When the world’s first blockchain was created in 2008, to solve the double-spending problem for peer-to-peer digital currencies, few people imagined that this new technology would revolutionize the way we play video games. What at first seemed something that would only impact the financial world, ended up being used for different applications, and today blockchains are causing complete makeovers in several markets and industries.
Essentially, the blockchain serves as the public ledger for a peer-to-peer digital currency or cryptocurrency. It contains a sequence of records called blocks, each one with information from previous blocks, cryptographic hashes, and timestamps, making it virtually impossible to be hacked. The first blockchain was created for Bitcoin, but since then many others have been developed, giving birth to several cryptocurrencies.
And one of the industries that have been benefiting the most from blockchain technologies is the video game industry. A market on track to pass the $200 million mark by 2023, gaming has had a meteoric rise towards becoming one of the world’s most popular forms of digital media, and this new technology is paving the way for a whole new world of opportunities, both for gamers and developers.
Since blockchains consist of completely decentralized structures, developers became able to give players total control regarding anything within the game, from creation rights to governance decisions, and to create new exciting gaming experiences that provide play-to-earn features and cross-game interoperability, through content monetization and cross-game interoperability. With many titles being developed, and several others already available or currently going through open-beta phases, blockchain games are showing us that decentralized environments are the future of the industry.
A hot trend in the crypto world in recent months, non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are one of the many tools that are helping blockchains and cryptocurrencies reach new heights. As smart contracts on a blockchain, NFTs provide proof of ownership of all content created within blockchain games, allowing players to monetize content and profit from their effort invested into gaming.
Created for gamers, controlled by gamers
Time and effort… all of us gamers have spent countless hours grinding in video games, whether it’s developing a character, searching for rare items, or even farming for gold. There’s a lot of dedication involved, and the rewards were never truly compensating. All we ever got was the permission or the privilege of using in-game assets, and we never owned anything.
But that’s where blockchain gaming is revamping the way we play video games. Total control and true ownership are the key concepts behind blockchain games, and thanks to their decentralized structure, players can finally be rewarded for the time and effort invested, and really own their share of a game, from items and equipment, to virtual worlds, and even money in the form of cryptocurrencies. This structure also provides players control over governance decisions within the game and how these environments are managed and operated.
A good example of this decentralized structure is the Animoca Brands’ recently released adventure game The Sandbox. Based on the Ethereum blockchain, The Sandbox is an interactive adventure game, in which players can build virtual worlds, design characters, items, and scenery objects, and create interactive adventures that can be played by other gamers. All content created can be monetized as non-fungible tokens, and these assets can be sold in the game’s own marketplace, using The Sandbox’s dedicated currency.
NFTs are here to stay
NFTs, NFTs, NFTs… unless you’ve been offline for the past year, you probably heard or read about non-fungible tokens. This new trend is taking over the world, and is currently generating a lot of buzz. For those still unfamiliar with the concept, NFTs are units of data on a blockchain, representing an unique digital item, whether it’s a piece of digital art, a video clip, or an item within a video game. They are smart contracts that provide proof of ownership, and in most cases are based on the Ethereum blockchain.
The first game that incorporated non-fungible tokens was CryptoKitties, which was somewhat of a frenzy in 2017. In it, players collect and trade virtual cats, and breed them to create cats with better stats and attributes. The game instantly attracted thousands of players, and some cats were sold for more than $100,000.
Currently, one of the most popular blockchain games that make use of NFTs is CryptoBlades, which reported more than 50,000 users in the last month, and more than $4 million in transactions in the same period. Developed by Riveted Games, CryptoBlades is a role-playing game based on the Binance Smart Chain, in which players battle monsters, craft weapons and items, participate in raids, and trade their items as NFTs in the game’s decentralized marketplace.
With the emergence of blockchain games, players can finally become more active in the gaming community, by truly owning their assets and rights, and being able to make money off the games. And thanks to blockchains and NFTs, the gaming industry can journey through a new path, in which both developers and gamers can benefit from it.