Blockchain-based video games may become the next evolution of an industry that is now advanced enough to reach maturity in the market cycle, according to Outplay Games‘ CTO Paul Gadi.
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In his panel at Unitize, entitled „Decentralizing Video Games“, he made a presentation on how blockchain can revitalize an industry that has fallen into what many consider to be predatory practices and platform blockades. He outlined three ways in which blockchain can help solve these problems arising from centralisation within the industry.
A decentralized identity
A key step in the decentralization of video games, according to Gadi, is to provide a decentralized identity mechanism.
As the video game industry has evolved, publisher platforms have become the guardians of user accounts. On PCs, Steam, Uplay and others like them are now the dominant method for tracking ownership in games.
„This isn’t really helping us (developers) in the long run by limiting us in development, as our players are trapped in closed ecosystems.
Web3 wallets offer a solution, and Gadi is taking the Web3 model as an example. This allows decentralized applications to communicate with the user’s account wallet, which exists independently of the dApp. However, Gadi cautioned that „this in itself is a certain kind of platform,“ suggesting that developers should rely on blockchain protocols and not rely on specific frameworks.
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Gadi said that „platforms have generally been the ones that control data in the video game industry,“ referring to cloud computing solutions such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). He argued that these provide few benefits for developers and gamers, as they are the only option for scaling infrastructure.
Getting rid of this control involves the use of decentralized file storage protocols such as IPFS, but these can bring their own set of limitations. The industry is still young, as several competing projects seek to create a decentralized AWS.
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Ownership of assets
Gadi believes that many game-based assets suffer from excessive ecosystem blockage, as they cannot exist outside of the video game, despite the effort made to obtain them:
„That object has a real monetary value, a real value that people have worked to acquire. So even if that object is locked up in an ecosystem and is not even part of a crypto system, it still has real monetary value.
Decentralizing assets in the game through non-expendable tokens (NFT) can be, he says, a way to create a whole new asset class, with its own opportunities and jobs. „This opens up the economy to something bigger,“ he added.
In addition to „building on the shoulders of the giants“ with open source technology and platform cooperation, „we can start rebuilding the platform economy and have a strategy on how to decentralize things,“ he concluded.