What is Decentralized Gaming? What are various Crypto Gaming Platforms? How is Decentralization affecting the monetization of Online Gaming?
Decentralized Gaming – Digital gaming is experiencing one of the biggest impacts of blockchain development and cryptocurrency-based transactions Despite Covid-19, the gaming industry has grown in leaps and bounds. In fact, pervasive lockouts and the shutting down of schools, colleges, universities, places of entertainment, and workplaces, have confined people to their homes and many people have been drawn to the limitless world of digital gaming. Let’s first go through some concepts that are relevant to our current topic.
What is decentralized gaming?
To understand what decentralized gaming is we first need to understand what “decentralization” means in terms of blockchain development.
As the name goes, a blockchain is a collection of blocks that are connected with the help of a hash key. Every block has a reference to the hash key of the previous block and its hash key, and the block next to the current block has the hash key reference to the current block and that of its own. That’s how different blocks are joined together in a chain.
These are also called distributed ledgers. Copies of the same data are stored on hundreds, sometimes thousands of computers and they need to be validated by individual users. Unless a consensus is formed about the validity of a block, the block is not formally added to the chain.
Decentralization here means the information or the piece of software or the smart contract, doesn’t belong to a single computer or a single individual or a single authority. It is distributed across multiple computers or multiple nodes. There is no central control.
Decentralized gaming means playing and participating in games that are built upon decentralized technology, that is, blockchain technology. In terms of development as well as philosophy, it functions within the ecosystem of the chosen blockchain. For example, if you build a digital game on the Time blockchain ecosystem, all the abilities and characteristics of the Time blockchain are inherited and leveraged by the decentralized game.
Some popular crypto gaming platforms
The Time blockchain is fast emerging as a popular crypto gaming platform as it has been specifically designed and built on digital gaming paradigms. In fact, the very idea of building the Time blockchain ecosystem came out of the digital gaming concept. Other than the Time blockchain ecosystem, some of the popular crypto gaming platforms include
- EOS-based WAX blockchain
- DLive – the blockchain streaming platform
- Robot Cache – an Ethereum-based PC gaming distribution platform
- Cocos-2D, which is a middleware
- Matic Network
- The SandBox
- Axie Infinity
How do gamers and game developers make money in decentralized gaming?
Making money through the various gaming ecosystems has always been a challenge. Gaming is a big industry. Billions of dollars are spent every year by both game developers as well as gamers in these ecosystems. Hundreds of thousands of people are eager to spend money and buy money.
Since most gamers are normal people with no business accounts or payment gateway systems, paying and getting paid is a big challenge. Many digital games have the concepts of coins and tokens, but they don’t mean real money. These coins and tokens can be used within the games and outside of the games, they hold no value.
Decentralized gaming changes that. Take for example Minecraft. Gamers create extraordinarily beautiful and comprehensive worlds in the game. They can provide access to these worlds to other gamers playing Minecraft. Right now, these worlds can be exchanged for tokens and coins but these tokens and coins are only valid in Minecraft. Some of the worlds can be sold outside of the game but for that, people need to process traditional payments, which may be out of the reach of many people. What if cryptocurrencies can be used to give access to these worlds?
Not just words. Suppose someone has gathered thousands of precious coins within a game and now would like to sell those coins for real money, but without having to go through the conventional financial institutions?
If the game has been developed on one of the prominent gaming blockchains, cryptocurrencies can be used to sell the in-game coins. Gamers can make money. When the money exchanges hands, a tiny portion of that amount can be paid to the game developers as processing money or commission.
Blockchain gaming technology offers you indisputable and inalterable ownership
As mentioned above, you can earn credits within a video game but when you exit the videogame or in many cases when the videogame ceases to exist, all your hard work is gone. All those hundreds of hours that you may have spent are gone,
In decentralized gaming since the game and associated data don’t belong to a centralized authority or mechanism, as long as you have your personal access key to the wallet where you have stored the money that you made when playing the game, all your wealth is intact.
Can current hardware, both on PCs and mobile phones, accommodate decentralized gaming?
Although high-quality smartphones and PCs definitely have an edge over gadgets with lower specs, even average hardware combinations can be used to enjoy decentralized gaming and even make money.
Faster processing and better connectivity are needed because all the blocks need to be updated whenever a change happens. As is the nature of blockchain technology, a new hash is generated whenever a change is made.
Also, decentralized gaming needs to adhere to the consensus philosophy of blockchain technologies. Once the game has been initiated onto a blockchain, it begins to reside there – back-end as well as user data. Since every component of the digital game is decentralized, it is scattered all over the place. Whatever changes happen, they need to happen at multiple places and multiple copies need to be saved.
At different levels, these hurdles are fast being taken care of. Faster chips are being developed. Publicly available 5G technology is already knocking at our doors. Hence in terms of connectivity and hardware configuration, decentralized gaming isn’t going to face much resistance or problem.
It is just a matter of developing new games through blockchain ecosystems or porting existing games to decentralized platforms.