Skins and Virtual Assets are big business, but today’s video games are closed ecosystems, which limits the possibilities within the gaming community.
The biggest game of 2019 Fortnite grows 4% a year and most of its revenue comes from limited edition skins and virtual items for their characters. Skins are mostly nonessential assets and give a player no in-game advantage, but players spend on average $85 a year on the virtual items.
It’s such a big market, Adroit Market Research says the sale of virtual items, like skins grows 22.3% per year, and is expected to hit $190 billion by 2025.
But the problem with today’s skins is that all this money spent by players and yet they don’t actually own them. Blockchain is the perfect technology for skins and virtual asset ownership.
Arise Blockchain Technology
Gamers are technologically savvy, and the desire for for virtual items is already there. So imagine a world where one can actually own them outright. Blockchain makes it possible.
Blockchain doesn’t just fix ownership rights of skins and virtual assets. With blockchain, players will be able to own them, build on them, trade them, and best of all it will allow users to take them from one game to the next.
This kind of thing has been tried before, but it proved to be very expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. With blockchain, it’s a seamless transition. Especially with gaming platform Enjin.
Blockchains Allow an Ingame Trustless Economies
Many expect Ethereum (ETH) or EOS to be the blockchain gaming platform, but I believe Enjin is best placed to take the lion’s share of the gaming industry. For now Ethereum is too expensive and slow, while EOS is in a mess, while Enjin has gaming in its blood.
Enjin is a gaming platform and launched in 2009. In 2017, however, it transitioned into blockchain and now allows anyone to easily create, manage, and distribute blockchain assets, which means it’s now possible for developers to build communities around their favourite games.
It already has a partnership with Minecraft. Last year, Enjin released a plugin that will facilitate a blockchain economy into the Minecraft ecosystem. Minecraft has over 100 million monthly users and every one of those will become part of Minecraft’s economy once it’s up and running.
On top of that, Enjin also a signed a partnership with Samsung last year. This means Enjin will be compatible with Samsung’s new S10 phones. Bullish for the whole crypto industry, not just Enjin. And with other partnerships with Microsoft among others, I think Enjin have a serious chance of becoming a leader in the blockchain gaming space.
WAX is also a blockchain gaming platform. They have a WAX Worker Proposal System, which is designed to incentivize and compensate developers who build upon the WAX Blockchain.
WAX is also arguably the easiest for onboarding gamers. Blockchain is notoriously awkward to get on, but with WAX you can sign up using your Google or Facebook account, and the WAX blockchain hosts a marketplace for Virtual assets.
Many think of Ripple XRP as a payment transmitter and while that may be true, last year Ripple signed a $100m partnership with blockchain gaming startup Forte.
Forte, which counts Andreessen Horowitz as one of its investor, hopes to make the best of Ripple’s speed and cost of sending value across a public, secure ledger. The partnership will see Ripple ingest $100m to fund game development on the Ripple blockchain.
They have worked alongside each other for a while now, and Forte’s technology stack includes components designed in to work with the Ripple blockchain, which will facilitate the utility of transactions using the XRP token as a base settlement.
It’s an exciting time for blockchain and gaming. Gamers’ desire for ingame assets is not a new phenomenon, but the beauty of blockchain gives gamers the opportunity to finally own their assets.
And with the speed, cost and security of blockchain’s like Ripple XRP, microtransactions will become a thing when they’re ready to launch.
It might all be a little too late for the guy who bought the virtual nightclub, but Minecraft and Fortnite users will relish the chance of owning their own skins and taking them from game to game.
Author: Tommy Limpitlaw