There’s one thing you can’t get around in most games: microtransactions. They are an integral part of many game mechanics and even though they usually seem a bit annoying at first, most players have simply accepted them. But the blockchain can help here by giving a play-to-earn principle that can make games even more popular and innovative.
Microtransactions are mostly used when it comes to standing out from the other players. Be it through new skins, weapons or other accessories and tools. The in-game purchases thereby divide the gamer society, because not all items can be found in Loot boxes, as was the case in the past. However, with NFTs and the blockchain, according to a report from Coinbase, the previous game model of pay-to-win is changing to a play-to-earn structure.
This type of gameplay is called “GameFi.” The principle behind it is that players don’t spend their money on game content that they can’t take with them at the end of the game, as has been the case in the past, but that they invest their resources in assets whose value, as we know it from cryptocurrencies, can increase and be resold.
This is made possible by the NFT technology, which makes it possible to earn a currency during the game that can have a real value. So you literally get paid for playing! But as always, nothing is free in this world.
Trailer for the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity (Source: Axie Infinity)
The play-to-earn principle requires, almost like in a casino, an initial investment. In what is probably the most popular GameFi game Axie Infinity, you have to fight so-called Axies, as you know it from Pokemon, to get real rewards. However, you first need at least three fighters to participate in the game, where one of the virtual creations costs about $70. For many, this is a barrier that is difficult to overcome.
There is still a lot of work to be done here. But the idea of blockchain in gaming is something that opens up a lot of new potential. Especially in view of the current developments in the metaverse, virtual payment will quickly become a topic to be addressed. NFT technology and the learnings from games like Axie and other GameFi models are the cornerstone here for a gaming of the future.