LONDON, Nov. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A majority of respondents said they would consider using these innovations in new games, with DeFi, NFTs and play to earn models considered as having the greatest potential to add value and create more engaging player experiences.
An industry-first piece of research commissioned by leading blockchain platform, Stratis — and undertaken by award-winning insight agency Opinium — revealed that more than half (58%) of 197 video game developers surveyed in the US and UK are now beginning to use blockchain technology, while 47% have already started to incorporate Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in their games.
Demonstrating an appetite for blockchain and NFTs, 72% of respondents said they would consider using these technologies for new games with 56% planning to do so in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 64% believe that blockchain technology will become prevalent in video gaming within the next two years, while 53% agree that NFTs would be more common by then too.
Looking at why blockchain technology in video games is valuable for the industry, 61% said it allows for innovative and more interesting gameplay, while 55% believe it secures value for players by keeping money in the game. Rewarding players with real-word value (54%) and network effects that incentivize the adoption of games (45%) followed close behind as use cases for blockchain in games.
When it comes to blockchain capabilities, game developers were most interested in decentralized finance (DeFi) or GameFi (57%) — combining DeFi and NFTs to offer players financial incentives to play and progress. Play-to-earn economic models were popular (46%), followed by NFTs that offered ownership of in-game items such as swords or shields (44%) and finally tokenization — introducing an in-game digital currency (42%).
Chris Trew, CEO, Stratis, said: "We commissioned this research to solidify what we already assumed — that blockchain and NFTs are the future of video games. From our own experience supporting AA game developers, we know first-hand how these technologies are already beginning to improve the player experience by rewarding players with the ability to earn real-world value. Stratis offers an SDK to the Unity gaming engine, with plans to add Unreal soon. We‘re betting big on blockchain gaming and we want to be the infrastructure layer."
He continued: "With renowned platforms such as Epic welcoming blockchain-based games and NFTs, we certainly expect AAA studios to launch titles incorporating these technologies in the coming years. But there are so many indie game developers that will get there first."
Commenting on the findings of the Opinium research, Jean-Philippe Vergne, Associate Professor at UCL School of Management, said: "Blockchain is rapidly becoming a core building block for online games. What blockchain enables is incredibly compelling — players can now earn cryptocurrency while playing and trade digital goods both within and across games. The rise of esports in the past decade has already indicated that there were many players out there who were willing to make gaming their primary income source. Blockchain is riding on this wave and making the opportunity available to all in a more transparent fashion."
"Most of the early growth in play-to-earn gaming will come from emerging economies, where earning a few dollars a day through gaming can send them to the middle class. At scale, this could potentially herald a wealth transfer from the rich to the emerging countries and transform the global economy."