It’s no surprise how easy it is to be lost in all the blockchain games buzz: many tweets, news articles, and blog posts related to blockchain and gaming. Experts say blockchain is the future of gaming, and gaming will hasten the adoption of blockchain. Furthermore, gamers are excited about the prospects of play-to-earn, thanks to NFTs and crypto tokens.
Unfortunately, much isn’t said about the limitation of blockchain-based video games amidst the understandable excitement. For crypto games to fulfill their potential, the ecosystem must overcome intrinsic limitations.
Blockchain and all pertaining to it are the new frontiers and appear flawless. However, this isn’t true. Limitations like the ‘non-deploy-ability of blockchain gaming infrastructure to common programming languages – and more – exist.
The earlier the stakeholders of blockchain technology in video games focus on mitigating these limitations, the better. Hence, this article needs to shed light on blockchain-based games’ biggest limitations.
Did Gaming Even Need Blockchain?
It’s been several decades since Physicist William Higinbotham created the first video game. Over time, the technology behind video games has evolved. Now, video games come in various media; console, mobile, desktop, streaming, disc, etc.
But, compared to several years before, the evolution of the gaming industry in recent past years seems to be slower. We’ve been stuck on consoles for about two decades and on mobile games for almost a decade. Fortunately, experts believe that the novel blockchain technology will redefine gaming as we know it.
Truthfully, we now have games where players make money from playing all day – play-to-earn. You can directly sell characters from your game to other players. The interoperability of the blockchain even allows you to use characters from a game in another game.
While these and more are happening before our very eyes, there’s the question of if gaming needed blockchain.
Building video games on blockchain started to help the masses better adopt the technology. Games are relatable and foster human understanding of concepts. Hence, if games were made to depict and leverage the various features of the blockchain, more people would get interested. Summarily, games were meant to drive intuitiveness for blockchain.
Owing to the developments, we’re introduced to concepts like Yield Farming, play-to-earn, metaverse, etc. Between 2017 when CryptoKitties – the first blockchain-powered game – was launched, about 200 million more people have adopted blockchain technology.
Assuredly, crypto games aren’t responsible for these numbers. However, about 41.9 million crypto gamers own crypto. By whatever standards, that’s a major percentage.
But over the past five years of building blockchain-based video games, what’s been most interesting is how it’s redefining gaming. Of course, the initial aim was for gaming to aid blockchain adoption. However, the revolutionary effect blockchain is having on gaming is unprecedented.
Thanks to blockchain, players go beyond participation to ownership. Thanks to ownership, players can make money off what they spend time doing. For example, many players earn a living just from playing games. As a result, blockchain redefined the gaming industry’s entire economics.
The blockchain has been redefining the finance industry since Bitcoin’s launch. Now, games like CryptoKitties, CoinFantasy, and Axie Infinity champion the cause of a brave new gaming world. These games even leverage what was thought to be the future of gaming five years ago – streaming. So, yes, gaming needed blockchain.
Limitations of Blockchain-Based Video Games
Doubting the potential of blockchain in gaming is pointless. However, innovation is all about making things better. If the different game blockchain platforms were better, some limitations have to be overcome.
Traditional gaming has put in a lot of work to attain its current level. For instance, the graphics are incredibly life-like if you play football on the latest Xbox or Playstation console. However, reaching such a level of perfection required unending iterations.
However, the current top crypto games can’t boast of such a level of detail. Around the world, visuals have become a big part of irking people’s interest. And while money is enough incentive for about 40 million people to stay glued to game blockchain mobile devices, it won’t hold for long. So the aesthetics need to be scaled. Scaling the aesthetics consequently infers improving the technology.
Everything related to web3 – blockchain – is currently complex – including the underlying technology. For video games (known for the numerous technologies coming to function simultaneously) to be optimal on the blockchain, it’ll take hard work.
For instance, getting to build a shooter game on the blockchain is currently so difficult. Shooter games require numerous state changes at a time. Every state change must be recorded and verified to build such on the blockchain. Affording such computing power is impossible as of now.
Blockchain-based video games remain basic due to the complexities required of top video games. The current flock of crypto games doesn’t involve many complexities. Till developers figure out how to implement complex gaming technologies on the blockchain, the list of crypto games will be kitties-ridden.
According to Ben Jorgensen, COO of Constellation labs, “If blockchain is going to be used by game developers, a scalable architecture and a reliable network that can manage high image rendering and massive user adoption is necessary.”
The scalability issue emphasizes a technology disparity. Blockchains like Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, etc., are new technologies not supportive of web2 programming languages. For instance, you can’t deploy Java on Ethereum. And unfortunately, getting to a level using solidity to render high-end games will take years.
For example, a game on the Solana blockchain must prove cost-effectiveness to get investors’ support. The same goes for other blockchains; the gaming world is exclusively capitalist. That’s why the current best crypto involves collecting and trading digital assets. But how long till that subsector gets saturated? What will be left when there’s no more fun in collecting digital cards of cats and trying to sell them?
It’s vital to remember that the NFTs – in-game collectibles, characters, etc. – will experience a value drop when more people pay the crypto price of playing these games. NFTs are assets of value and best kept that way when rare. Hence, it’s critical to move beyond game blockchain NFT structures quickly.
How CoinFantasy Leverages Blockchain?
CoinFantasy.io is building the fantasy football of the crypto-stock market, leveraging the play-to-earn model in rewarding its players. In addition, the game blockchain platform is developed to ensure that even players who don’t win the tournament don’t lose money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Blockchain-based video games interact wholly or partly with the blockchain to execute processes. Games don’t have to be built entirely on the blockchain; they can interact for utilities, in-game purchases, payments, etc.
The use of blockchain in a game depends on the developer. Essentially, smart contracts are developed, which handle the transactions. The blockchain records and stores everything happening in a game, subsequently immutable.
Blockchain uses hashing and encryption for data storage, relying, mainly on the SHA256 algorithm to secure the information. The address of the sender (public key), the receiver’s address, the transaction, and his/her private key details are transmitted via the SHA256 algorithm.
NFTs mean Non-Fungible Tokens, which refers to entities that are only one of a kind. There’s only one version of a specific digital asset – which gives it its value. Unlike the FIAT currencies or crypto, NFTs are majorly working of art.
The game blockchain play-to-earn model involves the collection of in-game items, which are NFTs, and subsequently selling them at profit-inclusive prices. The money is majorly made by the players. Some gaming platforms allow players to stake certain tokens and earn rewards if they win games.