along the value chain are currently done manually and generally managed via offline data sources.

The new rights and royalties management solution aims to enable increased trust and transparency between industry players, significantly reduce operational inefficiencies in the rights and royalties management process, and eliminate the need for costly manual reconciliation and partner reviews.

In addition, the solution aims to provide near real-time visibility of sales transactions to all participants in the blockchain network and enable them to react to market needs faster and more effectively.

The underlying network is built using the Quorum blockchain protocol and Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and blockchain technologies. It is said to ensure confidentiality of partnership agreements across entities.

Blockchain is widely being implemented by major companies across sectors such as finance, retail, and healthcare, among others.

In another use-case in the media industry, imaging company Eastman Kodak Co had earlier this year launched KodakOne, a blockchain-based image rights management platform that aims to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control of their work.

Kodak said the platform would enable both amateur and professional photographers to sell their work on a secure blockchain network and receive payment immediately using KodakCoin — a photo-centric cryptocurrency.