Game developers want to cash in on the NFT and cryptocurrency hype, looking for ground-breaking changes to how individuals play and interact with games online. The gaming industry was one of the first sectors to adopt blockchain. It has the potential to lead the way in terms of consumer-oriented applications of blockchain and to prove the naysayers who consider this new technology to be a fad wrong.

According to GlobalData’s Tech, Media, and Telecom Predictions report 2022, gaming is one of the main growth areas for NFTs, alongside digital art and sport. The digitally native younger generation, who spend most of their time online, will be the prime target for this new technology. The popularity of the gaming industry affords it a great deal of influence on future technology markets, and how consumers interact with them.

The gaming industry is growing from strength-to-strength

Gaming has gone from being a niche hobby to a mainstream worldwide phenomenon. The global video games market will be worth $223 billion in 2022, up from $173 billion in 2020, according to GlobalData forecasts. It will continue to expand to become a $400 billion-plus industry by 2030.

The gaming industry thrived during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 and has since become the fastest growing form of entertainment. Game developers like Roblox have created virtual ecosystems – multiplayer interactive games where hundreds of players can interact which each other on a single server in-game. This makes it an ideal place to start when building a viable virtual economy, which engages the masses. It has the potential to be one of the pillars of consumer-oriented blockchain.

Blockchain is taking the virtual world of gaming to a whole new level

Blockchain games can best be described as play-to-earn games. Typically, these games start off as free for the consumer or have a small starting fee. As you play these games, you earn assets in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) – a unit of data stored on a blockchain to certify ownership of a digital asset like images, audio, videos, for example. In the gaming world, NFTs tend to be in-game items such as skins, weapons, or other collectables, mostly for in-game avatars.

Because these NFTs are stored on a public blockchain platform, Ethereum being the most popular, players own the assets they earn, even when they are no longer playing the game. These NFTs can then be traded for traditional currency, or even used in different games altogether, not dissimilar to Pokémon cards. In other words, they have real-world value beyond an individual game.

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Game developers see the potential of blockchain

Lucrative new projects are emerging in response to the hype surrounding blockchain games. In December 2021 Galaverse mapped out the future of gaming – blockchain. Gala Games and C² Ventures in December 2021 launched a $100 million fund to accelerate the development of blockchain gaming. Axie Infinity, a video game based on the Ethereum blockchain, has already amassed a large following, earning $485 million between July and August 2021. Sky Mavis, the company which developed Axie Infinity, is now valued at $3 billion in 2021.

Those who are yet to be convinced by the hype surrounding blockchain and NFTs should turn their attention towards the gaming industry. Rising stars such as Axie Infinity, and the vast sums poured into the development of blockchain gaming, signal great things to come. It is not hard to imagine that a virtual economy, wherein participants earn valuable assets through gaming prowess, will become more popular as it progresses.