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Blockchain Galaxy Game Enables Players to Build Spaceships, Buy Virtual Planets For Crypto

A new game is allowing players to build their own battleship using modules stored on blockchain.

The blockchain game developer 0xGames has announced the continuation of its popular blockchain-based 0xUniverse game. 0xUniverse: Battleships — or 0xBattleships, for short — was developed together with HeroCraft. This company has 16 years of experience in developing and publishing the games for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, as well as PC and social networks. Based in Russia, HeroCraft has worldwide distribution in 15 languages.

New game features

0xUniverse is the game that is powered by the Ethereum blockchain. In its first part, released at the end of June 2018, players are encouraged to be a space explorer, colonizing planets in a 3D-rendered galaxy. They can explore planets or buy them using blockchain technology. 0xBattleships comes with a new challenge. This time, players have to protect inhabitants of the virtual Galaxy from a new threat — a mysterious cult of the Void God, famous for its villainy.

The resistance to the enemy requires the players to construct their own powerful battleship with various modules that are stored on the blockchain. The modules, which are non-fungible tokens, are the most important part of the game. Players can own lasers, force shields, physical armor, energy generators, engines, etc. — selling them or buying from other players in an auction.

Blockchain galaxy as a debut creation

0xGames appeared with its debut game 0xUniverse in June 2018. The international team got together in November 2017. Its members believed in the good prospects of the blockchain gaming market, so they started to develop their own product: 0xUniverse — a new game based on smart contracts. It took them six months to create the blockchain galaxy before it was ready to release in early June. However, 0xGames claims that the beta testing on Rinkeby drew the attention of many users to the game. Due to the high interest and multiple requests of devoted fans, 0xGames agreed to postpone the release of 0xUniverse and open a presale for planets, the company says. The players bought 223 (67 percent) auctioned planets, the largest purchase was more than $8,000.

According to the roadmap revealed in June 2018, 0xGames is planning to develop its blockchain galaxy and create more games based on 0xUniverse, making an entire series.

The history of crypto gaming

Crypto-based games got attention after the launching of CryptoKitties in November 2017. This blockchain-based trading game popularized crypto collectibles — special digital assets. Players were offered the use of the Ethereum blockchain for trading and proving their ownership of the titular crypto-cats. CryptoKitties inspired other game developers, including 0xGames, to work on their own products based on the same technology. As the result, a few months later, an estimated 70 percent of all Ethereum DApps were similar games.

However, crypto-based games had a history before CryptoKitties were released. The first ‘crypto-game’ was Dragon’s Tale, launched in July 2013. In Dragon’s Tale, players could use actual Bitcoin to stake as a virtual gambling chip.

Another early attempt at a crypto-game was Huntercoin (2013), which used Namecoin blockchain technology. Players could mine the game’s own cryptocurrency by finding its coins. Both Huntercoin and Dragon’s Tale showed that games could be run without the control of a centralized server.

The real breakthrough was built upon in 2017, when real-time strategy game Beyond the Void was launched. It used the Ethereum blockchain to run its own Nexium (NXC) cryptocurrency — the one that would later become popular because of  CryptoKitties.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Crypto Collectibles Site Plans to Invite Developers to Create New Games, Polls and Content

A blockchain-based platform where crypto enthusiasts can own digital collectibles inspired by public figures is planning to open up its ecosystem to developers — in the hope that new games and competitions will be added to its burgeoning marketplace.

MyCryptons launched in May 2018. The company has been developing its social media presence, and more than 2,000 tweets have been sent from its official Twitter account over recent months. These posts have often reflected topical events in the news, primarily the tumultuous state of politics in the United States.

On its website, enthusiasts are given the chance to buy Cryptons. Each represents a fictitious version of public figures, including politicians, presidents past and present, talk show hosts and musicians. They come with a custom-made cartoon, and the owner is also able to add their own witty tagline and share it on social media. Some examples include Queen Elizabeth (“Jewel in the Crown”), Eric Trump (“Don’t blame me. I was cloned”) and Donald Trump (“I am just tired of winning”).

When it comes to developing interactive content, MyCryptons also hopes to offer polls and engaging activities to its user base. Its Mating Game saw two politicians mated with celebrities, resulting in brand-new Cryptons that were an amalgamation of each pair. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the new “offspring” Cryptons goes to the owners of the parent collectibles. Users can request particular pairs to be mated by emailing the company, but MyCryptons intends to automate this process shortly.

MyCryptons has also launched the Angry Mobs game, where users can create memes by drawing on any Crypton using an array of tools. Memes can be used to both jeer and revere someone or something, and the platform hopes its base will find this activity both fun and meaningful. It is currently free for users, but MyCryptons intends to monetize this in future and share the revenue with the owners of the Cryptons involved in the memes, potentially making these collectibles more valuable. For example, if a politician is going to jail, users can use the pen tool to draw bars on the Crypton and the text tool to write “Guilty” before downloading the image. Other fun symbols can also be added, such as a kiss, rose, dollar symbol, mustache and sunglasses — all of which can be resized and rotated.

Other games, including Flip and Flop and Truth or Dare, are under development. In all cases, the company intends to share revenue generated through these games and activities with the owners of the Cryptons featured in a starring role.

How buying a Crypton works

The price of every Crypton is clearly indicated on the website, and some of them are yet to be purchased for the first time. Once someone possesses a collectible, they can be bought out at any time, by use of a price escalation feature — and they will receive up to double the price they paid. An owner can prevent their Cryptons from being lost by paying a one-time protection fee and setting their own price.

According to MyCryptons, one of the most compelling opportunities presented by its platform is the potential to buy digital collectibles before they become popular. Though a prospective U.S. presidential candidate for the 2020 election may not be coveted right now, demand could intensify as the campaign nears.

MyCryptons is also exploring the potential for its digital collectibles to be used for charitable purposes. The smart contract being used by the platform enables special fundraiser Cryptons to be created, with all proceeds from the sale of a collectible going to a good cause instead. Once a certain target is reached — 200 ETH, for example — the Crypton reverts back to a for-profit collectible. According to the company, active discussions are already under way with a female crypto celebrity, with a Crypton in her image being prepared as the last few details are finalized.

A distinctive type of token

MyCryptons uses a non-fungible token known as ERC-721. Each of them carries unique information and they cannot be divided, meaning it’s impossible to buy half a Barack Obama or end up with two Donald Trumps. It’s this scarcity which enables the marketplace to function.

Demand for virtual collectible games is growing. As reported by Cointelegraph, another concept known as CryptoKitties recently secured $12 million in funding from a group of investors. Last year, it was reported that five of the digital kittens on this platform sold for more than $100,000, with the most expensive fetching $120,000.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Cryptomonsters: The first crypto-game running on the Litecoin Blockchain

Good news for gamers and blockchain enthusiasts. Earlier this week, CryptoMonsters was successfully launched.

The peculiar app offers users a set of collectible figures with concepts and features similar to other famous games like crypto kitties, but with the difference that instead of running on the Ethereum network, the CryptoMonsters will “live” on the Litecoin Blockchain.

The game is about evolving a monster through various actions that will be recorded in the blockchain from its birth to its death. The Game’s official website explains its concept in a simple but exciting way:

“This is a new type of game based on the Litecoin blockchain technology. It represents a virtual world, inhabited by CryptoMonsters, which are constantly evolving and interacting with each other.!”

During its first stage, the game allowed early users to get a free monster, however, once the game was released, the number of monsters available ran out. Users must purchase one of the monsters available on the market, which are worth approximately $500 to $500 depending on a multitude of factors such as rarity, strength, level, etc.

Monsters have a level ranging from 1 to 200. Currently, there are no top-level monsters because of how young the game is, however, it won’t be long before users see highly evolved monsters once the game becomes more mature and active.

Players have the option to split their monster (getting 2 lower level monsters) or to mature and evolve their creature to level it up.

CryptoKitties: A similar game that “collapsed” the Ethereum Network

Naturally, as in many similar games, evolution involves complex and risky tasks such as taking on other monsters in combat. Should a monster win the fight, it will increase its level, of course, it will also lose it if it is not victorious in battle.

Each monster acquires part of the stats of the loser. If a monster falls below level 0.2, it dies, or as the game says, “ascends to crypto monster paradise” to meet its creator: CryptoGod.

The game has been a complete success. According to CryptoMonsters’ Official Twitter, the platform registers a number of 2.3 new users per second, which is a sample of its potential to become Litecoin’s Cryptokitties.

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Indie Game Delisted From Steam Marketplace for Alleged Cryptojacking and Scams

Valve Corporation has removed a game from its video game marketplace Steam that allegedly hijacked users’ computers to mine cryptocurrency, Motherboard reported July 30.

The Steam game store has delisted Abstractism, an indie game accused of deceptive practices and cryptojacking, and has banned its developer from the platform. Steam took action following complaints from a number of users saying that the game setup file seemed to include a Trojan virus and malware disguised as steam.exe processes and launcher.

Further investigation conducted by different players found that the programs were crypto miners that infected users’ computers to mine Monero.

Game developer Okalo Union and publisher dead.team released Abstractism on Steam on March 15. According to Motherboard, there were warning signs that the game could be running processes unbeknownst to the player. For example, developers encouraged players to keep the game running, even when not in use, in return for rare in-game items.

One user reported a scam on an in-game item for Abstractism on the Steam Community Market that used the same name and art as an item in Team Fortress 2. Fellow gamers speculated that the likeness was intentional and part of a ruse to fool inattentive shoppers into purchasing an expensive item that would not function in Team Fortress 2.

YouTuber SidAlpha and some other users noticed that running the relatively small game used a disportionately large amount of system resources, in addition to triggering malware alerts.

Okalo Union denied the allegations, claiming that increased CPU and GPU resource consumption, which are major signs of crypto mining, were caused by playing on high graphics settings:

“Abstractism does not mine any of cryptocurrency. Probably, you are playing on high graphics settings, because they take a bit of CPU and GPU power, required for post-processing effects rendering.”

One user who was unconvinced by Okalo Union’s statement responded:

“Bull. Sh*t. You shouldn’t be on this platform, you f***ing scam artist. It’s one thing to make shovelware, it’s another to actively place viruses on customer’s pcs and knowingly screw them over for monetary gain.”

In 2016, Valve announced that the Steam platform would officially accept payments through Bitcoin (BTC). However, in December last year Steam stopped acceptance of BTC payments due to high fees and volatility.

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Blockchain Game Releases Its Inner Wallet for Seamless User Experience

On July 4, 2018, Blockchain Cuties, a new collectible crypto game on the Ethereum blockchain, released its first ever crypto wallet, according to the company’s press release.

The Blockchain Cuties game was launched on April 24, 2018. The game allows players to make profit in the in-game marketplace. Сharacters, or so-called ‘cuties’ are traded or transferred among players just like a regular cryptocurrency, using Ethereum smart contracts. Cuties have their unique artifacts and abilities.

Blockchain Cuties was made in a cost-efficient way, using compact encoding of gameplay data to hedge the risk of an Ethereum network overload and to decrease transaction fees for players, says the company’s press release.

Game

A wallet full of cuties

According to the company representatives, this is the first time in the crypto game industry that a game has introduced its own wallet.

The company says that the innovation of the wallet is that there is no need to install additional, standalone web browser add-ons to play the game. So far, the wallet allows users to keep data and make payments, and it’s also planning to implement a sending option in future.

“This introduction is no easy barrier to break in pursuit of improving user experience and allowing more people to access the game,” reads the text of the announcement.

The Blockchain Cuties wallet — or the BC wallet — is already integrated into the game, and it was designed as an alternative to Metamask. Players may transfer funds to the wallet account via Best Rate directly from the game, and it doesn’t require users to go through any registration process. Also, players have the option to use their credentials and access their assets on other wallets, such as Metamask, Trust Wallet, Toshi, Cipher or Status.

“The game’s own wallet is here for users who are new to the market or those who do not want to install additional browser extensions to play. For others, Metamask and other software wallets can still be used to trade assets and access the game, both on desktop and mobile,” the announcement reports.

BC wallet is following the industry standards of security, according to the press release. All data is saved on the user’s side of their browser’s local storage. User credentials and private keys are securely encrypted.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Collectable Crypto Game Introduces Personalized Artist-Designed Avatars

The recently-launched collectable crypto game Blockchain Cuties is set to take the personalized gaming experience to the next level, with plans to introduce ultra-customized avatars designed by graphic artists.

Users can submit a photograph of either themselves or of their favourite characters, and the designers will create a ‘lookalike’ character for them to have exclusive ownership and use.

The process will operate by a bidding system through the website — with initial bids on a 50 percent-off sale for the first two weeks. Winning auctioneers will also get the choice of which base character they want to use — from cats, dogs, bears, lizards or foxes — and will be kept in contact with the artist during the design process to ensure the perfect outcome for their Cutie.

The company says that there is not just an aesthetic advantage to these customized characters, but that unique in-game bonuses will become available, such as enhanced combat abilities in an upcoming Blockchain Cuties feature called ‘Raid Bosses.’ In this new gaming element, players can go on quests to battle against new enemies. Each player that wins during a Raid Boss event will contribute toward a collective victory for the overall group. The win pool is split up after the event, and rare tokens are allocated proportionally to the strongest players — who can then purchase specialized gear in the Raid Boss Store. Thus, having a unique customized Cutie will provide a significant advantage for players seeking to obtain rare items in the Cuties’ world.

What is Blockchain Cuties?

This is a virtual pet-based game in which players ‘own’ adorable creatures based on either real or fantasy animals. As well as standard gameplay with levels and achievements to unlock, Blockchain Cuties provides the chance for players to earn cryptocurrency.

Players own their Cuties and train them to level up and progress through the game. Each Cutie is an ERC-721 token and can be swapped with other gamers — or sold in an exchange for cryptocurrencies. Players can own as many Cuties as they like. The website describes the aim of the game as being to “collect them, breed them, test their skills in battles, arm them and even level up!” The battles can take place against other gamers in the multiplayer mode, which uses a turn-based format — when one player attacks, the other defends, and vice versa. Battle victors receive “useful wearable or consumable items” for their Cuties, allowing for the choice of further customization and personalization, or an increase of their levels. In addition to this, both winners and losers of the contests will gain experience points to help their Cuties level up.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Gaming Company Allows Players to Win Cryptocurrency in Its New First-Person Shooter

On June 21, the WAR FIELD company unveiled its ‘first-person shooter’ game that allows players to win cryptocurrency. Players can use WAR FIELD’s Golder (GLDR) — an ERC-20-compliant, Ethereum-based cryptographic token — to bet on their character’s “life.”

Living a gamer’s dream

Although monetizing gameplay isn’t a new move, WAR FIELD says the idea is attractive for gamers who are interested in making some extra money.

“What could be better than getting paid to play video games? It’s been a gamer’s dream,” says Andrius Mironovskis, founder and CEO of WAR FIELD. “WAR FIELD is not about having the best graphics or giving players something entirely new. It’s an exciting, fast-paced online game from the world’s most popular genre that gives everyone a chance to win something real they can later withdraw and sell.”

The new online ‘first-person shooter’ game is going to shape an entire blockchain-driven game economy that lets players win, withdraw and trade Golder — just like they would Bitcoin or Ethereum — the company’s press release says.

According to Andrius Mironovskis, the WAR FIELD team decided to start with a shooter because these games command the largest market share in a more than 100-billion-dollar gaming industry. The company plans to add more games to the Golder platform.

Market play

WAR FIELD’s shooter rules imply players compete in deathmatch-style games, and,  eventually, the winners will get Golder from the losers. Unlike big tournaments, a player doesn’t need to be an expert player to enjoy WAR FIELD and win cryptocurrency — one just needs to be slightly better than his or her opponents.

By the end of November 2018, the company plans to launch a marketplace and new battlegrounds: Amusement Park, Area 51 and Pleasure Island. WAR FIELD also plans to release mobile versions, as well as versions for PlayStation and Xbox, by May 15 of next year.

Golder tokens are available during the company’s crowdsale campaign, which started on June 28 and will last until November 15, 2018. During its ICO, WAR FIELD is offering substantial discounts on Golder tokens — up to 60 percent off.

Once the ICO ends, Golder will be unlocked and fully tradable. They can be withdrawn from the game into any ERC-20 Ether wallet with no maximum limits and then traded freely on cryptocurrency exchanges. The company expects that the value of Golder will rise along side the popularity of its games.

WAR FIELD is supported by a board of advisors that includes such industry veterans as Adalberto Bruno (Electronic Arts), Tom Frisina (Bally Technologies, Electronic Arts, Imagination Park Entertainment, thatgamecompany), Dylan Sharkey (LinkedIn), Scott Shirley (professional gamer: HALO and Call of Duty), and Benjamin Turshana (Electronic Arts, IGN, GameSpy).

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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'Poketoshi' Game Brings Nintendo's Pokemon Onto Bitcoin Lightning Network

Portuguese software engineer João Almeida has created ‘Poketoshi,’ a platform that allows users to play Nintendo’s popular Pokémon game on the Lightning Network (LN), The Next Web reports today, June 19.

Lightning Network is a second-layer solution to Bitcoin’s scalability limitations, opening payment channels between users that keep the majority of transactions off-chain, turning to the underlying blockchain only to record the net results.

Almeida’s Poketoshi uses LN together with the live streaming video platform Twitch, which allows users to interact with the game via an online chat room – as in the existing ‘Twitch Plays Pokémon’ series.

Poketoshi implements a Lightning Network-enabled virtual controller for users to enter their gaming commands, charging them 10 Satoshi per command, one Satoshi being equal to a one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin.

Payments are made through OpenNode, a Lightning-enabled Bitcoin (BTC) payment processor. The game is therefore a playful way of testing the Lightning protocol’s ambition to facilitate off-chain instant BTC payments at high volume.

As The Next Web notes, several Poketoshi users are already making wry allusions to the notorious rivalry between Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and LN advocates, with the former arguing that the BCH hard fork is a better answer to Bitcoin’s scalability issue than the LN second-layer solution.

In Poketoshi users’ tweets, an in-game rival avatar named ‘BCash’ suffers a bitter fate on the new LN-enabled gaming platform:

In February this year, Laszlo Hanyecz, the man who completed the world’s first documented BTC transaction for a physical item in 2010 by paying 10,000 BTC for two pizzas, repeated his historic purchase with Lightning Network – with the caveat that he had to get his friend in London to “subcontract” out the pizza delivery to a local pizza place in order to pay using LN, given that “pizza/bitcoin atomic swap software” was as yet unavailable.

In March, LN made major steps towards mainstream adoption by seeing its first mainnet product implementation go live, following which several more user-oriented tools have come online from private developers.

The first user mobile wallet built for Lightning Network launched April 4.

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Video Games and Blockchain: New Experience for Players or More Profit for Developers?

Crypto-video games are finally here, except that they aren’t. Over the past few months, a steadily increasing stream of computer games have appeared that have used cryptocurrencies in one way or another, yet despite their growing frequency only a small number of these have actually used the mechanics of Ethereum or Bitcoin to provide a decentralized gaming experience.

In fact, the majority of them could be passed off for traditional games without anyone batting an eyelid, since the use of cryptocurrencies or blockchain generally comes more as an addition to existing gameplay dynamics and genres than as a fundamental reworking of them. Blockchain Game, Alien Run,  Miner Simulator, Itadaki Dungeon , and Spells Of Genesis  are the five most popular crypto-related games available right now on the Google Play Store in terms of user ratings, yet all five would work perfectly well without any kind of blockchain or crypto element.

TOP 5 CRYPTO-RELATED GAMES ON THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE

Still, this continuity shows that such elements can be added seamlessly to video games without spoiling what made them fun in the first place, with (three-way) puzzle games, strategy games, 2D racers, 2D platformers, and trading games proving the most popular genres so far for accommodating some kind of crypto layer.

As this variety suggests, there are few limits or distinctions as to the kind of game that can be ‘put on the blockchain.’ However, the use of crypto in video games can currently be divided into three distinct categories: as a reward for play, as a gimmicky promotional tool, or as a genuine gameplay modifier. As the following overview of the burgeoning crypto-game industry will show, it may be some time before the third category becomes dominant…

A quick history lesson

Crypto-based games already have a modest history, even if they only became popular at the end of last year with CryptoKitties, the cat-breeding game that uses the Ethereum blockchain to trade and prove ownership of the titular crypto-cats. The first title that could legitimately be called a ‘crypto-game’ was Dragon’s Tale, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that allowed players to stake actual Bitcoin on the outcome of a variety of minigames. Launched on July 12, 2013 as a beta but first conceived in 2010 by games developer Andrew Tepper,  Dragon’s Tale is set in a open 3D world where players could hunt for eggs, tip cows, catch fish, and race monkeys, among other mini-games. It may not have used Bitcoin in any more imaginative way than as a virtual gambling chip, but it at least showed that the worlds of cryptocurrencies and video games could be mixed, and it continues to be played to this day.

Dragon’s Tale

The fantastical open world of Dragon’s Tale. © eGenesis

An even more significant early game was Huntercoin, another MMORPG first emerging as a prototype in September 2013. Running on a fork of the Namecoin blockchain, it saw players mining the game’s own cryptocurrency (HUC) by finding its coins in the game world and then bringing them to one of several randomly generated ‘banks,’ which would actually transfer them to the players’ crypto-wallets. It has had something of a turbulent ride since it first appeared, with co-creator Mikhail Syndeev passing away in February 2014 and its code being transferred into the upstream Bitcoin core code in 2016, but the game is still popular, providing a testament to the enduring appeal of its decentralized game world and mechanics.

However, since it has been demonstrated that games could be left to run without being subject to direct control from a centralized server, the rest of the gaming world has been slow to catch up. Predictably enough, there were a slew of Bitcoin-based gambling websites in both 2013 and 2014, such as SatoshiDice, BitZino, Bitino, and Bit777 – although these weren’t really video games as such. There were also a number of tokens that were briefly provided as a reward for playing certain online games, such as the HYPER cryptocurrency that was offered in mid-2014 with the Counter Strike and Minecraft servers the currency’s team launched. But for a while, there were few games designed specifically with a cryptocurrency or blockchain in mind, although 2015 finally provided a modest increase in the number of games based around offering cryptocurrencies as a reward for play or as a means of payment. Such games included multiplayer racer TurboCharged, platformer FlapPig, and fellow platformer SaruTobi. Like the games that came before and after them, these titles were all ‘free-to-play’, although most offered in-app purchases. While they once again didn’t use cryptocurrency technology in particularly imaginative ways, their increasing numbers at least suggested that the idea of using cryptocurrencies in video games was a popular one.

This appeared to be the case, as 2016 witnessed another upsurge in the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchains in gaming. Aside from the increasing amount of games offering Bitcoin rewards, for example Grabbit and BitQuest, there was the release of the popular card-trading game Spells of Genesis in September of that year. Developed by the Swiss-based EverdreamSoft and using its own BitCrystals (BCY) currency, it provided a turning point because it actually used the Bitcoin blockchain to store – and to guarantee the authenticity of – the collectable cards it enabled players to win. This breakthrough was built upon in 2017, when the trading-card game Force of Will and real-time strategy game Beyond the Void were both launched. First released as an open beta in April 2017, the latter game used the Ethereum blockchain to run its own Nexium (NXC) cryptocurrency. Significantly, this use would be repeated by the now-famous CryptoKitties, which became the largest Dapp on Ethereum a mere week after its launch on November 28.

AllMine? Or all theirs?

Despite CryptoKitties providing a proof-of-concept in December 2017 that blockchain and cryptocurrencies could be exploited to deliver a novel gaming experience – for example the breeding/trading of unique digital pets, the most common use of cryptocurrencies in games today still revolves around rewarding players for their gaming efforts.

This is most evident in AllMine, a match-three puzzle game à la Candy Crush due for release on PC in Q3 2018. Developed by Californian startup MyDream Interactive, the game consists in three interrelated sub-games, with the first (mini-game based) sub-game earning players the right to play in the second, mining sub-game. As the name suggests, players who participate in the mining game essentially permit their computer to be used to mine Jewel, the cryptocurrency created especially for AllMine.

AllMine

Players have to line up matching icons in AllMine © MyDream Interactive

Part of the proceeds of this mining – which is much less resource-intensive than Bitcoin mining – will go to the players themselves, while the other part will go to the developers, who will reinvest their share back into the game in various ways – including developing updates and offering Jewelz as an incentive to certain players to keep mining/playing. Players will have the option of trading their Jewelz for other cryptocurrencies or for fiat money, but here’s where it gets interesting, because they will also be able to use their coins to fund purchases in the third sub-game.

This third sub-game involves building “Utopias” (farmstead-esque settlements) and populating them with “Adoraboos,” – cute mythical creatures that players collect during the mining sub-game and that can be fed and entertained. Not only can players level up their Utopias, but they can actually challenge – Pokémon style – other players to battles. The winner of these battles is rewarded with a level up for their Utopia, while the loser is rewarded with no level up and having their Utopia becoming inaccessible for three days.

Adoraboo

Catching an Adoraboo ©MyDream Interactive

So far, so generic, but the interesting – or arguably manipulative – part is that players who upgrade their Utopias more will have a greater chance of winning these battles and becoming the kind of ‘Pokémaster’ (or rather, Adoraboo-master) their friends will envy. Of course, the only way to upgrade your Utopia is to spend the Jewelz you earn, which essentially means that the most engaged AllMine players won’t be earning much profit from playing the game, since the proceeds of their mining exploits will mostly be pumped back into transforming their Utopias into formidable fighting machines.

Similar reward systems – which dangle a crypto-shaped carrot in front of gamers only to whip them with a purchase-shaped stick – can be increasingly found elsewhere. For example, the March-released Itadaki Dungeon is a top-down 2D adventure in which players can find and earn mBTC (milli-bitcoin), but which also offers in-app purchases of various items for those players who wish to increase their chances of progressing in the game. Likewise, Reality Clash – which is due for release in “late 2018” – is a first person shooter (FPS) in which “gamers can make real cash” via the weapons they sell for Reality Clash Gold Coins (RCC). However, they unfortunately have to purchase RCC in the first place in order to buy these weapons, something which suggests that the overall balance of purchases and sales will end up in the Reality Gaming Group’s favour.

The Bitcoin bandwagon

Currently, nameable games that offer crypto rewards and are either available now or soon-to-be-launched are in short supply – CryptoPop is another example – with some early examples having ceased paying out in cryptocurrencies altogether, such as the Swiss-made Bitcoin Bandit. That said, they’re likely to be abundant in the near future, given the number of companies offering platforms that will enable games developers to add crypto-reward systems to their products.

For example, Japanese internet services corporation GMO recently announced that its “Bitcoin-based application for in-game rewards” would be released in August, with one game – Whimsical War – already lined up to utilize this app once it’s launched. Similarly, Kik teamed up with Unity Technologies in March to develop a software development kit (SDK) for its Kin cryptocurrency, thereby enabling any games developer to use Kin as an in-game reward token.

This is also something that will be possible via the upcoming Tap Project and Nitro platforms, the latter of which aims to tokenize the entire gaming industry ecosystem, as well as provide specific in-game rewards for players via the NOX cryptocurrency. Through platforms like it, the video game industry would have its initial coin offering (ICO) moment, with developers being given access to a broader range of funding and financing – often from players – than they may have enjoyed in the past.

However, for every developer or company hoping to create a crypto-based ecosystem for games that rewards players and developers alike, there are those who simply seem to be cashing in on the prevailing crypto-hype. Much like Long Blockchain Corp., some have simply added a Bitcoin or crypto association as a way of garnering extra interest, even if this addition doesn’t make much sense gameplay-wise. In January, for instance, the action-RPG Imperatum introduced a fashionably named “Crypto Update” that equipped it with a “Bitcoin Mode,” whereby item drops become more frequent and enemies become more fiendish if the value of BTC increases. As ‘novel’ as this might seem at first glance, it would potentially destroy the game’s enjoyability if BTC’s price collapsed or if it rose to lunar highs.

Imperatum

Imperatum screenshot ©Pro Social Games LLC

In April, SuperFly Games Ltd did something comparable with their Crypto Rider, a 2D driving game in which players can race along the historical price charts of various cryptocurrencies and which gained its fair share of press attention. Its peaks and troughs prove fun for a while, but like Imperatum it incorporates nothing of the essential workings of blockchains and cryptocurrencies into its own inner workings, unless you think volatile price fluctuations are essential to Bitcoin et al.

Another game that jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon for promotional purposes was puzzler Montecrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, which upon its February launch promised exactly one Bitcoin (then worth $9,860) to the first player able to solve its 24 head-scratching puzzles. This may have been a very welcome reward for the team that eventually managed this feat on April 24 (when BTC was worth approx. $9,566),  but it’s clear that once again, this one-off payment had little or nothing to do with the game itself, which continues to be playable today without any crypto reward.

Human mining

Given that the above two sections outline how cryptocurrencies have been used by developers largely for rewards/incentives or for marketing – a use also common outside of video games, there may seem to be little hope for those who’d like to see the actual technology of cryptocurrencies worked meaningfully into a video game. Fortunately, there are some signs that this technology has been making a difference to the intrinsic gameplay and workings of some games, and may do this to a greater extent in the future.

To begin with, there’s the painfully familiar CryptoKitties, which wouldn’t be quite the same without the Ethereum blockchain, since it uses the latter to ensure that the digital cats players breed are entirely unique, “100 percent owned” by the player, and cannot be reproduced, erased, or seized. There’s also the very similar CryptoFighters, not to mention UnicornGo and Tencent’s Let’s Hunt Monsters, which is much the same except for the fact that players battle with their unique fighters, and have to purchase them from the official marketplace – making the game another example of a crypto-enabled cash cow.

As for games which use blockchains and cryptocurrencies in order to furnish something other than unique characters owned entirely by players, examples are currently still few and far between. However, one indie game offers hope that the developers of the future will occasionally have original ideas as to how cryptocurrencies can be merged with video games. This is the aforementioned Huntercoin, a hybrid cryptocurrency/decentralized MMORPG that was released to the public in February 2014 by hobbyist developers, and which continues to generate low-level cultish buzz due to its unique dynamics. What distinguishes it is that it provides the first ever example of ‘human mining,’ in that players mine its currency (HUC) by travelling across the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game world and finding it. It also provides the first example of a truly decentralized game server, with the developers unable to influence the game’s unfolding except by changing the underlying code.

Huntercoin

© huntercoin.org

Due to its hobbyist origins and decentralised existence as a fork of the Namecoin blockchain, Huntercoin was initially laggy and a touch buggy, yet it shows that it’s possible to insert blockchain and cryptocurrencies into the very core of a video game.

Whether the gaming industry makes good on its early promise is still an open question, however, but with the growing prevalence and popularity of such games as CryptoKitties, AllMine, Blockchain Game, and Huntercoin, cryptocurrencies could one day become an integral part of video gaming’s fabric.

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‘Chinese Google’ Baidu to Release Interstellar Blockchain Game

Chinese search engine Baidu has created a blockchain-based game called “Du Yuzhou” (The Universe) where users will receive “elements” to build their own planets while using blockchain features, Coindesk reports Friday, June 8.

The website announces an “open blockchain interplanetary journey,” describing the game as “a magical world made up of all kinds of rare elements” with each user having a “unique planet” that can be explored.

The site notes that each user will receive 100 random elements in an air drop when the game launches — the more elements a user has, the larger the planet grows, thus increasing its gravity and allowing it to get more elements that unlock “mysterious functions.”

Earlier this week, Baidu announced the release of a blockchain protocol aimed at reducing mining energy consumption called the “Super Chain.” In April, Baidu had already released a blockchain-based image rights platform that prevents infringement of copyrighted images.

Blockchain-based games are not new to the crypto space. Ethereum’s CryptoKitties, a digital kitten collectibles game, made more than $12 mln in sales last December.