Blockchain technology has become a vital part of the present and future development of sophisticated systems across different industries, and online gaming isn’t an exception. The peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology (DLT) eliminates the need for a central regulatory authority, offering transparency, privacy, security and immutability.
In traditional games, the central authority owns the databases, so players don’t own their gaming accounts, collectibles and other in-game assets. That comes with limitations and vulnerabilities such as infiltration by hackers, undeserved bans, game economy manipulation, etc. That’s what blockchain technology is changing, redefining the gaming experience by eliminating different issues.
So, how is blockchain redefining the digital gaming experience, and what are the key market trends associated with this technology?
What does Blockchain Bring to the Digital Gaming Industry?
According to industry experts, blockchain’s integration in the digital gaming market is simple due to its liquidity. Gamers are also accustomed to tokenization, as many games allow the players to buy in-game products using real and virtual money. Additionally, blockchain is addressing several long-standing issues in the gaming industry by:
Enhancing payment mediums
There have been various cases of major gaming networks being compromised and the players’ banking details leaked online or sold on black markets. Cryptocurrencies are incredibly private and secure, enhancing the players’ transaction experience.
Video games and cryptocurrencies trace their history to several years ago, following the collaboration of crypto companies like Stream and Twitch. These leading gaming brands have embraced crypto payments, indicating a bright future for cryptocurrency integration in video games.
Blockchain payment systems are quickly gaining traction in the digital gaming space as they reduce the intermediaries in the process and complete payments rapidly. They also guarantee the safety of payments and transaction data, as gamers can play privately and store their digital currencies in secure wallets like Trust Wallet. You can check the Trust Wallet review here to know what it offers and how to use it.
Making digital gaming more secure
The digital gaming industry is plagued by two main issues – cheating and DDoS attacks on the game servers. Blockchain addresses these seemingly disparate issues by managing the definitive game state and exploiting its peer consensus on each gamer’s action to track any modification on the player assets.
While blockchain’s high per-operation latency impedes its adoption for real-time systems, the technology can leverage several optimizations to prevent a large class of cheats. Blockchain-based games also leverage their robust peer-to-peer architecture, successfully defending them against DDoS attacks.
Blockchain decentralized systems are also the most secure way to store digital gaming assets and protect the player data from hackers. The safe gaming environment also enhances the productivity of entrepreneurs and developers as hackers can’t decimate a decentralized network.
The 2016 Ethereum Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) hack is an excellent example of how the blockchain enhances security and prevents fraud. In this case, malicious hackers exploited a bug in the DAO smart contract and almost made off with $70 million. However, blockchain’s transparency prevented it.
Allowing developers and players to collaborate
Blockchain is redefining the digital gaming industry by facilitating open communication between developers and players. That’s possible because the development of blockchain apps is supported by community consensus.
With the community consensus, a player or developer can think of an incredible idea to enhance any game, and the enhancements will become a reality if the community agrees. That enhances the player experience as the gamers are involved in the game development process.
Enhancing the player experience
Today’s increasingly changing situations make it challenging for users to differentiate products, making gaming developers and publishers look for ways to offer differentiating value. That’s where the player experience comes in as the competitive element, as different interactions must be enhanced. These interactions affect the player’s overall perception of the brand/game.
Blockchain technology improves the relationship between gaming companies and their players by allowing greater speed and security. The transparency of blockchain systems also enhances trust between the stakeholders, increasing brand loyalty and enhancing the player experience.
Enabling ownership of in-game assets
Blockchain enables the ownership of in-game assets by bringing in more legislation and transparency in the industry. The actual ownership of digital in-game items is the most significant characteristic offered by blockchain-based gaming, enabling players to trade scarce assets and make a profit.
Smart contracts handle every transaction in blockchain-based games. These smart contracts operate autonomously based on predefined criteria, and the transactions are permanent. As a result, all in-game goods acquired using smart contracts are instantly transferred to the public addresses of the participants when you open a blockchain-based game.
Besides that, there’s no centralized organization engaged in the functioning of smart contracts. That means that nobody can change the public address where these in-game assets are stored, and nobody can secretly change the ownership of these assets. They remain the participant’s property when they are assigned.
Improving the valuation of intangible assets
After CryptoKitties was released on 28th November 2017, players invested approximately $6.7 million by 6th December. These statistics show that players will prioritize intangible digital assets when an engaging blockchain game is launched.
When a developer creates an exciting game, players will be willing to put a value on intangible digital assets. This collaboration between cryptocurrency and engaging video games is contributing to a surge in investments in the gaming industry.
Development of gaming economies
The evolution of decentralized gaming economies is the most exciting development introduced by decentralization. Age of Rust is an excellent example of how blockchain is changing what’s possible in the gaming industry.
In Age of Rust, players receive an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency known as ‘Enjin Coin’ after completing different objectives. These tokens can be used outside the game to buy gift cards from various popular brands like Uber.
This method of monetizing gaming actions to promote real-life transactions is a great prospect with lots of opportunities and is only limited by the developers’ imagination. Theoretically, players can hire an experienced player for assistance or the necessary tools to complete different objectives, creating new digital economies.
Supports the development of interoperable player profiles
Crypto investors and traders use a unique public address for transactions across multiple blockchain networks. With blockchain-based games, the players can use their public addresses when playing different games. The players can use this public address to transact using their cryptocurrencies in these games without wasting time.
Blockchain-driven trends in the gaming industry
The introduction of blockchain-based systems in the gaming industry has made several major trends possible. These digital gaming trends include:
Asset tokenization in the gaming industry means transforming physical and digital in-game assets into tokens that you can sell on marketplaces. These assets include coins, skins, weapons, tools, diamonds and characters. The players who buy these assets become their owners and can securely store them on the blockchain. Additionally, players can track the usage of any digital asset and confirm its authenticity.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Digital Collectibles
Non-fungible tokens have gained the attention of many athletes and celebrities worldwide. These blockchain-based tokens represent unique in-game items that players can collect, buy or sell but can’t interchange or replicate.
The NFT craze started with the launch of CryptoKitties in 2017, where players could breed, buy, sell and collect digital kittens with unique traits and appearances. Axie Infinity is another exciting game that has leveraged non-fungible tokens, boasting the most extensive collection ever with over a billion dollars in trading volumes.
Hunting for Crypto
The play-to-earn gaming model is another popular trend in the digital gaming space. This model allows players to earn cryptocurrency while playing, as in-game assets are represented as NFTs that can be traded on digital marketplaces.
CryptoBlades is an excellent example of games that work this way. This NFT role-playing game rewards players with SKILL tokens after completing raids, fighting monsters and defeating enemies. These tokens can be traded on an open marketplace or wagered to get additional tokens. However, most crypto games require an initial investment.
While blockchain-based games are still in their infancy stage, the technology is reshaping the digital gaming industry as we know it. The technology has brought many innovations to the gaming ecosystem, including decentralization, NFTs, the real ownership of digital gaming assets and the play-to-earn model. That said, we can expect a more player-driven gaming economy powered by blockchain.