In our previous article, we already wrote about what the Blockchain is and how it can transform the future of online gambling. Now we want to take a step back and talk about other emerging blockchain solutions in the video game industry. With internet completely taken over with the buzz about cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and get-rich-quick models, we are quickly reminded of the dot-com explosion or the American gold rush of the 1850s. Gold like the digital currencies of today was the only goal. Many raced towards that goal(d) without seeing other business opportunities.

The ones who actually profited from the rush were the industries that were making and selling shovels, pick, and pans or constructing railroads. Blockchain technology is like that and many are wondering what will be the “picks, shovels and pans” of this new disrupting trend. As payments are only a small feature of blockchain technology – let’s look at how blockchain is already breaking the rules of the video game industry and solving its problems along the way.

Transparent gambling and E-sports betting

Blockchain technology not only creates trustless gambling, which the players are very enthusiastic about. Others have realized that blockchain technology has potential in the E-sports industry as well. E-sports platforms like Firstblood and Unikrn led by the well-known billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban are using blockchain and tokens to facilitate transparent online E-sports betting. With the projected engaged viewership of 300 million people by 2020, who wouldn’t want to get into this business?

Blockchain assets in games

Do you own a sweet +3 dragon slayer sword embedded with soul sucking crystals? Can you sell it outside the game? Does it actually belong to you? Some video game development companies are already breaking down barriers between the in-game and real-world economies by putting game assets on a blockchain. That means if a player owns an item, for example, a digital trading card on a blockchain, he or she doesn’t need to go through untrustworthy forums to try and sell it. The card already has value with the token it is associated with and selling or trading it becomes easier and safer. One of the first games to do this was Spells of Genesis, and suddenly you own cards not only in-game but also in the real world. According to the founder and CEO of EverdreamSoft Shaban Shaame “We want to set a new paradigm, not only for the game industry, but for the whole economy. An economy of peer to peer trades, decentralization of companies, projects and patrimony.” Not only card trading games but other video games are following suit. Beyond the void is just one such example, which claims that it is the world’s first indie game to implement Ethereum blockchain technology. In any case it is definitely not the last.

Photo: Beyond The Void presskit

Game item marketplaces

One of the biggest problems with the gaming industry is that you spend your hard-earned real-world money to spend time in a virtual world where assets are only valued in those worlds. This makes it a frustrating experience and the player is dependent on the whims and control of the game developers or third-party intermediaries. Not to mention that you can be hacked, banned or the whole game could seize development at any moment and you just wasted your time and money. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this one is a gamechanger. Companies like Enjin coin, Gamecredits, Gameflip or Dmarket are creating markets for users to trade in their in-game items and other assets for blockchain tokens. Virtually making everything you own in any game (even your achievements) a valued asset in the real world. We don’t know if the developers behind these platforms even realize the possible disruption to the socio-economic situation, but the gamers should be really excited. Now not only your CS:GO skins or purple NBA cards will have value (which you still need to extract through shady deals on various forums), but everything you own on any game will have real-world value. Tired of playing a game? Cash out and try something new. Achievements? Want to make your game exciting and even more challenging to players? Put a token value on special challenges turning achievements into items. People are already crazy about achievements, think what this could do. And of course to the parents of avid teenage gamers: Beware! Your argument that games are a waste of time and money will soon be really invalid.

Pushing the frontier of blockchain

We are nowhere close to the limit of what can be achieved using the blockchain technology. One of the ideas in development right now pushes the uses of this technology even further by creating a virtual world on a blockchain. As stated on their website: “Decentraland is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Users can create, experience, and monetize content and applications.” Their ICO feels a lot different than everything we have seen in cryptocurrencies up until now. Investors, artists, and developers bought land in their new Genesis city. Everything there has its value in the real world and the participants dictate the rules of the new virtual world economy. Do you feel like packing up and moving to the new Wild West, yet?

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The gaming industry holds the brightest minds in creative UX and UI designs and it already strives to make token based economies and assets accessible to many. It is no stretch of the imagination to believe that an elegant user-friendly solution to blockchain technology will come from this 110 bln. dollar industry. Definitely more elegant than a pickaxe, shovel or pan. Maybe one of you reading this article will take us to the future of this technology and we here at Melior Games would like to help you on this journey. Contact us for a quote.