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The video game industry is experiencing massive growth, valued at over $ 162 billion today and is expected to reach $ 295 billion globally over the next five years. Mobile gaming, once dismissed by the hardcore gaming crowd as a passing fad, has been a major driver of industry growth in recent years, with over 2.5 billion mobile gamers globally in 2020. The total number of mobile gamers has eclipsed even the most traditional. rooms such as console games (800 million players in 2020) and PC games (1.3 billion players in 2020).
Bitcoin has had a wild ride this year. At the start of 2021, the price was around $ 29,000, which has skyrocketed to all-time highs of over $ 63,000 in mid-April. Then Elon Musk’s high-profile comments sparked a crash that has since seen the price drop to around $ 43,000. Despite the recent decline, Bitcoin is still trading nearly 150% above its January 2021 levels, and blockchain investments are increasing exponentially Year after year. This inevitably gave way to renewed interest in blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrency, and some game developers looking to incorporate the technology into their offerings.
NFTs move from curiosity to the general public
CryptoKitties was the world’s first near-mainstream introduction to the world of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. They are unique and collectable digital assets that no one can copy and that live permanently on the blockchain. The Ethereum-based game launched in 2017, allowing users to collect, sell, and breed digital cats (including “Dragon,” a CryptoKitty that sold in September 2018 for 600 Ether, or $ 172,000 at the time. That’s over $ 1.4 million at today’s prices.)
Although CryptoKitties is approaching its fourth anniversary, the market has not slowed down, with 50,000 generations of kittens having been bred and over $ 30,000 in transactions still occurring on the platform every day.
The viral popularity of CryptoKitties meant that we could no longer ignore digital assets in games, and game developers are including the features in their products and symbolizing digital assets in the game.
“You have 2.6 billion people playing video games and thousands of studios all of which have digital assets and digital IPs. In video games, tokenization is a 40-year-old concept. The founders of Blockchain Capital have had great success trading digital assets in Second life. They then used this experience to identify the value of a brand new digital currency, Bitcoin, and invested heavily in it ”. said Josh Chapman, Managing Partner of Konvoy Ventures, an esports and video game company.
Decentralization of the game
Until recently, gaming was a largely centralized business, with all in-game data, assets, and currencies generally confined to the game they came from, and with all ownership of those items retained by the developers. The addition of blockchain could see a decentralized gaming future where items won or purchased in one game could be transferable and used in another, which would give real value to digital assets in the game.
“Some of these in-game items can cost thousands of dollars each due to their rarity,” said Craig Russo, Innovation Director of Polyient Games. “It attaches your sword or weapon to the blockchain, which allows you to own it, take it out of the game, and sell it on the open market for a profit. People can’t do that now.
The current centralized nature of video games also means that players do not actually own the game items they have won; if they stop playing a particular game, or if a game’s servers are compromised or shut down by its developers, everything they’ve collected while playing is lost forever. We saw this play out earlier this year when a massive fire in France, destroyed around thirty servers connected to the very popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) Rust. As a result of the incident, thousands of players lost their saved data, which was not saved offsite.
The destruction of Rust’s servers has helped advocate for more decentralized, blockchain-based gaming models where external circumstances won’t cause players to lose their hard-earned progress or in-game items. digital has matured, these items have real value, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars or more.
“People spend a lot of money on games. When they leave a game, that money is gone. Your investment is gone. It doesn’t mean anything, ”said Gabe Leydon, the former CEO of Machine Zone. “So if people are willing to spend that kind of money on something or if they stop connecting, it has no value. What happens when, if they stop connecting, they sell what they bought? It will change the whole nature of video games. He won’t spend any more. It will be an investment. So that totally changes everything.
Old School Names Are Going Into Blockchain And NFTs
The historical pattern of cryptocurrency boom and bust inevitably steers any conversation about technology toward whether it’s here to stay, but in a potential signal of longevity, established gaming brands with a recognition of name and generations of fans began to plant their flag in the nascent state. space.
Taito, the famous Japanese video game company known for its classics like Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble, recently partnered with Next Gaming and Celer Network to bring your old-fashioned arcade puzzle Bust-A-Move to the blockchain, where esports competitors can compete against each other with real money in play.
Atari, one of the true pioneers of home console video games, Just announced its foray into the world of NFTs with the creation of an entire division dedicated to blockchain, simply called Atari Blockchain. The company said in a press release that the division was intended to “focus on the immense possibilities of crypto and blockchain compatible games.” The company has also launched its own Atari token, which will be used to purchase digital products in its Atari VCS console, in Atari games on the blockchain, and in third-party games or applications such as opeansea.io, Sandbox or Decentraland. The company says it will continuously assess opportunities in blockchain games, NFTs, and blockchain-based online worlds.
PlayStation maker Sony has been working on The six dragons, a long-awaited RPG that will release later this year for PlayStation 5. It features over a billion randomly generated dungeons and over 300 items that players can trade, sell or keep to boost their in-game characters. and in-game object manufacturing take place on the Ethereum blockchain, making it one of the first versions of a mainstream gaming platform to incorporate NFTs.
“What makes this experience unique is that almost all elements of the game are decentralized, using the power of innovative blockchain technology. This means that players truly own their gaming assets, as they can trade them freely with other players, sell them for real value, and use them in different game universes, ”the website reads. Six Dragons.
Yat Siu, chairman of Animoca Brands (the parent company of game studios including The Sandbox, Nway and Quidd), says the game industry’s shift to NFTs and blockchain represents a seismic shift in the concept of digital property, and that gamers no longer want to miss out on the potentially lucrative opportunities that technology offers.
“If you can play for something that is close to your heart, then why would you choose to play a game where there is no value,” he said. “We’re not saying traditional games are going to go away. But we believe in this thesis that it is better for the player to play in an environment where you have ownership. “
Banker turned entrepreneur, Mik Mironov is the founder of Rbl Labs, a blockchain games studio; and CEO of LOCGame, a blockchain-based NFT game and collectibles with recognizable characters from the crypto universe locgame.io
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