Countless gamers around the world are currently unable to play some of the industry’s leading titles because they lack the powerful hardware necessary to run them efficiently. For this purpose, the gaming industry is in great need of a shift from the traditional, centralised hardware platform currently in place to an entirely new, decentralised ecosystem: the cloud.
At the heart of this transition is blockchain. The distributed ledger technology behind bitcoin is revolutionising everything from international cybersecurity to the distribution of pharmaceuticals – and the ever-growing video game industry is no exception. Blockchain will allow owners of powerful gaming PCs and GPUs to ‘rent’ their servers to fellow gamers who lack either the funds or hardware required to play the games they love.
This ability to share processing power will transform the gaming industry as we know it. And, as more game developers look into the capabilities of blockchain technology, the more it becomes apparent it is the perfect fit for the industry.
The central issue
Cloud gaming is not a new concept, but many have stumbled upon problems in the past, particularly when it comes to internet quality and service. While internet quality has been slowly improving over the years, service continues to cause serious difficulties. The solution? Decentralisation.
Decentralisation will be vital to speedy scaling processes and will transfer the power back into the hands of the gamers who drive the industry. With no centralised body in place, consumers will be able to communicate directly without the need for intermediaries. This will allow for more freedom and flexibility, improving the gaming experience in the process.
The recurring theme in the deployment of blockchain in the gaming industry is the empowerment of gamers
Decentralisation will also provide gamers with greater security; hacking is an all too common occurrence in the gaming industry due, in part, to the regular use of centralised networks, which provide hackers with a single point of access to an entire system. Decentralised systems, meanwhile, are spread across multiple points, making it a great deal harder for hackers to gain access.
The recurring theme in the deployment of blockchain in the gaming industry is the empowerment of gamers. Some innovators, for example, are using blockchain to facilitate the sale of gamer-earned digital goods – in-game items awarded to players for the time and effort they have put in. Blockchain ensures these transactions are safe and transparent, removing the possibility of scams.
In fact, a key benefit of blockchain is the transparency it provides. Decentralised gaming will likely depend on the exchange and investment of cryptocurrencies, such as Playkey. Blockchain will be vital to these transactions, ensuring all dealings are recorded in an open and safe way. For example, one gamer is perfectly able and entitled to view the contents of another’s crypto-wallet if the transaction was made using a smart-contract on a decentralised crypto-exchange like EtherDelta.
Competitive gaming – or e-sports – could also benefit from an industry-wide adoption of blockchain. Currently, the inner workings of a game and its servers, known as core logic, are handled by a centralised server, with no real evidence to prove everything is working as advertised. Once upon a time this was an unsolvable problem but, now, blockchain has presented an opportunity to host a public core logic – providing absolute transparency.
If this proved too costly or complicated, a similar outcome could be achieved by publishing proof of results on a public blockchain, which would allow analysts to re-run a game should the result be in question.
It is worth noting blockchain will have a much greater influence than we are able to comprehend or foresee at this moment in time. The only thing we do know is we’re yet to unleash the full capabilities of blockchain technology. It is not simply the introduction of cryptocurrency and the removal of intermediaries that makes blockchain integral to the future of gaming: it is the introduction of an auditable, verified store of data collating every possible measurement it can – all in a protected, but open, ledger.