Blockchain and cryptocurrencies opened up enormous potential in many industries, including the video game industry. As it stands most video games already have some form of microtransactions, even if just for players to buy additional graphics. These digital purchases are, however, locked to a single game, serve only cosmetic purposes, and are therefore limited in their appeal.
But what if game items could be transferred between titles? What if a weapon in one game was usable in another game? What if items purchased were tradable, sellable, and became a mini-ecosystem all of their own? It could be a new era for games, one where in-game items have real, tangible value.
This is the concept behind blockchain based video games. But could it really work?
Caution And Hesitation
Gamers are, rightly so, extremely hesitant about blockchain and crypto technology being inserted into their games. This stands to reason, especially given the propensity of big game studios to go too far.
Fears are that big studios will lean so far into adding digital assets that the gaming systems themselves will change for the worse. After all, if big gaming studios smell earning potential they tend to go overboard. Look no further than the FIFA games for a prime example.
But, if blockchain and crypto based games were done right, the tech could be a revolutionary step in the industry. Steam Trading Cards are a perfect example, having become an entire ecosystem inside the Steam storefront. Over 11,000 Steam games have trading cards, thousands of cards are traded and sold daily, and it was all implemented fairly and amicably.
Why can’t the same be done for the gaming industry as a whole?
What Is The Hold Up?
Check out a few cryptocurrency exchange reviews and it’s obvious that blockchain is catching on. As knowledge of decentralised currencies spreads, so too does interest in what the technology could mean. So the real question is; why haven’t game studios integrated the tech already? After all, aren’t big gaming companies always looking to push the boundaries and explore new avenues?
The truth is that although there is clear potential, getting companies to invest has been a challenge. Major developers clearly understand what can be done with blockchain, but simply aren’t ready to commit. Not, at least, until they see clear benefits to their bottom-line.
Or to put it another way; although the systems could be fairly and amicably integrated, as with Steam Trading Cards, the earning potential doesn’t seem worth it. At least not to big video game studios.
Will It Ever Happen?
It seems almost inevitable that cryptos and blockchain will eventually land up in major video game releases. As to when, and how, remains to be seen. But the potential is simply too great to be ignored, especially when developers are looking for new ways to spice up their products.
Hopes are that, above all else, studios will see the potential without going too far. The trust of gamers can still be won back, assuming that the tech is used in a way that everyone can agree with.