Developments within the gaming industry are not uncommon and blockchain technology is now the next, or for some the latest, wave of disruption to the industry. The key shifting factor for gaming is taking it from a traditional hardware platform and on to the cloud, via a decentralized gaming ecosystem. Blockchain technology naturally lends itself to achieving this.
Millions of gamers across the world are missing out on playing some of the biggest titles in the industry, due simply to lacking the powerful hardware required to run the games sufficiently. It is for precisely that reason that the gaming industry is required to move to the cloud where processing power can be shared, a step that will no doubt transform the industry as we know it. Blockchain technology helps in this shift by encouraging owners of powerful gaming PCs and GPUs, to “rent” their servers to the individuals who don’t necessarily have the funds, or hardware they require, to play the games they desire. This means gamers will not have to invest in expensive gaming consoles and other hardware. The more developers look into blockchain technology, the more it becomes obvious that it is a natural transition for the industry
Cloud gaming is not a new concept, but many have encountered fundamental problems in the past, namely internet quality and service difficulties. If the first problem was improving over the years, the second was causing some serious difficulties that stopped the development of this technology for a while.
Decentralisation is the answer. It is imperative to a speedy scaling process and will put the power back into the hands of the gamers and out of the hands of the corporations currently ruling the system. With no central body, consumers can communicate and socialize directly without intermediaries. This will allow for the freedom and flexibility that will benefit the gaming experience.
In fact, a re-occurring theme in the use of blockchain in the gaming industry is the end goal of transferring power back in to the hands of the gamers. One such example is the way some innovators are applying blockchain to the sale of gamer-earned digital goods, where gamers earn a reward or item as a result of the time and effort they invested in the game – and then sell it on for monetary reward. However, these kinds of transactions can often end in a scam, and those who are regulating the process, for example Steam, can only offer Steam credit in return for sale, rather than money.
However, blockchain is set to transform this process. There are a number of companies now developing decentralized marketplaces for the sale of in-game items. These are safe spaces for such transitions, as a result of blockchain.
A key benefit of Blockchain technology is the transparency it provides, decentralized gaming is set to depend on the exchange and investment of cryptocurrency, for example the Playkey Token, and blockchain allows for all users to be able to exchange and trade worry-free. As a rule, cryptotransactions are easy-to-monitor even if they are not yours. For example one user is perfectly able to view the contents of a cryptowallet by only possessing the wallet address if the transaction was done under the smart-contract of the decentralized cryptoexchange like EtherDelta, for example. Another smart contract that is required to manage the rules of interaction between a miner and a gamer in a future Playkey decentralized ecosystem is also a transparent mechanism to guarantee a miner will get it reward once certain conditions within renting out its PC are met.
Online gaming security can also benefit greatly from the technology. Hacking is a common and frequent occurrence, this is due, amongst other things, to the use of centralized networks, meaning that hackers have an easy entry to the entire system via a single point of failure. Blockchain networks can not be hacked in a similar way due to their decentralization, meaning there are any number of servers active at any given moment.
Competitive gaming, AKA e-sports, could also benefit from the embracing of blockchain. The inner workings of a game and its servers, known as Core Logic, is handled by centralized servers unquestionably, with no real evidence to prove the fact that everything is working as advertised, and that the outcomes are genuine and un-tampered. Once upon a time, this was an un-solvable conundrum. However, blockchain has the potential to host a public core logic, providing absolute transparency. If this proved too costly or complicated, a similar outcome could be generated by proof of results being published to a public blockchain, which would allow analysists to re-run a game should the result be in question.
Whilst some solutions are closer to completion that others, blockchain is ready and waiting to completely transform the gaming industry, creating a more transparent and effective industry. Gamers are such a passionate group of people, who feel strongly about the industry – a decentralized setup incorporating the many benefits of blockchain will hand the power back into the hands of gamers themselves, creating a democratized platform for all.
Egor Gurjev. Co-founder, CEO
Egor is a serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Playkey, a leading online cloud-based gaming portal. Playkey is a peer-to-peer gaming portal that allows gamers to play high spec games on older computers. More than 2.5 million players per month use the Playkey cloud-based gaming platform. The platform uses more than 100 servers based on NVIDIA GRID and they are located in London, Frankfurt and Moscow. Playkey has more than 45 R&D professionals on its staff and partner with Ubisoft, Bethesda and Wargaming.
Previously, Egor’s set up digital entertainment firm Enaza which is still operating today. It develops online stores offering digital content for large telecom companies and retail chains. A division of the company that developed a platform for selling digital content by subscription was sold in 2017 to Softline, a large international IT company.