Many firms pursue blockchain games not for practical reasons, but to avoid missing out on future profit opportunities.
The gaming industry is always following the latest trends, like survival games with the success of PUBG and Fortnite, and before that Pokemon Go and League of Legends. These trends often have something in common, which is a game that surprisingly resonates and has huge revenue, prompting many parties to follow and find ways to copy success.
However, blockchain games – the biggest trend right now – attract investment and attention on a massive scale for no apparent reason, especially since some of their concepts have actually appeared in the past. game many years ago.
Blockchain is widely used in finance, art, and many industries. Blockchain games differ from traditional games in their decentralization, where in-game assets are distributed among players instead of being centrally controlled by a server.
Over the past three years, investors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into gaming companies with the promise of implementing blockchain technology. Even the lack of a strategy to build NFT can cause many businesses to lose investment this year.
In the third quarter of 2021 earnings reports, many game companies try to reassure shareholders that they are catching up with the world. Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, said NFT is “an important part of the future of gaming”, but also admitted that there is still no way to take full advantage of blockchain.
Yves Guillemot, President of Ubisoft Entertainment, affirms that blockchain is “revolutionary” and wants the company to become a key player in the field. Game publishers like Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive also made similar statements.
However, all cannot explain why blockchain will become the next revolution in the gaming industry. NFT enthusiasts envision a world in which players can purchase unique items and transfer them between games from different publishers, using blockchain to prove ownership.
What players own on the blockchain is just a string of characters, each game will have to decode that string and turn them into a digital object. This raises many questions, like how will gamers be able to transfer a hat purchased in the game Halo from Microsoft to Uncharted of rival Sony? Why should a developer spend time and money supporting a competitor’s in-game product? Who will profit from this process?
This option is only practical in a single scenario of switching items between games and a developer’s ecosystem. For example, Ubisoft allows players to buy in-game costumes Assassin’s Creed and convert them to Watch Dogs if you want.
But this has been applied over the years thanks to the game saver file system and player accounts. Gamer choices can affect the storyline between versions Mass Effect thanks to this idea.
Follow Bloomberg, game studios are investing in blockchain for their future potential, not based on current real-world applications.
Game studio Zynga last week appointed someone as its Vice President in charge of blockchain, but CEO Frank Gibeau himself admitted that it is unclear what that person’s role will be. “I think blockchain is part of the long-term plan of the gaming industry. In the short-term, this can be seen as a joke. I’m comfortable with that, because the fundamentals of blockchain are all positive. extreme,” he said.
Gibeau says “there’s something profound” about allowing players to own and invest in virtual items, and the concept could spur exciting new gaming products. However, he is uncertain about when and how to do it.
Many gaming companies praise blockchain for fear of shareholders and analysts seeing them as backward if they do not pursue this technology, and believe in the potential profit if blockchain games attract many players.
A Malaysian woman playing a game Axie Infinity while babysitting. Photo: Lorcan Gaming
Axie Infinity, a blockchain game that has been in development since 2018 and exploded this year, helps developer Sky Mavis reach a value of 3 billion USD. Basically, the game allows the player to buy and raise a pet called an Axie, and then sell it to others for a profit.
However, the game is not free and there is no trial mode. Players need to prepare an amount of about 1,500 USD to buy at least 3 Axies from the virtual market to start the game. Not only virtual animals, players also have to spend on many other items with prices ranging from a few hundred USD to 10,000 USD (230 million VND). Many gamers have to rely on rich players to get money to buy the first Axie and trade a large part of the profits from selling pets later.
Axie Infinity There are also sellers and buyers like every economy. The “play for money” model is maintained as long as there are more buyers than sellers, but no one knows what will happen when there are no new players joining the game and supply exceeds demand.
According to experts, blockchain in the gaming industry is currently still chaotic and has no long-term strategy. Game industry leaders are saying what investors want to hear, but haven’t come up with a concrete plan for a trend that could have a major impact on many people’s lives.