The entire field of crypto and blockchain-based gaming has been growing, with a varying degree of the public limelight, consistently during the past several years. While the first blockchain gaming projects reach back almost a decade, most of the serious ones began around 2015. Since then, game developers have solved a range of technical issues. These involve things like staging, but also liquidity pooling, scalability (to a point) and so many other aspects of the wider crypto and blockchain tech, to the joy of so many esports players and ordinary users.
However, many in the gaming industry, but also fintech as well believe that too many companies and teams are fully focused on the token implementation and other technical aspects of crypto video games. But, if the gaming blockchain community really wants to become a part of the wider metaverse, it will have to do a lot better than that. To help in that process, there is a lot of inspiration that can be found not in the future, but way back in the past of the gaming industry. Many video games that reach back long before the era of blockchain were incredibly popular and at the same time, they offer a roadmap or at least parts of it for the new generation of video game developers who have much grander ambitions.
Gaming Blockchain Recent Past
For the industry sub-sector that is working on blockchain gaming, 2020 was a huge game-changer. While the rest of humanity went into a series of pandemic lockdowns, the overall gaming industry went into a small golden age. The same applies to blockchain gaming applications. That is why, for example, Axie Infinity popularity went through the roof and it managed to bring the crucial play-to-earn model to the mainstream. As the world began to work remotely, so did the play-to-earn games take off as well, taking up the trading volume of the industry by some 8,300 percent year-on-year.
The same movement brought about a jump in market capitalization as well. With it, the market cap of this sub-sector relatively quickly hit the sum of 30 billion USD. While this is small compared to main gaming branches like esports and consoles, the amount of money is still staggering, and so is the speed with which it reached the same sum in that crucial 2020. But, the problem began to emerge soon as well, providing a glimpse into a future where the same bump does not translate to anything in terms of keeping the momentum going.
The current state of the blockchain gaming industry showcases a bigger playing field, but also one that seems somewhat stagnant, especially when it comes to taking the next step in the business development of this industry. Of course, there are a lot more games in the same domain as any of the tracking apps for blockchain gaming will quickly show. Most of them are idle or tapping/clicking games, which are basically yield farming processes that have a thin coating of gaming over them. There are also many collective card games that are usually generic to a point of not being recognizable.
At the same time, many are swearing that blockchain gaming will become one of the bedrocks of the metaverse. However, the current space is not only far away from three dimensions and VR, it is basically far away from two dimensions as well. Instead of the metaverse, the present average of blockchain gaming from a game design perspective is more similar to the simplest flash games of the early 2000s than any futuristic, all-immersive 3D digital space where gaming, fun, business, and many other ventures are in the same combined universe.
Reskilling Early Gaming Periods
All gaming like any other entertainment industry can be collected into a set of periods that are defined through one or more characteristics. One of the earliest big periods in gaming was the age of arcade cabinets, which ruled the same industry for a decade in the late 70s and early 80s. There are many other eras as well. Present crypto gaming seems saturated with numerous re-skinned games from the early days of casual mobile gaming and social network titles.
Most have heavily restricted gameplay time and cool-down features that further drop the amount of time anyone can spend in the game. In terms of farming games, the most popular titles are basically complete knock-offs of the old classic Farmville. In all of these cases, blockchain principles are used to build the entire game and they function inside of their own ecosystem. But, for the same tech to really aid gaming, blockchain should be used as the augmentation of a successful gaming concept, not its core basis that gives the game all it has as its primary and only feature.
Plugins in Big Games
The need to have a core set of features that is the basis of a game is making many wonder if the true future of blockchain gaming lies in the augmentation of existing titles, instead of building pale shadows of old successful minimalistic concepts. For example, a game like Minecraft could use third-party bitcoin BTC plugins that would offer it access or the creation of a decentralized virtual economy. That blockchain could enforce property rights and land ownership in the game, following its internal governance structure.
From there, if Minecraft servers connect to the metaverse, they would immediately bring their plugin to the same space as well. The metaverse of other financial blockchains would recognize it and adapt its own connections, building what is the true process of interconnectivity and synergy. This is a piece of the puzzle that is almost certainly needed. Another element is the need for AAA and big studio blockchain releases. Some of these are expected in 2024 and further out, which also needs to see a big speeding up of these developments. Only then can blockchain gaming really take off to another plane of quality and use adoption.