Blockchain technology wields an awesome power within its intricate web of records and blocks. Like Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir, the blockchain holds a great energy. And with great energy comes great responsibility. The technology’s disruptive power is a force to be reckoned with.
The power of blockchain can be channeled through many industry sectors. The worldwide acceptance of blockchain technology has made a substantial difference to healthcare, manufacturing, shipping, media, and of course, gaming.
The online gaming industry reached a high of $110bn in 2017, and it shows no signs of stopping.
Now, game developers can take advantage of the blockchain’s technological possibilities to create new immersive, novel, and very profitable online experiences.
In the beginning, there were…virtual cats?
Cryptokitties entered history books in 2017 as the first game to use blockchain technology to power its engine.
The game allowed players to collect, trade, and breed virtual cats in an online environment. Cryptokitties caught on, with its in-game action taking up as much as 30% of the entire Ethereum network capacity at times.
The kittie sparked a spending furore that has seen players forking out $23m on un- fungible feline stuff thus far.
Cryptokitties became the opening salvo of a brand new gaming race.
New monetization models
In the early days of gaming, bedroom coders were the order of the day. Anyone with enough programming knowledge could code a game in a matter of hours or days. The
publisher would then sell the game at fixed, upfront price, give the programmer their due commission, and wait for the next game. But that was before the internet era. Such business model is now as obsolete as a VHS tape.
Modern game development is a lengthy and costly affair. An A-title might take anything up to four years to complete, leaving gamers waiting for the next installment in their favorite franchise with great anticipation.
These long development cycles mean that only big name studios can afford the luxury of time, as they have a firmly established gamer base whose expenditure helps finance new developments.
Smaller studios do not have the luxury of time, as their profit margins are very tight indeed.
This is where that awesome power of the blockchain comes in.
Blockchain’s decentralized nature opens up the game environment to the global community, enabling small developers to benefit from much larger revenue streams.
In-game items such as skins, chests, weapons, etc. become tradable commodities that
anyone can purchase or sell. The developer’s monetization opportunities through the
game world have increased thousandthfold thanks to the blockchain.
In-game transactions on the blockchain: Faster, safer, and cheaper
Blockchain technology enables transactions to occur faster, in a safer manner, and crucially, cheaper. This is a key factor for game developers, as profit margins for even the least valuable in-game items are potentially huge.
Blockchain’s inherent decentralization has another advantage: Game developers do not need to worry about fraud or legal issues, as in-game currency exists across the entire blockchain, rather than in a single, central server that would require monitoring and maintaining.
Blockchain technology probably won’t revolutionize the way games look. The real impact will be felt at a deeper level of the gaming environment.
Developers will enjoy greater revenue, while players will be able to trade in-game times faster and with a wider array of people worldwide.
Blockchain is pushing online frontiers, creating new gaming environments and opportunities to grow the gaming ecosystem.