Japan is one of the top 3 markets in digital gaming with revenue of over $19.2B in 2018. It is also leading the blockchain gaming market — My Crypto Heros (MCH), since it is launched in Q4 2018, MCH has become the largest blockchain game in the world with over 17,000+ users on the main net. And the local community are also catching up quickly — big gaming companies, game studios, and indie developers have joined the trend.
How did Japan become the leader of blockchain gaming? Dapp.com took a deep dive in Tokyo with a mission to find out the secret and meet with the major builders and players for decentralized apps.
Identifying the Huge Opportunities of Blockchain Gaming
“Ownership and liquidity of virtual items are the current problems,” said Tran Ngoc Son, the CEO of TomoChain Japan. According to Tran, blockchain in gaming opens new territory for developers since:
- Blockchain in gaming enables interoperable profiles of players and game virtual items;
- Cryptocurrency enables in-game economics-incentive mechanism;
- Blockchain-based games allow players to truly own their in-game assets and greater control over their favorite games.
Players can collaborate with developers to improve a game on the blockchain. In the case of TomoChain, developers or game companies can make mobile friendly games by using TomoWallet dapp browser.
Gen Kanai, Director of strategic partnerships at Animoca Brands addressed, “As Japan is one of the top gaming markets and is quickly adopting blockchain into gaming, we can see numerous games in development today which we hope to enjoy later this year. We are happy to see the interest in The Sandbox and look forward to expanding the blockchain gaming community with this and our future games in development.”
Overcoming the Usability Challenges: Gas Fee, UX, and Scalability
Shunsuke Watanabe from My Crypto Heroes opened his presentation about the challenges the team was facing during the game development. “When you build a dapp, you have to deal with blockchain related UX difficulties, such as gas fee, scalability, transaction times, and so on”, said Shunsuke, “the thing that blockchain games compete with ‘normal’ social games is usability.” He continues explained that if we want real user adoption, we need to get to the level of current browser / mobile games, while adding the positive aspects of blockchain gaming: Ownership of assets, the democratization of revenues, interoperability of items, etc.
Shunsuke mentioned that their team solved the Ethereum related UX challenges as follow:
1- Battle-system beta runs on a side-chain to avoid the gas fees and long transaction times, and also provide a smoother game flow. The hybrid on-chain / off-chain infrastructure was crafted by the MCH team and it connects a gateway in-between — to ensure a trust-less gaming experience, which is true ownership of assets and scarcity of heroes and extensions.
2- An Ethereum proxy API that built and implemented by the team to speed up the data transmission significantly and smooth a better user experience ultimately.
“Users want a pleasant game experience that is comparable to ‘normal’ games while enjoying the benefits of Blockchain. It is our task as a developer to build systems that enable good UX while securing our user’s assets on the blockchain”, said Shunsuke.
Facilitating the Decentralized Ecosystem: Tools and Infrastructure
Nana H.Tanaka, the country manager at Pundi X Labs Japan talked about how PundiX Ecosystem Facilitates Dapps. He introduced XPOS’ main function to allow payment as well as allows anyone to buy ETH. XPOS will certainly solve one of the major pain points for people to start using a dapp, which is helping people to get crypto as easy as possible.
Taisuke Horitsugi, the Evangelist at Kyber Network Japan told audiences about how Kyber tackles the issue of in-game transactions and provides an on-chain protocol that provides liquidity to dapps. Kyber combines multiple transactions into one and gives gamers a simple and hassle-free experience.
Special thanks to My Crypto Heroes, TomoChain, Pundi X, Kyber Network, Animoca Brands, Neutrino Japan, Dapps Market, Blockchain Game Info, Asia Blockchain Review and some upcoming new games from Tokyo CryptoSpells, NovaBlitz, Cipher Cascade, and Crypto Derby. We made the largest blockchain gamers gathering in Tokyo.
There is nothing better than seeing builders constantly working on long lasting projects for daily use. And that’s what people are doing in Japan.