From an outsider’s perspective, there appears to be no connection between blockchain and gaming but they are more closely related than you think; in fact, both industries’ audiences intersect. Not only that, many brilliant cryptocurrency innovators actually took inspiration from the gaming industry which didn’t only introduce the idea of virtual currencies but virtual economies as well. And those concepts spilled into many fundamentals of the blockchain.
By 2020, the gaming industry will be worth over $90 billion with 47% of the global gaming revenues coming from online games.
On the other hand, cryptocurrency has seen major progress in terms of market capitalization and increasing revenue generation. In 2017, the capitalization crossed the mark of $500 billion due to a cryptocurrency boom which saw market getting flooded with amateur investors and enthusiasts. Over the course of last 2 years, the market has corrected itself and the capitalization now stands on $285 billion with a steady growth.
Why Gaming Needs Blockchain?
The gaming industry is ready for new changes in the manner virtual exchanges are conducted, just as the power that players have over their in-game assets. The ascent of blockchain provides numerous conveniences for the gaming industry, as it can offer all kinds of gamers an increasingly straightforward and decentralized approach to interact with their games and in-game resources.
As indicated by certain crypto connoisseurs, blockchain is going to change the essence of the gaming business sooner rather than later.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The characteristic of being decentralized ensures gamers that there is no central authority that has unfair and unconditional control over their virtual assets. It’s only the owners who can exercise control over their own assets.
Many game developers are as of now embracing blockchain with the advent of new dApps, or in layman terms decentralized applications that employ blockchain technology in gaming. Aside from the development of dApps, the gaming network can anticipate better approaches for dealing with their computation resources in their preferred computer games.
In a cryptogaming world, APIs will not be owned by game developers or studios but will remain widely available through public APIs. Moreover, it will be easier for developers to build useful additions and supplementary features for the gaming communities. Apart from that, one of the most crucial aspect would be cross-game or game-agnostic exchange of virtual assets.
Imagine trading your custom built racing car for a magical weapon! And all of this would be possible without having to incur any additional cost on the part of the gaming community. Decentralization will truly bring out the hidden potential of games and how communities interact. This will ensure that digital or virtual assets of players are not isolated to particular ecosystems and have the native capability of interoperating.
CryptoKitties – A Demonstration of Cryptogaming Success
You’d be hard pressed to find a better example of cryptogaming than CryptoKitties. It is a pretty straightforward concept with a solid execution. As a player you can simply buy the advanced felines utilizing Ethereum, which is a smart contract based cryptocurrency and only rival to the top status of Bitcoin.
The cats are made and put away as an ERC-721 token inside their own blockchain. ERC-721 is one of an assortment of code base measures for use inside the Ethereum blockchain – explicitly, a non-separable and non-fungible standard. Ethereum itself can be further diminished to little divisions, something that would be counterproductive to the CryptoKitties stage. Further, each feline should be novel, so each ERC-721 token is interesting and recognizable.
This method enables the players to breed and exchange their CryptoKitties for Ethereum inside the ecosystem. Because of the blockchain framework, the organization behind CryptoKitties can’t flood the market with cost effective cats, they can’t make duplicates of profitable cats and they can’t erase cats that have just been made. This is how the market is absolutely decentralized and worth is completely generated by the players. This averts loss of significant worth, as the makers can’t disturb their own framework.
Challenges that Lie Ahead
If there is so much potential in bringing the blockchain and gaming industries together, then the question arises what’s stopping the mass adoption. Following are the four crucial hurdles that we need to overcome.
- There are millions of game developers globally and they are used to the way things are. There needs to be a psychological shift in how developers perceive open source decentralized gaming. They need to be made aware of the benefits of dGames or decentralized games.
- Have technological will power and skill to deal with complex and convoluted ecosystem agnostic economies.
- Limiting the limitations of blockchain so it disappears somewhere into the background. For example, privacy. On blockchain, everything is public which may not set well with a majority of gamers.
If we can overcome these challenges, we will be able to carve out a path of least resistance for cryptogaming mass adoption. And at the pace the blockchain technology is progressing, I don’t think that day is too far ahead in the future.
As blockchain technology develops and gets increasingly popular, new crop of developers is hoping to make games within the blockchain. These decentralized games are not only technologically remarkable but offer a use case for cryptocurrencies. If this trend continues, and games like CryptoKitties, ETH.TOWN and TRON Dogs keep getting developed and become popular, we are going to enter into a new era of gaming we would call cryptogaming.
*All products/names used in the article belong their respective owners and are used here as a reference only without any claim of ownership on them.