Crypto is a buzzword that has been thrown around a lot recently, mainly because of the bitcoin-led bull market but also because NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) have become the centre of mainstream interest. The Ethereum price has been on a strong upwards trend to brand new highs and this blockchain protocol is the backbone of the majority of the NFT infrastructure. NFTs are on the way to reform digital asset ownership by making files unique, one-of-a-kind collectibles. These are minted (the computer process of validating information, creating a new block and recording that information into the blockchain) on the Ethereum network and transactions for such digital assets are made the network’s native currency, ETH. A virtual economy has been birthed and many gaming developers around the world are being inspired by this new technology as you read this blog.
THE FIRST BLOCKCHAIN BASED GAME
CryptoKitties: a game centered around breedable, collectible, and oh-so-adorable creatures called CryptoKitties!
This was released in 2017 in the midst of the previous bitcoin bull run and allowed users to trade and breed unique BFT kittens for Ethereum. The game garnered so much publicity that the Ethereum network became over congested and gas fees [payments made by users to compensate for the computing energy required to process and validate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain] soared. Nevertheless, the introduction of this innovative blockchain based game marked the genesis for other developers to begin impressive projects based on the NFT structure for gaming.
2020 saw the most amount of money spent on phone apps in all time, 80% of this money was spent on gaming and this amounted to a whopping $80 Billion! The games that brought in the most revenue was ironically free to download, but gamers spent thousands on items that can grant character customisation and power-ups that elevate the gameplay experience. Fortnite is a great example of this.
AXIE INFINITY SHARDS
The pay-to-win gaming model [Users and players willing to shell out a few extra bucks to access features that are normally unlocked as the game progresses can give some serious advantage, especially in online games] has been popularized by new blockchain games such as Axie Infinity.
Axie Infinity created their very own cryptocurrency which was built as a derivative off the Ethereum network. This cryptocurrency is known as Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) which is used to participate in key governance votes and will give holders a say in how funds in the Axie Community Treasury are spent.
Inspired by popular games like Pokémon and Tamagotchi, Axie Infinity allows players to collect, breed, raise, battle and trade token-based creatures known as Axies. These Axies can take various forms, and there are more than 500 different body parts available, including aquatic, beast, bird, bug, plant and reptile parts. Parts from each type class come in four different rarity scales: common, rare, ultra rare and legendary — and Axies can have any combination of body parts, making them highly variable and often rare and unique. Each Axie is a non-fungible token (NFT) with different attributes and strengths and can be entered into 3v3 battles, with the winning team earning more experience (exp) points that are used to level up an Axie’s stats or evolve their body parts.
Winning battles allows players to attain small love potions, which can then be swapped for the game’s native coin, Axie Infinity (AXS). Players can withdraw the AXS, either as-is or by converting it to Bitcoin, Ethereum another altcoin, to cash out their earnings. This new model has been crucial for providing a lifeline to people in impoverished communities while also enabling a complex gaming economy to thrive.
The Price of AXS has appreciated by approximately 2000% (and counting) since its inception and this is just one example of how quick this space is evolving.
ATARI ENTER THE CRYPTO SPACE
Other games, like Decentraland, have taken on a different approach to how gaming and cryptocurrency are merged. With Decentraland, virtual real estate is traded for cryptocurrency and many individuals have earned millions of dollars over the past few months. Blockchain enables diversity in the gaming economy, offering developers an opportunity to find creative ways of integrating various aspects of the technology into a playable and enjoyable experience and is creating multiple streams of income for doing something we love!
Atari, the company behind the iconic Pacman, Asteroids and Pong, will develop a cryptocurrency casino in partnership with Decentral Games. The Atari-branded casino will be built in “Vegas City,” a gaming district in Ethereum-based Decentraland‘s metaverse, and will be leased on an initial two-year term. In virtual worlds, players inhabit an avatar’s body while interacting with the digital world or “metaverse.” Decentral Games, part of the Decentraland ecosystem, claims to be the first community-owned metaverse crypto casino.
The new casino, based on Decentral Games’ tech, will feature Atari-themed games including an Atari Special game based on skill rather than luck. Players will be able to earn Decentral Games’ native token ($DG) and token holders of $DG will also be able to utilize them to participate in governance and company-related decision making.
ALVA PC believes the gaming industry has only just started to enter the Cryptoverse and we are in for a wild ride, Game On!