Mike Termezy from Forte Labs thinks that blockchain could play a major role in the in-game economy
Last week at the 2020 Unitize Decentralized Digital Conference, Mike Termezy, an expert in token economics from Forte Labs, suggested that by implementing blockchain technology, developers could regulate video game economies by backing in-game assets with blockchain.
Giving in-game items a legitimate value may prove to be very popular and could make gaming tokens more appealing to a wider audience.
“When you allow for ownership, and you have a marketplace, then the market dynamics will start governing what people regard as being rare, and what people regard as being extremely valuable, versus what people regard as being relatively common.”
At the moment, most in-game items cannot be taken off their platform and are controlled by game developers. Blockchain-based in-game items would be a departure from the current model.
Blockchain games are growing up
In the past, proof-of-concept blockchain games like Cryptokitties, or full-fledged products such as The Sandbox (TSB), have received massive support from the gaming community. Cryptokitties was so popular in its early days that it slowed down the entire Ethereum blockchain.
These projects used Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) — unlike typical tokens, NFTs possess unique sets of information that can’t be replicated, effectively creating value through their uniqueness and enforcing ownership via smart contracts in the blockchain.
Despite the autonomy of NFTs, in-game economies are partly regulated by developers as a way of sustaining interest and engagement with a gaming platform.
“A developer can clearly influence this by the number of assets of each type that’s minted, but ultimately it allows for the players to express themselves — what they find to be valuable,” said Termezy.
Charting a new course
Also of note is that the sports and electronic sports industries could also benefit from blockchain. Using the Socios, gaming companies could essentially tokenise professional esport teams. Teams could create their own token so that their fans could further show their support.
In 2019 a Dota 2 esports team published a token that could be traded in the Socio marketplace. The token gives its owners the ability to vote in polls and earn rewards.
With blockchain receiving a warm welcome in the gaming community, even gaming giants like Atari are releasing a token and Square Enix is investing in the technology – we will likely see more developers looking to blockchain in the coming months and years.