Games on Blockchain or Blockchain for Games?
The video gaming industry is huge and shows no signs of slowing down. While there were almost two billion video gamers across the world in 2016, this figure is expected to rise to over three billion gamers by 2023.
People are exposed to millions of games, spanning across multiple genres and platforms that give players the ultimate satisfaction of winning and progressing. Behind many of these games are teams of psychologists and developers that implement novelties and technologies to give the users the best realistic experience of gaming, making games more addictive and influential than ever.
It is no wonder that the gaming industry is worth billions.
Just look at virtual reality. That s**t is gettin’ crazy.
And since the gaming industry can be considered one of the most technologically savvy.. it should come as no surprise when we talk about Blockchain Gaming. There are now games developed on Blockchains like Ethereum and Monero. Others implement Blockchain partially, for storing data or in-game assets.
But first things, first!
Why does gaming need blockchain?
Trust and transparency issue
Well, as the industry grows, new problems emerge. We wouldn’t have had the need to address problems like lack of transparency and trust in games, a decade ago, but with virtual reality (VR) and 5G data streaming capabilities became part of gaming, everything is closer to real-life than ever, turning them into a warehouse of emotion-churning, engrossing games that reward precision and planning.
Those games are often invented with twisted plots where characters (like Super Mario) don’t just die while chasing some distant goal like a princess in a castle. Instead, players build up and customize characters by trading and buying assets that can be purchased with real-world money as an in-game purchase or earned as the player progresses in the game in order to level up and complete missions. It is like games have an economy inside them, which is completely controlled by the developers.
Gamers want fairness and transparency when it comes to transactions and ownership of assets, so games need to become more neutral for players who work hard or spend their money to acquire them(guns, props, environments, cars, planes, characters, and art). But since these assets are virtual, game developers can just produce an unlimited amount or rig the market by providing them to certain players, which contradicts the meaning of the games – to be fair.
This is where Blockchain comes!
Blockchain enables the tokenization of these assets and the creation of decentralized gaming asset markets. Since the ledger is open for everyone to check and verify, this increases the trust factor.
Gaming platforms are mainly hosted on centralized servers and transactions are often made on mobile devices or computers without adequate security measures. Also, assets held in gaming accounts are prone to be stolen. They are not as secure as bank accounts, however valuable a gaming account can be.
Blockchain is designed to be unhackable and is known for being the most secure way of storing value. By storing digital gaming assets on a blockchain a player would enhance their security and would have to worry if those hours of effort were in vain.
Games on Blockchain
Games are a great way to hook someone on new technology and for those who want to feel the nature of Blockchain, there are games developed entirely on Blockchain.
Axie Infinity is one of the longest-standing and most popular games on Ethereum where you collect creatures, raise them, breed them, and battle them. It has very cute graphics and it can answer the question “What would CryptoKitties be like if you could do more than just breed them?”
Axie Infinity isn’t a ground-breaking use of blockchain, but it’s the best at what it does and is an accessible entry-level game.
Decentraland is another game on Ethereum that launched in early 2020. The game is a decentralized virtual world that has much to offer, including unique avatars, events, custom buildings and items, and seasonal quests. Everything within the game is owned by the player, from the clothes that you create and wear to the very land that you walk on.
But the thing is..there is no need to put everything on-chain to reap the rewards of blockchain tech.
What goes on-chain?
In reality, the optimum system makes use of elements both on and off-chain, working combined to provide all the benefits of blockchain in a way that is feasible within current technical boundaries and safeguards the commercial sensitivities of operators.
Game developers can still keep hold of proprietary information and game logic, running this off-chain for the company’s privacy reasons. On-chain, player profiles and data, as well as game information, can be stored for the sake of those key benefits – transparency and visibility. The combination of on-chain data, derived from off-chain game logic and interactions, makes for a model that is perfect for meeting the needs of the gaming sector, for now.
And let’s not forget one very important thing!
Ownership of in-game assets
То encourage longer playtime, developers implemented rewards for players who put in hours and hours of effort to achieve a certain objective. But despite investing time and hard-earned money into the game, the players do not own the digital assets they have built up. Developers hold the power to change or remove items as they see fit which makes players merely licensees of their product.
One of the new blockchain-enabled development focuses on transferring the ownership of in-game assets from developers to players.
Games are even starting to flip the script and enabling players to be the true owners of their in-game assets. This is facilitated by smart contracts which mean that ownership of the digital asset is automatically passed to the player when a certain predefined condition is met (such as purchasing the asset or completing challenges). Since the data on a blockchain is immutable, the smart contract cannot be reversed by the developer. This presents a number of opportunities for players to monetize their skills and progress. For example, a tournament winner could sell or auction off their game-winning tool. With blockchain, you can trace the history of each in-game asset – and owning some champion tools would be like owning a piece of historic sports memorabilia.
The intersection of blockchain and gaming is an interesting world where lifelike reality is possible in a virtual world. With advances in VR, this world is more likely to be even more integrated with our real-world experience than we can imagine right now.
We are witnessing a revolution in gaming and blockchain. Combined, they will create an ecosystem that works seamlessly,taking gaming to a completly new level.