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18 Startups Using Blockchain To Transform Gaming [Market Map]

  • 17 December 2018
  • Sam Mire

Blockchain is a powerful tool for any kind of distributed system that requires a large amount of computing power. That’s one of the many reasons the gaming industry has been so quick to act on developing blockchain-driven gaming applications and marketplace solutions. Whether it’s crypto collectibles that give real value to digital and in-game assets or decentralized gaming, universes that operate through transparent and community-driven protocols, blockchain technology is poised to completely disrupt the gaming industry.

If you’ve wondered whether or not the hype surrounding blockchain in the gaming sector is warranted, check out the companies listed below, as each of them is working on compelling use cases for blockchain that may offer up a new way of thinking about games. It is important to note that a number of blockchain gaming projects don't have enormous financial backing, but with an audience that cares about narrative quality and experience over brand loyalty, the gaming industry is the customer base for blockchain-powered bootstrapped startups like these.

Blockchain in gaming market map


CATEGORY #1: DIGITAL COLLECTIBLES / IN-GAME ASSETS

Blockchain market map - Gaming - Digital collectibles - In-game assets

If you’ve been looking into blockchain and crypto, you’ve probably heard of CryptoKitties, the decentralized collectibles application launched on the Ethereum blockchain that caught a ton of press when a user spent over $100k on a digital kitty. While CryptoKitties lit the crypto collectibles fire, the app has slowed in use, and a flurry of other collectibles companies and industry incumbents have hit the market with more evolved concepts. These companies are working to create digital-first collectibles and in-game assets that are truly scarce and owned by a single owner.


gamedexGamedex

Gamedex is a platform, similar to Steam, for digital collectible cards and their games. The Gamedex game store lets you find and play games that use their native cards. The platform allows users to sell and purchase digital cards using their token, or by trading directly with other collectors. Their goal is to make the trade of gaming assets “global, fast, and free.”

Founded: Jan 5, 2018

Funding type: Private


Axie-InfinityAxie

Axie is a newcomer to the digital collectibles gaming space. Axie Infinity is a game centered around collecting, raising, breeding, and battling fantasy creatures called Axies. Axie Infinity uses the Ethereum blockchain to ensure open, transparent ownership and a liquid, secure marketplace. Players have complete ownership of their Axies and will be able to trade and sell them freely.

Founded: 2018

Funding type: Private


bitguildBitGuild

BitGuild is creating a platform for a new class of games that live on the blockchain. Their goal is to use blockchain technology to help redefine the relationship between players and developers by facilitating full ownership of in-game assets, cheap & safe item trading, cross-game compatibility of items, currency, and more.

Founded: 2017

Funding type: Private


cryptopetsCryptoPets

CryptoPets is a new entrant into the digital collectibles space. In theory, they will be similar to CryptoKitties in that users will be able to collect and trade them. They are still in beta, and users should be familiar with the platform before purchasing any pets.

 

Founded: Dec 3, 2017


cryptokittiesCryptoKitties

CryptoKitties is, if not the first, one of the earliest entrants into the blockchain gaming sector. Their use of the Ethereum blockchain to create scarce, digital-first assets was a demonstration of how blockchain technology can be used to create trust and scarcity in digital marketplaces and gaming experiences. Imagine if a game like Pokémon GO could make their in-game assets scarce and how much value and commerce that could drive on the platform. While CryptoKitties’ daily user count is minimal, their use cases spells the potential for blockchain in gaming.

Founded: Jun 12, 2017

Funding type: Private 


CATEGORY #2: IN-GAME CURRENCY & MARKETPLACES

Blockchain market map - Gaming - In-game currency and marketplaces

As MMO and RPG games have a resurgence in the mobile gaming revolution, in-game commerce is becoming an important part of every gaming experience. Whether someone wants to purchase The Sword of a Thousand Truths to level up their mana or a Great Ball to catch Mew in Pokémon GO, more people are making in-app purchases than ever before. These companies are leveraging blockchain’s currency-based solutions to facilitate more fair and transparent in-game purchases, and are facilitating the exchange within the new crypto collectibles movement. 


robot-cacheRobot Cache

Robot Cache is working on developing a blockchain-based digital marketplace for video games to compete with industry incumbent Steam. With over $3 million in funding from Millenium Blockchain, the company is developing their platform and accepting applications for early access.

Founded: Jan 16, 2018


blok-partyBlok Party

Blok Party is working to bring blockchain technology to console gaming and the digital and physical collectibles spaces. Their console, PlayTable, uses the blockchain to sync the use of collectible game pieces. Their goal is to bring gaming, toys-to-life, and blockchain together in user-friendly applications.

Founded: 2018


enjinEnjin

Enjin is one of the biggest social gaming platforms leveraging the blockchain to give secure ownership of digital items.

Their goal is to expand the crypto collectibles movement in scalable and user-friendly ways.


abyssThe Abyss

The Abyss was an existing gaming platform that has decided to launch an ICO to expand into the growing blockchain-based gaming movement. It is a gaming platform with social features and earning opportunities, designed to be an easy gateway to a universe of MMO games.


dmarketDMarket

DMarket is a gaming provider working to expand the use of blockchain in gaming marketplaces and in-game purchases. Through the use of their proprietary blockchain systems, they are working to build solutions for the gaming industry that enable the global gaming community to trade virtual assets.


waxWax

Wax is a blockchain-powered digital assets company working to create a safer and more convenient way to create, buy, sell, and trade virtual items to anyone, anywhere in the world. Wax is one of the more respected tokens in the space, having launched a successful ICO and not limiting their digital asset solutions to just the gaming industry.


CATEGORY #3: DECENTRALIZED DEVELOPMENT & REWARDS

Blockchain market maps - Gaming - Decentralized development and rewards

Let’s face it, the gaming industry has always been a bit divided. Industry giants like Activision control distribution channels and rights management, but the web has always been a source of upstart and open source development (see RuneScape circa 2002). Today, blockchain is empowering community-driven development and entirely new crowdfunding models for upstart gaming companies. These companies are working to expand new development paradigms and create new rewards systems for gaming marketplaces. 


beyond-the-voidBeyond the Void

Beyond the Void was one of the earlier entrants into the blockchain gaming space. Their goal is to be the industry leader for blockchain in gaming and they started with one of the most recognized blockchain-driven games. At the end of October 2017, BTV launched into early access on Steam. To date, it has been downloaded and played by almost 20,000 users. While this is a small number, it is larger than most blockchain-based gaming applications.

Founded: 2017


gameunculusGameUnculus

GameUnculus is a platform for video game decentralization. The platform is designed to bring together the host of gaming data, reviews, statistics, and communities to help create a more decentralized gaming ecosystem. Their platform will offer a toolbox for market data analysis, game reviews, and a rating system.

Founded: Oct 5, 2017

Funding type: Private


korroboxKorroBox

KorroBox is a blockchain gaming platform that aims to improve the player experience through secure social connections and customizable game experiences. They help users purchase games with cryptocurrency, buy and sell in-game items in a robust marketplace, record their achievement history across games, and share that data with other gamers.

Founded: Feb 2, 2018

Funding type: Private 


horizonHorizon Blockchain Games

Horizon makes blockchain-powered video games for people interested in a new digital gaming experience. Their goal is to create gaming marketplaces and universes controlled by players. They are building a community-driven platform for decentralized games where players can experience digital ownership, open economies, transparency, privacy, and the ability to earn real-world value through play.

Founded: 2017


fuel-gamesFuel Games

Funded by industry leaders like Coinbase and Nirvana Capital, Fuel Games is working to build scalable blockchain infrastructure for the gaming industry. Their Apollo platform allows game publishers to integrate decentralized assets accurately at scale. They integrate with games that developers have already built, reducing friction and barriers to entry.

Founded: 2018

Funding type: Private


PlayKey ProvisionalPlaykey

Playkey is using blockchain and cloud technology to help users with outdated hardware and operating systems to play games that require more current systems. Their application has promise in regions where consumers have limited access to new hardware, but have supplemental income, or where users have additional income but don’t want to invest in new hardware.

Founded: May 1, 2012

Funding type: Private


referendumRefereum

Refereum is working to solve problems in affiliate and referral marketing for the gaming industry. Their RFR token provides any participant a value-based token they can use for referral activity with on-chain attribution. The RFR token also helps facilitate product purchases from Refereum.com, game purchases and marketing, Growth Engine success, Twitch Extension usage, and their Telegram Trivia bot. 

Want more blockchain in gaming content?

Read: Blockchain in Online Gaming: 10+ Possible Use Cases

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Front Lines Media. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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