MARKNetwork Blockchain Use Case: Gaming
How is Blockchain changing the gaming industry?
Gaming has become an integral part of the global media and entertainment market. The Asia Pacific and North America pooled in 78% of the total global revenues of the year 2017. With the advancements in online gaming, the revenue generated by social gaming, mobile gaming, and Real-time Multiplayer games alone accounted to be 19.9 Bn USD in the year 2016. As the gaming traffic volume is expected to rise up to 568 petabytes by 2020 driven by 57 million online gamers, challenges and expectations are expected to rise multifold.
The growth of the online gaming industry has been seismic and is projected to hit $2.2 trillion by 2021.
The dynamics of the current online gaming industry does not have many barriers towards growth. But adoption of blockchain is primarily centered towards introducing better concepts and creating a better experience for gaming enthusiasts.
Unique Virtual Assets
Trade of virtual items or in-game asset aggregates to be a $50 Billion industry. The items range from different skins to gadgets and weaponry. A non-gamer may stare slack-jawed at the industry size but the gamers drop incredible fortunes on games.
The costliest in-game purchase was Club Neverdie for game Entropia which was purchased for $635,000. These dollars take care of the development budget.
The huge transactions made by gamers from “pay-to-win” community are a huge revenue channel for the game developers. However, the payment systems in place are not robust enough to ensure secure payment processing. The imposter sites are making way through the ecosystem where gamer account is getting hacked. The blockchain is a panacea to these issues as it will provide a platform for secure transactions and renders each virtual in-game asset a unique-id so that it cannot be duplicated and sold. Projects like Spell of Genesis are building a completely new in-game economy where the gamers can acquire an asset and use it in other games or trade it or find alternative uses.
Developers are always under pressure to push out early and that is where glitches and bugs make its way to the games. History has been witness to infamous “Error 37” of Diablo 3 that was a consequence of a pinhole server. The gamers kept patience for a decade but they were hardly aware whether the development team was fixing the server issues. After a patient waiting, the gamers started making memes about the game which made Diablo 3 developers a laughing stock for the world.
Blockchain can act like a shared ledger which will be a required trustless environment for the gamers and developers. The gamers will not be required to wait endlessly for the upgrades as the blockchain will require developers to maintain transparency about upgrades and bug fixes.
Most frequent gamers spend 12 hours per week playing online games. Roughly 211 million Americans play video games on any kind of device and this is around 64% of the American population. Gaming companies are increasing the marketing spends to keep these gamers glued to their games. As per the latest studies, 12% to 20% of the projected annual gaming revenue must be spent on marketing.
Incentivizing gamers with crypto tokens is a perfect way to keep them engaged. The gamers can tie their digital wallets to the game and earn tokens for spending time on games. Projects like Refereum incentivizes participation of gamers in a tired fashion.
Trusted Content Creation
Giant players like Facebook are creating a new type of content for the gaming industry. The professional gamers are getting incentivized for creating live gaming streams. Roblox, the largest user-generated online gaming platform is paying out $70 million to its content creators which is more than double the amount they paid in 2017. The other social gaming platforms like Minecraft are turning into a Marketplace where developers can build skins or curate the quality of code and get incentivized for the same.
Blockchain can help build trust among the social gaming platforms and developers. The contracts will be executed using the smart contracts where the content developers would be paid instantly and automatically on reaching milestones. Projects like Ultra are building a game publishing platform on the blockchain.
Video game hacking
Online gaming platforms have opened up new soft spots for cyber criminals to swindle a huge amount of money. Game publishers and gamers both are exposed to cyber thefts. Steam, an e-store for video games that is thriving community of 125 million gamers is suffering credential stealing of around 77,000 steam accounts every month.
Malware like Steam Stealers is available at as low as $3 to gain access to Steam accounts from where the financial data of gamers is being stolen relentlessly.
Blockchain-based gaming network or platform is inherently resilient against such attacks due to its decentralized nature. The blockchain gaming platform will not only curtail piracy attacks but will also guard the gamers against hacker attackers.
P2P Gaming Transactions
The rising culture of eSports is making online gaming a real competitive ecosystem. But the current P2P gaming landscape is plagued with challenges. The gamers tend to abandon an online game due to connectivity issues causing losses to the peer-to-peer system.
The blockchain is an ideal solution where smart contracts can be used to hold money in escrow. In case such connectivity issues happen, the transaction will become void. Apart from this, the blockchain supports instant and low-cost cross-border payment system. Projects like CryptoKitties are trying to solve these challenges by facilitating P2P payments in-game.
Online gaming popularity is growing day by day. The incentive generating models for gamers are stimulating more gaming enthusiast to become the participants of the gaming world. Blockchain aims to build a trustless ecosystem where the game publishers and gamers both put in a synchronized effort to fuel the growth of the online gaming industry in a secure manner.Blockchain will foster innovation and creativity for all the stakeholders of the gaming community with by offering multiple incentives in a trusted manner. MARKNetwork is eyeing the gaming industry with its blockchain solutions and is finding the ideal way to participate in its growth.
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