2019 will be the year of results for blockchain in gaming. Token “breakthroughs” will no longer satisfy investors and gamers. It’s time for blockchain-assisted games to resemble traditional games in performance and enjoyability.
Most blockchain-powered attempts at gaming focus on the blockchain first. They use creative methods to explain the blockchain as a concept, issuing the lesson in the form of a “game”. But educational video games for their own sake have never caught on, and likely never will.
That’s why many expect blockchain technology to take a backseat to games themselves. Blockchain technology has a proven record as a payment gateway in the form of cryptocurrencies. This is the avenue that many expect blockchain gaming developers to pursue.
In certain instances, the less you notice blockchain, the more effective the technology is. If users can monetize their activities and assets in online marketplaces using the blockchain — and don’t realize they’re using the blockchain — it’s a success.
Blockchain-powered payment protocols could be an addendum to existing games, and a necessity for any game claiming to be “blockchain-powered”. The goal is to blur gameplay between blockchain and non-blockchain games as much as possible.
The investments have been made. It’s time for blockchain to begin making sizeable waves in the waters of online gaming. Gamers are open-minded, but they won’t wait forever for blockchain to prove its worth.
Here's what the experts say.
1. Sean Keith, Head of Business Development at BitGuild
“The maturing of transaction-friendly blockchain protocol ecosystems such as TRON or EOS, where transactions are free (or close to it) and fast [should be monitored}.
I anticipate that their maturation will be accompanied by a significant influx of new users and a growing number of ecosystem tools/solutions that make it easier for users to use the protocols and their tokens, and easier for developers to build dApps on top of the protocols.
Most successful traditional games involve a multitude of game transactions, and as such, mature, transaction-friendly blockchain protocols are essential.”
2. William Quigley, CEO of WAX.io
“The rapid pace of innovation [is a trend to watch]. We see a lot of experimentation going on. Game developers are experimenting with ways to incorporate blockchain technology into their games in order to enhance the player experience.”
3. Simon Kertonegoro, VP of Marketing at Enjin
“In 2019, we will see blockchain assets explode into the mainstream gaming space. We will see a new type of blockchain gameplay where crypto assets are simply a layer that connects thriving social economies, as opposed to being a core element of gameplay.”
4. Jeff Zirlin, Growth Lead at Axie Infinity
“Blockchain games will more closely begin to resemble conventional games in their user experience. The key difference will be the increased agency that players in these universes possess, from being able to monetize their time spent playing through tokenized rewards programs to being able to seamlessly exchange and sell their in-game assets without trusting a third party.”
5. Lee Jacobson, CEO of Robot Cache
“The trend I think is critical is that the mass market is gaining more awareness, and people are finally decoupling blockchain and cryptocurrency. For a long time they were synonymous to the newly-aware.”
6. James Ferguson, CEO of Fuel Games
“Greater complexity of mechanics [is a significant trend]. Mere integration of blockchain technology is no longer sufficient to attract players, nor should it be.
In 2019, as we reach an appropriate trough in the hype cycle, demand will shift towards high-quality games poised to rival traditional publishers. And as we set our sights on mass adoption, rich mechanics that drive user experience (UX) will take a front seat at developer meetings.”
7. Piotr Kocel, CEO of BOMBAY SOUR
“Overall, we are finally seeing more projects where blockchain is more than just a way to quickly raise cash and I expect more of those to become visible in 2019. Gaming is definitely one sub-sector that I expect to come to the forefront. Considering the fast growing virtual goods economy tied to online gaming I have little doubt that we will see more tokenization whether it’s trading virtual items or investing in e-sports teams. I also see Asian dev teams grabbing more headlines in 2019. They are well funded, very ambitious and benefit from attractive mobile-first demographics creating an environment that’s very conductive to digital innovation.”
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