Blockchain, NFTs, and crypto gaming have become the latest buzz in the gaming community and an increasingly hot topic in conversations about the future of games. The decentralized technology has already taken the world by storm in many sectors, and is now making waves in the gaming industry as more gaming companies integrate blockchain-based technology into their games. From paying with cryptocurrency to the new play-to-earn model based on NFTs, blockchain technology is changing the face of gaming as we know it.
Using cryptocurrencies for games
The gaming industry is known as an early adopter of new tech and driver of innovation. And in the case of blockchain and cryptocurrency, this is no different. Microsoft was one of the first big companies to allow users to pay with digital assets in their online Xbox store back in 2014. The large computer game platform Steam by Valve followed suit in 2016 and started allowing gamers to pay for their game purchases using cryptocurrency. Although both platforms have in the meantime suspended these services due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, it is still possible to buy games using digital assets through dedicated platforms that sell gift cards for the game platforms in exchange for cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, Bitcoin has proven to be especially advantageous in the iGaming sector. As Bitcoin operates globally and offers transparency, security, and anonymity, online casinos have started introducing the modern payment method. Experts review and rate the best Bitcoin casino sites available online that allow users to play games such as slots and table games and place bets using the digital asset. With that, cryptocurrencies have already established their place within the gaming realm in the form of a payment method. But the trend has by now long surpassed the checkout.
NFTs are changing the game in games
In recent years, game developers’ attention has been drawn to blockchain technology to create new in-game experiences. NFTs have become the name of the game and are showing the potential to change the face of gaming. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are one-of-a-kind digital assets that represent a certain piece of art, video, music, or objects within a game. They form a certificate of authentication and are stored on the blockchain, making the asset fully unique and the user the rightful owner of that asset.
This technology is showing massive implications for the games industry. Gamers are already used to getting certain items such as equipment and cosmetics within games to customize their gaming experience. However, until now, these items were locked within the game, showing no possible advantages outside of it. This is where NFTs come in. They allow gamers to rightfully own a unique piece of equipment. By tokenizing in-game objects, more power falls into the hands of the players, who can choose to sell their in-game assets outside of the game and move ownership to another player.
Play-to-earn models are taking off
Based on this concept, the play-to-earn model has emerged, giving rise to a new way to play and for players to take their in-game achievements into the real world. A new set of crypto games makes use of blockchain technology to reward players with tokens or cryptocurrency for certain achievements within the game. For instance, one of the first games of this kind was CryptoKitties. It lets players breed cats with certain abilities and features and then sell them in the form of NFTs on crypto exchanges. In the meantime, many other games have followed suit offering a similar play-to-earn model, such as Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, or the upcoming racing game Riot Racers, which reward players for their achievements with tokens.
By now, larger publishers have shown their interest in the new technology and are looking for ways to integrate NFTs into their games. Ubisoft introduced NFTs into their open-world shooter Ghost Recon Breakpoint through their platform Quartz and its in-game NFTs called Digits. These are used to reward gamers for certain achievements with cosmetic items. With a one-of-a-kind serial number attached to them, those digital assets are unique and can be traded or sold. Other publishers such as EA, Square Enix, and Konami have also expressed their interest in NFTs for their games.
Crypto gaming has taken off and could have the potential to upset the gaming industry as we know it as more companies jump on the crypto-gaming bandwagon and introduce blockchain technology in their games.
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