It’s 2026, and a 14-year-old Indian boy just earned 10 million dollars from playing games all day.’ It could soon be a norm for major news publication’s headlines’ snippets to read as such. The future of the gaming industry promises so much as stakeholders begin the exploration of uncharted territories.
About two years before writing this piece, projects like Google Stadia, Project XCloud, and other cloud gaming services seemed to be the future. However, a novel gaming reality hemmed by a 2009-borne technology is dawning on everyone. Consequently, we all want to know what the future of the games will be.
It’s hard to predict how the future of game development will unfurl accurately. But industry experts and enthusiasts are sure it will involve Virtual Reality, NFTs, blockchain, Fiat currencies, fungible tokens, and Augmented Reality. The limitless possibilities from these technologies’ interconnections make it hard to predict the actual reality of the future of online games.
But if recent web3 game experiments and projects can serve as markers, the rest of this article precisely explains the future of the gaming industry.
The Future: Where Blockchain Virtual Reality and Games Unite?
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto popularized a technology called blockchain, and its first mainstream product was Bitcoin. Satoshi’s launch mapped a new frontier for the finance industry. More than a decade later, there are over 6000 cryptocurrencies in circulation.
There was a realization along with traditional banking’s disruption that progressed in Bitcoin’s post-launch period. A better understanding of blockchain infrastructure helped me discover use cases beyond finance. Hence, your quest to understand the play-to-earn games blockchain concept.
The internet, mobile and desktop technologies and consoles power the gaming industry. These contributing technologies have one thing in common. Centralization.
These products and infrastructures are owned and controlled by companies and businesses. The citizens don’t own the current version of the internet. Instead, companies provide and oversee all internet services in exchange for consumer data and money.
Hence, the digital reality so far for consumers is all about participation, not ownership. Consumers pay to use premium services. In cases where users don’t pay, they are the product.
The shortcomings of web2 – the internet’s current stage – are evident in the gaming industry. Users buy the consoles and pay for features, phones, laptops, etc. Essentially, all the financial rewards of the industry go to the service providers.
In the context of the traditional capitalist economy, such a one-way financial arrangement makes sense. However, in the decentralized economy powered by blockchain, rewards must be evenly distributed. Hence, the introduction of the ‘play-to-earn’ gaming model, which experts see as the future. The play-to-earn games crypto concept offers an incredible financial future for gaming.
Beyond the industry’s financial future, ‘experience’ is another major element. Up until now, gaming companies like Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, etc., have invested so much in improving gaming experiences. As a result, game characters nowadays are almost human-like, with many becoming fan favorites.
But all these experiences currently live on consoles and mobile devices. However, with the Metaverse, there promises to be a redefinition of human experiences in the future of gaming. Virtual reality and augmented reality look to take players from their default worlds into another. In these virtual worlds, players interact in-person-like with other characters, completing missions, earning rewards, etc.
As expected, the future of the gaming industry assuredly promises more than these two focus points. However, they – play-to-earn and the Metaverse – will be the bedrock of other innovations. So let’s look at how these vital bedrocks interact to solidify the premise of future gaming.
The Future of Games Development: How it all Connects?
Critics continue to say that the play-to-earn and metaverse models, which have been dubbed the future of the gaming industry, are imploding micro-economies. However, developers worldwide are solving complex problems and pushing the limits. So far, the works of developers like Sky Mavis are showing us what’s possible with play to earn games tokens. In the same vein, Mark Zuckerberg is bullish on the prospects of the Metaverse.
The Play-to-Earn Model
The play-to-earn model of gaming is technically not new. Right from the ‘90s, games have featured in-game collectibles. For instance, when you think of Super Mario, the character breaks bricks to collect coins. Also, Grand Theft Auto features in-game collectibles. But you can’t convert these collectibles to real-life spendable entities.
Professional gamers participate in and win prize monies at competitions in modern terms. However, this traditional game money-making opportunity can only birth a few earners. Not everyone can play games professionally. But everyone can earn rewards inside their chosen games.
That’s where play-to-earn comes in. The model introduces a concept of value outside the games’ ecosystems. When you earn collectibles in a game, you can exchange them for real money – dollars, pounds, etc. You can also play games, earn gift cards and redeem them whenever you want.
An example of a game you can play to earn real money is Axie Infinity, launched in 2018. Axie Infinity puts money both ways. First, players need to buy assets called ‘Axies” before they can play (that’s money to the creators). Next, players play the game to farm SLPs (Smooth Love Potions). Subsequently, players sell the in-game assets on third-party platforms. The demand for SLPs is high because players need them to breed Axies – the game characters. The cycle continues.
Axie Infinity has grown to become one of the highest play-to-earn games, thanks to NFTs that got popular. Play-to-earn games NFTs are digital assets you can exchange for cash. There’s always only one piece of an NFT. Hence, if you own a particular picture NFT, no one else legally does.
The concept of NFTs informs the value and fits right into the play-to-earn playbook. For instance, Axie Infinity players can breed their Axies and sell them on the marketplace as NFTs. Some players can also breed rare Axies for sale.
This is a mere introduction to the possibilities with NFTs and in-game rewards. For instance, in fantasy games like CoinFantasy, you enjoy the gamification of the crypto stock market. Many recent games even allow characters customization. In an ideal futuristic gaming world, players may get to transfer characters across metaverses.
Facebook rebranded to Meta because it believed so much in the virtual world. So many science fiction movies have teased such experiences. Also, gadgets like the Oculus have introduced such experiences. But Mark Zuckerberg and his team want the concept to become mainstream.
Several other companies are working on metaverse projects. Currently, we have a couple of metaverses; Decentraland, Sandbox, and Treeverse. Brands and celebrities are purchasing landed properties in these metaverses. That indicates how real the concept of owning digital assets – largely NFTs – has become. And what’s more, most metaverses are focused on play-to-earn games and events.
The concepts of the Metaverse and play-to-earn are still early. Many people are yet to understand what they mean. However, savvy individuals and stakeholders realize the potential already.
Imagine putting on your VR or AR glass (maybe Oculus) and heading into a virtual or augmented world. You fight monsters, aliens, goblins, etc., and earn rewards. The NFT or token rewards are attached to your blockchain wallet address. You then sell these earned rewards and assets for cash on Binance, OpenSea, Coinbase, etc.
That’s the future of the gaming industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. Though, not all games offer gift cards as rewards. You must find out which games offer gift card rewards for playtime. Examples of games offering gift card rewards are; Swagbucks, mypoint, coinout, Shopkick, etc. And it’s always good to research the team behind the gaming platform.
Once you have a smartphone and internet, you can maximize different platforms giving gift cards to players. Here are some ways you can get free gift cards fast;
Earning gift cards from shopping
Taking online surveys
Get referral bonuses, etc.
Join a reputable community to get updates.
You can easily get rewarded for playing on the play store. When you do, here are some games you can play on it; love solitaire, mahjong, wheel of fortune, Yahtzee, etc. All these games offer free rewards and points as you play and watch ads. They also support in-app purchases.
The future of the gaming industry will be heavily premised on virtual and augmented reality. Also, these concepts will be built on the blockchain, which supports infrastructures that helps players earn a reward for playtime. The popularity of Metaverse will further increase the popularity of the gaming industry.
No, the gaming industry isn’t declining. Thanks to the advent of blockchain in the industry, gaming is witnessing a rejuvenation, which will see it grow to become a $300+ billion industry in 2025. The innovation of Blockchain in the gaming industry is still in its infancy.