If you haven’t heard of blockchain tech yet, where have you been? It rose to prominence thanks to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and yet now has a wealth of other applications in many industries and contexts.
Mobile gaming is an example of an area where the blockchain comes into play, so what’s the deal, and is the hype justified?
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There are lots of in-depth explanations of the blockchain out there, but the overarching idea is that it’s a way of storing and sharing data in a decentralized way.
This can be used to determine ownership of things like cryptocurrencies, but can also be harnessed for other purposes, including functions more akin to a traditional database.
Understanding the concept of web3 gaming is useful if you want to appreciate how the blockchain applies to interactive mobile experiences.
In short, it covers all games that harness blockchain tech in some way, usually as a means of creating the in-game economies they use, and of connecting these with the wider crypto market. For those looking to enhance their mobile games user acquisition strategies, understanding the nuances of blockchain in gaming can provide a competitive edge. This is applied in various ways and with different intents and results, including:
With traditional mobile games, when a player unlocks a certain item, it doesn’t really belong to them, but is instead just an inextricable part of the game code, and has no extrinsic value.
By using the blockchain, digital assets can become non-fungible tokens (NFTs). So when an in-game item is earned, it is as much the property of the player who earned it as their car or their house.
Furthermore, by making NFTs a part of mobile gaming, this allows players to trade and sell their assets as they please.
So far, you could argue that the blockchain and NFTs in mobile gaming aren’t really doing that much differently from some long-established games. The economies of titles like Second Life have translated in-game assets to having real-world value without the need for this tech.
However, in the case of web3 games, the relationship between playing and earning is far more formalized and is effectively fundamental to the entire experience.
The most popular titles in this genre reward players for getting involved in the game, whether that’s with NFTs or with crypto tokens that are native to the platform.
Thus players can reliably predict how much they’ll get out of a game based on the amount of time they put into it. It’s no longer a one-way flow of cash and time from the player to the developer, but more of a two-way street.
It’s an unfortunate reality of the state of play in the games industry today, but players don’t have a lot of confidence in many big names in development and publishing. This comes down to a combination of unhelpful business practices, and problematic stories of working conditions at these companies.
With the implementation of blockchain technology in mobile gaming and elsewhere, developers are able to create a level of transparency that has not been possible in the past. In turn, this means that when players want to put their trust in a company, they can do so safely in the knowledge that more aspects of how a game works will be up for scrutiny, as everything is stored on a public ledger.
You can expect more and more blockchain integration across mobile gaming going forward, and it seems inevitable that at some point it will be so ubiquitous as to be unremarkable, in much the same way as 3D graphics and online multiplayer did in the past.