Video gamers have always loved User Generated Content (UGC) and the art of self-expression. While UGC has been around in video games for decades, it hasn’t always been as welcome as it has been in today’s market. Some of the early forms of UGC were “Mods,” which were in-game changes to an existing player-created video game that were typically distributed through more under-the-radar channels, such as third-party forums.
Currently, UGC-based games and platforms have evolved into the world’s most popular digital products, ranging from games such as Fortnite and Minecraft (both of which have implemented UGC-based techniques) to platforms such as Minecraft, one of the largest market leaders with a UGC-focused business model with more than 200 million copies sold to date.
All of this phenomenal growth shows that people are aggressively looking to buy, trade, and trade game items, as evidenced by Fortnite and Call of Duty’s multi-billion dollar sales. However, due to the centralized approach by companies, developers have not been able to meet their needs efficiently. And new technologies like blockchain are helping to decentralize and monetize the gaming industry fairly, benefiting developers and gamers alike.
Redefining the way game economies work
Traditional games essentially license digital assets to players, and the free-to-play game economies are one-way, with players purchasing virtual goods that can only be used within the game, according to developer rules, which in all but a few cases imposes restrictions on how they can be held, used and transferred. Even buying digital assets, transferring rules, ownership, trading and use is only as flexible as the developer allows. Additionally, market trading games allow digital assets to be traded only through platform credits, limiting its potential.
However, a blockchain game economy allows real ownership of digital goods because it is an asset whose relationship with the owner is written on the blockchain. Property rights are granted when gamers and developers have real ownership of assets. The unique features of blockchain technology can help grant and enforce property rights, as well as create a reliable system.
In fact, many play to earn and play and earn economies already offer real ownership of in-game assets. Cradles is one such game that offers real asset ownership along with IP rights for the creators within the ecosystem. As a result, developers and players get real ownership of the digital assets, where they have full flexibility to monetize their assets outside of the gaming ecosystem.
Solving the core design problem of gaming
The presence of “whales” in traditional gaming is a long-standing aspect of the industry. Often these “whales” ultimately contribute to the purchase of all digital assets. According to new Swrve research 0.15% of mobile gamers contributes 50% of mobile gaming revenue. This has forced developers to keep creating new content, making “free-to-play” “play to win”. And people or players who manage to spend money on in-game assets do so while others don’t, causing the design problem.
However, blockchain gaming projects are solving this challenge with their play-to-earn approach. Even games like Planet Mojo contribute largely to solving design problems in the traditional gaming landscape. Planet Mojo enables digital property rights through its NFTs that can be used in-game, rather than purchasing player upgrades for PVP. Players can also earn and resell these NFTs, allowing them to generate more income. In addition, it enables a DAO system that allows developers to identify what players and members want so that they can tailor the development of the project to the needs of the community.
A win-win for developers and players alike
This new paradigm of blockchain-based gaming sets things right in an industry that has usually always favored developers and gaming companies. With blockchain gaming, the ecosystem becomes more equitable for all people, from developers of the game to the players of the game.
Moreover, with blockchain enabling true ownership of in-game items, developers can empower players and drive sustainable growth of the game economy without losing control over game activities. And to do this, they need to understand the different ways digital assets can be created and the ways they can shape gameplay and game economies and interact with each other.