“Life is more fun if you play games.” – Roald Dahl
Most people are familiar with the term ‘blockchain’ thanks to Bitcoin and other digital currencies, however, far fewer people are aware of the potential it has to change the gaming industry. According to Business Insider, over 300 million people worldwide watch eSports, and over $800 million USD is spent on ads for these gaming events.
Over half of this market is currently dominated by mobile gaming. This means that most games are being sold through app stores and most gamers are playing on their smartphones or tablets. This opens up a great opportunity for game developers looking to grow in this space, including blockchain game developers.
Blockchain games are decentralized games, in which the game’s digital goods aren’t held on a single server. Rather, users can hold onto their own Blockchain game assets and are, therefore, the true owners of their in-game items.
Decentralized also means other developers may have access to the game’s code, which adds a level of transparency so developers can analyze the code and even create their own versions of the game (forks).
One interesting facet of Blockchain games is that they can issue their own native tokens or use an existing token like Ethereum.
What’s fascinating is that these game-issued tokens can come in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can be unique and traded over the platform with other users, similar to a physical trading card.
As their name implies, these are unique and represent a digital asset. These are not interchangeable in the way bitcoins are because each NFT is unique and therefore can hold a different value from another, even if they’re from the same platform. A great example of an NFT game is the popular game “CryptoKitties.”
In November of 2017, this new game almost caused the entire Ethereum network to crash when over 14,000 users deposited over 5,000 ETH (at the time about $2 million USD). The volume of transactions was so great, the entire network was oversaturated and fees skyrocketed.
The game allowed players to purchase their own unique ‘crypto-pet.’ They could then breed their new kitten with another to produce a new unique character. These kitties are entirely owned by their purchaser, making them a NFT or digital asset.
What made these little guys so famous was their ability to overcrowd the Ethereum network. Their virality put Ethereum’s scalability to the test as their network was hit with 6 times more transactions than they were prepared for, creating a small panic among the development community.
Though CryptoKitties was probably the most well-known at the time of their clutter on the Ethereum chain, there are currently lots of other games in the blockchain space. Below we’ve listed a few popular options:
A popular RPG game, SoG allows you to explore the virtual city of Askian. You’ll collect, trade, and combine orbs to design the strongest gameplay deck and use it on other players. SoG combines the best of arcade and trading card games. This game also runs on the Bitcoin blockchain so you stand to earn bitcoin rewards.
A fun mobile game running on the EOS blockchain that allows you to complete tasks and quests and accumulate items by collecting materials, adopting pets, and crafting and trading new items.
A fantasy game, allowing you to breed, raise, and combat Axies. Axies are fantastic creatures that come in several degrees of rarity: common, rare, ultra-rare, and legendary. The game runs on the Ethereum network to ensure transparency in Axie ownership and a secure and liquid marketplace.
Much like its predecessor EtherGoo, TronGoo allows you to collect ‘Goo,’ as well as steal it from others. The objective is to accumulate as much Goo as possible. This game runs over the TRON blockchain and, as such, players who accumulate the most Goo stand to earn TRX rewards.
A space strategy game, this game allows you to captain your own spaceship and explore the galaxy while building an invincible armada to fight and conquer your enemies with. The game supports one-on-one matches as well as multiplayer arena combat. Its ‘Nexium’ token (NxC) runs on the Ethereum blockchain.
As the blockchain gaming space continues to develop on chains like Ethereum, TRON, and EOS, we’re likely to see greater things come from these decentralized games. Nevertheless, the reality is that there aren’t currently too many gamers nor big developer firms working on creating these games, so the space is still in its nascent stages.
For now, all we can do is keep an eye out for what the future may bring and play some of these games ourselves. One of the greatest benefits to these games is that you can potentially earn real crypto if you win, which has made the rewards and incentives much greater than the average online game. We’ll just have to be patient and hope more people hop on to this new world of gaming.