Crypto/blockchain gaming has emerged as one of the strongest crypto sectors and is set for further growth and development. According to DappRader, 2023 could pull in over $10 billion in investments for crypto gaming projects, indicating just how strong this burgeoning sector is.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at crypto gaming and discuss its impact on core gaming sectors.
What Are Crypto Games?
In short, crypto games are games that include elements of cryptocurrencies or blockchain technologies. They allow gamers to play with and for cryptocurrencies and digital assets like non-fungible tokens. Many crypto gaming projects feature in-game currencies, while platforms built on blockchain technologies, such as Polygon, provide a transparent, decentralized gaming environment.
The key distinction between crypto games and traditional console, PC or mobile games is that full ownership of any in-game assets generated by players passes to them. In conventional games, assets purchased via microtransactions, like character skins, level unlocks, loot boxes etc., are owned by the developers, and their value is only relevant within that title. In crypto games, digital assets have real-world value.
The Impact of Decentralised Tech on Gaming
The advent of crypto gaming, or GameFi, is having a radical effect on traditional video gaming. Crypto games are essentially offering players a way to be rewarded for the time that they spend playing. Play-to-earn (P2E) video games, as exemplified in leading titles like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox and Decentraland, allow players to earn crypto tokens or NFTs (non-fungible tokens) for the completion of specific tasks. Gamers can then trade their digital assets for top-performing cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum or even convert these resources into fiat currencies.
Naturally, this type of reward system has never been seen before in the gaming industry and is changing the relationship between gamers and game development companies. Furthermore, it’s helping to democratize the process of owning and trading crypto by exposing a greater proportion of people to new economic opportunities.
Another genre that crypto is currently disrupting is the iGaming sector, which includes, amongst other things, online poker gaming. iGaming, by all accounts, is very much a 21st-century success story in itself, having risen to become a multi-billion-dollar industry over the past decade or so.
Leading online platforms like PokerStars have updated classic card and table games for a modern gaming audience. Meanwhile, their popularity has seen digital real-money gaming outperforming brick-and-mortar casinos in numerous territories.
Strengthening iGaming for the Future
So what kind of impact is crypto having on this already well-established sector?
Firstly, the introduction of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into online casinos can either entirely replace traditional payment methods or give players a wider choice. The benefit for platform operators is that they could be freed up from the control of financial institutions, while players would face lower transaction fees (if any at all). Some developers have even created new currencies that players can use for in-game purchases.
There’s also the enhanced security and transparency that comes with blockchain gaming, which would play a key role in strengthening the iGaming industry as it moves forwards. Blockchain tech is powered by a digital ledger in which every single transaction or occurrence is documented. Not only does this provide an extra layer of transparency for when a player wins a poker game or lands a progressive jackpot, but the record itself cannot be altered.
What Will Crypto Gaming Look Like Beyond 2023?
The crypto and blockchain gaming space is still very much in its infancy, despite being a burgeoning sector. Currently, most games utilizing tech focus more on function and features than on gameplay. While this is undoubtedly important, particularly when it comes to iGaming applications, if crypto gaming wants to compete with traditional gaming on a global scale, it will need to prioritize premium gameplay and high-quality visual and audio design.