The global gaming market has been relentlessly growing for quite a while – in 2020, it has generated about $21.1 billion in revenues, an impressive 21.9% increase in a single year increase in a single year – and the notorious pandemic only accelerates the expansion of online games as players are forced to turn to the digital environment. There are over a billion gamers around the globe, and the mark is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2025.
From 8-bit Super Mario games to free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena games and mixed realities, gaming has been evolving at an impressive rate, but the best is yet to come! Having been thought of as a match made in heaven for over half a decade, blockchain-based online games are here to shift the paradigm…or are they?
Today we’re gonna dig into the intricacies of blockchain-based games along with Aleksandra Maj, an inveterate gamer and a gambling expert from KasynoHEX. Having witnessed a few generations of online games, Aleksandra has a very peculiar opinion on the use of blockchain in gaming. Without further ado, let’s start, shall we?
Preventing Fraud and Creating New Opportunities for Gamers
Now, what is a blockchain? A blockchain is a distributed, consensus-based public ledger storing information about the participants of the network (nodes). The main point of a blockchain – there are hundreds of blockchains different in properties – is that there’s no central administration and therefore no single point of failure that could compromise or destroy the network: for that, a potential attacker would need to reach a consensus – an agreement – with at least 50% of the network nodes, which is almost impossible in blockchains enough. An ideal blockchain is immutable, transparent, lightning-fast, and consensus-driven.
- By the way, the casino online market has already taken advantage of the technology. Both innovative platforms and recognized market leaders like Vulkan Vegas or Energy Casino are now actively implementing a blockchain-powered Provably Fair algorithm to allow players to verify the outcomes of their games.
In gaming, though, with its hack-proof encryption technologies and distributed nature, blockchain could be used for:
- Creating games. As of now, talented developers without significant experience in the gaming industry have no chance to land any worthwhile position in a big corporation, but blockchain-based games could change the sad state of affairs by providing an open-source code that anyone can copy and try to improve. Moreover, blockchain enables open communication between gamers and developers: nodes can vote for the changes they would like to see, and then the developers can implement those adjustments – as simple as that!
- Buying and selling in-game assets. Not only can the assets you own in a centralized game be stolen, but they also don’t belong to you. On the other hand, anytime you buy a digital asset in blockchain-based games, it will be sent to your crypto wallet, the one that no one but you has access to. Also, rare in-game assets could be better appreciated in blockchain-based games because everyone can verify the rarity, whereas, in centralized games, there’s no guarantee that the company wouldn’t just print yet another batch of unique suits of armor.
- Create interoperable profiles. Running interoperable profiles for an unlimited number of games is as simple as using the same address for all your transactions. And if you don’t want to, then you can just generate a unique public address for every transaction.
And now let’s face the tough truth: although blockchain could have long been implemented into most online games, not too much has been done in this direction so far. Why?
Obstacles on the Way to the Breakthrough
How many blockchain-based games have you played so far? Not too many, if any at all. There are two main reasons for that:
- First of all, most multi-million online games are centralized walled gardens, which is pretty natural since the companies these games belong to are fighting for their profits. There were many attempts to modify games – for example, World of Warcraft – but in most cases, it all ended with a cease-and-desist letter that ended the whole shebang.
- Secondly, the most popular smart contract platform, Ethereum, isn’t effectively scalable. There are quite a few solutions in production, including layer two technologies, but the undetermined state of ETH somehow confuses the developers or makes them think there’s no way around it rather than creating an independent blockchain for every single game.
That said, decentralized, modifiable, consensus-based, blockchain-based games are on the horizon, so get ready!