With blockchain slowly making its way into the video game industry, industry veterans and executives of non-fungible token (NFT) blockchain WAX believe there will be more connections between games and blockchain networks in the future.
In a Cointelegraph interview, WAX head of publishing David Kim and WAX Studios head of game studios Michael Rubinelli shared their insights on NFTs, the metaverse and blockchain gaming.
According to Kim, the involvement in games, the metaverse and NFTs, despite less search interest on Google, is not dead. “On the WAX blockchain, we saw the number of sales doubles at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021, and it has remained high since then,” he said.
“I’m not sure if the ‘hype’ will pick up again, but we believe that long-term interest and involvement in metaverses and NFTs will grow indefinitely as utilities increase and security concerns are resolved.”
On the other hand, when asked about the future of play-to-earn (P2E) gaming models, Rubinelli compared the P2E implementation to the adoption of free-to-play and microtransactions within gaming. With over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry, the gaming executive believes a similar pattern is unfolding.
“We strongly believe that there will be an element of play to earn or play and earn in most games for years to come. Most of these will be blockchain connected, but not run entirely on blockchain.”
In a 2021 report published by the blockchain gaming alliance, a survey found that many respondents share the same sentiment as WAX executives when asked how much the blockchain industry is likely to use blockchain in the next two years.
Talking about the challenges blockchain games face, Rubinelli said that scalability is still a big issue. “Right now, the biggest challenge is the lack of scalability for most blockchains,” he said.
Related: Report: Axie Infinity accounted for nearly two-thirds of blockchain game NFT transactions in 2021
The gaming veteran noted that Layer2 solutions cannot scale unless they are “100% committed to a single game like Ronin for Axie Infinity.” He also mentioned the incident that as the Sunflower Farmers game’s user base grew, “Polygon ground to a halt.”
With regard to esports, David Kim said that most of the games that can be played on WAX are “too simple to adapt to esports”. However, the WAX manager noted that there are games in development that can be adapted for esports.
“There are currently multiple blockchain-connected games in development with esports in mind. These include Hearthstone-style card fighters like Skyweaver, battle royales like Hodlgod, and team-based first-person shooters like The Forge Arena.
Kim noted that esports games take longer to develop. According to Kim, only 9 months have passed since Alien Worlds, Splinterlands and Axie Infinity showed that blockchain gaming can attract many players. “You can’t develop the kind of advanced game mechanics needed for esports in those days,” he added.