By Parth Chadha
Gaming has come a long way since its inception, and has continuously evolved with time. The latest trend that is taking the ever-changing world of gaming and esports by storm is blockchain based gaming. Will this trend fizzle away soon, or will it be able to transform the gaming and esports ecosystem forever for the better? Let’s find out!
Blockchain and gaming: The convergence and the disruption
Blockchain technology is currently set out to disrupt the gaming industry as we know it. To start with, decentralised architecture of blockchain removes intermediaries to empower the players as the decision-making authority while adding real-world value to their virtual assets. Hence, blockchain-based gaming is bringing a new economic model to the gaming industry, especially to the growing pool of professional esports athletes. With the optimal use of blockchain technology, the competitive gaming or esports space across the world is now moving towards the ‘play-to-earn’ economic model (instead of the ‘free-to-play or pay-to-play models) — where the game would actually incentivize the players with built-in incentives or small financial gains rewarding them for their time and effort.
Another notable trend powered by blockchain that is gaining massive momentum in the recent times is NFT or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — a one-of-a-kind digital asset which could create greater levels of engagement opportunities in esports. NFTs can help gamers to own their in-game assets like themes, achievements, skins, in-game currencies and much more; this means that they finally have real command over their digital assets, while also having much greater control over their overall gaming experience. Furthermore, NFTs open up the avenues of digital ownership from game developers or publishers to players who can not only retain their in-game virtual assets but also transfer them to games, other players, sell or exchange across platforms and monetise them. By opening up a plethora of new revenue streams for gamers, NFTs are not only making the process of gaming far more entertaining but highly rewarding too.
One of the major concerns in the gaming and Esports sector today is that of the security and vulnerability of online transactions. However, blockchain stands to truly make virtual in-game purchases or marketplace transactions a safe, fair, thriving and transparent affair, as all the in-game transactions are being publicly recorded and tracked seamlessly with the use of blockchain. And it can thus save billions by mitigating chances of fraud or cyber-attacks, besides obviously creating a safe online environment for gamers at the ecosystem level. With blockchain gaming, it also allows gamers to be rewarded with cryptocurrencies for playing – which is believed to be another major future-ready advantage in line with the emergence of the ‘Metaverse’.
If we take a look at the broader perspective, blockchain benefits both the players and the developers. For players, it brings ownership rights, monetisation and a free and fair gaming environment, whereas on the other hand, for developers, it is cost-efficient, prevents frauds and enables them to offer to users a secure development environment. It is a win-win situation where both players and developers will thrive.
So, what’s next for blockchain based gaming?
At present, the burgeoning gaming industry in India has already begun exploring ways to develop new games that will run on blockchain. According to a report by Deloitte, India’s online gaming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent crossing over $2.8 billion by 2022-23. And there is a huge growth potential for blockchain based gaming and e-sports in India, where only a handful of companies have barely scratched the surface with regards to the application of this novel technological revolution in gaming.
While in India we are still in the beginning stages of blockchain gaming, but if we look at scenarios across the world, it’s been a promising start. Blockchain has made gaming from a mere hobby, entertainment to a lucrative activity for players worldwide. Based on these incentives and the clear win-win situation it poses to both players and developers alike, it can be confidently said that blockchain based gaming shall become a catalyst for the future advancements of the gaming and esports industry. Since gaming is all about an immersive experience, and blockchain based gaming not only provides players with a new experience of gaming but is also more rewarding and economically valuable, the mass adoption of blockchain based games across the world is now just a matter of time!
The author is founder and CEO, EWar Games