The use of the word ‘blockchain’ differs according to the uses and more or less accurate synonyms have been used over time to try to encapsulate this booming gaming segment. Alongside blockchain gaming’, ‘crypto gaming’ was the first term to emerge. More recently, the term ‘play-to-earn’ is gaining momentum.
The definitions of blockchain and crypto gaming will surely evolve over time, but here are the differences we have observed between these two concepts.
The term ‘blockchain gaming’ highlights the blockchain technology itself, independently of financial assets. Thus, the values of decentralization, true ownership, and resistance to censorship inherent to blockchain are promoted and presented as the only option.
Total decentralization is an enormous technical challenge as many questions are raised about its possible realization, for example:
‘Blockchain gaming’ aims to be as decentralized as possible. For blockchain purists, reaching this level of development is a real dream! At the moment, there are no such games available, but some are trying to get closer to it. As an example, we can talk about Decentraland-based games such as Battle Racers or Chainbreakers or, Decentraland itself.
Decentraland is probably one of the most decentralized projects to date. The LANDs metadata are hosted on Ethereum thanks to NFT and all the graphics are hosted on 13 servers kept by small DAOs all around the world. If one is shut down, players can still connect to the game using another server.
Even if Decentraland isn’t a video game, the way they achieved decentralized architecture is a good example of what can be done without the need of hosting everything on a blockchain.
Crypto games are games in which a cryptocurrency is the financial asset in circulation on the blockchain. Therefore, the gameplay will utilize and payout using this cryptocurrency.
Those games reward their players in crypto or NFT. Your skills and the amount of time you invest in the game determine your odds of winning.
Even if, in the beginning, there were games that resembled the Flash games of the 2000s, the gameplay and the styles offered have evolved enormously.
One example of crypto gaming is the Satoshis’ Games studio. They created many crypto games such as Lightnite, a Fortnite-like game but would reward players with Bitcoin dust through the Lightning Network. Other games made by Satoshis’ Games exist and are available through Elixir, an all-in-one app combining NFT marketplace and app store.
Despite a difference in the term used to designate two different concepts, blockchain and crypto gaming are often confounded. Yet one advocates decentralization while the other is essentially focused on the rewards obtained by playing.
The terms ‘crypto gaming’ or ‘blockchain gaming’ have therefore become marketing tools. Depending on how the game has been designed, it will be located in a more or less decentralized spectrum.