If you hadn’t heard already, the predictions from leading analyst Newzoo in its 2019 Global Esports Market Report have shown that global esports revenues are estimated to rise to $1.1 billion in 2019, bringing revenue of over $1 billion for the first time ever. This includes a revenue increase of 26.7% year-over-year. Even if you’re not a gamer, these perhaps should not be surprising statistics, considering the rate at which the popularity of esports or electronic sports is growing. As this industry grows into a billion dollar industry, technology is trying to keep up with the increasing demands and whims of gamers.
The increase in new and financial technologies definitely plays a part, mainly due to the average young age of the developers and their willingness to accommodate new disruptive technology, which is why gaming will probably become the test-case for mass adoption of blockchain technology.
Chris Wang, the CEO of the blockchain based company called ThunderCore, seems to agree. Having co-founded the popular social gaming company Playdom in 2008, which was later sold to Disney for $500 million in 2010, Chris possesses a more than fair understanding of the gaming market. ThunderCore has successfully raised $50 million from top Venture Capitals all over the world. Having been an early investor in Alibaba, Glassdoor, and FlipKart.
One of the primary concerns which blockchain can help resolve in the gaming sector is the transaction fees and speed of microtransaction of items in the gaming space. The online gaming industry runs on low-cost transactions or micropayments that need to be approved in real time, without obstructing the gaming experience. This essentially means that the task at hand is to review billions of data points of current and past transactions. On how ThunderCore is helping enable a system of micropayments with lower transaction fees and greater scalability, Chris says:
“Blockchain projects like ThunderCore which recently partnered up with Consensys, uses the “accelerator” to create a network of DDoS resilient nodes. It completes a single round of voting to confirm a transaction in close to a second, with a resulting throughput of well over a thousand transactions per second. ThunderCore thus has an improved scalability that can undertake the challenge of reviewing multiple transactions in real time, while also keeping the gas fees minimal, at well below one cent.”
When game developers are putting in their hard work and creativity into a project, they expect to be remunerated fairly. An in-depth investigative piece by The Verge on “How the $36 billion video game industry burns out its best employees” has exposed some malicious practices in the industry. Chris is forthright on how blockchain could help prevent some of these practices from driving the best developers out of the industry.
He said, “I truly believe that Blockchain can enable an environment of fair pay in the gaming space. With the kind of scalability and reduced transaction fees developed by the ThunderCore project, we believe it can establish itself as a popular mode of payment. The immutable nature of the technology will also help various stakeholders establish their valid identity and reputation.”
With mass adoption comes safety concerns, which is even more important when you consider that Newzoo’s annual Global Games Market Report reported that out of the estimated 2.2 billion active gamers in the world, nearly half (47%) spend money while playing.
“Hackers cannot work their way around a technology like blockchain. Because of its consensus mechanism, transparency and decentralized nature, it is next to impossible breach an account based on a blockchain” says Chris
It’s something that Tamara Slanova, Co-Founder, CFO and Head of DMarket London Office, agrees with. She adds her advice on what would be her top 3 tips on using blockchain in gaming.
She says, “Blockchain gaming has been evolving from simple collectible games such as CryptoKitties to more entertaining and sophisticated titles like Blancos created by experienced developers from Mythical Games that secured $16 million in funding in 2018. Top gaming companies like Ubisoft and Sony have also been exploring the field for a while. If they take the plunge, the first blockchain game by a major developer/publisher will immediately take blockchain gaming to the top level.”
With that in mind, Tamara’s advice to any gamer interested in blockchain would be:
Tip 1: Keep tabs on new blockchain games and take a moment to give them a try.
Tip 2: Give feedback. Blockchain gaming is in its early stages, and developers are likely to listen to your opinion and implement changes that make a game more entertaining and profitable for you.
Tip 3: Leverage blockchain features while playing your favorite titles: security and true ownership.
For many gamers, the biggest drawback of modern games is the lack of ability to take their stash with them. This, Tamara believes, is why blockchain will become successful in the gaming industry. She says, “Players who invest time and effort in a game are currently not able to pull any value out of the items or achievements they collect. Blockchain resolves this issue.”
As to whether gamers will be the industry to vote with their feet when it comes to mass adoption, for John Barksdale– Founder of Ormeus Coin, whether it’s gamers or anyone else, the future is inevitable. He said, “As the industry matures, any resistance will be futile so the best way forward is to embrace the change and assimilate. Blockchain products and solutions will be seamless and work flawlessly from a user experience point of view. ”