With the advent of technology and the ever-increasing digitalisation of our daily lives, little wonder that even gamers will be getting their dues for the time and money spent in-game. At the moment, several innovative gaming companies are putting the power of digital ownership in players’ hands with the help of blockchains. In layman’s terms, they are creating cryptocurrency for gamers with the same technology at the core of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other similar currencies.
The following paragraphs are packed with the latest blockchain gaming statistics, providing up-to-date and valuable info on this nascent topic. By playing the reading game that follows, you’ll learn everything from trading your digital goodies to how many people play blockchain games.
Blockchain Usage Statistics
What is blockchain gaming?
Blockchain gaming platforms are a newly-developed gaming paradigm built upon the established blockchain technology. When you think ‘blockchain’, you are reminded of the cryptocurrency craze sweeping the globe for the past decade. This technology enables the free usage of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Etherium, and other cryptocurrencies in the virtual world by storing them in immutable ledgers that chain information into virtual blocks. These blocks constitute a cryptographically secure network that tracks all transactions and assets since its inception.
Well, blockchain and gaming have recently started a new partnership, which promises a major step forward for online gamers. The so-called blockchain gaming companies, which have only recently emerged in the industry, are finding ways to allow gamers to sell their in-game items or transfer them to other titles; players who are granted this privilege will effectively retain the value of their purchases and hold the true digital ownership of a virtual item.
Polyient Games—one of the first companies undertaking this venture—seeks to liquify such investments by registering them with a blockchain, thus turning these once costly one-way transactions into reusable assets. The players’ virtual items can then be tracked as unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the blockchain servers. Polyient Games are hoping that these NFTs can soon be utilised to make a living by those skilled enough to win them in-game—effectively converting the pay-to-play model will become a play-to-earn one.
As of May 2021, Forte has raised $185 million for its blockchain gaming platform.
Companies like Forte don’t create blockchain games; rather, they aid the blockchain game development with platforms that enable these new gaming economies where players will truly own their digital purchases—with the right to dispose of them as they see fit. After raising nearly $190 million by the end of Q2 2021, Forte’s valuation has skyrocketed to $1 billion, turning it into a unicorn company.
The news of Forte’s monumental funding is not unique since a Honk Kong-based company, Animoca Brands, has also raised a whopping $88 million for purposes of implementing NFTs in video games. Big companies are betting big on these budding blockchain gaming platforms, expecting the industry to massively adopt the NFT model after it has exploded in other areas of the digital world.
While some of these firms are directly involved in developing blockchain games, others (such as Forte) facilitate the underlying economy by creating cryptocurrency wallets and other similar tools.
44% of gamers purchased or traded items in blockchain video games in 2018.
Almost half of all gamers (44%) surveyed in 2018 (at the start of this cryptocurrency gaming rage) stated that they bought or exchanged in-game goodies in blockchain games. In contrast, 54% of all questioned players said they weren’t using blockchain gaming platforms then.
In 2019, 23% of gaming executives said the blockchain makes games safer.
When asked about the benefits of the blockchain in video games during a March–May 2019 survey, almost а quarter of gaming executives said this new technology makes games more secure. Another 19% answered that blockchain platforms establish the customers’ trust, while 17% stated it would also reduce the game production costs.
Finally, a fraction of interviewees also said that the blockchain helps manage microtransactions (15%) and protects the developers’ intellectual property (12%).
Blockchain games are expected to contribute to the rapid growth of the global gaming industry.
The global gaming market was worth $155.89 billion in 2020, as revealed by a worldwide study conducted by Juniper Research. The same study further predicts that the gaming sector will increase steadily over the next five years to $268.8 billion by 2026. Presumably, the newly-emergent blockchain gaming platforms will provide a strong boost to the expected gaming industry growth.
Blockchain Benefits on Video Game Industry
Blockchain technology improves the gaming industry in terms of safety and security.
The inherent security qualities of blockchain networks provide much safer security solutions for crypto currency games. The blockchain guarantees the credibility of transactions by relying on the principles of decentralisation and cryptography. Since the data in blockchains is fittingly structured in a chain of blocks—each containing a bundle of transactions—the system eliminates any single point of failure. Each new block added to this immutable chain carries a record of all previous transactions. Furthermore, since a consensus mechanism validates every new block, members of the distributed network can rest assured that their transactions cannot be tampered with.
Digital items bought in cryptocurrency games truly belong to the players.
Unlike goodies obtained in typical video games, which developers still control, blockchain games feature fully transferable in-game assets in the form of non-fungible tokens. These NFTs are obtained via so-called smart contracts, which include predetermined conditions such as purchasing the asset or completing some in-game objectives.
After fulfilling the contract requirements, the true ownership of the asset is passed to the player, and they can do with it as they please. Moreover, the digital items’ transaction history is immutable and can be traced back to their time of creation. Imagine holding an NFT that was previously owned by an esports legend—a valuable investment, isn’t it?
Most blockchain servers offer interoperability between different cryptocurrency games.
(Play to Earn)
After introducing the blockchain in the gaming industry, developers were afforded the opportunity to build intricate worlds connected to each other through the digital assets built on its network. Termed as ‘gaming interoperability’, this option of cryptocurrency games allows for the usage of individual NFTs in different games. For example, one specific asset might take the form of a digital weapon in one title and a vehicle in another. The Enjin platform (creators of the Enjin Coin) is one such blockchain gaming company that is helping create an interconnected digital reality where you can use one NFT in multiple games and freely convert it into other items.
Blockchain gaming platforms seek to increase the transparency and trust between developers and gamers.
Since developers control the economy of popular games nowadays, most players often encounter issues when purchasing or trading their in-game items. The union of the blockchain and gaming seeks to rectify these economic hurdles and grant true ownership of the games’ digital assets to the players themselves. In blockchain video games, you can expect to encounter:
- Verifiability and transparency—Owing to the unique immutable nature of assets stored on a decentralised open ledger, which can be verified at any time, players can trust the game’s markets and the fairness of the prices.
- Value through scarcity—Gamers can always check the scarcity of their blockchain items by checking their presence on the block ledger, thus increasing the trust and value of the marketplace. Verifiably rarer items will be valued at higher true prices.
- Reduced transaction time and costs—the blockchain allows for instantaneous transactions anywhere in the world. Meaning, long processing times and any legal restrictions do not apply when trading in blockchain games.
Cryptocurrency for Gamers
75% of U.S. gamers wished to exchange their in-game items for currency in 2018.
Cryptocurrency for gaming is a much-welcomed idea, according to three in four U.S. gamers surveyed in 2018. Namely, video game players wanted to see a return on their investment of time and skills by converting their hard-won digital goodies into currency that can be used for cross-platform trade.
64% of gamers surveyed in 2018 believed trading virtual goods needs to be improved.
Furthermore, more than half of respondents (55%) said they owned cryptocurrency, but 87% said they have never used it for video games. The majority (80%) who said they wanted to combine blockchain and gaming had several benefits in mind, such as:
- Ease of use (over 75%)
- Heightened security (66%)
- Faster processing speeds (49%)
- Low exchange rates (42%)
- Low transaction fees (44%)
As of August 2021, Enjin has backed almost 1.15 billion assets worth $12.5 million in ENJ coins.
Since its 2017 launch, ENJ has become an in-demand video game cryptocurrency. Enjin, the company that created this coin, has had 2.3 million downloads of its Wallet app, and over 830,000 NFTs have been sold on the Enjin Marketplace as of August 2021. The benefit of owning these tokens is that you can always melt them back into coins; at that moment, one ENJ coin was worth $1.54.
In 2019, Crypto.com reported that Enjin was one of the largest blockchain gaming platforms worldwide.
After Crypto.com welcomed Enjin’s 20 million gamers socialising in over 250,000 gaming communities in its payment app in April 2019, the coin’s popularity skyrocketed. Through this listing, the ENJ coin was made available for purchase with various currencies, from EUR to USD.
The Six Dragons is the first MMORPG blockchain game powered by Enjin.
Featuring 1 billion dungeons, fantastic dragons, and many different weapons and character customisation options, The Six Dragons (TSD) is a massive online game (in-game area of 256 km²) set in the mythical realm of Nemberus. With its archetypical classes and crafting and enchanting systems, TSD is an open-world fantasy game similar to other MMORPGs in the same genre.
However, The Six Dragons differs greatly in the way it handles its in-game itemisation and economy. BlockPegnio—the developer—has created a game with a decentralised player-owned trading system. TSD assets can be purchased with the Enjin video game cryptocurrency, which can then be freely traded or resold for their real-world value.
Moreover, experienced players can craft one of over 300 special digital items for themselves or other customers on the Ethereum blockchain. The TSD Blockchain Blacksmith Service allows users to enrich their cryptocurrency gaming experience by creating these tokenized assets through rare and valuable in-game recipes. Depending on the item rarity, these crafting manuals will provide different bonuses, perks and stats. Players who do not have the corresponding recipe can always get the item they are looking for by commissioning a crafter that does.
Recently, BlockPegnio has also introduced Governance Tokens in TSD. These digital tokens allow players to shape the game’s future by granting them voting rights on issues such as the direction of future developments and potential new game elements. Governance NFT holders will also receive limited passive income from the game’s basic mechanics, such as crafting and enchanting.
GAME Credits was created as the world’s first cryptocurrency for gamers in 2014.
Envisioned as the foremost cryptocurrency for gaming, GAME was developed in 2014 by gaming developers who foresaw the need for an in-game currency for the digital era. On the GAME Credits platform, consumers can create, purchase and trade in-game NFTs without any gas fees (the costs of transactional operations). GAME can also be staked on various game projects through the GAME Credits Rewards Portal. Moreover, the platform allows users to earn Loyalty Points from the creators they back, which they can trade for NFTs down the line.
Through its blockchain game development, GAME Credits looks to establish a massive gaming metaverse connected via a large network of creators. Their decentralised NFT platform is designed to be 100% community-owned, and the company expects it to grow and persist for the next 100 years.
MobileGO is a crypto token unlocking access to over 500 games.
Unlike GAME, a video game cryptocurrency, MobileGO is a digital token created on the Ethereum network as the go-to payment currency for the modern gamer. Players can obtain the MGO token through the top cryptocurrency exchanges and store it in most crypto wallets. The ecosystem created by MobileGO and facilitated by the MGO token strives to create convenient gamer-to-gamer experiences and decentralised tournaments. Players who participate in such esports tournaments will get instantaneous MGO payouts, which they can use in their favourite games without payment delays.
NFT’s total sales in all segments amounted to over $55 million in 2020.
Per a survey conducted from 2018 through the end of 2020, the NFT market is booming as a result of the ever-increasing public awareness about this tech. In 2020, NFT traders were mostly interested in metaverse tokens, contributing to over $14 million in sales. Art and gaming NFTs were likewise popular, with almost $13 million in total sales. Sports and other various collectables were worth around $7.1 million and $6.1 million, respectively.
The soaring popularity of blockchain games drove a massive rise in NFT sales in 2021.
During the first quarter of 2021, NFT sales went through the roof, generating around $1.5 billion. However, the latest blockchain gaming statistics reveal that Q2 followed with a subdued sales volume before NFT transactions exploded yet again, raking in around $1.2 billion in July only—almost half of the 2021 cumulative sales by then. This incredible sales boost was driven by video game cryptocurrency like CryptoPunks, ArtBlocks, and Axie Infinity.
In July 2021, the decentralised applications sector registered more than 1.4 million users daily.
The dapp industry, which is built on a decentralised network such as Ethereum, had almost 1.5 unique daily users in July only. The 23.72% surge in dapp users from the previous month mostly results from the introduction of the blockchain in the gaming industry and the inevitable rise of the consequent play-to-earn games with their high-value NFT gaming collections.
In August 2021, Axie Infinity reached a whopping $1 billion in all-time sales.
(Business Insider India)
Created on the secure Ethereum blockchain, Axie Infinity reached an impressive milestone in early August 2021, when it accumulated $1 billion in sales since its inception. This free-to-play Pokemon-style game utilises NFTs (with all their inherent benefits) to deliver a fulfilling experience when players collect their ‘Axies’. With their distinct shapes and abilities, these cute characters are truly worth something in the real world since they are an investment that might pay off well in the future.
According to the most recent NFT statistics, Axie Infinity generated about $780 million in a single month (over 1.4 million completed transactions), thus becoming the most valued NFT project in the world as of August 2021.
Traffic on cryptocurrency gaming pages increased eightfold in July 2021.
According to DappRadar, visits to blockchain gaming platforms increased tremendously in July 2021—resulting in a 100% increase in the number of cryptogaming wallets to around 740,000. This incredible growth of the blockchain gaming market size forecasts its meteoric rise in the near future.
Top Cryptocurrency Games
CryptoKitties is one of the first and most popular blockchain video games on the market.
(Tech Times) (CryptoVantage)
Introduced in November 2017 by Dapper Labs, CryptoKitties was the first cryptocurrency game app built on the Ethereum network and one of the first collectable non-fungible tokens ever. At one point, the game accounted for around 2% of all Ethereum transactions, and some NTFs were even going for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
CryptoKitties remains one of the more popular crypto currency games nowadays, with daily sales of up to $30,000. However, the average price for one of the game’s tokens is around $60. After purchasing one or more of these virtual kitties, you can join the KittyVerse to participate in various activities, such as solving puzzles, signing up for cat races, and more.
Gods Unchained is a play-to-earn blockchain game based on its native GODS token.
One of the newest cryptocurrency games to enter the foray of blockchain-based entertainment is Gods Unchained. Envisioned as a free-to-enter but play-to-earn, this title is an online card game that uses its company’s own digital token. The cards used in the game have real-world value since they can be traded for GODS tokens, which are in turn tradeable for fiat currency.
The GODS currency is an ERC-20 token that can be used to complete transactions on the Gods Unchained marketplace. The company behind this cryptocurrency game is planning to create a maximum of 500 million GODS tokens, which can be bought and used for various purposes, such as creating NFTs or even voting on important issues regarding the game’s future.
Since its 2018 announcement, Gods Unchained has sold millions of cards as its popularity has exploded overnight. The developers of this blockchain video game are currently developing a mobile version, and they are regularly organising community events and tournaments to reach an even larger playerbase.
Sorare is a virtual fantasy football platform that combines blockchain and gaming.
Sorare is one of those blockchain games that bets on the interest of fantasy football fans worldwide. However, unlike a standard fantasy sports game, in Sorare you actually own your virtual football team. Since its 2018 inception in Paris, the company has been backed by big names in the world of football, such as Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, and Rio Ferdinand.
Blockchain gaming platforms such as Sorare seek to create a shared global experience built upon unique NFTs. For example, this game utilises tokens in the form of digital player cards developed on the Ethereum blockchain and each NFT represents an individual player in one of the 155 officially licensed international teams.
As of January 2021, the company has sold an estimated $70 million worth of cards across 140 countries. Moreover, with the expected rise of the global fantasy sports market ($48.6 billion by 2027), Sorare is well-positioned to continue its stellar rise.
F1 Delta Time is a blockchain gaming platform for fans of the world’s most popular motorsport.
Created by Animoca Brands in 2019, F1 Delta Time is the first-ever F1 racing game that uses cryptocurrency for gaming. After obtaining the necessary licensing from Formula 1, the team behind the game successfully managed to infuse the benefits and security of the blockchain into a game that includes collecting F1 cars, drivers, and components.
Like the other blockchain video games listed here, F1 Delta Time employes a unique in-game token (called REVV in this case) as a currency for all its transactions. Players can either purchase REVV tokens with real-world money or earn them in-game via various methods, such as competing in tournaments or simply owning cars.
As of June 2021, the all-time F1 Delta Time sales have reached almost $5 million.
The emerging blockchain gaming companies and their innovative solutions to financially empower gamers across the globe are radically changing the online gaming landscape. Think about it: What if you’ve purchased digital goods in your favourite game, which you can then carry across games or even sell them at full value? That would mean you won’t have to spend more funds to get items in other games. You might even be so lucky as to receive an extremely rare in-game goodie, which you can sell and trade for a small fortune. Well, many developers have already achieved a semblance of this objective, but they plan to do much more.
We hope that we have clarified some of the uncertainties around cryptocurrency for gaming, and that the blockchain gaming statistics outlined above have informed you about the topic and inspired you to begin trading cryptocurrency or building an NFT collection.