When gaming pioneer Atari launched its own cryptocurrency called “Atari Token” last year, it was the latest indication of how far the digital currency had come in the gaming industry. The Telegraph reported that the company’s shares increased by more than 60% after they launched the cryptocurrency. This signalled that there was a strong demand within the industry for change, especially in how gamers managed their in-game finances. Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais said: “Blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionise, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions.”
The gaming sector is expected to be a $143 billion (£112 billion) global industry by 2020, and with more content now online, cryptocurrency is going to be a major part of that increasing revenue. BitGuild CEO Jared Psigoda told Forbes that the concept behind digital currencies had already resonated with the gaming community. “Gamers, in particular, understand cryptocurrency because virtual money has been a part of gaming for the last 10 years,” he said. However, in the past decade gamers were forced to use fiat currency linked to their bank accounts to make in-game purchases. Soon cryptocurrency could fully replace fiat money and allow gamers to purchase upgrades, and even reward in-game achievements.
Coin Journal believe that blockchain-based cryptocurrency is also a great tool to help game developers. With cryptocurrency, they can easily sell their software outside of app stores, not to mention have full control over their services. Developers will also get paid instantly as there won’t be a third party involved in the payment process. This will streamline the gaming experience for players, allowing them to access new content faster. Apart from faster transactions for gamers and developers, blockchain and cryptocurrency is creating a secure platform for trading virtual goods in the gaming world. The technology prevents hacking, which is one of the major concerns of gamers today.
The gaming industry is also helping rebrand cryptocurrency to the world. In the financial industry, the digital currency has encountered issues of consumer confidence due to value volatility. Its popularity in the gaming industry has helped change the public perception. The article ‘How Video Games Helped Pave the Way for Cryptocurrency’ explains how it’s already become normal to purchase tools, skins, and other items within games. Statistics reveal that more than 60% of Fortnite players have spent an average of almost $90 (£71) to purchase in-game content. The currency has also expanded beyond the gaming industry with Twitch streamers getting tipped and paid in digital and fiat currencies for every video posted online. As more people use it for online transactions, the better chance it has of becoming a mainstream financial option.
The confidence that the gaming industry has in cryptocurrency is now being replicated by many companies and industries, which shows that the public has become more accepting of its benefits. In the near future gamers across the world will be regularly using cryptocurrency as a part of their gaming experience