Every day I notice more and more industries stepping into cryptocurrency. While we do still seem to be in an early adoption phase of digital currency the gaming industry has been using it for well over a decade. I take a look at how the blockchain has invaded the video game realm and where it might go.
Digital Gold Before Bitcoin
Online digital currencies have existed ever since the first MMORPG's where sandbox worlds saw the rise of an in-game currency that had an out-of-game value. I remember playing Ultima Online when I was just out of high school and going on eBay to see how much people were selling in-game gold for. In college economics class I wrote a whole paper about UO's digital economy and the teacher was so fascinated by he asked more questions. I too ultimately sold my Ultima Online account (my job & school thank me), but there were people making good amounts of money selling digital assets to eager buyers outside the game.
World of Warcrack
These early game economies had problems of course but a newer generation of games hit the scene and made improvements on digital currency. Everyone gamer's secret past time in World of Warcraft along side games like EVE online expanded on digital economies while millions of people world wide participated. The same can be said for current favorites like League of Legends and other popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas.
Online Games + Blockchain = Perfect Fit!
While these huge AAA titles have millions of players and therefore millions of in-game assets, you don't really have ownership of any of these items outside of the game. That means anything you invest is controlled by a central authority or the game maker and only has value in that one game. Enter in the Blockchain (Enter Sandman plays in the background as the crowd cheers!).
With blockchain and cryptocurrency technology the digital assets of a game can now belong directly to you and you can always prove it because they would now reside on the blockchain for all to see. With cryptocurrency as the basis for an in-game currency you can have multiple games that use the same coin and there for have the ability to transfer value across platforms. Using a cryptocurrency based in-game token now gives that token value outside of just the centrally controlled game world and you have full control of it.
Next-gen Crypto Games & Projects
While we have yet to see any AAA titles release that fully take advantage of blockchain tech there are some great projects out there. Here is a list and a little about each one.
- Spells of Genesis - This is a very polished trading card-based strategy game that is free to play and completely blockchain based. You collect, trade and combine "orbs" to build the strongest decks, and put them to the test in a mobile style game design. Their in-game currency is the Bitcon based Bitcrystals (BCY), which is actively trading on exchanges.
- Beyond The Void - Seems to be the first Multiplayer Online Battle Arena that is blockchain based. You create and equip a mothership to do one-on-one battle against another player. You can also use event cards to change things up. This game runs off the Ethereum token Nexium and can be aquired in game and trade inside.
- BattleCoin - An 8bit style multiplayer battle game where you take on another player in a strategy game for satoshis.
- Rocktropia - This MMORPG planet (part of the Entropia universe) from NEVERDIE studios has been up and running for a while and they have an ingame token called ROCK Dollar. NEVERDIE has 2 more games on the way that also use in-game crypto coins all of which can be traded for their NEVERDIE Coin and TelePort Tokens.
NDC Coming To Shroud Of The Avatar
NEVERDIE studios is basically developing a universal platform for in-game currencies and they have even partnered with my favorite game Shroud of the Avatar which will be the first game outside of NEVERDIE's own efforts that will use a form of the tokens. NEVERDIE just completed phase 1 of their double token ICO and sold out 18,565,200 NDC tokens and raised over 15,000 ETH (over 4 million by today's ETH price!).
I am an avid player and fan of Shroud of the Avatar (from the creators of Ultima Online) and this partnership couldn't be any cooler in my opinion. SotA has a nice size following of dedicated players and they are just about to go live release this fall so I think that factor combined with the inclusion of the NEVERDIE tokens into Shroud of the Avatar makes the NDC/TPT initial coin offering very appealing. I support the game so I picked up a couple hundred of both NDC and TPT in hopes that this could be the next big gaming platform that future AAA titles build off of. They do have some stiff competition in projects like GameCredits, so only time will tell!