If you ask any crypto enthusiast, they’ll say decentralisation is the future. This sentiment may well pertain to the future of gaming as well. If you haven’t heard of blockchain gaming before, now is the time to learn.
Virtual currencies have become something of a norm within the video game world – whether it be ‘V-Bucks’ in Fortnite, ‘FIFA Points’ in FIFA, or maybe you’re paying to unlock Darth Vader in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.
In any event, it makes reasonable sense for the crypto world to tap into the hugely profitable video games market.
Blockchain gaming is already real, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been added to some of them. Many cryptocurrencies are non-fungible, meaning they cannot be liquidated into fiat but they are interchangeable with other cryptocurrency tokens. If we were to see the adoption of non-fungible tokens in the mainstream video game world, we could be on the cusp of seeing an exponential increase in the size of the cryptosphere.
Blockchain is pivotal for cryptocurrencies, but what’s its relevance within the gaming world? The technology behind blockchain enables transparency as well as proof of ownership, which are particularly relevant for gaming.
In-game virtual currency is nothing new and will continue to grow. Video games are based on technology, and as technology grows, so too will the video game industry.
One could argue that progress is inextricably tied to experience within games. There is scarcely a player alive who doesn’t love equipping their character with the best weapons/gear.
However, there is nothing more soul crushing than losing your entire progress for some unfortunate reason. Sometimes the console/PC breaks, other times game progress can become corrupted. This is an issue that can be alleviated with the integration of blockchain technology as it can provide absolute digital ownership.
Non-fungible tokens are pieces of digital content that are bound to the blockchain. Since they cannot be liquidated, each one is unique and part of a limited supply. This increases rarity, which in turn increases overall value. If an NFT is converted into in-game currency, players will be able to purchase a new character costume or weapon skin.
Since NFTs are bound to the blockchain, which is a form of ‘distributed ledger technology,’ everybody on the blockchain will know that item belongs to your account. Your personal identity will not be revealed, but since the blockchain is publicly available, there will be some indication as to who/where the item belongs.
As the word ‘distributed’ implies, the blockchain is not controlled by any singular authority. Instead, the blockchain network is supported by a plethora of nodes (computer devices) across the globe. It is therefore distributed across the people. This also means that the blockchain is immutable – it cannot be retroactively altered.
This in short ensures that once you own an in-game item on the blockchain, it is yours. The item is no longer in the custody of the game developer or a third party – you own it. This is how ‘digital scarcity’ is achieved, because items suddenly become unique and cannot be duplicated. Naturally, this drives the value of the item up, creating a marketplace of sorts – one that is unattached to a single centralised entity.
The future might already be here
Many game developers have already noticed the open market for decentralised gaming. Developers that have worked for video game behemoths like Microsoft, PlayStation, and Nintendo are already involved in the space.
The Ethereum blockchain has been a leading tool for the creation of blockchain games for a short while now. On the Ethereum blockchain, game developers can create decentralised applications, or dApps for short. In fact, there is even a marketplace that ranks all the top dApp games that have been created on the blockchain.
However, a lot of these games are limited and pale in comparison to traditional AAA games or other titles released on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.
But, rumours and reports have been indicating that this could all change soon. There is already a first-person shooter on the market that allows players to win or lose cryptocurrency based on the amount of kills and deaths they record.
There is also another game currently in development that focuses on ‘digital scarcity‘ and in-game item ownership, while another game developer has rallied a team of industry veterans, including a former Rockstar CEO and the ‘Father of PlayStation,’ to develop a series of blockchain-based games.
It remains to be seen how any of these projects will do in the future, but in any case, recent events seem to be hinting at a bright, decentralised future for video games.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.