There are a huge variety of gaming systems currently on the market, but it’s currently impossible to search across all gaming platforms to see exactly what games exist and who is playing them/creating them. It’s also very tough for undiscovered developers to get recognized, and players don’t really “own” the assets they earn. Blockchain technology could be the solution people have been searching for. The blockchain has been called the modern hero of technology. It’s the latest tech craze to excite entrepreneurs and impact the finance, retail, medicine, insurance and gambling industries. It makes sense that gaming would be next.
The reason gaming is such a major industry is partly due to the influx of genres which now appeal to every audience. With the existence of VR, AR, A.I. and smart technology, there isn’t any demographic these days that isn’t covered. There are over 2.2 billion active gamers in the world, and 47% of them spend money. Some even see gaming as more than just a hobby, it’s a career. However, there’s no decentralized method of searching what’s available, and gaming in general needs to have a more satisfying user experience. There are three main reasons to merge blockchain technology with the gaming industry.
Reason #1 — Overstuffed Market
There are literally hundreds of thousands of games being created by a multitude of developers, but most users keep going back to what’s familiar. Sometimes they seek out the most popular game on their preferred gaming console, sometimes they return to the games they’re most comfortable playing. There’s no single database to let users search across all gaming platforms, so developers of unknown games might spend their entire careers going unrecognized.
There is also the issue of backward compatibility. Some upgraded systems don’t allow a user to play older games. While there are many games that can be played on most consoles, there are also many that aren’t backwards compatible. Another major issue is downloadable content (DLC) not being transferable or available to the owner/user after an upgrade.
Reason #2 — Unsatisfying User experience
In order to progress in games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Madden, users must invest huge amounts of time to develop skills, grow rankings, reach achievements and obtain awards. But users never really “own” anything they earn.
It’s very rare for users to be considered the actual owners of any in-game items they purchase because of the creation aspect of intellectual property law. However, gamers don’t seem to mind spending money on digital content without any actual ownership. The success of Pokemon Go is a good example.
Gamers know their virtual items would have tremendous value if traded in the real world. As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, virtual gaming items are starting to be tokenized across blockchain games. This means that future gamers will finally own assets and be able to trade them. Fuel Bros, previously known for the blockchain game, EtherBots, has announced that their next game Gods Unchained will be the first blockchain-based eSports multiplayer strategy game. Gamers will be given absolute, trust-free ownership of any in-game items they purchase or earn.
Many consumers are already used to reward programs because of the hospitality industry, and gamers have plenty of experience playing for incentives. Tokenizing games will further motivate players to play towards an end-goal because digital assets will have real-world physical properties and values. Developers will also gain notoriety because they will start to form a fan base. A rewards-based program where gamers and developers are able to monetize off their gaming and development skills is what everyone has been dreaming about.
Decentraland is a decentralized user-owned virtual world that was created using Ethereum. They will be investing $5 million to fund blockchain gaming projects that will be built on the Decentraland platform. The project is called the Genesis Content Program, and it’s for rookie developers to submit proposals for blockchain games and interactive experiences.
Reason #3 — Lack of Universal Search
As a user, it can become extremely overwhelming and stressful to search for your next game or series. Because there are so many options, it’s easy to just stick with what you know. There are some review sites such as IGN that identify and review games online, but even they aren’t able to list everything. There currently is no single, efficient, universal way to search/sort all games by genre, developer, or title.
Because the blockchain has the ability to create an itemized database like Netflix or IMDB, it can easily maintain a dynamic, searchable database. In addition to helping users search for their next experience, it could help developers form a much-needed fan base.
RAWG is an online searchable gaming database that is called “the IMDB of gaming”. This is a great resource for developers and gamers who want to overcome the barrier of invisibility. Similar to the way IMDB lets you browse by actor, director, or studio, RAWG’s platform allows users to search for other gamers and studios, in addition to developers.