Avalanche (AVAX) currently sits at a market cap of $15.5 Billion, making it the 13th largest blockchain out there, with $AVAX being its native token. It’s a relatively well-known chain, but not one known for gaming, at least not yet. But that could be changing, as it draws more game developers, as well as big game studios. For example, back in March Rob touched on Wildlife Studios, one of the largest mobile game developers, who are integrating crypto through Avalanche into their game Castle Crush. Also in March, AVAX announced they were committing $290 million to “attract Gaming, Defi, and NFT ‘Subnets.'”
What Is Avalanche?
Avalanche advertises itself as “Blazingly fast, low cost, & eco-friendly,” and even goes as far as to say it “is the fastest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry, as measured by time-to-finality.” Which is a bold claim! It can theoretically process 4,500 TPS (Transactions Per Second), which is far faster than Ethereum’s 30 TPS, but also much slower than other chains such as Solana (50,000 TPS), Fantom (25,000 TPS), and WAX (8,000 TPS). So while yes, Avalanche is fast, and likely can handle the demand games will put on it, it may need to rethink its speed claim. Editor’s Note: The TPS claims of every chain are more or less entirely unproven and theoretical at best, with some being unlikely. Nevertheless, as most chains haven’t had cause to test their TPS limitations, it’s simply a metric we have to lean on.
It does live up to its “low cost” claim with gas fees averaging about $0.05 – $0.1, which for transaction-heavy games is critical. Ideally, this would be even less, but this price point at least seems feasible. Binance would have comparable gas fees to that, with Ethereum’s off course being astronomically higher, and other chains like WAX not using gas fees due to how they are set up.
Finally, Avalanche is an eco-friendly chain. As a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, Avalanche doesn’t rely on mining like Bitcoin or Ethereum do in their Proof-of-Work (PoW) models. This means Avalanche avoids requiring huge quantities of energy consumption and even allows it to be a net-zero blockchain, which essentially means it doesn’t put more carbon into the atmosphere as it removes (through buying carbon credits). While being eco-friendly doesn’t practically affect its usability for games, it does affect its acceptance in the broader community, giving it a beneficial advantage over other chains which are not.
What Games Does Avalanche Currently Support?
Crabada is the current front runner on Avalanche, and is an Axie mimic. You can breed and fight with your crabs in order to earn. This game is doing well at the moment, and has traded more than $11 million on its marketplace in the last 30 days. Another upcoming game is Shrapnel, which is a first-person shooter (FPS) and looks really promising. I’ll be keeping a close eye on that one. Another notable title is CryptoBlades, which has had a rocky start, but hopefully, they can turn their game around and attract new players.
Luckily for Avalanche users, Metamask supports the Avalanche blockchain. Here is a quick guide to set it up. This means you will be able to store both your Avalanche tokens ($AVAX and others), as well as your Avalanche NFTs here. Metamask seems to be an increasingly important wallet for crypto gamers to have because of how many different chains it supports.
There are also a number of marketplaces that Avalanche users and games can take advantage of. This is important because it means games won’t have to build their own marketplaces, a trend I see often with Binance games. This allows developers to spend more time on the game itself. Some examples of these marketplaces are Snowflake, NFTStars, NFTKey, YetiSwap, Kalao, NFTrade, etc.
One final tool I found interesting is that Avalanche utilizes subnets. Basically, a subnet is its own form of the Avalanche blockchain. Practically speaking, this means that a game can use/run its own subnet, and so it is unaffected by the transactions on other subnets. So if one game is getting bogged down due to a huge amount of transactions, only that subnet which it is on gets affected. This is a great solution for a chain that would like to host a large number of games because it means the whole system doesn’t fail at once.
Avalanche may be new to the crypto gaming space, but it seems as if it’s on the edge of a blockchain gaming breakthrough. It has been attracting new games and developers, and is set up in a way to successfully facilitate games. I am looking forward to seeing where Avalanche can take the new games being hosted on it, and hopefully, it can become a known entity for games in the future.