Blockchain Games will be massive
Blockchain games are going to be huge. I’m talking really huge. By leveraging decentralised networks such as Ethereum or EOS, games can actually monetize in-game items and currency. This should not be underestimated as to its long term potential.
Think about it, online multiplayer games can use a cryptocurrency instead of an in-game coin. Games that have rare collectibles can use Ethereum’s non-fungible tokens so players can actually sell items they’ve earned for real money. Virtual reality worlds can auction parcels of land to developers who can design virtual businesses or real estate. Even Esports companies can use smart contracts to distribute cryptocurrency to the winning players. How incredible is this.
Blockchain games and applications are growing by the day, allowing a whole new kind of monetized gaming. Its a type of gaming where players could theoretically earn a living doing what they love.
This is why I firmly believe Blockchain games are the future of gaming.
The birth of ‘Massive online multiplayer games’
Back in my younger days, I spent more hours than I am proud to admit on games like Runescape and World of Warcraft. Two gigantic MMORPG’s (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). And so did just about all my friends, and everyone at school for that matter.
I was personally fond of role-playing games, and actually still am to this day. The allure of working harder to achieve greater strength and obtain rare items is so satisfying. As you progress in the game, you become wealthier and more powerful than other people playing the game. It’s an opportunity for anyone outside of ‘real life’ to become powerful and earn the respect of other players. It’s a big deal, and its why games like Runescape and World of Warcraft are still running to this day after a decade of operation.
One game that was hugely popular was Second Life. Also still running to this day, its a massive online world that can be fully customised by its users.
Akin to the name, it would end up becoming a second life for many people. Even to the point where in-game businesses became highly profitable, some making over $1 million real dollars, buying and developing virtual real estate. This is just one example.
The in-game currency for Second Life is called Linden Dollars, which can be bought and sold on the ‘Lindex‘ exchange. The exchange matches orders for Linden dollars, providing peer-2-peer transactions with the Second Life company taking a cut through transaction fees.
It’s all about gamer incentives
Blockchain games will be a big deal due to the monetary incentive and ease of implementation. For example, coins be created very simply now from Ethereum using platforms like Hexel. Some may even use third party API integrations such as Open Platform, which will provide a crypto payments layer that game developers can ‘plug-in’ to their own games.
Coins can be minted and injected into an existing game, and so can collectibles. The transactions are very cheap, efficient, and decentralised. The player and developers also get a ledger of transactions that lets everyone know what went where. The best part is, gamers are completely familiar with in-game currency and trading. Adopting a cryptocurrency is a natural evolution for the gaming industry.
We know demand for online games continues to grow. My generation grew up with the massive role playing games, but times are changing. Games like Fortnite, Counter Strike, League of Legends, and Dota 2 are the new popular games. Many of these games leverage unique items, skins, or some form of player progression. This is the incentivisation factor that keeps bringing players back for more.
With blockchain and cryptocurrencies, these games can achieve new levels of incentivisation. Decentralised and smart-contract based rewards distribution can give players a coin that can be traded on a secondary market. Some games may even develop their own decentralised exchanges, unlike the centralised exchange for Second Life’s Linden Dollars.
Blockchain game technology
The technology behind blockchain games varies depending on the game and application. Some may use blockchain technology to provide a marketplace for digital items, such as Wax or DMarket. Others may use Ethereum’s collectible feature to issue rare items, such as Crypto Kitties or Eth Town.
Virtual reality games such as Decentraland are auctioning off virtual property lots. Australia’s Virtual Reality based Gaze Coin lets brands create their own token, where players are rewarded for their virtual in-game ‘gaze’ at a particular advertisement.
Then there are games that reward players with a cryptocurrency, such as War Field, whos ingame coin is called GOLDER. There are esports platforms such as Skrilla, which uses the SKR cryptocurrency for betting matches and for purchasing gaming gear.
As you can see from just these few examples, the blockchain game applications and use-cases are numerous. Its really limited to the imagination of the developers as to what they can use cryptocurrencies for.
Scaling issues still need to be solved
For blockchain games to really take off, the industry must solve scalability. Crypto Kitties brought the Ethereum network to a halt. This was due to Ethereum’s low 15 TPS, a known issue proposed to be solved by Sharding and Plasma. These scaling proposals will increase Ethereum’s transaction speed up 1,500 TPS, a 100 fold increase.
Other blockchain protocols such as EOS, can achieve 1400 TPS according to block explorers. Mythical Games, a new blockchain game company, just raised $16 million in series A funding. The interesting part, all their games will be built on EOS. Clearly the scalability of EOS over Ethereum was a deciding factor for them.
Nevertheless, progress is being made and futurists are getting ready for the blockchain game economy. Imagine a world where playing a game wasn’t just for entertainment anymore. Imagine a world where someone can have a virtual career, earning coins and rare items for their efforts. This is coming.
Don’t get left behind
As odd as all of this may sound to come, I can assure you it is the future. Blockchain games, online multiplayer, virtual items, all of it, is going to keep growing. Rest assured, as internet speeds bring us closer together, and as the younger generations spend more time online, the virtual world is only going to grow.
I foresee many games implementing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the future. Blockchain games will become the standard, as players will want real virtual currency rewards for their efforts. Games that only give out ‘in-game’ rewards will suffer. Those that provide cryptocurrencies as the in-game money that can then be traded for Bitcoin or real money, will thrive.
Virtual real estate, collectibles, and virtual marketplaces will explode. Decentralised exchanges will likely be the value exchange mechanism that facilitates it. These decentralised exchanges will allow automated cross-chain trading of multiple assets. Furthermore, the blockchain the assets belong too will not matter. Integration will be achieved by developers using an API connecting a decentralised exchange to the game or wallet.
It’s the future, and it’s coming fast.
Beau is the Founder & Chief Editor at Cryptocurrency Australia Media, an educational platform designed to help anyone learn about cryptocurrency investment and blockchain technology. Beau is also the Founder & Principal Consultant of Blockchain Management Solutions, a specialist technical and project management consultancy, is an advisor with Masternode Ventures, a blockchain incubator, and is an advisor with THORChain, a new decentralized exchange protocol.