The Future of Gaming
Today, the gaming industry is booming with 3.2bn gamers, $180bn revenues and $60bn trading volume on secondary markets for digital goods such as skins or items. Nearly all games are closed environments, owned and managed by game publishers and studios. Every aspect is managed incl. game balancing, the number of items, the value of the ingame currency and how items and assets can be traded on closed marketplaces. While these mechanics have proven to attract billions of users, they also reduce the gamer to a mere consumer spending time and money without true ownership of anything.
Blockchain enables true ownership of digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These tokens can represent claims e.g. for accessing selected tournaments, for utilizing special moves or simply for displaying unique art as a skin on a game character. Games supporting NFTs have already made some buzz starting with CryptoKitties in 2017 (items have been sold for more than $120.000) and games like NBA Top Shot today (1 Mio. users selling basketball moments for up to $100.000 each or even more). Traditional game studios and publishers can benefit from NFTs in many ways. One of the most important benefits is the fact that users spend 10x more per item when it is a NFT as opposed to a regular item in a closed game. For example, the average revenue per user (ARPU) in Axie Infinity is $100 per owner while the ARPU for Pokemon Go is around $3-$5.
We believe that this is just the beginning and true digital ownership will come with a paradigm shift in gaming. Users will buy into the idea of owning the assets and thereby protecting their position or, eventually, even maximizing their returns by leveling up game characters or by purchases of booster packs hoping to sell these digital assets on open marketplaces. Users will transform from mere consumers to an asset owners and investors of time, money and skill in “play-to-earn” gaming environments. Five years from now, no one will be able to imagine a time when games did not utilize NFTs, just like how today no one can imagine buying games on floppy discs or CDs in cardboard boxes anymore.