Have you ever spent an hour or two watching someone playing a video-game? Basically, this question has two possible answers:
“Yes, of course, who hasn’t?” if you are less than 35 years old, or;
“What? People actually do that?” if you are older than 35. Certainly, some exceptions may apply to this rule, but this introduction serves to say that eSports are a fairly new industry and its growth has been remarkable. It is common to have sports channels all over the world broadcast live gaming competitions from franchises like EA Sports FIFA and Counter-Strike as well as League of Legends and others…
According to the World Economic Forum, between 2019 and 2020 this industry will reach the 1 billion dollar revenue mark and we know it will not stop there.
Knowing this and knowing that all gamers are tech-savvy, it is not difficult to imagine the integration of blockchain technology in the gaming industry and this is what we will cover next.
Currently, there is not yet a killer use case for blockchain in this industry. Much has been researched and tested but the main barrier of the blockchain technology also impacts the gaming industry: scalability. The first popular blockchain game was CryptoKitties, which was built on the Ethereum blockchain and saw one of its collectables sold for around $117.000. The hype around the game clogged up the network and put a question mark on such games.
Besides this, there are several partnerships trying to incorporate existing blockchains and their respective tokens into the gaming industry by allowing a fast and reliable transaction for in-game purchases and also by creating funds to provide developers and gaming experts with advice, funds, and access to partnerships to develop blockchain-friendly games.
Potential for Improvements
When we try to understand where the integration of blockchain in gaming can go, there is one aspect that pops up consistently: account ownership. In games where the characters improve through “equipment” that player use during gameplay, the accounts are gaining real value. With this, the probabilities of fraudulent hackers gaining interest in such games also increase. It is then fundamental to have a way to prove ownership of such accounts. This, in turn, makes them as secure as possible for players. If you are thinking that it can be achieved through blockchain, you are correct. It is still not implemented in the major games where the in-game purchases reach impressive values, but it is definitely the next step.
In addition to its potential to help improve account ownership control, blockchain could also allow companies to track down all the items that were sold, ever since their creation and with this create a reliable and immutable ledger of all the game collectables that would further improve its credibility and value.
Finally, we might see soon the more financial side of blockchain apply to tournament prizes and awards. In such a global sport as eGames, not everyone wants to be paid in dollars or euros. Furthermore, cryptocurrencies might constitute an escape route for this issue.
It is clear that eSports are going to achieve an honourable reputation. This includes improvements in both the business volume and the number of players in the eSports landscape. Blockchain integration in a popular game might arrive one day. But for now, it is important that more games develop natively onto the blockchain. This ensures that functionality and effectiveness actually pay off for the big producers to start investing in such integration. Once they do, the rest will be an easy and smooth way for a fastest, safer and smarter gaming industry.