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In the gaming industry, blockchain doesn't offer much right now, other than being able to accept and make payments using digital currencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Today’s players have come to expect more sophisticated gameplay even from relatively simple games. We are seeing a trend in technology which is pushing games to new platforms and distribution methods, slowly rendering the days of boxed games obsolete. As a result, new models for monetization and engagement are becoming necessary. Gaming companies are quickly coming to this realization, with many looking to understand the technology and many more shifting, or planning to shift, their business models to adapt while looking for potential crossover points where land-based and digital can work together through blockchain technology.
For new branding and monetization strategies, free-to-play (F2P) model is now mostly in use. Players can play for free but are often encouraged to pay for certain in-game items (like powerful bonuses, levels or costumes) and maintained through frequent updates and patches over long periods of time. In other words, in the F2P era, games are becoming less like a product and more like a service.
Lets look at some of the problems in the gaming industry, and how blockchain can solve them:
One of the developments in modern games is the use of assets to complete missions. Modern games are dependent on assets (like guns, props, environments, cars, planes, characters and art) that are scarce in supply and can be purchased with real-world money as an in-game purchase or earned as the player progresses in the game.
Games need to be neutral for a player to work hard or spend their money to acquire these assets. However, currently, there is no accountability or transparency. Since these assets are virtual, game developers could just produce an unlimited amount or rig the market by providing it to certain players. There needs to be transparency and verifiability.
Blockchain enables the tokenization of these assets and the creation of decentralized gaming asset markets. Since the ledger is open for everyone to check and verify, this increases the trust factor. Also, gamers can visit the decentralized markets to buy virtual assets at a fair price based on an open order book.
Gaming platforms are hosted on centralized servers and transactions are often made on mobile phones or desktops without adequate security measures. Also, assets held in gaming accounts are liable to be stolen. They are not as secure as our bank accounts, however valuable a gaming account may be.
Blockchain is known for being the most secure way of storing value. They are designed to be unhackable. Storing digital gaming assets on a blockchain would enhance the security for a player who has worked hard to collect them.
Blockchain can also store value in form of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These are tokens that represent a unique value. Games have assets that are unique and collectible. These assets are highly valuable. NFTs could be used to represent these items and make them easy to store on a wallet, less expensive to sell and trade on an open market.
Currently, digital assets are traded inside the game or on exchanges like Wax, OpenSea, and RareBits. These exchanges could be more transparent on a decentralized exchange in a tokenized form. Paying for such exchange always poses risks such as exposure to scammers or buying of fake assets. Decentralized exchanges on blockchain solve this.
Gaming is a global world. Players from different countries routinely play games with each other. How would they transfer their assets without taking days for processing payments and jumping through the legal hoops?
Blockchain would enable instant payments across the world. This means there would be no restrictions.
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