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Gamers may be ready for Blockchain, but the industry is not

Welcome to Raid Ross’ unique perspective on the gaming industry! As a gen-Y gamer who has spent countless nights absorbing screen radiation and a tech professional in the DLT industry, I think I’m eligible to drop an outlook on how these two worlds (could) affect each other.

Of course, this is not just about gaming for the sake of it, and I am not a writer in the gaming industry, but we’ll delve into the metagaming shadow industry that often goes unnoticed but plays a significant (if not major) role in the gaming landscape, as well as explore the promising blockchain use cases in gaming and highlight some of the pioneers spearheading the edge of the progress bar. “Brace yourself, netizen, for an article that goes beyond the surface of gaming and uncovers the hidden dynamics that shape this mesmerizing layer of entertainment!” (Argorian NPC cleric accent). Ok, that was awkward, let’s do it!

The gaming industry has come a long way, but for many Gen-Y gamers, the current state of affairs may seem perplexing. While there are certainly good games available today, there was a time when game devs were true pioneers, similar to early DeFi engineers. They experimented and came up with innovative solutions to problems that hadn’t even arisen yet. In contrast, modern games are often built within predefined frameworks, relying heavily on software, and lacking the unique architecture and improvisation that characterized earlier games.

In the past, game developers paid equal attention to concept, story, graphics, and user experience, with little, if any emphasis on monetization. Games were created for the sheer enjoyment and entertainment of the players, and the publishers made money by selling hard copies of the digital simulations.

Nevertheless, the landscape has shifted, and the primary focus now is on generating revenue while players are actively engaged in the game. Microtransactions and other payment systems have become ubiquitous, draining players’ mothers’ wallets and detracting from the concept of a gaming experience. This “monetization-first” approach has led to video games being created with a closed economic system that prioritizes financial gain for publishers over other aspects that would focus on pleasing the player.

As a result, some gamers may feel that the essence of gaming has been compromised, with monetary considerations overshadowing the enjoyment and creativity that were once the hallmarks of the – often mistaken for childish – industry. While there are certainly examples of successful games that implement microtransactions in a balanced and player-friendly fashion, the shift towards prioritizing monetization has changed the landscape of the broader ecosystem.

I’m not gonna go into details, but If you get it, you get it. I am still dreaming about places I’ve seen on Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind as a child, or hear Diablo II FX sounds in my sleep. Today, the only feeling I get from games, if any, is hatred, especially when it comes to e-sports.

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The rise of e-Sports has taken microtransactions in gaming to a whole new level, simply by incorporating the psychology of gambling. Unlike traditional sports where only the top players contribute to the “league”, let’s say NBA, e-Sport games are designed to make every player feel like a potential hero, constantly chasing for the next win, like a donkey the carrot. Modern games are structured with short play sessions (anywhere between 10 and 50 minutes) and a “try again” mentality, creating a gambling-like loop.


competitive gaming is a real hustle.

In a nutshell, the gaming industry evolved to a level where it is in a position to hook players regardless of their skills and encourages repetitive attempts to “win” while collecting user behavior data. That’s right.

We now collect valuable behavioral data from players, including decision-making, response time, predictability, and more. This data is bought by industries such as the military and pharma for various purposes. The military may use it to identify potential candidates for high-stress situations, while pharmaceutical companies may use it for research and development of drugs related to mental stability and behavior control.

Still, many gamers are unaware of the extent of data collection and its potential uses. The lack of understanding from both gamers and industry outsiders, such as lawyers, or regulators – who still think that games are, well, just games and nothing serious is happening under the table there -, creates a complex situation. In essence, my proposal is to shed light on an often overlooked perspective regarding the current state and future potential of the gaming industry.

Blockchain in Gaming

By drawing parallels with advancements in modern technology, such as the concept of decentralized ownership of assets and data, and advocating for increased transparency and user consent in their utilization, I aim to highlight the need for a more holistic approach towards the ethical and responsible management of data and assets in the gaming industry.

I recently got permanently banned from Apex Legends, a popular multiplayer battle royale game, as well as from EA Games and its platform. The reasoning behind the ban was trivial at best, but I don’t really mind not being able to play the game. What disappoints me the most is that I’ve spent a substantial amount of money on in-game assets like skins, collectibles, battle passes, and whatnot.

I know I’ll have to say goodbye to these items, just like I would with money in a bankrupt bank, but it’s a basic example of why blockchain is indeed much needed in the gaming industry. Specifically, NFTs or other smart contracts could handle ownership of game assets on a public decentralized network instead of a closed, centralized system. If my in-game goods were NFTs, for example, I could potentially sell them to someone who’s not banned from the game or burn them, or whatever, knowing that I would still have value from them as they are backed by tech and not a monopoly.

And although data marketplaces, both regulated and decentralized, already exist, there seems to be a lack of attention toward gamers’ user data, I assume due to misconceptions that gamers are just kids or that their data is not valuable compared to that of influencers on platforms like Instagram. This overlooks the potential metadata that gamers generate every second all over the globe, which is not only equally valuable to Insta data but if Instagram data is dirt, gaming industry data is Platinum.

An Instagram influencer with 1M followers does between 100 and 1000 interactions per day on their account. This includes actions like clicking buttons, editing content, and liking posts. On the other hand, just average everyday gamers do 100-1000 interactions per minute for extended periods of time, and their inputs can quickly impact the outcome of complex situations. While both involve private data, gamers’ interactions can have more immediate and consequential effects on topics like how to win a war, or how to survive when all your allies are gone, and you’re against multiple enemies, in a territory you’re not familiar with, with only 7 bullets, and still get away with it. Rare Pepe, Leo, and Resitas laugh together.

Depiction of the mental state of an average competitive gamer 😪

few understand e-sports in the early Y2K.

So, to be fair, there are gaming companies like Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Tencent that are actively researching blockchain use cases, but progress has been slow and vague. They are mostly focusing on the metaverse – I assume cause it’s a market hype – and exploring potential NFT use cases, but nothing concrete has been implemented yet that could be considered a shift of game-changing proportions. I speculate they may be resistant to integrating blockchain due to unavoidable disruptions to centralized systems and authoritarian procedures and market dominance, similar to how governments don’t like decentralized voting, banks don’t like decentralized money, and the art industry doesn’t like on-chain provenance records.


While the current state of the gaming industry may prioritize monetization over player joy, blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt this paradigm and bring about a more player-centric approach to developing games in the future.

Introducing decentralized ownership, transparent value exchange, and economic empowerment for players, is a good, pretty self-explanatory, and simple start. However, it would require the industry to embrace and adopt these technologies responsibly, with a focus on ethical data management and user consent.

As the title suggests, gamers may be ready for blockchain, but the industry needs to catch up to fully realize the potential of this edge tech. In the end, they would still make shitloads of $, maybe even more than what they’re doing rn, just by considering the demand and supply for outrageously expensive NFT collectibles, even during the bear market.

Do you think there’s a good reason for gaming giants to embrace blockchain? Let me know on Twitter (@rosspeili). I always check my DMs and reply to everyone <3

Source: Mirror

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Ross Peili
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