Since its inception in the late 2000s, online gaming has evolved into a mainstay of the video game business. To bring new possibilities to hardcore gamers and casual players from all across the world, developers are now focusing on unique gameplays and engaging experiences, keeping the pace of this ever-changing industry.
Blockchains, which are now one of the biggest phenomena in the internet world, have already made their way into the video game industry, with crypto games paving the way for a brand new, fascinating way of playing video games. Blockchain games have also introduced decentralized environments in which players can manage every part of the gaming experience, including content monetization and governance decisions, with interactive experiences and gameplay that reward players’ effort and ingenuity.
Designed in 2009 to solve the double-expenditure problem and act as public ledgers for peer-to-peer digital currencies, blockchains are sequences of records called blocks, each of which contains data from previous blocks, cryptographic hashes, and timestamps that make it nearly unhackable and impervious to tampering.
Because blockchains are decentralized systems, game creators are now able to offer players complete control over everything related to the gaming process, from creation rights to play-to-earn features. Gamers are finally being compensated for their time and effort invested in gaming, thanks to content monetization and cross-game interoperability.
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are one of the numerous instruments that are enabling blockchains and cryptocurrencies to burst into the mainstream, and also play a key part in the popularization of blockchain games. NFTs provide proof of ownership of all content created within these games, by using smart contracts on a blockchain to represent unique digital items and allow gamers to earn money and profit from the gaming experience.
CryptoKitties, developed and published by Dapper Labs and released in 2017, is regarded as the first game to apply blockchain technologies and NFTs. In CryptoKitties, players collect and breed virtual cats, and the game quickly drew thousands of players, with some cats fetching more than $100,000.
As blockchain technology advanced and players’ demand for new crypto games grew, a variety of games with improved mechanics were developed, and now, players can enjoy a plethora of different blockchain games featuring immersive and innovative gameplay.
Collectibles remains a popular theme among blockchain games, with this type of gameplay being featured since the first generation of crypto games. From CryptoKitties to Splinterlands, a trading card game similar to Hearthstone, collecting assets is a hot trend within crypto games, since the gameplay is easily combined with cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.
One of the most popular blockchain games in recent months, with more than 600,000 active users in the last month, Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired game in which players collect and raise creatures called Axies, engage in battles, and build worlds for their creatures.
Adventure games have also made their way into the world of blockchain gaming, and several titles released this year have introduced complex gameplay and immersive storylines combined with blockchain features, including dedicated cryptocurrencies and equipment in the form of NFTs.
Undoubtedly, the most inventive blockchain adventure game released this year is The Sandbox, developed by Animoca Brands and based on the Ethereum blockchain. Featuring a decentralized, revolving metaverse, the game allows players to create virtual worlds and interactive adventures, and design items, equipment, and scenery objects that can be integrated into games using its powerful modelling tools.
Role-playing games have been some of the most popular video games in the world for quite some time, so it didn’t take long before blockchain developers came up with ingenious gaming experiences to quench gamers’ thirst for some RPG action on a blockchain.
Currently, the most popular RPGs among blockchain games are:
Valkyrio – a role-playing adventure based on the Binance Smart Chain, in which players recruit fighters, forge weapons, slay monsters, and even make money through play-to-earn features; and
CryptoBlades – also based on the Binance Smart Chain, the game allows players to acquire powerful heroes and legendary blades to battle monsters in different game modes.
With several games released this year, the strategy genre has also become popular among blockchain games, with some titles reaching over $500,000 in transactions made to the game’s smart contracts and hundreds of thousands of players in the last month.
Released on the Binance Smart Chain in the early months of 2021, CryptoBay is a strategy game featuring gameplay and mechanics similar to Clash Royale, with players being able to participate in PVP and PVE challenges in a wide variety of game modes. Another popular strategy title, Celestial is a cross-chain space-themed game, in which players can join guilds, develop and expand colonies, build space warships, and explore planets while battling other players.
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