On the surface, ‘Crypto’ and ‘Gaming’ seem like an intuitive couple, yet the current landscape of these largely complementary industries reveals that the fusion of the two is still very much under construction. The challenges posed by accessibility, reach, design, function and a plethora of others immediately springing to mind are bravely being tackled by many crypto and tech wizards, yet only a handful are pioneering this evolution.
In this article, we’ll review the industry’s lay of the land and evaluate its most recent developments.
A unique opportunity
Since crypto has been the center of attention the last two months, talks about gamification have been on many a fintech platform’s agenda. Could the creation of a sophisticated platform of this kind bring in the big bucks?
Strategic partner and advisor of high engagement platform Gamee, Yat Siu, states that “gamers are the largest base of users who understand virtual currency and who understand virtual assets. What is missing is the ability to create real economic value.” He reckons that blockchain games will change that since existing players will recognize the value of blockchain because they will be able to earn in it like a real asset class. The Czech-developed platform with a global community of 20M+ registered players has partnered with Siu’s Animoca Brands to help achieve the company’s vision of truly ‘connecting people through play’. Currently, a free experience, based on a play-to-earn concept, Gamee is seeking to use blockchain and a newly coined Token to take a leap into space.
However, the blockchain opportunity is not only attracting the makers of casual-style gaming products. Veteran game developer Atari blessed us with retro games like Pac-Man and Tetris, but slowly faded into the realm of bankruptcy almost a decade ago. Now, Atari is bouncing back with an arsenal of up-to-date weapons to win over gamers, old and new. A new console, and most interestingly several cryptocurrencies alongside blockchain gaming.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the brand’s token (ATRI) got launched through Bitcoin.com and will serve as an in-game currency in Atari games. Future plans include launching Non-Fungible Token blockchain collectibles with the aim of displaying the elaborate art from its games. In an interview, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais underlines that if one wants to stay relevant in the long run, having one’s own utility token is a must. That being said, the game developer understands that the constraints of adoption and a steep learning curve are strongly intertwined.
Not unlike Atari, Gamee also want to ease their users into crypto and blockchain.
CEO Bozena Rezab explains that their aforementioned Token will be at the core of their tournament experience, ‘Gamee Arc8’, generating token rewards which have wider liquidity, gradually introducing the user to other core features of the experience, such as elements of governance, giving users an incentive to hold and maintain the token to help shape its direction.
However, to a certain extent, any company creating their own blockchain-based gaming products, trusts that virtual currency will be absorbed and understood by their users sooner rather than later. Why? In-game gold, a concept as old as online games themselves, has been purchased for years, therefore tokenization appears to be a surmountable obstacle to this modern transition.
Not for Tricks – NFT
Another trend that is here to stay are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These are unique, often referred to as ‘legendary’ pieces – this can be anything from an art piece to a distinctive in-game character. Sports fans will likely have heard of NBA Top Shot by Dapper Labs, which is now the highest-selling NFT collectible by sales volume. In blockchain gaming, NFTs also refer to unique, non-interchangeable items that players have to compete for and can now trade with.
Notable platforms related to the creation and trade of NFT include OpenSea, where they can be traded and explored or Rarible, a marketplace making the creation of NFTs simple, intuitive, and allowing the creator to sell their creation for royalties. Aforementioned high-engagement platform Gamee, for instance, is preparing 2 types of NFT. One of them will be Game Parcel NFTs, which will enable third-party publishers and game creators to launch their own game to Gamee’s audience on its platform. The second kind is “Robots”, which are collectibles that will give players reward boosts in skill-based gaming tournaments and will also be a character in a dedicated game.
An interesting parallel is offered by ExeedMe, a tournament-based platform, where you win through strong performance on tournaments or, alternatively, betting, with your rewards including the native XED token, that can be traded on marketplaces.
The above examples illustrate that the employment of NFT not only empowers non-pro gamers to interact on the blockchain to benefit from a fresh and accessible revenue stream through engaging in a hobby likely already integrated into their daily routine, but also opens the door for improved engagement rates, whether this is on gaming or other entertainment platforms.
The trading of tokens and NFTs may be daunting at first, but the crypto community delivers in these terms also. Apps like Bitcoin Flip or Altcoin Fantasy give newcomers an idea of the mechanics of the crypto market, without actually putting them and any pre-owned or near future cryptocurrency at risk. However, if any of the above did not convince you of the dormant potential of the blockchain, crypto, and gaming combo, perhaps these numbers will: the traditional gaming market generated $150 billion in revenue last year alone, which is more than music and film combined. Almost 30% of the global population (2.6 billion) are engaged in gaming, and due to COVID, predictably, even more. It follows that converting just a fraction of any of these gamers can drive millions in value.
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