Computer Systems Analyst and Smart-Contract Developer
By now, most industry enthusiasts are well aware of the fact that cryptocurrencies are far from being the only use case associated with blockchain technology. Industry-wide disruption is on its way, and it’s best to be prepared.
This article will discuss blockchain’s purpose within the gaming industry, thereby highlighting not only its main advantages, but also how a series of blockchain-based projects are revolutionizing the market as we know it.
To keep things simple, blockchain technology can be described as a distributed ledger, similar to a database, that processes and records transactions. It employs a number of design principles, including decentralization, immutability, transparency, security, low costs, and quick transactions.
When used for financial purposes, it serves as the core infrastructure behind most of the world’s cryptocurrencies. When used for governance purposes, it allows token holders to vote on key decisions within decentralized autonomous organizations.
When leveraged in supply chains, blockchain helps track how products are made, moved, and sold.
However, many experts now agree that blockchain is poised to revolutionize the gaming industry as we know it.
Cross-integration between these two markets is bound to encourage mass-adoption, as well as the creation of a gaming ecosystem that’s fair, open, transparent, user-friendly, and economically viable.
The gaming industry has rapidly evolved in recent times. We’ve witnessed the emergence of in-game economies, virtual worlds, esports, highly-competitive gameplay, P2P integrations, community-building, and much more.
Despite satisfying players worldwide, the gaming industry is not free of flaws. Some of the main challenges that both developers and players have been dealing with include lack of trust, inadequate in-game economies, disadvantageous microtransactions, and a lack of revenue streams for gamers in spite of their skill levels.
We believe that blockchain’s use cases within the gaming industry are best explained through examples and side-by-side comparisons. Without further ado, here’s an overview of three blockchain use cases and projects that are rapidly overhauling the industry.
1. The Dawn of NFTs for In-Game Economies
Most games feature in-game items that can be obtained through farming, skilful gameplay, or by completing specific tasks. Such items hold inherent stats, so once equipped, they boost a player’s power. While numerous in-game items are common and can be easily obtained by players, most game worlds have introduced epic and legendary items boasting significant stats.
These are rarely obtained and there’s often a limited number of such items, so there’s always a competition for obtaining them before the servers run out.
With non-fungible tokens, these items can be openly traded within blockchain-based marketplaces, in exchange for money or other in-game advantages. By implementing blockchain tech, players can rest assured that their items are truly unique, rare, and valuable.
Projects that facilitate the creation and trading of NFTs are rapidly attracting game developers and users worldwide. Rarible is a relevant example - as a community-owned NFT marketplace, users can create their very own NFTs without using code, which can then be sold in exchange for flexible royalties.
Rarible includes a fully-fledged marketplace featuring a wide range of NFTs, many of which are powerful in-game items. OpenSea is similar to Rarible, and works by having customers purchase, sell, and discover limited-edition goods.
So far, the NFT market has surpassed $148 million in trading volume, and most stats seem to suggest that the market is still growing, as reported by NonFungible.
2. Providing Players with Lucrative Revenue Streams
Revenue streams for gameplay already exist, but the traditional ones are generally only suited to highly-skilled players who participate in esports tournaments. Successful live streamers can also earn considerable profit through viewer subscriptions and brand sponsorships. Albeit profitable, these two categories only serve a limited percentage of gamers worldwide.
ExeedMe is an innovative project that leverages blockchain technology, decentralized finance, and non-fungible tokens to create additional revenue streams for players.
The project was designed to serve gamers regardless of their actual skill level. As a Polkadot-based platform, ExeedMe works by setting up game tournaments that include a prize pool. Whoever wins the tournament can access the prize pool, thereby earning an income.
The platform also includes an incentives mechanism designed to encourage other users to bet on who will win a specific tournament. In exchange for placing bets on gamers, bettors earn XED tokens.
Through ExeedMe, users can also earn rare NFTs, which can later be sold on the open market in exchange for a profit. The project has been praised by the industry for facilitating efficient matchmaking, while implementing anti-cheating protocols to keep gameplay fair.
With ExeedMe, gaming hobbyists, professional players, and even beginners can obtain a profit by enjoying their favourite titles. As ExeedMe expands, gamers worldwide will access lucrative income by simply engaging in their favourite hobby.
3. Facilitating Fan Engagement in Sports and Entertainment
Despite the sheer size of the sport and entertainment industries, fans tend to be left out due to unsatisfactory engagement efforts. Chiliz is a blockchain platform with a proprietary token that aims to elevate user engagement.
The project also developed Socios, a fan engagement platform which can be used to purchase tokens from popular sport teams. Fan tokens grant holders voting rights, which can be leveraged to influence team decisions. In exchange for voting, fans receive rewards from their favourite times as well as recognition.
This is also applicable in the entertainment industry, as by pooling their resources together, fans can seamlessly decide what their favourite artists will do next.
Of course, this entails that sport teams and entertainers agree to use the platform. Luckily, many of them are excited to engage with their fans and have consequently opted in.
To wrap things up, these were only a few examples of how blockchain technology can improve the gaming and entertainment industries. As adoption grows, project managers worldwide will surely opt to integrate blockchain within their offerings. Concepts like player satisfaction, user retention, openness, and decentralization will shape the future of the gaming industry, thus creating new and exciting use case scenarios.
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