In any new space, there will be a plethora of hurdles to overcome, large and small. We are early enough into the journey of blockchain gaming that many hurdles are left to be found with our shins, but there is one I preempted in an article this week.
Token Gamer and NFT Insider have decided to combine forces to launch a weekly podcast, WAX Lyrical. John Nichols of NFT Insider and I will discuss a new topic every week, as well as feature special guests. If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover, make sure you let us know through the Token Gamer Discord or Twitter, or the NFT Insider Discord or Twitter.
In last week’s episode, John and I delved into the complex topic of Play-to-Earn (P2E) games and how much of an impact they might have on the future of gaming. This week, we discuss a problem for blockchain games we have only seen traces of, as well as some potential solutions for it.
Episode 17: The Problem for Blockchain Games No One Is Talking About
On the morning of 14th March 2022, a message in our Discord became a mind-worm for me. The question was how a P2E blockchain game can shut its doors when the developers want to move on. I didn’t have an answer and I still don’t. But, the more I considered the issue, the more I realized it’s a far more expansive problem than it sounds. After a day of obsessing over it, I put my thoughts down in the article “Can Developers Shutdown or Cease Support for a Blockchain Game?“
If you want an overview of the problem before you listen to the episode, read that article. If you would like a briefer summary, here it is: P2E games have earning as a fundamental part of how they work and their appeal. Players can become reliant on that revenue stream and invest both time and money into it. If the developers want to move on or even announce they won’t be updating the game anymore, the price of the associated token and its NFTs will almost certainly nosedive.
So, how can a blockchain game be shut down or the developers move on? If the game is advertised as P2E, do the developers have a greater duty of care for their playerbase as they have the power to affect the players’ lives? What is a P2E game really? Are there any analogous products that already exist that function in a similar way?
In this episode, John and I tackle all of these questions and more. I will include a spoiler: we do not resolve the issue; it’s too deep, too complex, and too new. But, we unpack the problem and discuss what might be on the horizon.
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