Blockchain games part 5: challenges of adoption
The blockchain gaming industry is at an intriguing crossroads. On one hand, there’s a palpable excitement around the potential of blockchain to revolutionise gaming, but on the other, there are tangible challenges that need addressing.
One of the primary debates in the industry revolves around the nature of gameplay. There’s a tug-of-war between compelling gameplay and the play-to-earn (P2E) model. Different blockchain platforms have taken varied approaches in this regard.
Solana, for instance, has chosen a path of quality over quantity, focusing on delivering a few, but highly engaging gaming experiences. Meanwhile, platforms like Polygon and Immutable seem to be leading the charge in community marketing by creating a buzz and drawing gamers into their ecosystems.
However, the blockchain gaming industry doesn’t come without sizable challenges. One noticeable issue is the limited game selection. Despite the growth of blockchain gaming, the number of available games on these platforms pales in comparison to traditional gaming.
Furthermore, integrating blockchain technology into existing game ecosystems has proven to be a complex task. Achieving a seamless user experience remains a significant hurdle for many developers.
And when we shift our gaze to AAA games, their slow pace in embracing web3 and blockchain gaming becomes evident. Several factors contribute to this hesitancy:
- Market Maturity: Blockchain gaming, in its current form, is still in its infancy compared to the behemoth that is traditional gaming. Major publishers might be adopting a wait-and-watch approach, anticipating more widespread adoption, a larger and more dedicated player base and consistent success stories before they dive deep into this realm.
- Technical Challenges: The integration of blockchain technology into existing AAA games isn’t straightforward. It demands significant resources, both in terms of time and money. Developers are often faced with the daunting task of overhauling their existing infrastructure to incorporate blockchain features.
- Cultural Perception: Presently, blockchain gaming is perceived by many as a niche market. Major AAA publishers, with their eyes set on maximising returns, often gravitate towards games with broader appeal. However, it’s worth noting that despite these challenges, there’s a budding interest among some major publishers. They’re beginning to recognise the potential of blockchain and are exploring ways to harness its capabilities. As the industry matures and overcomes its current limitations, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more AAA publishers joining the blockchain bandwagon.
As previously mentioned, another significant challenge is user adoption. The world of blockchain gaming (with its cryptocurrencies and digital wallets) can be daunting for the uninitiated. For mainstream gamers, this represents a steep learning curve and acts as a barrier to entry. The process of setting up wallets, acquiring cryptocurrencies and interacting with blockchain assets can be overwhelming.
To bridge this gap, the industry needs to prioritise user-friendly interfaces, streamlined onboarding processes and seamless onramp & offramp solutions for both crypto and fiat wallets.