How is blockchain influencing the world of online gaming
Blockchain in gaming has become a sensation in recent times, as many speculate about what the future holds for the technology, in regards to the gaming industry. The success of crypto-based speculative games, such as CryptoKitties, has led to an even bigger push for blockchain technology to be introduced to games that don’t revolve entirely around cryptocurrency speculation.
2019 has a number of titles to be released that will incorporate blockchain technology, such as Age of Rust, Crypto Space Commander, Gods Unchained, Hash Rush, and Reality Clash. All of these titles will heavily feature cryptocurrency as the driving force behind them.
But how is blockchain influencing the gaming industry as a whole, and what benefits does blockchain offer to regular games that aren’t driven by cryptocurrency? Read on to find out!
Preventing Fraud and Revenue Losses
Fraudulent activity has long plagued the gaming industry, as cybercriminals have found significant profit in selling virtual goods. These virtual goods are obtained through a number of methods that include phishing attacks, glitching the game, gold farming bots, remote access trojans, and sybil attacks.
Even worse, gold farming organizations have been known to launch DDOS attacks against game servers, if the game company takes action against them. Albion Online, for example, has been suffering recurring DDOS attacks after banning a large number of bots from U4Gold, a “black market” website that sells virtual currency for several online games.
As mentioned, the in-game currency sold by black market websites is often obtained through abusing game glitches, such as duplicating items, or just outright scamming players. The blockchain makes scams virtually impossible, due to the decentralized and highly transparent nature of blockchain training.
Faster Payments, Less Payment Processing Fees
Game developers have come to rely on app stores, which take large commission fees and may impose certain restrictions on developers. Steam, for example, makes it difficult for MMO developers to process game transactions outside of the Steam system. With blockchain technology, developers are able to process nano-payments, which means the developers are paid instantly.
Furthermore, developers also need to spend money on secure transaction processing systems, which results in further fees. The fees involved in blockchain transactions are miniscule in comparison. Additionally, blockchain transactions are already secure as can be, which means that scammers cannot trick players into false transactions.
Blockchain has perhaps had the most positive impact in the online gambling industry. With blockchain and cryptocurrency transactions, online casinos are able to process players’ deposits and withdrawals, and allow players to gamble where local laws would otherwise prevent them from doing so.
In the future, we may see more established online casino brands like Casumo get involved in this space, but for now we haven’t quite yet seen mainstream adoption across the wider industry.
Players have total control of their virtual assets
Game items are typically stored on centralised servers, which means players don’t actually own their game items – the server does. So if a player wants to sell their hard-earned virtual assets for real money, they often need to jump through hoops, and are at massive risk for being scammed, as the game companies cannot regulate real money transactions between players.
With blockchain technology, in-game assets can be stored in a player’s blockchain wallet, on decentralised servers. This gives players total ownership of their virtual items, and allow for much higher security surrounding transactions between players. Furthermore, players can even bring their game items across game servers, instead of their characters and equipment being locked to a single centralized (and often regional) server.
Tokenized platform rewards
Numerous platforms have been experimenting with the possibility of rewarding gamers with crypto tokens, a currency that is specific to the gaming platform. With these crypto tokens, players can purchase virtual items in any game available on the platform, or trade them with other gamers.
This will allow game developers to incentivize players in a much more tangible way, instead of traditional “achievement” systems, although crypto tokens can be used as a way to complement achievement systems as well.
Safer game account storage
As we mentioned earlier, many cybercriminals attack the centralized servers of game databases, scraping all sorts of gamer data, including account login credentials and bank card information.
When your data is hosted in the encrypted blockchain, it is infinitely more difficult for hackers to gain access. Furthermore, personal security is vastly improved, because blockchain ledgers offer several layers of security. No, we’re not saying blockchain is unhackable – blockchain can be hacked. But there are numerous methods of protecting your personal blockchain ledger, such as physical hardware authenticators.
All in all, blockchain is not unbreakable, it’s said that quantum computers could penetrate blockchain’s security. But we’re talking about $100 million USD computers that are still in development by the world’s leading technology and computing companies.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to blockchain technology, whether or not a game is driven by cryptocurrency. We expect to see more developers embrace the blockchain, as it will directly address many of the problems found in the gaming industry today, and lead to a better future for online gamers.
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