Due to the popularity of crypto trading, blockchain has been a major buzzword. Blockchain, though, has many other applications. The newest of these is in the world of video games. Blockchain or “play-to-earn” games are now becoming increasingly popular. The way video games are leveraging blockchain technology is extremely interesting.
The games could be completely free to start with, or you may need to pay something upfront to get into the game. More often than not, you pay for these services using cryptocurrency. You will need to buy crypto with a credit card to do so. While you play the game, you will start earning in-game assets. These assets will always be in the form of non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
What’s an NFT?
If you still haven’t heard about NFTs, they are very similar to cryptocurrencies. Just like cryptos, these are stored on the blockchain. However, they are different from cryptos since every non-fungible token is unique. They could be in the form of pieces of art, memes, or even songs.
In games, the non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are in the form of valuable assets inside the game. These in-game items could be things like player skins, unique weapons, or other collectibles.
What Is the Difference Between Blockchain and Traditional Gaming?
Traditional games have long had a system where you can earn new items through in-game achievements. You can also purchase new items inside the game by paying small fees. So how is the blockchain gaming system different?
The most significant difference is this. After you purchase cryptocurrency and buy the items in the game, you own the asset entirely. That’s because it is stored on the blockchain. Ethereum is a popular choice in the world of crypto gaming.
Imagine you own a very valuable item in the game. There could come a time when the game ceases to exist or the game developers pull out. You will still own that item, whether the game exists or not. The item will continue to exist on the blockchain. It will also have a monetary value. You could potentially convert cryptocurrency to your local fiat as long as there is a demand for it.
The Advantage for Game Developers
You could also move the game item between different video games with blockchain technology. This would be easy for developers to implement since they would not have to build new code to support the items. The blockchain and the transfer would be standardized.
Games like Axie Infinity have already started taking advantage of this. Its in-game items have substantial real-world value. Due to its large following, people possessing unique items are selling them for a large profit.
The Problems With Crypto Games
Crypto games are based on the concept of making purchases after you buy the game. The problem gamers have is that after you buy the title, you are made to pour more money into it for unique items. Microtransactions are not favored among gamers.
Many techies consider NFTs to be a gimmick. Since anything can be made into an NFT, many think that none of them will eventually have any value.
Similarities to Freemium Games
Freemium games aren’t free. Once you start playing the game and get hooked, you end up paying for items. These items let you have a competitive edge in the game. It is the same for blockchain games. You will still need to buy cryptocurrency with real money to pay for them.
Straight-Up Investment Fraud
An independent game developer resorted to crowdfunding by selling NFTs even before the launch of the game. Evolved Ape NFTs were being sold to angel investors, promising them exclusive previews. The developer, however, stole the funds and is absconding.
Valve has banned all games using NFTs and Crypto on its Steam store for these reasons.
Every new, innovative technology will always have its risks. While there are companies that are trying to stay away from it, others are openly adopting it. You will surely not mind being in the company of gaming giants like Ubisoft and EA Games. EA games have stated that collectible digital content will be a core strategy.
For you, the consumer, it could prove immensely beneficial. It may make it easier for many more people to enter the gaming world. Developers will save a lot of money by offloading tasks onto the blockchain instead of owning their servers. These cost benefits could be passed on to you.