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Once upon a time, we used to buy video games on CDs and DVDs. A simple act like that would mean that the game was yours, and you didn’t need anything else to play and succeed in it. However, time passed and micro-transactions were introduced along with online multiplayer modes. DLC made its way into the gaming world, and buying the game was only the first step of owning it, but it was just its natural evolution to a better experience: playing online is fantastic, but you can’t trade the items you get, and you do not really own them, as game creators can ban you and remove items at any time, but now a new generation of games is coming: Blockchain games.
Micro-transactions and DLC in video games have always been a topic of discussion among gamers communities: some gamers say that once you pay for the game, you deserve the complete experience; other gamers say that making extra contents optional helps to keep prices low.
Who is right is not for us to tell, but we are very interested in the Blockchain application in video games that could potentially change this mechanism and the company that is showing the path: Horizon Blockchain Games.
The current situation: what you can do without Blockchain
Downloadable content in video games can be of any kind, from entire new worlds to little items and power-ups designed to improve your player’s performance in the game. This kind of content becomes very important when you play online, as the right upgrades can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Like we said, however, there are a few inconveniences: first of all, you have no control over your virtual inventory, because while theoretically the items you buy are yours, they are in a database you can’t access, because it is controlled by a central authority that can remove a particular line whenever they want, for example when developers realise that a particular upgrade combined with particular players make winning too easy.
Furthermore, items bought cannot be traded with other players. You can play against them, you can cooperate with them, but you can’t swap or trade your DLC with theirs, so if you buy an item you do not need, you may not be able to get a refund.
Transactions between players would need some sort of trading system that would not be too different from banking. Probably too complicated and expensive to develop.
The idea of Horizon Blockchain Games
While the downsides of this gaming system are now widely accepted, there is a way all the problems mentioned above could be solved: using Blockchain. Horizon Blockchain Games aims exactly at that.
Their statement on their website is:
We are a blockchain infrastructure company pioneering a new dimension of gaming that belongs to its players and creators.
A New Dimension of Gaming is where digital and physical worlds come together and power a future of gaming that is more real than ever before.
At the moment, they are working on two projects.
Arcadeum is a platform that provides a crypto-wallet on the Ethereum blockchain, where players can hold their items and DLC. Because of the nature of Blockchain, the platform makes sure that once you earn a reward or you buy an item, it cannot be taken away by anyone, and it belongs to you.
Being a wallet, Arcadeum works just like any other crypto-wallet, so you can trade your items in exchange for other items or cryptocurrency.
Arcadeum also solves another atavistic problem: cheaters. Any Blockchain is provided with a cryptographic system that makes it secure without giving up on transparency. As we know, Blockchain is nearly impossible to hack, so cheaters won’t be able to cheat, making players less frustrated and developers happier.
Arcadeum is the base of a whole new ecosystem, so it is extremely likely that players will be able to import and export items between a game and another.
Skyweaver is a trading cards game developed directly by Horizon Blockchain Games. You can build your deck, battle with other players, and win new cards.
There are five different deck configurations: Strength, Wisdom, Heart, Agility, and Intellect. Each of them has its pros and cons, but no matter what you choose, you can always trade your cards thanks to the Ethereum blockchain.
On Skyweaver, you basically own the cards for real, just like you would if you were playing offline. No one can take them away from you, not even Horizon. You are the only one to access them. All you have to do is win battles and climb up the rankings.
The future of gaming
The work done by Horizon is remarkable, it could really be the first step to a new gaming dimension.
Let’s open the discussion: what do you think about Blockchain games? Can they set a new standard in the gaming industry? Leave a comment below!