Gaming is an area which is increasingly taking advantage of blockchain technology. The industry is doing this in a range of areas described below.
In traditional games, you may never really own your in-game item. Instead, it stays within the ecosystem with the publisher having full control—this can limit any value of the item.
When games are built using blockchain, truly owning your in-game collectibles becomes possible thanks to what are known as non-fungible tokens (NFT). NFTs can be things like skins, characters, in-game cards or artworks. You can take NFTs with you across different platforms and they are stored securely on the blockchain.
Even characters could be fully controlled and owned by the user. For example, you might have permission to access and use a character, you typically will never truly own it. It remains under the control of the company who lets you have access to it. Players have full control of their items.
Traditional games install their own probabilities, drop rates or in-game mechanics. This process is often hidden or very opaque, which is an issue as it means developers or gaming platforms have the power to manipulate the in-game economy or adjust probabilities without the users ever knowing. Additionally, game developers can produce an unlimited amount of items, change the drop rate or make items untradeable.
With a blockchain, you use smart contracts to create more transparent games for users. For example, Chainlink has just launched the Chainlink VRF based on the principle of verifiable randomness—which is just a way to provide proof that actions are using a tamper-proof source of randomness beyond their control.
A blockchain solution can also provide users with detailed information about how many in-game assets or NFTs were made and how many were released or minted.
In traditional video gaming, millions of gamers use online marketplaces to trade items such as in-game collectibles. The only thing is these marketplaces can be limited to a specific platform or game.
There has been a growing number of projects using blockchain to create decentralised marketplaces. For example, OpenSea and Rarible let you buy, sell and trade NFTs.
Decentralised exchanges simply means players can trade items directly with each other. Players can freely buy, sell or trade their in-game assets without being limited to that platform or single in-game marketplace. They let users gain more utility of their assets and can collect NFTs which will probably stay with them forever on the blockchain.
For many years, calculating and reconciling game royalties has been a resource-intensive task for finance teams. By utilising blockchain technology, reconciliation is now significantly easier and cheaper for gaming companies.
Take Microsoft’s gaming division Xbox Game Studios for example. Ever since their finance team started using blockchain technology, they no longer need to go through the time-consuming process of reconciliation.
Now, Xbox’s game publishers know how much they are earning from royalties within minutes instead of 45 days. (Read more.)
“Reconciliation is a symptom of disjointed systems and disparate sources of truth. Traditionally, accounting relied on books and offline ledgers, creating a foundational need for reconciliation. With blockchain technology, we have interconnected self-balancing digital ledgers. Manual reconciliation becomes irrelevant.” – Rohit Amberker, Finance Director for Royalties and Content Operations at Microsoft