The gaming industry has morphed from being a novelty in the 80s, with its funky consoles and clunky cartridges, into a $180 billion a year behemoth with almost three billion players globally. From its simplest 2D games, like “Pong” and “Pac Man,” the gaming sector has become an all-consuming industry that challenges the bounds of imagination with virtual and augmented realities that create all-immersive experiences. While the gaming industry has changed in ways no one could have predicted when the first video game machines started turning up in bars, restaurants, and arcades, one of the most significant changes is the addition of blockchain technology.
A blockchain is a digital database, often referred to as a ledger, that is distributed or shared among multiple computers on a network to keep track of financial transactions. The main benefit of blockchain technology is the security the distributed ledger provides and is used in cryptocurrency transactions, like Bitcoin, for maintaining a decentralized record of transactions. The decentralized platform guarantees both the accuracy and security of the data that in itself generates security without needing a trusted third party, like a bank, to verify each transaction. The blockchain database collects information in groups, or “blocks,” and holds sets of information in each database in the networked system, or “chain.” Once filled, each block in the chain is timestamped when the block is added to the chain. This is intended to prevent the possibility of digital currency hacking and theft. Because of the specific skills needed to create and manage the blockchain infrastructure, blockchain recruiting has taken off.
The Concept of Decentralization
With traditional gaming that uses a centralized model for transactions, the game developers and companies hold all the power and control. Any value players generate within a game is entirely dependent on the in-game dynamics set by the gaming company. However, the decentralized architecture of the blockchain removes the middleman to provide users with the entire decision-making authority for their transactions. It can also increase the value of their assets.
Online Gaming Payments
Blockchain technology has been adopted by many mainstream sectors such as energy and agriculture. Recognizing the advantages of blockchain, the gaming industry jumped on board and incorporated the technology into its online gaming operations. The advancements in online gaming have increased the industry’s interest in cryptocurrencies, and the metaverse has created even more opportunities for games to adopt blockchain technology, as well as increasing the demand for jobs in video gaming.
Blockchain technology has made surprising inroads into the way financial transactions are conducted online. Many believe it will be the next evolution in the gaming industry, and the increased interest in blockchain game jobs is a good barometer for what may be coming. The increased interest is mainly due to blockchain allowing gamers to carry out various financial transactions, from using fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, to making sports bets in any jurisdiction and creating their own non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) that can be traded between players. NFT’s are one-of-a-kind. However, fungible tokens work like currency because each is identical to the rest and are divisible. Both fungible and nonfungible tokens can be valuable investments as each can represent assets from unique collectibles to real estate in games.
The new interest has clearly shown gamers embracing platforms to generate, collect and trade digital assets, including real-world money. A 2021 report showed almost 80 percent of online players wanted the option of being able to trade their virtual assets for some form of cryptocurrency that could be used across multiple platforms. The gaming sector also experienced a 20 times increase in blockchain growth in 2022 as compared to the previous year, and blockchain has seen over $2.5 billion in venture capital investments since 2021. Blockchain recruiting companies are reporting job demand for developers has also increased over that same time frame.
Fraud is rampant in many areas of the virtual marketplace and is one of consumer’s biggest online concerns. As a result, the gaming industry often struggles with players mistrusting some high-dollar platforms, such as online casinos. Additionally, an abrupt shutdown of a gaming platform may cause gamers to lose their hard-earned assets. This lack of trust is compounded by traditional centralized trading platforms charging exorbitant fees to exchange assets. The good news is some platforms are working to change how virtual goods are traded and held.
WAX, the Worldwide Asset eXchange, is a decentralized blockchain platform designed to build virtual marketplaces and trade virtual assets for cryptocurrency. While the exchange is designed to facilitate asset exchange for online gaming, WAX can also be used on other virtual goods platforms. Enjin Coin, another exchange platform, uses blockchain technology to both create and manage goods directly on the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform. These two blockchain platforms allow gaming communities to create items, tokens, and currencies backed by Enjin Coin. Smart Wallet, which can be used to trade virtual goods across various gaming platforms, is another solution that will provide gamers with greater security, confidence, and control.
Blockchain technology is proving an effective, hassle-free, and, most importantly, safe monetization model for the gaming industry. There are already multiple examples of successful and productive play-to-earn blockchain games, such as Axie Infinity, which has set record sales of over $1 billion. As a result, the gaming industry is embracing new blockchain opportunities. It has secured almost half a billion dollars worth of investment capital since the beginning of 2021. Recruiters report blockchain game jobs are continually increasing in demand due to the technology gaining greater acceptance.
Even with all of its potential and successes, setting up and running a game with blockchain technology is not a simple matter, and the technology does have its limitations:
- Scalability can be a big hurdle for gaming as the decentralized nature of blockchain does not allow for the speed of centralized platforms.
- Because of the scalability issues, the demand for blockchain games remains significantly less than in traditional centralized systems.
- Even some games that use blockchain technology are not decentralized and, as such, host games on a centralized server to distribute assets.
- Because they often lack the resources of larger gaming companies, it can be challenging for smaller studios to compete with the big companies who use centralized platforms.
- Maintenance issues can be a factor as developers sometimes find it difficult to raise funds for maintaining blockchain games.
Blockchain technology is affecting virtually every aspect of online gaming, creating new markets for games. As Web 3.0 and blockchain technology continues to evolve and becomes more widely accepted, an entirely new era of gaming will be ushered in with it. This new era could very well mean the end to the monopolistic stranglehold the big banks and a handful of big-name game studios have over the industry. With the growing acceptance of blockchain, more people are becoming interested in blockchain game jobs.
For developers looking to get into blockchain, enlisting the services of a video game recruiting company can help you get your foot in the door. DAM is the most prominent blockchain recruiting company in the country, offering free job placement and interview preparation. DAM also has hundreds of unpublished gaming job listings and never charges their clients a fee.