Blockchain game: Where are the opportunities?

Foreword: At present, there are many doubts about the landing of the blockchain. In the end, in addition to the cryptocurrency, is there any other scenes in the blockchain? It is normal to have such concerns. In this case, the potential of the blockchain will be demonstrated little by little. This article describes the opportunity for the blockchain to land in the game scene. It mentions the blockchain's interests for gamers and developers. For gamers, blockchain brings an unprecedented experience: ownership of game items, fair play, cross-game asset interoperability, earning patterns, and more. For developers, there are benefits in terms of differentiation, new revenue models, lower costs, and a stronger player community. Of course, blockchain games are not a day's work and require experimentation and accumulation from generation to generation.

In addition to the attributes of value storage and exchange media, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies also contain many subtle applications. This emerging technology, combined with value units, enables the exchange of data and information between participants while broadcasting these values ​​to larger networks.

Encrypted currencies have ever-increasing usage rates, and they are experimenting in various industries and niche markets. In these experiments, one can see that there is a powerful force that has been working to integrate blockchain and encryption into online games.

As the encryption field continues to mature and grow, so does the blockchain game niche market. The current state of the niche market represents competition between businesses and encrypted start-ups to see who is the first to create and share tomorrow's gaming environment infrastructure and create a large blockchain game.

However, in order to ignite the spark of game innovation, blockchain game builders and developers must overcome the failures of their predecessors and address cost, speed and scalability issues.

Industry overview

In 2018, the global video game industry generated a $134.9 billion business, and with the strong annual growth, the number is expected to continue to grow at an impressive rate. It is also one of the most popular industries in the world, with more than 2.5 billion players worldwide. This number represents one-third of the world's population, and almost everyone is playing games.



Source: Newzoo

Despite this increase, the video game industry still has some shortcomings that are unsatisfactory for consumers and developers. The current trend in video games has shifted the event from Triple A to "free-value-added" Pay-to-Win mobile games. The purpose of these mobile games is to make players as addictive as possible, and to make more money for the players, rather than for the more fun games.

With the growth of the mobile game market, the development of PC and game console games has also retreated to some extent. The gaming industry is also beginning to gradually accept marketing and sales of unfinished and incomplete games, with its core components appearing as downloadable premiums. Or, the developer makes a profit through an unfinished "early available" game, and then abandons the project to seek the next payday. (Remarks: This means that the project will be abandoned soon, looking for the next opportunity to make money.)

Unfortunately, the video game space is full of inferior content, passionate about marketing rather than product quality. Independent developers expect to bring their dream game to fruition, but get this short-term consequences. According to some estimates, the average expected return per year for independent developers is almost less than $10,000. This is far below the minimum wage in any part of the United States.

At the same time, game developers are increasingly focusing on the biggest forces in the industry. In 2018, seven of the world's top 10 most profitable games were games owned or partially owned by giants.

So, in a broad sense, today's video games seem to be dominated by several Triple A companies that are launching increasingly expensive and unsatisfiable games for billions of players around the world. Small developers and independent developers are vulnerable to their peers, and their workforce is rarely rewarded. In essence, no one has fun.

Blockchain opportunity

Fortunately, the blockchain provides a solution to the dilemma of the global gaming industry. Game currency, props, avatars, game input, and even the entire game can be spread and secured through the blockchain. The correct integration of blockchain into online games means that players can interact with each other and players can play games like never before. It also shows that developers can develop new game types by emphasizing the unique game elements of the blockchain.

Benefits for gamers

First, blockchain games are exciting because they give players power and enhance their experience. Through the blockchain game, players can enjoy the following main benefits:

1. Game item ownership

All the props and elements in the game can be chained. Whether it's scarce resources in the game, rare props, or coveted loot, as well as characters and avatars, any entity in the game environment can exist as a cryptographic asset.

Typically, this appears on the existing blockchain network as a homogeneous token (in the form of a game token) or a non-homolog token (in the form of props and avatars). The core component of the blockchain is to give users the ownership of their value. When the game elements are on the chain, they interact directly with the player. When the avatar and account are associated with the player's wallet, the player can send the collected loot and accumulated currency to their wallet, which they won in the game.

In such a system, players can harvest what they are planting. Their rare swords, gold, armor, and other props will always belong to the player. The developer has no right to take back anything the player has won, even if the game is closed, these items still belong to the player. They can send items, etc., to other wallets and sell them to others to get real profits. Player ownership of their items allows them to extract tangible fruits from their efforts and success.

2. Provable fair gameplay

The wrong gameplay is terrible. When the player deceives the opponent, or the game does not run in the way that people expected, this experience is very bad for each player. Blockchain games can achieve "provable fair gameplay." When the game is on the chain, game logic and gameplay elements are also shared. A consensus mechanism that ensures blockchain network security also ensures game security. This means two things for the player. First, a liar or any other person trying to invade a player cannot succeed. If their actions contradict the game logic, their activities will be rejected; second, the game is transparent. For example, if a box in the game has a 10% chance of dropping a rare item, then the player can be sure that it is a 10% probability. If the player doesn't believe it, they can view the game logic, which is posted on the chain.

3.Play-to-Earn game

Pay-to-Win games have been plaguing the experience of billions of gamers around the world. (Blue Fox Note: The Pay-to-Win model refers to the mode in which you can win if you spend money. Whoever spends more money is the boss in the game. The Play-to-Earn model refers to playing games. You can also earn money in the process.)

For players, the success of playing such a game depends on who has more money in his pocket than who has the highest skill. Blockchain games turn the Pay-to-Win game mode to Play-to-Earn mode. As mentioned above, blockchain gamers have ownership of their props and virtual assets. This also includes selling their items to other people on the open market. Blockchain games reward players in the form of encrypted assets that can be associated with real-world values.

In Pay-to-Win's freemium model, the top ranked players may need to spend thousands of dollars in the game. In the Play-to-Earn mode, the highest ranked players may win thousands of dollars in the game. (Blue Fox Note: Play-to-Earn mode, which means that you can get the game items by playing the game skills, you can get real income by selling. Users who play well in high rankings not only do not spend money, but also make money.)

4. Cross-game communication

What do they do when players stop playing their favorite games? Either they quit or the game disappears. That is, either the community leaves or the developer no longer operates. Unfortunately, in addition to finding the next game and starting from scratch, they can't do much.

The game exists in a floating, independent universe. As far as the current industry is concerned, there is no continuity between different games. With the blockchain, this will change. When game and game assets exist on the blockchain, they can communicate with any other environment on the same blockchain.

If the developer makes a sequel to the game, then the previous game's props can be taken to the second game. The avatar can be used in multiple games. Tasks or events can be played across games. More importantly, players may never have to start all over again. Ideally, players have a single, universal avatar that follows the player's use in different games. Player's virtual currency and items can be used across games. "KittyVerse" represents the collaboration of dozens of Ethereum dApps, one of which can be used in all of these dApps.


Benefits for developers

While it's important to improve the gamer's experience, it's also important to understand what it is for developers to integrate the blockchain into the game. After all, if there is only work and no return, developers will not have the motivation. There are also a number of benefits for developers.

Emerging market

For every large independent game, there are dozens, hundreds or thousands of unsuccessful games behind its success. For an independent developer or studio, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the ability to win the attention of the majority of players, and only then will there be an opportunity to attract users and build communities for it. Experiments in many block game projects in traditional game studios confirm this hypothesis, that is, it has a groundbreaking blockchain game, and there will be a constant competition to become a break. The first major blockchain game can get a lot of attention from game users, and the Blazers will have a good return.

2. Reduce costs

The game development industry has a low payout rate and the associated costs may be higher than revenue. Without a good revenue model, even if the game has a certain user base, spending on games, server maintenance, and player services may be a burden that developers can't afford. By building games on the blockchain, all of these costs can potentially be outsourced to miners or verifiers. The release and dissemination of online games can be a zero-cost thing.

3. New type of game

As mentioned earlier, especially independent developers and studios have been looking for ways to differentiate. Blockchain games have unique properties that can be used to create new and unprecedented types of games. There is already an example of the "Play-to-Earn" mode, whose gameplay emphasizes the concept that players can earn real-world profits. Several existing projects are also boasting about the possibility of rebuilding the OASIS world from Ready Player One (New York Times bestseller and subsequent Hollywood movies).

4. Create value

Recently, many games have focused on the value of players around the "freemium" and "Pay-to-Win" modes, which emphasize addiction and consumption, not fun. Many developers have good reasons to oppose this profit model. With blockchains, developers can have more ideas to make a profit. Blockchain games allow developers to create cryptographic assets that are real, transferable, and intrinsically valuable. This not only provides players with a profit opportunity, but also provides developers with a less intrusive profit mechanism, which can set a certain percentage of profit distribution between developers and players. This mode is better than harvesting players' funds. select.

5. Enhance the player base

Existing players and future players in blockchain games are an interesting subset of the consumer community. These players have a strong interest in their gameplay and gain more attention through the game's revenue. Blockchain games connect developers to the "super player" community and have more resources and investments in gaming. Compared with traditional game opponents, both parties can build a more active, efficient and beneficial relationship.

The author of this article is Zane Huffman, from theblock, translated by the "Blue Fox Notes" community "SL".