Introduction – what are blockchain games
Blockchain is steadily gaining popularity in the gaming industry. Its main advantages — decentralization and openness — can significantly change the gaming market. Thanks to the blockchain, users can own and freely exchange in-game assets without intermediaries, including between different games. This also benefits developers – they can earn extra money by selling game tokens and items.
Blockchain games allow participants to be rewarded with tokens that can be used in the game or exchanged for real money. Developers are willing to pay not only for the game’s results but also for the very fact of participation, the performance of specific actions, the development of add-ons, and the installation of software.
This motivation encourages the gamer to play more, get game content, and attract other people, which helps developers promote the game.
Pros blockchain games
- I am earning an opportunity. Perhaps this is the most important thing.
- The ability to withdraw funds from one game to another.
- Higher security and privacy compared to games where the game currency is purchased through a bank or PayPal.
- This is an exciting opportunity to work with cryptocurrency and help the industry grow.
Cons blockchain games
- The industry is just developing, so many crypto games are pretty boring. They cannot be compared with regular online games. Perhaps this is temporary.
- Your personal income depends on the success of the project. The higher the demand for game currency, the better for you.
- Also, your income depends on how late you joined the game.
Benefits for gamers
First of all, blockchain games are exciting as they can empower players and improve their experience. Below are some leading benefits players can get from playing on the blockchain.
Any or all items and elements in the game can be placed on the blockchain. Whether it is the scarce resources in the game, rare items or coveted items, or the characters and avatars themselves, any entity in the game environment can exist as a crypto asset. Typically, this manifests itself in the form of token tokens (in the form of in-game currencies) or non-penetrable tokens (in the form of items and avatars) on the existing blockchain network. The main component of a blockchain is the value of the sovereign property for its users. When game elements are placed on the blockchain, they can interact directly with the player. When avatars or accounts are linked to players’ wallets, their loot and accumulated currency can be sent to their wallets as they reach them in the game. In such a system, the players genuinely reap what they sow. Their rare swords, gold, armor, and everything else are theirs forever. The developer has no right to take everything the player has earned; even if the game closes, the items still belong to the player. They can send it to other wallets and sell it for real profit. Owning their subjects gives them a tangible result of their efforts and successes.
Pretty decent gameplay
When players cheat on their competitors or games don’t work out the way they expected, the experience is completely ruined for everyone. Blockchain Gaming delivers the quality of a “fairly provable gaming experience.” The game logic and gameplay elements are shared when games are placed on the blockchain. The consensus mechanism to protect the network works simultaneously to protect the game. This means two things for gamers. First, hackers, scammers, or anyone else who tries to disrupt what is possible for players is inherently unable to do so. If their moves contradict the stated game logic, their activity is rejected. Two: the games are transparent. If, for example, there is a chest in the game that says there is a 10% chance of finding a rare item, players can be confident that there is a 10% chance of finding a rare item. They can look at the game logic posted on the thread if they are not convinced.
Paid winnings haunt millions of players around the world. It’s not fun to play a game where unrivaled success comes with the deepest pockets, no matter who has the highest skill level. Blockchain Gaming turns the payout of winnings on its head with the “play on win” system. As mentioned above, blockchain gamers retain actual ownership of their items and virtual assets. This includes the ability to sell them on open markets to other players. Blockchain games embody the quality of rewarding players with crypto assets that carry real value. In a freemium payout model, top players or top-ranked players may need to spend thousands of dollars to play. In the play-to-earn model, the top or highest-ranked players can profit thousands of dollars.
What does a gamer do when they stop playing their favorite game? Either they grew out of it, or the game died out – the community left, or the developers decided to switch off. Unfortunately, there is little they can do other than find the next game and start over. Games exist in suspended, independent universes; there is no continuity between different games at the current scale of the industry. In the blockchain, this component is also radically broken. Once games and game resources exist on a blockchain, they can communicate with any other environment on the identical blockchain. If the developer made a continuation of the game, items from the first could be transferred to the second. Avatars can jump across multiple games. Quests or events can jump through games.
Most importantly, players will never have to start from scratch again. Ideally, they have one generic avatar that follows them as they jump into different games. Their virtual currencies and items can carry functionality in games.
While it is essential to improve the gaming experience, it is also necessary to understand the developers’ benefits of incorporating blockchain into their game development. After all, if it’s just a headache, the developers won’t bother. When applied intuitively, developers have several advantages when creating games with the blockchain.
For every big indie hit, there are dozens, hundreds, or thousands of alternative games that never get out of the game. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for an independent developer or studio is their ability to stand out and capture the attention of gamers to attract an audience and build a community around their game. The experiments of many traditional game studios in blockchain game projects confirm the assumption that there will be a breakthrough game in the blockchain, and now there is a race for those who do not. The first significant blockchain games that can catch the attention of a broad gaming audience will be massive, and innovative developers will be well rewarded.
The associated costs can be severe for an industry with such low returns as game development. Even when games do take on an active player base, the burden of publishing, server maintenance, player moderation, etc., can be out of reach for games that “don’t monetize” their players when building games on the blockchain, all of these costs can be passed on to third-party miners or validators responsible for spreading the network. Publishing and distributing online games could potentially be a zero-cost endeavor.
New genre developments
In the same vein as before, developers and studios, especially in the indie world, are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves. There are unique properties associated with blockchain games, and these properties can be used to shape wholly new and previously unknown genres of gameplay. There are already examples of “play for money” games where the gameplay is focused on the concept of players earning real-world profits. Several existing projects also have the potential to recreate the OASIS universe from Ready Player One, a New York Times bestseller, and subsequent Hollywood movies.
So many recent gaming trends have revolved around sucking value from players in “freemium” and “pay-to-win” models that emphasize addiction and spending more than the actual fun. Understandably, many developers across the board oppose this profit model and the parasitic effects it has on the industry as a whole. With blockchain, developers get more creative opportunities to generate profits. Blockchain games allow developers to create fake crypto assets with real, transferable, intrinsic value. Not only does this give players more opportunities to make money, but it also gives developers less intrusive mechanisms for making money. Setting up games to distribute profits between the developer and the player is a much better alternative to draining the player’s bank account.
Improved Player Base
The current and future players that make up blockchain games are an exciting part of the population. These players show an increased interest in their gameplay and an increased focus on finding profit through their game. Blockchain Gaming connects developers with “super gamer” communities, with much more resources and investment in their games. It is possible to establish a more active, fruitful, and profitable relationship between the two parties than is possible in traditional gaming counterparts.
Overview of the most popular blockchain games
The first games on the blockchain were launched back in 2017, but right now, this sector of the crypto industry is experiencing a wave of hype. The rise in popularity of decentralized video games, or GameFi, owes much to decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Many GameFi projects follow the play-to-earn concept, in which gamers earn in-game digital assets that can be used in the game or transferred to third-party platforms to exchange or sell.
By 2020, GameFi projects in the form we know them now began to appear on the crypto market – these are blockchain games where users can not only have fun and collect in-game items but also earn tokens and in-game digital assets that can be sold on the secondary market. Thanks to this concept, the GameFi sphere has received a multimillion-dollar audience, which is constantly growing.
Let’s take a closer look at the most popular decentralized video games at the moment.
Axie Infinity is the most popular NFT game on the crypto market at the moment. The developer of the project is Sky Mavis, founded in early 2018. It has a team of 40 employees and is headquartered in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh City. The site says that the trading volume of the game’s internal marketplace over the past 30 days is about 156,459 ETH – about $540 million at the current rate.
Axie Infinity players earn income in the form of SLP tokens and other rewards. Rewards can be used in the game or sold on the in-game marketplace and withdrawn from the game to the open market. The SLP token has a daily trading volume of $164 million and is listed on major crypto exchanges such as Binance, KuCoin, Gate.io, FTX, and OKEx, among others. The game also uses the AXS management token, whose holders can vote on the project’s development, engage in staking, and make payments within the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
Alien Worlds, the largest decentralized metaverse, runs on its own WAX blockchain (a fork of EOS) and on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain. At the same time, Alien Worlds is the fastest-growing blockchain game and one of the market’s most popular decentralized applications (dApps), surpassing the decentralized exchange Uniswap in terms of the number of users. Today it is played by more than 2.7 million people.
There are seven planets in Alien Worlds, and users are engaged in earning a TLM token. They earn TLM by mining, fighting other players, completing quests, or renting their land. Game items are NFT tokens that can be used as avatars or mining tools.
Decentraland is a decentralized virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain where you can buy, build and sell digital real estate, art, and other NFTs. Just like the previous Alien Worlds game described, Decentraland is more of a new generation social network than a video game in the usual sense of the word.
Trading within the project takes place using the MANA token. To date, all 90,000 plots of land into which the Decentraland metaverse is divided have been sold. Now users implement them within the project and on third-party NFT marketplaces.
You don’t have to pay to start playing. It is enough to open the Decentraland website in a browser, create your own avatar, accept all the registration conditions, and you are ready to start. At the same time, to start participating in events, you need to connect a crypto wallet that supports Ethereum blockchain assets.
CryptoBlades is a browser-based RPG powered by the Binance Smart Chain blockchain and created by Riveted Games, which has been operating on the crypto market since 2014.
CryptoBlades users must participate in battles and defeat enemies with powerful weapons. They receive a Skill token for defeating rivals and participating in raids. Players can also recruit additional characters to earn more tokens. The game has an open market where you can not only sell your Skills, but also exchange your in-game characters.
CryptoBlades is one of the most popular decentralized games. According to DappRadar, it has 472,000 monthly users.
Splinterlands is a decentralized card game powered by the Hive blockchain. Its users collect cards with different abilities and characteristics. All cards in Splinterlands are NFTs that can be traded.
The game uses three tokens – Credits, DEC and SPS. Credits are in-game currency that players can use to purchase card packs. DEC is an internal token used to buy cards and is awarded as a reward for winning. And SPS is a governance token. To start playing, it is enough to buy a book of spells for $10, after which various game features will be unlocked, and the first DEC coins will be issued.
At the moment, Splinterlands is the second most popular blockchain game behind Alien Worlds. During the day, the number of users of the application reached 200,000. The project has cross-compatibility with other blockchains such as Tron, Ethereum, and WAX.
Even though blockchain games are attracting millions of users, looking at the development path of the GameFi segment, it seems that it is still in its infancy. So far, the connection of decentralized games with cryptocurrencies may be repulsive to the general public because many do not understand the technologies on which this sector is based. The user audience plays a significant role in the distribution of the game and its popularity.