No Man’s Sky is an online game, which was released in 2016. In this game, there are over 18 Quintilian planets which the gamers are free to roam around, making it one of the largest video game maps in the world. Recently it was reported that the action survival online game houses cryptocurrencies inside it as rewards. 0.004 BTC are hidden in the game, waiting to be claimed by the players presently playing. This effort was made to promote cryptocurrency through gaming. According to Jon Creasy, the cryptocurrency enthusiast,
That got me thinking…how can I help spread the adoption of crypto among gamers? One fun solution that presented itself was hiding Bitcoin in video games.
Creasy stated that there would be an increase in the amount of bitcoin hidden in the games. With this technique, he hopes that more gamers will start using cryptocurrencies in search of rewards which might even push the adoption of cryptocurrencies to greater levels. This however, is the opinion of a single crypto enthusiast. To lead to a massive adoption of cryptocurrencies, a larger number of people from the gaming community have to be involved.
Recently in a poll conducted by Ari Paul on twitter, it was observed that remittance and P2P payment have the largest potential to increase, what is now only less than a million daily users of cryptocurrency, to 10 million active users of cryptocurrencies. Gambling and prediction was listed as the second one and the third one was gaming and collectibles.
There’s currently probably less than 1 million daily active users of cryptocurrency (if we exclude pure speculation and passive hodling.) Which use case will first take us over 10 million active daily users?
— Ari Paul (@AriDavidPaul) August 1, 2018
Even though, Creasy believes that gaming holds a lot of potential which could lead to massive adoption of cryptocurrencies, it is highly unlikely that it is going to happen very soon. Being listed as the third one in Paul’s Twitter poll, may prove that it likely that in the future, game developers would be eager to trade cryptocurrencies and offer it to the players as incentives but that time seems to be far away for now.
No Man’s Sky was not the first one to incorporate cryptocurrencies. In 2016, Steam, that is the biggest gaming platform for many online multiplayer games, also announced that they would start accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. The announcement was made by Bitpay, who claimed that they had been contacted by Valve, the company behind Steam. Bitpay made the following statement,
Valve reached out to us because they were looking for a fast, international payment method for Steam users in emerging gaming markets in countries like India, China and Brazil. While more users are coming online in these countries, traditional payment options like credit cards often are not available.
The company also hinted that they were hopeful that Bitcoin would be eagerly adopted by the masses in the gaming community. This statement was made at their official website,
Bitcoin has a bright future in gaming. We look forward to partnering with more gaming platforms to make bitcoin the most popular payment method for the world’s gamers.
However, this chapter also came to a close when at the end of the year 2017, Steam decided to stop accepting Bitcoins as payment for the purchases made by gamers. The major reason that caused them to stop accepting cryptocurrencies is that it was too volatile. The market would fluctuate a lot, making it very hard for them to accept payments and cover losses in case the prices went down. Steam mentioned in a blog,
Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days. This creates a problem for customers trying to purchase games with Bitcoin.
The latest development in this regard has been that a Japanese Internet services provider has announced that it will be distributing cryptocurrencies as reward in the games. These rewards can be claimed if the players hold a digital wallet. The reward allotted may depend on the ranking of the player or the items that they own or at the completion of a task. These rewards will be provided by the technology Cryptochips, that can be mounted on games and other applications as well.
Overall, the cryptocurrencies have proven to be quite volatile in all the years that have passed since its introduction. This is what makes majority of the corporations hesitant to invest in them. Even though many of them have still chosen to incorporate cryptocurrencies into their games as incentives for players, it yet remains to be seen that whether their incorporation in the gaming industry will bear any fruit for the industry.