Over the years, the gaming industry has evolved in ways many could’ve never imagined. With the introduction of broadband internet and the rise of online stores such as Gog and steam, gaming has become much more revolutionary.
Back then, we would get yelled at by our parents for playing games because it’s not a “career”, but people are receiving salaries for playing games.
Take a look at this blog post by Business Insider that shares the salaries of esports teams.
With these developments cropping up, one of the largest disruptions appeared in recent time: digital gaming. With the rise of digital games, the console model which dominated the industry since the 1980s was experiencing a challenge from brand new methods, such as ‘“free to play” models. Currently, digital gaming accounts make up a total of 87% of the industry’s $108.9 billion annual revenue, making it a true disruptor.
Even so, while this is considered new tech, such things are never permanent in the long run. The gaming industry is nearing a possible new wave of disruption with the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Video game enthusiast has been known to be some of the more welcoming consumers for cryptocurrencies. Valve, the creators behind Steam, have recognized this early on and started accepting Bitcoin payments during April of 2016.
Although sometime during December of last year they have decided to drop it since then due to how volatile the market can be.
Maybe, with the rise of Stablecoins, we’ll be seeing more companies pick up cryptocurrencies again as a payment system.
Blockchain decentralized system has begun to solve core problems and evolve the business of video games in ways no one expected. Areas such has Esports, betting and digital good marketplaces have been positively affected by these recent transformations.
Esports and blockchain
Esports has become a booming industry in recent years. A report done by Newzoo has shown that esports was expected to generate over $696 million in revenue during 2017 a growth rate of 41.3 percent.
With that said, the total market size is estimated to reach up to $1.5 billion by 2020, as brands double down on esports investments.
Obviously, this isn’t a small thing. Just look at Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch back in 2014.
With these appealing growth figures and the increasing growth of this new age industry, it comes to no surprise that platforms have begun utilizing blockchain to boost transparency and efficiency.
Blockchain is essentially an incorruptible digital ledger that can be programmed to record anything of value, such as transactions.
A blockchain powered by esports platformed named Firstblood has become one of the best examples for this.
Developed on Ethereum, Firstblood has allowed pro players to improve their skills while challenging each other for future competition. Through the power of blockchain, all of Firstblood’s transaction is publicly verifiable and resistant to possible counterfeiting.
Unikrn has also managed to gain a substantial amount of visibility since its launching by two industry heavy-hitters back in 2014. Backed by 500 startups, Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban, this high-tech esports betting platform developed its very own token, the unikoin, a few years ago.
It’s touted an ICO for unikoinGold: an ERC20 Ethererum-based digital coin that will be the exclusive token used on its new betting platform. A major upside for this blockchain development is unikrn has become a regulated and licensed esports platform that allows users to bet legally from almost anywhere in the world through the usage of their crypto coin.
Monetization of Digital Goods.
One of the very first video games to feature blockchain for its functionality and story-telling was Spells of Genesis This blockchain-based card game features tokenized trading cards, and essentially allows the player to store away these cards on the blockchain.
At the moment, video game developers are applying blockchain to one of the industry’s unavoidable behemoth: player-earned digital good. With a digital gaming industry currently generating up to $94.4 billion in revenue, the capability of securely selling gamer-earned digital goods across games has the potential to be a trillion-dollar opportunity.
But as any player, such as those who’re involved with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and acquire a rare weapon skin ( that are sometimes estimated to be up to $5,000 in value), will quickly point out, the enormous amount of money and time spent earning these digital goods currently amounts to nothing as soon as they’ve moved on to a different game.
While some players may search through forums and third-party websites such as Reddit to sell their hard-earned digital goods for cash, this can sometimes end up being a scam. Steam’s Community Market has attempted to fill in the gap, but only allows their sellers to transact their digital goods for purchases within its own Steam platform.
This is where blockchain can finally shine through.
Plenty of companies are currently utilizing blockchain to create a decentralized marketplace for in-game items. About a decade ago, the shift from console to digital gave games worldwide access to free games. The shift to blockchain is being viewed in the same limelight. By empowering players to keep their digital goods, and boosting transparency in industries such as esports and gambling blockchain innovation will become capable of yet again revolutionize gaming as we know it.
Probably one of the most appealing concepts of blockchain and esports is that more and more blockchain solutions for gamers who are looking to accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies.
Now in addition to tipping, streaming, tournament winnings, and their salary, professional gamers have the option to receive cryptocurrencies as a form of income.
As esports become more mainstream and as blockchain technology matures, we should be seeing a lot more impact being made in the esports industry with blockchain solutions.
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