Blockchain and the future of gaming

Blockchain and decentralization is expanding far beyond Bitcoin. New uses for this technology are being found every day. Many big institutions such as banks and governments are looking for ways to implement this technology.

A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records (referred to as blocks), which are linked and secured using cryptography. A blockchain can serve as "An open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way." For use as a distributed ledger a blockchain is usually managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, which needs a collusion of the network majority.

Decentralized consensus has therefore been achieved via blockchain.

The creation of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the 1st digital currency to solve the double spending problem without the using a trusted authority or central server.

One industry that could greatly benefit from blockchain technology is the video game industry.

The video game industry is a $100 billion-dollar industry per annum. It is constantly evolving and growing, reaching new audiences and age groups. It has expanded from coin operated arcades and home consoles to computers and mobile phones therefor expanding the market to nearly everyone on the globe.

In the 2010’s a paradigm shift occurred in the gaming world. No longer were big developers the top earners in the world of gaming. Many small indie games became wildly successful, surpassing millions of dollars in sales. Amongst these games are huge titles such as: Fez, Minecraft, Braid and Super Meat Boy.

Another recent change in the video game landscape is the rise of casual and mobile gaming. With the expansion of mobile phones and smartphones in the past decade, nearly every individual has a phone which can run games on it. The mobile video gaming has become nearly a third of the market, accounting for $38 billion dollars per annum.

The biggest problem the video game industry faces at this point is centralization. There are a handful of online game stores that have a stranglehold on the industry. For mobile apps, it app stores such as Google Play and Apple’s app store. For more traditional gaming avenues it is: Steam, Playstation store, Xbox games store. These companies have a monopoly on gaming and can deeply influence what games are recommended or featured.

There has been public backlash from gamers in the past regarding low quality or unenjoyable games being featured by centralized gaming stores. Despite these games being low quality and receiving mixed user reviews at best, they enjoyed a spike in sales due to the media coverage

Because of this many amazing games from smaller studios or indie developers have been overlooked and have not received the attention big studios receive from these centralized game stores.

By decentralizing the game store model, giving preferential treatment to certain developers is impossible. This will further incentivize small and indie developers to adopt a platform that will promise fair and equal treatment to all as well as a way to monetize their games and/or receive funding for projects in the future.

 In conclusion, decentralization an blockchain technologies can revolutionize the gaming world be removing personal biases that every human has. By removing biases, the best games (according to user opinion) will be displayed. In addition to that, it will improve transparency in the gaming industry which in time, will improve the world of gaming.