Video games have long since had a relationship with chasing money. From the early days of mustached Mario running through tunnels bopping as many gold coins as possible, to an extraterrestrial hedgehog chasing gold rings, evolving to buying cosmetic updates on wildly popular battle royale games. As we enter a new decade and new levels of Bitcoin adoption, let’s explore why crypto and video games are a match made in heaven, and how the powers of blockchain could change the landscape entirely.

The Emergence Of Microtransactions

Something that has become a main feature on the gaming scene is microtransactions. These transactions are considered anything paid for after the initial purchase of the game, be it upgrades, cosmetics, expansions, etc. Microtransactions have taken the industry by storm, propelling Fortnight, the popular battle royale game, into history for winning the record of “most annual revenue of any game in history.” The platform reported $2.4 billion in revenue in 2018.

To make these microtransactions, players need to buy the platform’s native currency, on Fortnite they are called V-Bucks. V-Bucks can be purchased directly through the platform, or obtained through gift cards through the device being played on (i.e. players can buy Fortnite gift cards from the Playstation store if playing on a PS4). With them, players can then purchase outfit upgrades, weapons, or fancy dance moves, if that’s your thing. While the platform itself doesn’t accept cryptocurrency – yet – a company has facilitated a service where some of the over 250 million players can buy V-Bucks for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Dogecoin

How Steam And Twitch Rose To The Occasion

Arguably the two biggest contenders in the gaming space, both Steam and Twitch have facilitated crypto payments within their platforms. In 2016, the video game distributor Steam allowed players to buy games with Bitcoin. Unfortunately during the 2017 bull run when volatility was wild and fees soared the platform discontinued the payment option. They are yet to advise whether they will bring back Bitcoin payments. Twitch on the other hand opened their platform to not only Bitcoin but Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash too. Users were able to tip other users, with one gamer accumulating over $73,000 worth of crypto in one game. Twitch also temporarily stopped the crypto payment option however they brought it back after the network stabilized.

If two of the biggest gaming providers are willing to embrace crypto, what’s to say many more won’t follow suit. Cryptocurrency and blockchain have enormous potential in the gaming space. 

The Next Steps

With the ease and clearly aligned vision of crypto payments and video games, it seems only right that streaming and gaming platforms onboard the nascent technology. As the payment systems provide a simple, easy and fast way of obtaining inhouse tokens. Better yet, the platforms could create their own blockchain based tokens that can be bought through reputable platforms. These tokens could facilitate game play, microtransactions, and be traded among players within the platform. Developers would have more control over their native token, while players would have access to a more advanced gaming platform. 

Going one step further, all transactions would be recorded on the blockchain. All in house purchases would be recorded overcoming any glitches in the servers or accidental erasures. The platforms could eventually join forces to facilitate intergame trading – where a player playing one game could trade a weapon from another game. This would place value on the platform’s weapon even outside of the environment it was created for. Anyway, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. We’ll just have to wait and see what innovation the developers of the gaming world can find within blockchain technology. 

Why Crypto And Video Games Are A Match Made In Heaven

With not only the payment potential but also the tokenization opportunities that cryptocurrency present, the gaming industry is likely to build an even more prosperous relationship ahead. While there are a number of kinks that need to be ironed out, and many more steps before full blown adoption, the future looks bright and prosperous. Almost as bright as your Fortnite Aerobic Assassin Skin.