Blockchain games part 3: DAOs and R&D
Decentralised governance and funding
Another standout feature of blockchain is its trustless and decentralised nature. This ensures that all transactions and interactions are transparent and free from central control – essentially giving players more freedom.
Whether or not it currently gives players more security remains an open problem as there are more vectors and motivations for forced attack as a result of this.
Transaction revenue aside, another glaring opportunity that blockchain offers is that it weakens the hold that traditional publishers have over game funding, which is often aligned with greenlighting the most profitable games. And we all know that the most profitable games aren’t necessarily the best games in a qualitative sense. There is a plethora of mobile games designed to extract the most amount of money from you, the types that use paid marketing on the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to rope you into their predatory monetisation models and decadent economies. These are opposite to the valued works of art that we see from the indie studios such as Iron Gate Studios and their Valheim game, for example.
Blockchain introduces a new approach by allowing gaming communities to fund the games they want to see built, as it offers a mechanism for players to participate in a form of ownership of the game. This allows for game publishers to preserve their creative vision, which benefits both the players and the wider gaming industry with real innovation in game design in a way that would be impossible for traditionally-funded AAA studios.
Star Atlas is a great example of this type of approach. They raised significant capital for their game based on a bold vision and are making dramatic progress towards their goals.
A Shift in Gaming Paradigms
It’s essential to understand that the future isn’t just about Blockchain or Web3 gaming. Instead, it’s about gaming that harnesses and integrates Blockchain and Web3 technology and infrastructure.
This distinction is crucial.
It’s not about creating a niche gaming segment but rather about revolutionising the entire gaming industry using blockchain technology. It’s about achieving a broad-based industry penetration.
For the next generation of blockchain games to work, the blockchain itself needs to be implemented as an invisible undercurrent of technology that enables new capabilities to players, but with the ties to Ether hidden away. This creates an onramp for gamers to remain gamers and enter the world of blockchain without being aware of the core blockchain mechanism. Adoption of the technology needs to be subtle and not the core reason for why gamers are interested in participating in new gaming projects.
Over the past five years, the concept was initially welcomed with open arms which turned to scepticism due to the harmful implementation and rug-pulling of its counterparts. As such, the route to making blockchain gaming mainstream and achieve acceptance is to deliver all of the technology’s pros while finding ways to eliminate the cons.
The latter requires a vast amount of research and development (R&D) and product development over the coming years as well as plenty of work on the game development front. If implemented correctly, the successful fusion of gaming with blockchain technology promises a future where gaming is more immersive, transparent and rewarding for all stakeholders.