The video game industry is rapidly growing as over three billion people game in one form or another, with the number growing every year. Online technologies are taking over, so it’s no surprise that most of the gaming, both in terms of actually playing games and earning revenue, happens online.
Introducing new blockchain technologies will likely further boost online revenues of the video game industry as new opportunities arise thanks to this advanced decentralized mechanism.
Blockchain opportunities in video gaming
Over 2022, we’ve seen many video game developers put their finger into blockchain technology. Most commonly, this was in the form of purchasable non-fungible tokens or NFTs. And even though it resulted in a backlash in some cases, it also provided organizations that played it smart with new monetization opportunities and higher revenues. Different in-game items, such as cosmetics or boosts, could now be purchased as NFTs. But the introduction of NFTs in video games doesn’t necessarily only mean more revenue for developers and publishers; it’s actually more about the consumer.
At first, the introduction of NFTs into video games may sound unnecessary, as those cosmetics, boosts, and other in-game items existed long before this new NFT technology and could be purchased with traditional money. However, NFTs provide gamers with something they never had before – usage rights. If a player buys a video game digitally from a platform like Steam or PlayStation’s online store, they don’t actually own it. They’re practically borrowing it. Because a publisher can decide to pull the game at any time, stop supporting it, or shut it down, with no obligation to return the money paid for the product. While this rarely happens, it’s still a possibility, and gamers seem less and less fond of paying for something that, in theory, might disappear.
With NFTs, the control is back in their hands. Even if the game ceases, these assets now exist beyond it. They have a value that answers to the demand, almost like its own stock in a virtual market.
Blockchain could change the industry beyond just development
Owning assets means a power shift. Not everything is in the hands of a few people sitting at investors’ tables anymore – gamers have their own piece in it now, and those who search for an opportunity to build something of their own out of this may find it. Maybe this comes in the form of fewer copyright censorships, allowing content creators to share more with their audience, especially as more gaming streamers share their frustrations with DMCA strikes.
Blockchain technology could also enable organizations in the video game space that don’t develop or publish video games to get more of the market share. For example, gaming media companies or community platforms could look into the ownership of these different, decentralized assets to find new means of engagement with their audience and new ways to monetize their services. Discord is a prime example of this; the most popular chat service among gamers already offers different NFT and crypto options for server owners.
By all means, this doesn’t mean the investors should be pulling back. This kind of industry growth benefits all.
How are gamers responding to blockchain?
One needs to be careful when introducing blockchain assets to the video game world. Bad connotations related to the beginnings’ of crypto and NFT industries, such as the harsh negative ecological impact, still very much linger with this community. We have seen some of the most popular streamers, like xQc deny multi-million dollar NFT deals to stand behind their communities. We have also seen esports team fielding organizations get a negative response after trying to introduce NFTs to their fans.
That being said, the gaming community responded well to those brands who ensured that their audience is well-informed about their new blockchain-based products and that whichever provider they’re working with is safe and environmentally friendly. And with a good, entertaining reason to back it up, gamers are happy to join in. It’s only a matter of time before this industry and its audience discover that blockchain technology can open up many new frontiers for everyone involved.