An Evolution in Gaming: Blockchain Gaming & The Metaverse  by@tuschay

An Evolution in Gaming: Blockchain Gaming & The Metaverse

Tuschay HackerNoon profile picture


Ambassador for The Sandbox. Two-time Top 3 Game Jam Winner. Creator of The Funguys.

There’s an evolution happening in the video gaming industry which is shifting the current pay-to-play framework into a play-to-earn system where creators and players alike can earn an income by doing the things they’ve grown to love. From the ability to buy, trade, and sell game assets, to creating experiences on established platforms with recognized IPs that can be monetized, there seems to be a way for everyone to earn a wage in blockchain gaming.

The Rise of An Industry

Over the last ten years, the growth of the micro-transactions market has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry. In 2020 there were over $70 billion in sales on mobile free-to-play games. This staggering number is growing year to year as more developers create ways to inject transactions into their gaming universe. While a player can buy many different cosmetic items and upgrade their characters there is one thing that is limiting about these purchases: you can’t sell them once you buy them. This is where blockchain gaming creates the largest disruption in the gaming industry. Players can now purchase their in-game items and portions of the game’s universe as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT’s) and sell them back within the very same ecosystem. A game developer can own a portion of the game economy and create experiences that they have complete control over without the input of any third party.


Paving the Way Forward

One of the companies that are leading the blockchain gaming industry is The Sandbox. Originally developed in 2012 as a mobile game that provided players the tools to create their own 2D worlds with nonlinear gameplay. In 2018 The Sandbox announced plans for a Voxel-style Blockchain version of the game which would allow players and developers to monetize their games, developing an entirely new ecosystem.

This platform brings new jobs in ways that this industry hasn’t seen before. Someone could own digital real estate in the form of LAND and rent the properties out, build games and experiences on these lands, or even create the assets that make these games come to life. One of the most exciting parts about working in The Sandbox is that there are no limits to how you decide which roles you want to take on. Building monetized gaming experiences, playing these games for yourself to earn NFT’s and tokens, and building assets that developers use in their games is just a small part of what can be discovered as people are given the freedom to be creative about how they choose to carve their career in The Sandbox.


While it is every gamer’s fantasy to be able to generate income from playing your favorite video games, many people have discovered that this is actually possible through The Sandbox and other blockchain platforms. Some players have developed a routine that allows them to bounce around from game to game earning income from multiple games on the blockchain. You could wake up in the morning and play your daily quests in Axie Infinity, all while making sure you don’t miss mining a comet passing by on Cometh, then hop into The Sandbox Game Maker and start working on an experience that you’re submitting for a Game Jam competition. The possibilities are endless and there are already such amazing experiences out there that were made possible by not only giving designers a platform but by making it financially possible to devote time and energy into doing so. It’s staggering how many times I have talked to someone who has so much passion for a unique idea and feels defeated by circumstances. With blockchain gaming, they no longer have to.

Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You

At the heart of this new industry is the blockchain and NFTs. In 2021 there has been an explosion of attention on this section of the crypto world. As the industry takes shape, there’s a clear sector developing around blockchain gaming that is starting to grab the attention of an audience that has been ready for a play-to-earn environment to become a reality since they first started playing online games with tradable items. The small fraction of the player-base and developers that are turning their attention to this sector have already been able to secure funding and earn more than they ever would have playing traditional games in the past. As stories from these players and developers go out into the world, it will be hard for a multi-billion dollar industry to ignore. In the future every Triple-A studio will have a branch of their company devoted to the blockchain. Companies like Atari and Square Enix have already seen the potential in this industry and have partnered with The Sandbox to create their metaverse experiences.


A Primed Market

If we follow the sales trends of in-game transactions in free-to-play games, one of the games that makes it to the top of every list is Fortnite by Epic Games. Released in 2017, this battle-royal-themed game is free for anyone to play and download. However, it also earned over $9 billion in revenue from cosmetic in-game item purchases in the first two years it was released. Players have spent hundreds of dollars collecting new characters, skins for weapons, and emotes, all of which cannot be traded or sold to another player. It’s hard to imagine how much money Epic Games would have made from Fortnite if all of the characters, skins, emotes, and other in-game items were NFT’s that players would have complete control over. And this thought process is surely happening in the boardrooms of large gaming studios all over the world.


Looking Ahead

In my eight years in the cryptocurrency world, there has never been a more exciting time for me than the last year and the rise of blockchain gaming. I’ve been able to leave my traditional office job, something I’ve only dreamed about doing and I can now spend my time earning a living doing what I love. As this space develops I think that newcomers should be patient with their process and spend time researching projects that hold your attention. Never invest what you can’t afford to lose, and seek professional consultation before making financial decisions.

It’s hard to say where this new world will go in the long-term because the concept of long-term is seemingly only a few months when this industry is developing rapidly. One thing that can be certain is that the future of blockchain gaming is changing what is possible for players and game creators alike. In five years’ time, I would not be surprised to find us all in a blockchain version of Ready Player One.

This article is part of The Gaming Metaverse Writing Contest hosted by HackerNoon in partnership with The Sandbox.

Submit your #gaming-metaverse story today for your chance to win up to $2000.

Tuschay HackerNoon profile picture
by Tuschay @tuschay.Ambassador for The Sandbox. Two-time Top 3 Game Jam Winner. Creator of The Funguys.
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