Crypto and gaming is a combination that would be a nightmare to explain to older generations, but one that could contain a hidden potential for both industries. The video game industry is a $137 billion beast and is still growing. With crypto slowly entering more areas of our economy, it is surely only a question of time before the two join together.
So, what elements of the gaming industry could benefit from crypto?
Developing games can be very expensive. More often than not, publishers that already have a few successful releases can invest in the next big game. Smaller, newer studios have to be creative in fundraising or compromise by creating a game that doesn’t quite meet the original vision. In recent years, ICOs have become a popular fundraising model for various projects, and smaller developers could turn to them to raise capital to develop their games.
The reasons for choosing ICOs over other crowdfunding models vary. Some startups use them because they offer lower fees, while others believe the value their tokens will hold will be a great incentive for people to invest in their project. If you find ICOs, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as comprehensible as Chattur’gha’s spells from Eternal Darkness, but you want to familiarize yourself with the world of crypto, this is a great resource for crypto beginners.
ICOs are not a magic wand that can wave away the financial problems small studios are encountering, but it is hard to imagine that they aren’t an option some of the small studios will reach for. With a new customizable method of funding available and the creative capabilities of the gaming industry, we can expect to see some interesting combinations of the two in the future.
Online multiplayer games are, and will probably remain, among the most popular genres in the industry. Most of these games include some kind of in-game economy such as simple systems for purchasing skins in MOBAs, or, in games such as World of Warcraft, ecosystems that try to simulate a real-life economy.
There is a variety of methods of obtaining items and other resources in games, some are only available in-game, whereas, in others, you can buy them with real money. In most cases, both of these options are available. Even during the era of vanilla WoW, players were buying in-game gold from gold farmers. We could say that WoW gold was a digital currency that obtained value in real life, demonstrating the power of the role in-game economies have.
Games with blockchain-based economies are already being developed. The Island: Privateers Life is a first such MMO, which is currently under development. Some don’t have huge expectations for this game in particular, but it’s worth saluting the effort and novelty concept of a game where an in-game currency is viable for use in real life. With such refreshing systems being introduced by a four-man team, we can expect even bigger things when a large developer, such as Blizzard, decides to create a game with a cryptocurrency as the backbone of the in-game economy.
Ownership and trading of in-game assets
With blockchain technology, there is a possibility of creating games that allow you to own in-game assets your character holds. With a unique code generated for each newly created item, it is possible to craft unique items in-game and assign the code to them. This is different from games that aren’t based on the blockchain, as with this method it would be possible to transfer in-game assets from your in-game inventory to your personal crypto wallet.
A further possibility that this raises is for trading items outside of the game. As mentioned previously, it is not unusual for a secondary market of in-game assets to appear if the game is popular enough. Utilizing already-established crypto exchanges will make the trading of in-game assets outside of the game fast and secure.
Platforms for gamers and developers
So far, there are only a handful of games using crypto, but platforms that should help gamers and developers adapt to the crypto market much more quickly.
Decentralized gaming ecosystems, such as FLUX GAMING and IQeon, aim to help gamers monetize their gaming skills by earning cryptocurrencies for playing, unlocking achievements and winning games. BitGuild’s goal is to create a platform that enables the cross-game trading of items, whereas Dream Team specializes in eSports and provides a platform for the recruitment and management of eSports teams.
From this variety of platforms, we can see that game developers may be slow in adapting to crypto, but some gamers have already embraced it. This demonstrates there is a future for crypto in gaming even if games themselves don’t implement it.
With the possibilities that gaming giants bring to the industry, the real question isn’t “Will crypto in gaming take off?”, the question is “When will it take off?” Once the first major players in the industry decide to develop a video game with a blockchain-based economy, we could see a new trend of crypto games flooding the market.
This post was written by Tempson True. He is COO and PM at ICOHolder.com and has an extensive background in internet marketing and product management, managing over 50 web products. He holds a Masters in Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication.