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‘Game-Fi’ And ‘Play-To-Earn’ Economic Systems Set To Transform Gaming, According To Survey With Developers

GameFi’, the introduction of decentralized finance to games, and ‘Play-to-earn’, an economic model that rewards players with real-world financial value, are the most prioritized feature of blockchain technology, according to new research with video game developers.

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Based on a survey of video game developers in the US and UK commissioned by leading blockchain platform, Stratis and undertaken by independent research agency Opinium, the capability of blockchain with the greatest potential in gaming is DeFi (decentralized finance) at (57%). Following this was governance — voting using tokens in a decentralized autonomous organization (48%) and play-to-earn, which rewards players with tokens for gameplay (46%).

Play-to-earn was of significant interest to respondents — 51% said the system would revolutionize the gaming industry, while 47% believe it is ‘interesting but needed more development’. A mere 2% agreed that it was ‘a passing fad’.

Chris Trew, CEO, Stratis, said: “Web 3.0 and blockchain technologies are changing the nature of gaming and influencing how games are being built. This survey shows we will soon see ‘GameFi’ and ‘Play-to-earn’ features in the latest AAA game releases, which will offer players financial rewards in exchange for their time and attention. People have long speculated about blockchain’s killer app, well now we know, it’s gaming.”

He continued:”Stratis already offers an SDK to the Unity engine, and we are planning to add Unreal shortly. We’re seeing hundreds of enquiries from game developers looking for scalable blockchain infrastructure, it’s a level of interest we’ve never seen from any other industry.”

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Massive multiplayer online (MMO) and role-playing games (RPGs) will benefit most from blockchain technology, with 47% believing MMOs would be improved by blockchain technology, while 44% said blockchain would transform role-playing and action role-playing games. Meanwhile, 43% and 38% respectively said simulation/sports and multiplayer online battle games would benefit.

Developers are already leveraging blockchain technology — 47% (RPGs), 46% (real-time strategy) and 41% (multiplayer online battle arena).

Commenting on the findings of the Opinium research, Joost Rietveld, assistant professor in the Department of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at UCL School of Management, said: “Video games have long been a springboard for new applications looking to break into the mainstream. The Wii introduced us to motion-sensitive controls, Pokémon Go demonstrated the value of augmented reality, Angry Birds made us understand the ease and simplicity of touch screen controls, and smartphone games helped popularize new revenue models.

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“The blockchain may be next. Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are helping game developers come up with new ways of engaging and rewarding their players. Virtual items can now exist outside of the boundaries of a game and players can be rewarded for their in-game activities with currencies that hold real-world value. If you want to understand how new technologies can be successfully applied, then video games are the space to watch.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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