Few apples look juicier than games for the blockchain world for an industry where there is a shortage of end users. The global games market is expected to generate sales of over US $ 159 billion in 2020. At a two-day digital conference recently, the Blockchain Gaming Alliance made it clear that its members are aiming for a bite.
There are an estimated 2.7 billion players worldwide, or around a third of the world’s population. In terms of mainstream adoption, it means that gaming is a similar tier to breathing in oxygen and drinking water.
If only a fraction of these players welcomed blockchain technology into their lives … let’s just say that the crypto industry has long yearned for such penetration into the general population.
Fortunately, blockchain offers a number of compelling use cases for enticing gamers, and the technology offers the medium a whole new range of possibilities.
The Blockchain Game Alliance was formed to be the song of the siren, designed to promote the benefits of blockchain technology to the entire gaming industry. The BGA is advocating the adoption of decentralized gaming, non-fungible tokens, and even elements of decentralized funding by exploring new ways to create, publish, play, and build strong communities around games.
BGA members represent all aspects of the gaming and blockchain industry, and the organization regularly holds presentations and workshops. It’s also dedicated to promoting diversity and encouraging more women to join the blockchain gaming industry.
The most recent event, which was split in two on November 4th and 11th, was BGA Game Demo Day, where members could showcase their latest developments and upcoming offers.
And so I spent the last two dark, rainy autumn Wednesday evenings on my screen, jotting down notes, and was impressed with the future of blockchain-based gaming.
But first a disclaimer. With so many games showing in the two parts of the event, I tried to focus on games that have not yet been featured here on Cointelegraph.
However, this article analyzes an incredibly diverse range of blockchain-enabled games, including cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality experiences, open world RPG titles, classic tabletop trading card rackets, and even a text-based multi-user dungeon, or MUD, a almost forgotten game format that has been around since the 1990s.
Reality bites …
Does the slow and meaningless grind of everyday life bring you down? Why not swap that for the shiny new virtual reality of Somnium Space?
Somnium Space is perhaps the most visually impressive demo of the event. It’s an open and persistent 3D universe that allows users to create and interact with just about anything they want.
Accessible through either a VR headset or a standard web browser, the demo includes an NFT art gallery where users can purchase the art directly from the game universe.
Or do you prefer to expand your reality? In which case is Reality Clash more your thing?
This AR shooter is available now in the iOS and Google Play stores and places your avatar on an online battlefield called “The Sim”, where your real movement in the game is converted into action.
Reality Clash is all about weapons, NFTs that can be built, upgraded, and sold to other players. However, I doubt that even a gun with a high blockchain-verifiable kill rate and high headshot ratio can’t turn my clumsy fingers into those of a marksman.
Several casual and arcade games were shown on the two evenings (or mornings, depending on where in the world you were).
Gala Games’ Town Star is a farm building sim that can be played on mobile or via a browser. It offers weekly cash prizes competitions for players who can grow and sell most of a particular type of crop. It also contains crypto inventory items that can be collected and built into bots to automate certain tasks.
Mib Trek takes you on a scavenger hunt through various marble-based universes in search of “Genesis” marbles. These are hidden in various Ethereum (ETH) wallets that you can unlock after solving the clues found in the game.
Mib Trek’s gameplay is of the “Match Three” variety, but different missions reward different types of marble. These need to be collected and fused into compound types to create the crystals that lead you to the Genesis marbles.
Another mining-inspired game, Mines of Dalarnia, demonstrated a number of new user-requested features, including more complex tokenomics. In this Dig Dug-style mining game, players will have to explore mines looking for minerals to upgrade their equipment with to gain access to even more mines.
All the elements in the game are represented by crypto tokens and the mining theme is particularly suitable for a blockchain game.
Fans of trading card battles shouldn’t be disappointed as two were featured during the event.
Dark Country has combined thematic elements of the American Wild West and dark occult rituals to create a unique, Gothic ambience. Skill must be used to build a formidable card game to fight with, and the gameplay is familiar to anyone who has played competitive tabletop card games.
The battle structure of Dark Country has different phases of battle, as more powerful cards can only be played in later phases, which means that a long-term strategy is the key to success.
Another trading card game I’ve seen that is sure to delight many was Doctor Who: Worlds Apart. This fully licensed game features a range of characters from across the 57-year history of the Doctor Who saga.
The artwork for each character has been hand drawn and then approved by the BBC to make the cards real collectibles. Unfortunately, players will have to wait a year before they can play the game, even though advance ticket sales are scheduled to take place in December.
MMOs heal autumn problems
Massive multiplayer role-playing games (MMORPGs) were well represented at the event.
Ember Sword is an isometric world where collecting, crafting, trading, and polishing resources leads to advanced monster slashes.
Unlike many blockchain games, Ember Sword is defiantly non-chargeable and as such, quest items are not kept in the chain. However, you can collect and trade cosmetic collector NFTs and even buy a lot of land to build on and generate income.
The Enjin platform briefly showed off another isometric RPG called Lost Relics, although this was mainly aimed at demonstrating the ability to use certain NFTs in multiple games across the Enjin multiverse.
Wavelings is a third party MMORPG set in a dystopian science fiction universe. However, the demo shown was still in its very early stages and open testing wasn’t planned until the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Six Dragons is an open world fantasy role-playing game fully powered by blockchain technology. It has innovative details, such as the fact that the owner of a rare item recipe can provide crafting services for the other players – for a fee, of course.
It will soon be available on the Playstation platform, making it the first blockchain game to launch on a major console.
Highlights and curiosities
Despite the diversity of this audience, there were some games that really stood out from the rest.
Soccer Manager Elite is a decentralized soccer management simulation in case you haven’t guessed it already.
Managers can choose team tactics and lineups, and players can also buy shares in the various clubs and players. This gives them voting rights on decisions such as hiring as managers and the fact that the clubs essentially function as decentralized autonomous miniature organizations.
The Second Legion presented what they called “Rare Boards”. These are digital works of art with standalone playable games that overlay the artwork. The first game is a dart simulator that lies on top of an NFT with works of art by the famous crypto artist Alotta Money.
And finally … Waterdeep is an online text-based adventure game that has been live since 1997. An ERC-20 governance token called Duma has recently been incorporated, which users can use to vote on new rule proposals for the game.
It also has built-in bots that can read and interact with smart contracts on the blockchain right from the game. It’s really amazing to see what many would consider a relic, at least in terms of games, when interacting with blockchain technology to implement new functionality.
Look to the future
And that was all a viewer could take in! Fortunately, anyone who wants to watch BGA’s Game Demo Day for themselves can still do so as the streams for Part 1 and Part 2 are available on YouTube.
With so many interesting, challenging, and unique games available now and on the horizon, blockchain gaming is really starting to take hold.
We’ll be taking a closer look at some of these games and others in the blockchain space in the near future!