Most experts agree cryptocurrencies are here to stay so this week will we look at cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in the gaming industry and how they might be the future of microtransactions. This first article will focus on what the theoretical possibility can lead to and how we imagine a cross-game currency and trading system.
On, two, three
The benefit of using cryptocurrency as a form of payment is the possibility of affordable microtransactions. Today we see many games where you have the opportunity to buy extra stuff is either bundling it together so the package is more expensive or they have their own point towards a pay to play system. Suitable examples of the points system are massively multiplayer online games where you often buy in-game currency or points that can be exchanged for in-game items, and on the other hand we got EA games there are famous for selling extra in-game items and content in bundles. What is typical for both systems is that you have to commit to a purchase of $10, $20 or something like that and it is only for the one game even if the only thing you want is a new skin for an item which is worth $0,10. So now you have paid 100 times more than what the item you wanted is worth. And as we see it, there must be a smarter way to do these small transactions so we have looked at how cryptocurrencies, blockchain and smart contracts might be used to make this whole process smarter.
As a gamer I know I would use more money in games if I could get by one skin at the time I was not committed to buying a set amount of game currency. So if a couple of MMO games united accept one cryptocurrency, so I only had to buy that one currency we would go a long way to establish a system where you and I would be more inclined to purchase in-game items. This is because we would know that no money would be wasted on points that can not be used.
A functional currency for such transactions is something we value like dogecoin which is small in value. Low on transaction fees, there are missing some function on the dogecoin blockchain, so that is why we need something with more features.
Block by block
Blochain technology can be used in games, and online games will primarily benefit from the use of blockchain technology to secure the ownership of items and recurses. At the same time the players can get a transparent system where if an item is rare you can see on the blockchain there are few of them. A bonus when putting game inventory on a blockchain is also transparency in trading where you can see what is traded. It could even be used for unique items in offline games so when you purchase items as a DLC you will be able to trade them and have proof of ownership.
Is it smart
Smart contracts will be able to change the way we buy and sell game items. This is because the smart contract can remove the need for trust between the involved parties. Just to sum up a smart contract is a piece of code that executes an “If this then that” function and it is written directly on the blockchain. So to use smart contract to buy and sell items in games would also give birth to cross game trades and if they all use the same currency then the community just need to find comment valuation of items, and we would have an economic ecosystem that should expand the gaming experience.
I dream of a single gaming currency that can be exchanged forth and back to FIAT just as many other cryptocurrencies but a currency that is accepted by the gaming industry as a mean to buy games. DLC and in-game items and that currency should also be used to buy stuff from another player, and this should be made possible through one or many marketplaces that drive the trade through smart contracts. All of this needs an easy to use interface and backed by blockchain technology. Once the gaming industry learns that it is the future of gaming and once they find common ground they will be able to sell more, and you will be able better customise your characters.