Online gaming emerged in the last decade and revolutionized the game industry. Developers began focusing on immersive adventures like Cyberpunk 2077 and innovative gameplays to provide new opportunities for gamers all around the world.
Currently the hottest trend in the industry, blockchain games have made a big impact in the gaming world, with interactive experiences and gameplays that reward players’ creativity and entrepreneurship. These games were created to be decentralized environments, in which players control every aspect of the gaming experience, including governance decisions and monetization of content created by them.
To better understand blockchain games, or crypto games, we must take a look at the technology behind them. The blockchain was created in 2008 by a group of unidentified people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto, to serve as the public transaction ledger for Bitcoin. The records in this ledger are called blocks and contain cryptographic hashes, timestamps and transaction data that make it virtually impossible to be hacked or defrauded. Since its development, blockchains facilitated the creation and became a standard for managing several cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, on which most crypto games are based.
With the same decentralizing premise as cryptocurrencies, crypto games were created to grant players total control; from account information to game items and assets, everything is owned by the gamers and cannot be operated or supervised by anyone, not even developers and publishers. All content rights are held by players and they can monetize everything created and even invest in these games’ marketplaces.
Before playing them, gamers must acquire cryptocurrencies and store them on a proper digital wallet. As most games are based on the Ethereum blockchain, gamers need to buy Ether to play them. But currently, there are also games that utilize their own currency. This purchase can be done through a cryptocurrency exchange, and there are many available, with different services, taxes and fees. Digital wallets are services that store different forms of currency on an application, cloud or mobile devices. And just like Google Pay or Apple Pay, there are specific digital wallets for cryptocurrencies, like Coinbase, which is the oldest crypto exchange and e-wallet.
The list of crypto games is still limited, as blockchain technologies are continuously improved by developers and publishers. But there are some options that are already attracting a lot of players every month, and several new titles about to be released. We list below some of the most popular blockchain games available.
Splinterlands is a multiplayer card game built on the Hive blockchain with collectible-card gameplay similar to Hearthstone. Players can summon warriors and monsters through collectible cards and face off in battles in different game modes. Last month, it was one of the games with most new players.
Splinterlands is free to play, but to get access to better cards and real-money rewards, players must acquire the Summoner’s Spellbook, which can be purchased in the in-game shop for US$10 in the game currency, called Dark Energy Crystals. After that, by completing quests or buying booster packs, players can obtain new cards and level them up to gain increased stats and new abilities.
The Sandbox Game is an upcoming title based on the Ethereum blockchain, currently on its open beta stage that allows players to create and design virtual worlds and adventures, visit other players’ creations and trade in its marketplace with its dedicated cryptocurrency called SAND, an utility token used for every transaction in the Sandbox.
Gamers can use SAND to visit other players’ worlds and join their adventures, and buy items and equipment to customize their avatars. However, it can also be used to buy LAND, the game’s own building lots, where gamers can build worlds, place assets and create their interactive adventures for other players to experience.
Axie Infinity is an adventure game inspired by the Pokémon video game series. In it, players collect, raise, battle and build worlds for creatures called Axies. With features of social networking, the game is still in the early access stage, but already generated more than 6,400 Ether, which comprise over US$2 million.
To begin playing, gamers need at least three Axies, which can be purchased in the official Axie Infinity marketplace with prices usually starting at 0.09 Ether. Along with the creatures, it is also possible to buy lands to build environments for the Axies, and items and assets that can be used to breed them and increase their attributes.
Also based on the Ethereum blockchain, Sorare is a collectible-card fantasy football game in which gamers own, buy, sell and trade licensed cards representing real players from many clubs around the world. They also participate in weekly league competitions, by acting as the manager of the team and creating squads with five players that are awarded points based on their performance in real life.
Supported by Ubisoft, one of the largest companies in the gaming industry, and several star players like Antoine Griezmann and Gerard Pique, Sorare currently features 127 officially licensed clubs, including giants Liverpool, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.