Blockchain game: the success and failure of the first generation of games

Foreword: Since the birth of Bitcoin, people have had the idea of ​​using cryptocurrencies in games, and have done a lot of practice for this. The real blockchain game is a combination of gameplay and blockchain mechanics. In the past few years of practice, there have been some successes, but more failures. From these practices, we can see that the gameplay is gradually increasing and the degree of integration is gradually increasing. Of course, blockchain games are still subject to performance and cost, ease of use, etc. For the average user, the really usable and easy to use blockchain game is still on the road. The author of this article is Zane Hu ffman, translated by the "Blue Fox" community "SIEN".

Encrypted game Vs blockchain game

An encrypted game is a game that combines encrypted assets to some extent. According to this definition, all blockchain games are also an encryption game.

However, not all encryption games are blockchain games. A blockchain game means that some or all of its gameplay is performed directly on the chain. In other words, the gameplay input or activity in the blockchain game appears to be a transaction broadcast by the player to the network. In a "real" block game, 100% of the games happen on the chain. This means that the game world runs on the web and there is no central server.

While any combination of cryptocurrencies is interesting and potentially valuable for game development, this article will focus on blockchain games and even focus on "real" blockchain games. The greatest potential for future blockchain technology in the gaming industry comes from the emergence of true blockchain games, which will be a paradigm shift across the industry.

It's a game, not a spinach.

Another one is to distinguish between games and spinach. Although "games" sometimes include quizzes of spinach, in this article, games are simply online games, not spinach.

Decentralized application (dApp)

Decentralized applications (dApps) are user-oriented projects that interact through a blockchain network. Many encryption games are based on decentralized applications of various blockchains. In fact, all blockchain games can be represented as dApps.

Blockchain game history

The iteration of the current blockchain game project began with the December 2017 Cryptokitties. A recurring theme of the Bitcoin Trailblazer is the effort to integrate Bitcoin into online games.

In retrospect, many of these integration practices are often outdated and ineffective. This is not to say that the first generation of encryption games failed. Both Huntercoin and Spells of Genesis are considered successful in the community, and each project helps create first-generation infrastructure to introduce today's or tomorrow's blockchain games. Below, we will explore the first generation of cryptocurrency games and blockchain games.

Cryptographic game

It's hard to determine which one represents the first instance of an encrypted game. As early as the 2011 discussion on the Bitcointalk forum, there was a historic support from independent developers interested in Bitcoin from the start. However, many of the ideas and games proposed on the forum have never blossomed. By 2013, there are several mature games that operate through Bitcoin. There was similar growth in 2015, but the next wave of expansion expanded to various altcoins.

1. Bitcoin PvP game

By 2013, Bitcoin games have been opened and developed. Seals with Clubs is an emerging online poker room with hundreds of players constantly active. Primedice has been in operation for some time and its users have expanded to hundreds of thousands of users.

The player-to-player game through Bitcoin represents the most logical step forward. These PvP games don't play with the dealer, but provide a simple game between players. (Blue Fox Note: PvP games are direct games between players and players.)

The most popular and successful PvP gaming site was called Gambit. It was released in late 2013 and Gambit offers a range of board and card games where players can compete with each other using bitcoin. These games include derivations of encrypted versions of many classic games, such as Monopoly, BattleShips, and Risk. Most of Gambit's appeal to players is its generous bonus. Each game allows the user to receive a modest bonus without a buy. In the Monopoly game, the highest prize for a non-buy winner can reach 0.00025 bitcoin. At the same time, there is no limit to the frequency with which players can log in to the game.

Unfortunately, Gambit's rewards are so attractive. Players do not consider using their own tokens to bet, but insist on playing free games, hoping to get bonuses by participating in enough games and then exit. (Blue Fox Note: Due to Gambit's design, allowing login users to buy games without participating in the game can get bonuses, and there are no game restrictions, which leads to many users who do not pay for chips to participate in the game, that is, a good place to become a wool .)

Over time, the site has reduced bonuses and adopted new features, such as a top player bonus on the monthly leaderboard. However, in addition to Bitcoin's bonus game sites, they have not received much attention. The site is still in use, but in 2015 Bitcoin was removed.

Other PvP games have also suffered a similar fate. Their success depends on the attractiveness of bonus proceeds, but it is a delicate balance. If there are too few words, no one will play; too much, the game operator will lose money. Other examples include Bombermine, an online bomber-derived game where players bet on Bitcoin and Gamerholic is a highly competitive arcade game site. There are also some websites that bet on traditional games like the League of Legends, CS:GO. However, all of these projects have not received enough attention.

2.Minecraft server

Following the PvP game, the next development branch comes from an interesting medium: Minecraft. As early as the end of 2012, the infinitely modulated sandbox block game installed a dedicated server for Bitcoin. Developers create open source plug-ins that give in-game avatars a bitcoin wallet, and many independent server owners build custom servers around this feature.

The first recorded bitcoin Minecraft server is MinecraftCC. On MinecraftCC, players can earn Bitcoin Week bonuses for every action they take on the server, such as placing blocks, killing monsters, and building structures. Managers have found creative ways to fund bonuses, such as auctioning paid ads through the Bitcointalk forum. However, by 2016, the program became unsustainable and Bitcoin earnings were removed. The server is still active, but the role of the cryptocurrency is unclear.

The most popular server in 2013 was BitVegas, a custom casino game that uses Bitcoin as the sole payment currency. By referring to the player and spending time on the server, the user can receive a fixed reward: for example, 0.05BTC can be obtained for each recommended user. Similar to PvP games, BitVegas couldn't find a sustainable reward model, and BitVegas closed after the owner claimed to lose up to 2 bitcoins per day.

Another interesting example is BitQuest, which was released later than the other two, but is still in operation today. BitQuest has an innovative way to turn server hardware into Bitcoin miners, which can turn mining revenue into in-game items, and gamers can earn these mining gains (in-game items) by killing monsters. However, with the fierce competition in mining, there is no bitcoin benefit in playing games.

In the next few years, there are other servers that contain different altcoins. The most noteworthy thing is that someone tried to create a dedicated server running Dogecoin (Dogcoin) and DigiByte.

Source: Bitquest

3. Indie games

Among the three categories, indie games represent the most exciting and groundbreaking categories of games. In order to achieve varying degrees of success, different individuals and studios combine games that operate through Bitcoin and other altcoins.

In many ways, Dragon's Tale is the most successful independent game running on Bitcoin. Since 2011, it has also been released before other projects. Dragon's Tale is an MMO game with soft RPG elements and its gameplay focuses on spinach. There are many games of different luck and skill that can bet on Bitcoin and win Bitcoin with simple questions and exploration. Dragon's Tale began to fail in a few years, and its activity disappeared at some point in 2015-2016.

Other examples include Hammercoin, Island Forge (MMO) and Bitfantasy (MMORPG with pay-per-play). All of these projects failed without exception. The recurring problem is that bitcoin is becoming more and more high as a game currency, including slower trading hours and higher transaction costs, which makes the growth of each game unfeasible.

The first cryptocurrencies that introduced their assets in a more modern way have achieved greater success. The most popular and first widely successful example is Spells of Genesis. Spells of Genesis is a role-playing game that plays bubble shooter. The game's economy is valued by the homogeneous Counterparty asset BCY, and the card is represented by the non-homogeneous asset XCP.

Through effective token and card pre-sales, as well as the destruction of the token economy, Spells of Genesis can see impressive growth on the Google Play Store, while its asset valuation is also true. After the soft release in 2016 and the main release in 2017, SoG has accumulated more than 10,000 downloads, and BCY has increased its market value to 8 digits for most of 2016 and 2017.

In the same field, not long after, Nexium emerged as a multiplayer online arena (MOBA) that took place in outer space, where players competed against each other, engaged in space battles on different planets, and bet with their token NXM. It performed similarly to SoG and BCY in 2017, but then fell.


Even before the ICO fever in 2017, many altcoins have become universal game coins, such as the predecessor of Enjin Coin and other projects. These altcoins include Hyper, GoldPieces, GameCredits, DigiByte and many more. These projects use a community-oriented approach to drive new games and developers to accept their tokens.

Hyper, GP, and DGB all provide a mechanism to some extent in which users can get each generation through the gameplay of popular games like Team Fortress 2 (Hyper and GP) and League of Legends (DGB). The bonus proceeds of the currency.

GameCredits takes a different approach and focuses on creating new games specifically for GAME. Three games were developed in 2016 and the first half of 2017, although these projects were cancelled before they achieved results.

Blockchain game

While the first cryptocurrency games certainly played a valuable role as the basis for future projects, the most ambitious and impressive development during this time was the world's first blockchain game. Since there is no framework for developing games on the blockchain, the number of projects in the first generation of blockchain games is much smaller.

The most notable of these projects are Huntercoin and Motocoin. Although each is very different and has their own successes and shortcomings, they are the inspiration behind today's blockchain games and may become dominant in the future.


In terms of standard blockchain game historians, enthusiasts, communicators, or other titles, Huntercoin is pure gold in my glimpse. Huntercoin is forked from Namecoin, a custom blockchain whose network fosters the virtual world of Huntercoin, where players control characters to fight, defend and collect HUC tokens.

The Huntercoin main network (and the game world) was released in February 2014. Players interact with the game world by running the Huntercoin node. They use Huntercoin transactions to create and direct their roles to collect HUC tokens as they create maps. Huntercoin uses a joint mining method with Bitcoin, and the miners receive a 10% HUC block award. The remaining 90% of the tokens require the player to enter the map to collect, which is the so-called "human mining" method.

Huntercoin originally planned to experiment with a year to test the practicality and life cycle of this effort. However, this is a huge success and the community has pushed the fork to shorten the time. The time-lapse of this game shows the activities of its first 500,000 blocks, with thousands of players competing as team members of each of the four teams to collect millions of HUCs.

As a proof of the blockchain game, this game is an amazing success, and even more impressive is the model that creates value capture for players. Huntercoin players have earned a total of more than $1 million worth of HUC, which trades with bitcoin and has good liquidity on Poloniex. The Huntercoin blockchain creates millions of dollars in profits for players, all through its propagation and HUC creation. This is the basic guide to the "play-to-earn" mode (Blue Fox Note: "play-to-earn" mode refers to the mode of making money by playing games, specifically the article " blockchain game " released before the Blue Fox notes. : Where is the opportunity? 》).

In this "play-to-earn" mode, blockchain game developers try to create games that allow gamers to get real-world profits because of their activities. Although the game can still see activity today, Huntercoin was removed from the exchange in early 2019.


On May 20, 2014, shortly after the release of Huntercoin, Motocoin released its innovative "Proof-of-Play" consensus mechanism. Similar to Huntercoin, users access Motocoin by running their network nodes. Unlike Huntercoin, Motocoin's own gameplay is a mechanism for consensus and mining.

Motocoin is a motorcycle racing game that produces blocks in a program-generated environment. The first player to complete the game receives the MOTO block reward. When each new block is generated, the role is reset and the map is replaced.

Motocoin saw a certain size of activity after the release, however, the game is dominated by zombies, causing it to fall into paralysis. The fastest path to the finish line is easy for the robot to calculate and can run faster than any manual player, so MOTO's gameplay is killed. According to official statistics, Motocoin still has a market value of about $500,000, but the token has no significant trading activity throughout its life cycle.

Blockchain game today

The current iteration of blockchain games represents a rapid growth from December 2017. If the previous generation of games was "0 generation", the blockchain games and cryptocurrency games from December 2017 to today will represent the next generation of games. Blockchain games have been criticized for pay-to-play payments and the inability to scale, which is a reflection of the mistakes and shortcomings of many of the 2017-2019 blockchain games.


Risk Warning : All articles in Blue Fox Notes can not be used as investment suggestions or recommendations . Investment is risky . Investment should consider individual risk tolerance . It is recommended to conduct in-depth inspections of the project and carefully make your own investment decisions.