In early 2018, I knew blockchain technology would have an integral role in the future of gaming. I’m no prophet, it just solves too many problems to not be adopted. However, since then, I have often lamented the slow uptake. Nevertheless, pioneering indie developers fleshed out the space with a variety of games, and while initial titles were underwhelming to the majority of gamers, they acted as important use-cases for bigger projects.
You could be fooled into thinking that the last few months have finally seen major developers and games publishers begin to cautiously approach the concept of blockchain in gaming, but that isn’t what happened. The titans of the gaming industry — apart from Steam — just changed their public stance on blockchain. Many of these companies had been hiring Web 3.0 and blockchain developers for months, it’s just now they feel ready to publicly back the technology.
The Stratis Study That Shows the Future
The fellow British company, Stratis, is a blockchain platform that collaborated with Opinium to conduct a study of 197 games developers across the U.S and the U.K. The findings have been fascinating and offer some of the earliest evidence of the fundamental transition that is in progress. Of the developers surveyed, below are the key takeaways.
- 58% claimed to be already using blockchain technology
- 47% have begun integrating NFTs in their games
- 72% are considering blockchain and NFTs in upcoming titles
- 61% believe blockchain allows for innovative and more interesting gameplay
CEO of Stratis, Christ Trew said of the study,
We commissioned this research to solidify what we already assumed — that blockchain and NFTs are the future of video games. From our own experience supporting AA game developers, we know first-hand how these technologies are already beginning to improve the player experience by rewarding players with the ability to earn real-world value. Stratis offers an SDK to the Unity gaming engine, with plans to add Unreal soon. We’re betting big on blockchain gaming and we want to be the infrastructure layer.Chris Trew, CEO of Stratis
Although that quote hints strongly at confirmation bias, the matter of whether developers are using blockchain technology or not is a binary one. This study’s findings are not surprising insofar as blockchain having value in gaming is news, but rather that the gaming industry is further down the adoption timeline than many of us realized.
In the words of Mr. Cooke, “a change is gonna come.” Stratis has just shown us it’s likely to be refreshingly soon. Now we just need mainstream media to keep up.