How Blockchain Gaming is Taking the Crypto Ecosystem to the Next Level
When people hear the words “blockchain gaming”, they often think of games like CryptoKitties, the Ethereum-based gaming platform that gained popularity a few years ago. But blockchain gaming is much more than just selling and buying virtual kittens — it is now being used to manage the purchase and trade of collectible in-game assets in more conventional games. This not only benefits millions of developers and gamers, but also the entire crypto ecosystem. Let’s take a look at some numbers.
Gaming is part of mainstream culture
Gaming in all its forms has shown significant growth across the world and has impacted various areas ranging from social media, emerging technologies such as AR and VR, to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. As gamers were already familiar with in-game virtual currencies, the transition to crypto was natural and they were among the earliest adopters of cryptocurrencies. Thus, gamers are an obvious target market in the crypto economy and may well play a significant role in how the blockchain ecosystem develops. Gamers can generate a huge amount of on-chain activity, which helps generate revenue for the miners on whom the entire ecosystem depends.
Constantly increasing market
Newzoo’s 2019 Global Games Market Report shows clearly that the global games market is expanding, projected to grow to USD 196 billion by 2022, which represents a CAGR of 9% between 2018 and 2022. Emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence make the possibilities for further innovation seem endless. While crypto gaming still represents a small share of the overall market, the opportunities are massive.
More than just CryptoKitties
The popularity of ethereum-based blockchain games was kick started by CryptoKitties allowing Gamers to buy and sell virtual kittens with cryptocurrencies. The game uses non-fungible tokens, which means that each kitten is unique, making them irreplaceable and non-replicable. But while gamers have spent millions of dollars on kittens, this is just one example of what blockchain can bring to the world of gaming.
The technology is also beginning to be deployed in more conventional games on popular platforms like PC, Android and console. Enjinverse, for example, is a platform through which in-game items can be acquired with crypto and seamlessly moved between multiple compatible games. The most prominent Enjinverse title so far is Age of Rust, a PC-based, first-person adventure game combining puzzles and action similar to Myst or Firewatch. In total, Enjin has over 20 million users and has partnered with Unity, the game engine used by half of all game developers globally.
Another player to watch this year is Cocos-BCX. The platform’s goal is to create a complete multi-platform game environment where developers can create, build, and test blockchain games. The platform has attracted over 1.7 million developers and raised USD 40 million in financing two years ago. The company has a market capitalization of USD 9.49 million, according to MarketBeat. Companies like Enjinverse and Cocos-BCX demonstrate the potential of gaming to drive the expansion of the cryptocurrency industry.
A new milestone in the gaming world — standardization
The buying and selling of in-game goods using cryptocurrencies will help make the process seamless and secure. In addition, developers can now build a token framework. The game developer platform Mythical Games, for example, recently announced the integration of Microsoft Azure blockchain, which enables organizations to leverage the Token Taxonomy Framework to digitize physical and digital assets. This allows Mythical Games to strengthen its dGoods standard, which is a step towards creating a common standard for tokenized in-game assets.
Ready for the Next Level
The gaming market has grown alongside the development of emerging technologies like blockchain, AI, AR, VR. In these purely digital worlds, it seems obvious that the payments mechanisms would also be digital and frictionless. Thus, when gamers are buying new armour or upgrading their stadium in their favourite game in the coming years, they may increasingly reach for their crypto wallet rather than their credit card.