Video games have gone from a teenage addiction in the back of a garage to a worldwide phenomenon. Their size and impact have grown exponentially and now video games are part of everyone’s day to day conversation. By 2009, video games overtook the sales of movies ticket for the first time, Hollywood had a real competition. Nowadays, they are the fastest growing component of the international media sector. In fact, currently, sales of video games surpass movie ticket sales by a big margin. The rise of mobile gaming and newer revenue models like in-app purchases has led to a robust ecosystem. Unlike in the past, the demographics of gaming is diverse, consisting of adults as well as females. The most conservative estimate puts the sales of video games at more than $120 billion in 2018, and with such high volumes, the entry of large gaming companies into crypto space is surely generating huge excitement.
Making money off games
The first and obvious way of making money is through the sales of games themselves, but a lot of the modern game titles are free to play, especially mobile games. The first way such games make money is through in-app purchases. These small purchases called microtransactions enhance the overall experience of the game. Microtransaction includes special outfits for your avatar or a new weapon. Then there are advertisements which a user can pay to stop from being shown. Once a game gets a loyal following, the creators can tap into its brand value just like Hollywood movies do, selling merchandise and rights to make movies etc. One of the key reason game developers want to move to crypto is because a big chunk from the in-app purchases done nowadays is taken away as commissions. For example, if someone buys a new weapon in a game the app store takes a cut, then the online payment gateway has their own commission and to enable online sales, some banks charge a fee. Hence, a huge chunk of it can be circumvented if crypto is used.
Games and crypto
Crypto can be used by games in three ways. First, as the default currency within the game replacing the current tokens and gems. The second as a gimmicky promotional tool since anything with crypto attracts attention, and many developers have simply put bits of blockchain technology to get this attention. The third and most exciting way to use crypto in games as a genuine gameplay modifier, as an integral part of the gameplay. The best example for this would be Crypto Kitties, where the ownership of the cats is verified using crypto technology. An ethereum blockchain is used to ensure that the digital cat’s players breed are entirely unique, “100 percent owned” by the player, and cannot be reproduced, erased, or seized. The experience of crypto kitties wouldn’t be the same without the use of this technology. Exchanges around the crypto-gaming space such as dBay and OpenSea have also sprung up to build an ecosystem around these games.
Fortnite now accepts Monero
Fortnite merchant stores recently started accepting Monero for purchases. It’s the first time an official store of a big title game is accepting cryptocurrency as payment. Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic games and the creators of Fortnite noted that the acceptance of Monero was an accident as someone accidentally activated support for the privacy asset. Tim recently came out in support of decentralized computing, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies. He also added that many at Epic games are big fans of crypto but noted that work needs to be done, especially to prevent frauds and volatility before bringing it to the public. Epic games do not have any plans or partners looking into the possible use of crypto technology as of now. Some believe that the integration of crypto into games is inevitable and a game changer, as this could be a key in the pushing crypto into mainstream adoption. Non-fungible tokens, if integrated properly like in Crypto Kitties can enhance the experience as well as garner support and adoption. With time, video game tokens like Fortnite’s V-Bucks could be exchanged for cryptocurrencies, entering the broader crypto ecosystem.
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