Games with more to offer than Entertainment

by MaddOx
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Gaming is constantly evolving. From the moment developers embraced the internet and all of its possibilities, the game has been changing on a regular basis. Indeed, the concept of playing in isolation or on local area networks (LANs) has been replaced by massive multiplayer online games (MMOs) and the ability to connect to people around the world. From this, the internet has enabled games to be downloaded and updated without the need for discs or cartridges.

New Technology Opens New Frontiers

Now, as it’s done for the last two decades, the internet is opening up new doors. Game developers are exploring the potential of blockchains, crypto and NFTs. This has led to the emergence of play-to-earn gaming. The concept of earning money from games is nothing new. Again, the internet had a hand in this. Online casino and poker games have been around since the late nineties.

Blockchain - Exchanging cryptocurrency for real money

Playtech was among the first companies to harness the power of random number generators (RNGs) and combine them with digital animations. The end result was a small collection of casino games such as slots and roulette. RNGs ensured the outcome of each round was random within the established norms of what bricks and mortar casinos would consider fair. From this, a multi-billion-pound industry was born.

The Emergence of Play-to-Earn Games

Today, the leading online casinos offer upwards of 500 games, special features and added value through a variety of promotions. For example, a new customer can pick up a 100% deposit bonus (i.e. their first deposit is matched) at Mr Vegas. This incentive ties into the concept of giving customers more value and, in turn, the dynamic of playing games for money. Nothing is guaranteed in casino gaming, but the opportunities are there. Gamers have the ability to play slots and other games and win cash prizes.

This concept has bled into the video gaming world through the mechanic of loot boxes. Available in games such as Stars Wars Battlefront II, these boxes contain random prizes. Players purchase them for a set amount, open the box and get a prize that can help them in the game. There’s an element of chance within loot boxes, as the player doesn’t know what they’re going to get. So, if you connect the dots, loot boxes are games of chance and hark back to casino games such as roulette. Loot boxes also paved the way for play-to-earn games.

Blockchain Takes Gaming to a New Level

The concept is simple: players can earn in-game items that exist on a blockchain. In other words, players of games such as Axie Infinity can earn tokens as they complete certain tasks. These tokens can be crypto tokens or NFTs. What’s interesting here is that blockchain technology means the tokens are probably unique. Moreover, a token is irrefutably owned by the person that earned it. So, if someone plays Axie Infinity and earns an AXS coin, the player then has the ability to store their coin in a crypto wallet, sell it, or trade it.

Thus, the concept of play-to-earn comes into being. Major gaming companies are now investing in this technology. Ubisoft, for example, has launched Quartz, which will add NFTs to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. Therefore, we’ve got to the point in gaming where new technology is, once again, reshaping the way we play. Moreover, is reshaping our perceptions of what’s possible. From the concept of online casinos to loot boxes, we’ve got to a point where blockchains have made games something more than things we play purely for entertainment purposes.

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