“Gamers are probably the only ones who understand the value of virtual money more than anything else.” - Jared Psigoda, CEO of BitGuild
Cryptocurrency promises to drastically change the world and it might as well start with the gaming industry. The price of Bitcoin is best termed shaky right now, but the experts suggest that the revolution will begin now with this collaboration. Even though the future of cryptocurrencies is unknown to us, it is surely making its way into the gaming industry and changing the way you process your online payments.
Technology is ever-evolving, but the gaming industry brings forth a very impressive and surprising uproar in its foundations with the help of the new changes. Just comparing a game, you play now with a game that you used to play a decade ago, will give you two completely different images and makes you wonder about the monumental changes the tech industry went through. These games that we encounter now are more challenging and more aggressive than before and that means more time and effort from the players. Along with more involvement, it also lures you in buying the ‘in-app’ purchases to make your play smoother and top-level. These purchases are of a very small amount and are thus referred to as micropayments.
Online Payment in Gaming – Then and Now
Formerly, there used to be a “pay-to-play” purchase model that the developers relied on. It was where the user or the player would have to pay the amount for the entire game, which would be available on CD video game. But now, these plans don’t exist on the magnitude that it did before and has a free-to-play model game. These are the games that you can download, install, and run without any charges, but you would find yourself relying on the micropayments to either go forward in the game or get extra features.
So, how does cryptocurrency fit in all this? How can one platform be so vital and advantageous for the other that it might just solve all its issues?
What are Micropayments? Why Are They a Problem?
A micropayment is a term defined for the usually small amount of commercial transactions, which is designed to impress even more of these payments from the players. These micropayments are associated with a very small payment request, which is usually somewhere between a few cents and dollars. And there is a host of payment options available to carry out this transaction using an external payment mechanism on the site or gaming platform.
However, gamers have started to criticize these micropayments and it signals to the downfall of it all. The form of payment that appeared to be impressive at the beginning is now receiving worldwide bad press for the same reason, which is that these “micropayments” have gone too far. According to research by LendEDU, 69% of the gamers used micropayments among a thousand players, each spending $84.67 on an average in a game.
The study explains why games like Fortnite and FIFA, which are free-to-play games, earned a whopping amount of $2.4 billion in revenue from their games. If that is surprising, it is almost unbelievable that the experts believe the year 2022 would see a surge by almost $160 billion from these online payments in the gaming industry. But the ugly part is the manipulation of the microtransactions in a way that is not acceptable. For example, some of the games allow the user to unlock new levels or new features just by playing the game for an extended period or pass some levels. These kinds of designs have been openly welcomed by the players worldwide. But there have been instances where the developers lost the grip and put insane purchase prices for some features in the game that left the players feeling violated and angry. For instance, the Grand Theft Auto V saw how developers devised the gaming narrative in a way where it was almost impossible for the players to play their way to the mission, so they had to frustratingly retort to featured packages ranging anywhere from $19.99 to $99.99.
Cryptocurrency to The Rescue for The Payment Issues
According to Forbes, the industry of fantasy sports game is estimated to be valued at $7 billion a year and more, thanks to the impact of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. That is because the platform, MyDFS, is based on blockchain and uses its token to bring transparency as much transparency as possible between the players and the developers. With the inclusion of blockchain, the platform can not only simplify the narrative of gaming to the players but also allow more reach on a global network to the players worldwide.
Forbes also reported that DreamTeam is a platform build uniquely as a gateway that uses blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and build a bridge with the esports industry. It allows the managers, coaches, and organizations to grow and monetize their teams; all of this is done and paid for using the “DreamTeam Token.” Platforms like this show that the future of cryptocurrency in virtual gaming is bright and very promising.
The major reason why this could be the potential and most promising future for the gaming industry is that the gaming community acts as an impressed audience for games based on blockchain and cryptocurrency where the investors and the venture capitalist firms can find value among a decentralized gaming platform. Frank Fu, managing director of Meitu, says,
“The union of gaming and blockchain are inevitable… Blockchain technology is the solution we are looking for, due to the centralised network and capability to record each transaction to combat fraud.”
Cryptocurrency can act as a replacement or an alternative, at least, for the traditional online transactions that are card-based. The inclusion of cryptocurrency can remove the dependence from external mechanisms relied upon traditionally for the micropayments with online currencies. The players can use these newly created cryptocurrencies to buy new ammunition, accessories, and features in the game, which could be transacted between the players and developers.
It will give a layer of added security to the developers and players along with more transparency and a form of transaction which could be achieved just by playing the game itself rather than relying on external platforms for add-on purchases or card-based payments. Also, the addition of blockchain, the network that powers it all, can provide some solid foundations for cryptocurrency on the gaming platform.
Here’s What the Future Looks Like
The pioneering success of blockchain and cryptocurrency has boomed globally, and it won’t be anything different if it finally manages to collaborate with the gaming industry. The failure of micropayments is resounding to the top and there needs to be an aggressive and straight-forward approach to solving it, which is what one can expect only from crypto and the massive network of blockchains. Cryptocurrency can challenge and win over any platform that can provide security when it comes to card-based payments. The massive leak and breach of security isn’t something new today, but if it goes unchecked, it might be a lot worse than just having a frustrating game that doesn’t allow you to go to the next mission unless you pay a lot more than you want to.