Blockchain technology has chartered new developments in the gaming industry by crafting unique yet-to-be-told experiences and stories as the focus. This development has manifested itself in a mechanical and/or graphical form for the longest time. But Enjin seems to change that with its efforts to realize the true potential of the multiverse blockchain games. The multiverse may just be the edge that blockchain gaming needs to become a trailblazer in the mainstream industry.
But what is the gaming multiverse in blockchain? Let’s explore.
Theoretical physics defines a multiverse as an infinite array of universes where anything is possible and every possibility exists. The different universes within a multiverse are popularly called parallel or alternate universes or other dimensions.
Therefore, a gaming multiverse in a blockchain is a collective gaming universe created by integrating a collection of blockchain assets in multiple games. Blockchain assets here refer to a category of in-game assets ranging from an item (such as a gun or sword), vehicle (such as a car or starship), and real estate (such as a house, castle, or planet) to a creature (such as a horse or dragon) and a player or non-player character. These assets can be fungible or non-fungible tokens and have intrinsic and backed values.
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Players can use their multiverse items in multiple gaming realms in blockchain gaming. That is to say, a gaming multiverse is a collaborative gaming project where different game developers agree to use the same shared, decentralized database (i.e., a blockchain) for some or all of their in-game assets.
This allows players to use a multiverse asset in every game that is a part of a particular gaming multiverse. A gaming multiverse is decentralized, where in-game assets are owned by players, and individual game developers control only the games they develop.
Blockchain games are video games with elements that use blockchain technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. These games allow players to buy, sell, and/or trade in-game assets with other players. The game’s publisher takes a fee from each transaction as monetization.
Traditional gaming systems are centralized in that the users can only use their game earnings in one game. Blockchain games use a decentralized model so that users have true ownership of their game data and can use it in other blockchain games.
Before we move forward to understanding the benefits of blockchain in gaming, let’s briefly understand how blockchain is used in the gaming industry.
Blockchain has created a novel gaming experience wherein players use cryptocurrency and NFTs to buy in-game assets that can be exchanged for fiat currency. The role of blockchain in gaming can be diversified into 3 components:
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Blockchain has also allowed the emergence of a sub-genre of crypto games called Play-to-Earn, which allows players to earn cryptocurrency by playing the game. This cryptocurrency can be converted into fiat money or used to buy new items within the game. The idea is to encourage gamers to continue playing a game by incentivizing them with cryptocurrency.
Another concept is the Play-to-Own blockchain games that retain the play-to-earn mechanic but offer players new use cases for the assets they acquire throughout the game. The idea is to allow players to spend their in-game assets beyond upgrading a character, buying more pets/armor, or converting it to fiat money.
Blockchain technology has continuously received attention for its potential to revolutionize different industries. Due to its development over the years is now seen as the first choice for creating a decentralized gaming ecosystem.
Blockchain technology is helping transform the gaming industry in the following ways:
blockchain is a secure, transparent, immutable technology that ensures no fraud or double-spends in transaction records occur. For users engaging in digital transactions, blockchain adds a layer of confidence and allows them to share sensitive data or virtual assets safely. Blockchain’s additional layer of security also provides unparalleled protection for sensitive data such as player info, user transactions, game data, etc., preventing them from being hacked or tampered with.
By providing secure, transparent, and overall more efficient digital transactions and access to virtual assets, blockchain can help improve the user experience. Blockchain games give users more control over their gaming experience by allowing players to create their characters and storylines and download different versions of different video games from any location without risking their gaming experience.
Blockchain gaming platforms ensure that all interactions and transactions between parties (such as buying, selling, or trading in-game assets) are legitimate and verified, thereby helping prevent fraud. In addition, blockchain can also be used to guarantee that no one has paid for the same goods and/or service twice.
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Blockchain gaming allows players to earn rewards from cryptocurrency by completing quests and/or missions. The points that traditional games reward players with will have no monetary value outside the game. However, players can use the cryptocurrency earned through a blockchain-based game to buy items from other players or exchange them for fiat currency.
Blockchain adds a layer of interoperability to gaming by enabling the creation of a decentralized community where users can access different games. It also allows users to use one profile across different platforms, enhancing their user experience and making it easier to access different games and purchase different items.
There are hundreds of blockchain games in the market, with the following drawing eyeballs consistently.
One of the most popular games built on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptocKitties was one of the very first attempts to launch a blockchain-based game. The game aims to create a new generation of kittens with unique traits to maximize their value. The personality of each kitty is determined by genes representing different traits such as eye shape, fur patterns, base color, mouth shape, etc. Players can store their kitties till they become valuable or trade them through an open marketplace.
A virtual reality platform using blockchain creates a decentralized virtual world; Decentraland allows users to create, experience, and monetize content and applications. Within the platform’s virtual space, users can:
built on the Ethereum blockchain, The Last Will is a blockchain-based game that allows players to inherit digital assets from other players based on wills created by the latter. The players can set up trusts and assign executors to carry out the word of their will.
another one built on Ethereum, Gods Unchained, is a collectible card game that allows the direct trade of cards between players and records the transfer of ownership. Gods Unchained cards are digital assets that need the owner’s permission to be copied or modified.
In addition to creating new opportunities for the gaming industry, blockchain has also opened the way for new challenges, such as:
The use of cryptocurrencies in blockchain games poses a challenge as regulatory bodies are still unclear on how cryptocurrencies function. In a blockchain game, the value of any gaming token is dependent on real-life cash and physical assets, which are privy to prevailing asset-based laws in a country. Ideally, the same laws should be applied to gaming tokens.
But since blockchain aims to globalize gaming, regulations must be set that allows these games to be played anywhere with the utmost legal acceptance. What is also important is that token ownership rules within a game are clarified clearly to the users. There is a common understanding that when a gamer earns a token, he/she has the rights and licenses to sell that token on third-party marketplaces or use the token’s underlying digital assets on other blockchain games.
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By communicating the scope of token ownership rights, games can completely understand the extent of token activities they can engage in. For instance, CryptoKitties gives gamers the license to sell and trade their NFT artworks but does not give them actual ownership. This clearly defined the boundaries of the activities that can be carried out with the token earned in the game. Such clear rules help manage players’ expectations and prevent them from engaging in unpermitted activities.
There is complexity in the actual process of playing blockchain games. While creating an account is fairly simple, setting up a crypto wallet and buying a certain amount of crypto while managing the transaction fee can bit a little challenging.
Some popular games on the Ethereum network have also experienced game lags and network congestion. Ethereum has been notoriously famous for its scalability issue, low throughput, and high transaction costs—disadvantages that have made the platform unsuitable for large-scale use.
However, platforms are constantly working on figuring out ways around these complexities to make the use and adoption of blockchain games smoother for users. Ethereum, for instance, is trying to tackle its scalability issues by resigning its consensus mechanism in Ethereum 2.0.
Blockchain uses private keys to give users complete responsibility. Players are the only ones with authority to use these keys. For strongly on-chain games, such as Cometh, the more actions players can perform, the more they will be required to sign transactions. That is just too much clicking.
Now that we have a basic understanding of blockchain games and how they work, let’s look at the first blockchain gaming multiverse created by Enjin.
On August 26, 2018, Enjin announced the world’s first-ever gaming multiverse as an amazing technology, an ecosystem that harnesses blockchain technology’s power to fundamentally change how games are designed, made, monetized, and played.
At the time, six games—Age of Rust, 9Lives Arena, Bitcoin Hodler, CryptoFights, Forest Knight, and War of Crypta—collaborated to implement the first shared blockchain assets. This number has since grown to over 30 games.
Enjin powered the creation of a “decentralized gaming multiverse that will allow thousands of gaming developers and studios to create interconnected blockchain-powered realms inhabited by millions of world-hopping gamers.”
A gaming multiverse can only reach the masses if designed to be fair and profitable for game developers. In its trailblazing efforts, Enjin has made available the following supply models:
While giving game developers free access to Enjin’s flexible blockchain development platform, Enjin also subsidizes the production cost by creating a collection of unique multiverse items for developers to plug into their games and distribute. Using these tools, developers can join the existing multiverse or create their own.
The idea here is to develop a decentralized architecture for developers. This can be achieved by:
Since the type of graphics a developer needs to create highly influences the cost of integrating multiverse items, the items are distributed based on three categories:
To ensure that the special items were special in every game that supported them, the platform asks developers interested in joining the multiverse to submit clear documentation of the in-game utility of multiverse items, which enables them to manually ensure that special items actually have special utility in all games.
Suppose the multiverse can realize its true potential. In that case, a portion of our daily online social interaction may shift to the multiverse virtual worlds, where digital avatars will mark our presence, we will own digital goods, earn money from the contributions we make to the world, and gain a deeper sense of community than other types of online interactions.
What’s most interesting is that the worlds of the multiverse don’t have to be tied to the norms of our physical world. They can be as imaginative as the mind can get. Some worlds may have a photorealistic look, while others will stand out with artistic distinction. Some will be oriented around war and conflict, while others around peaceful commerce. Irrespective, the future of gaming is about to get innovative beyond imagination, and we can only prepare to have our minds blown.
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