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November 28, 2023

Why Indie Game Developers Should Build Blockchain Games

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Why Indie Game Developers Should Build Blockchain Games
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Blockchain integrations enable indie game developers to explore new models and player markets.

Life as an indie game developer gets extremely difficult.

While you’d like to focus on just making great games, there’s the practical side to the business - fundraising, player acquisition and player retention.

Data shows that on Steam (a highly popular digital game distribution platform), 57% of game developers earned less than $1,000. Barely enough to keep the lights on.

From Game Developer

With these challenges, indie game develops have looked for solutions that could ease their developer journey.

Over the recent years, indie game developers have turned to blockchain technology to pursue new player markets and business models.

With close to 800,000 unique active daily wallets, blockchain games provide a thriving user base to adventurous game developers.

More importantly, digital asset ownership provides real-world value to players. Blockchain gamers understand that there are further incentives aside from great gameplay.

Digital Asset Ownership Turns Players Into Communities

Blockchain technology turns in-game characters and items into digital assets which players can take ownership of.

Players can transfer these digital assets out of the game to be collected, traded on external marketplaces, or integrated into other Blockchain games.

These use cases create real-world value for game assets which in turn, transform players into the fiercest game community. Players understand that their efforts will grow the value of their digital assets.

For indie game developers whom are short on time and resources, a highly incentivized community provides several benefits:

  1. Actionable feedback - players become invested early and often times become the product testers. They provide actionable feedback which game developers can use to improve the game.
  2. Viral marketing - players talk about the game to their friends and relatives. The biggest gaming fans will write threads and host Spaces on X and conduct AMAs on Discord. Players understand that more players lead to more transactions and ultimately increased value for their in-game assets.
  3. Player retention - digital assets provide an extra dimension for players to stick around. For players to realize the full potential of their digital assets, they must 1) wait long enough and 2)  actively participate in the game.

These forces come together to create network effects to make the game successful. Better gameplay. More players. Deeply engaged player base. Blockchain elements make these possible.

Game Devs Attract Players Through a Gaming Multiverse

Think about an MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game).

A player defeats a high-level boss and receives a dragon. The pet functions as an extra party member and attacks and defends as a regular character.

Meanwhile, another game developer finds these dragons cute and plans to use these in a separate game. It’s totally out of your expectation but you welcome it.

Under traditional tech, the two gaming companies would have to sign partnerships and tons of legal papers. In addition, these dragons cannot be used outside the original game. The interested developer can only copy the dragons’ designs.

Blockchain integrations smoothen this process.

Cyborg Quest Initiative

With blockchain technology, characters and items live on the blockchain. Developers can bring these digital assets into other games - paving the way for a gaming multiverse.

Three years ago, Enjin launched one of its most successful co-marketing campaigns – Cyborg's Quest.

  1. Players completed 3 quests across 7 Enjin-powered games.
  2. Upon completion of the quests, the player received 1 out of 3 parts of a Cyborg character in their digital wallets.
  3. With all 3 parts of the Cyborg, the player utilized the character in an 8th Enjin-powered game.

A gaming multiverse increases the potential player base and transactions for each game involved. Developers can explore these collaborative models with Enjin's new and improved tools.

Developer Royalties Drive New Revenue Models

High player count leads to numerous item transactions.

With blockchain, a player can take these digital assets and trade them on an external marketplace.

A game developer would continue to earn from these sales through developer royalties.

In a recent example, Parallel (an blockchain sci-fi trading card game), has generated over USD150M trading volume since its launch in late 2021. The developer takes 5% from each secondary sale of their cards.

The Enjin Blockchain is a blockchain that enforce royalties on-chain. Anytime the item is traded within the Enjin ecosystem, royalties would apply.

This is a point of emphasis as not all blockchains can execute royalties properly.

Often times, marketplaces (with their own agenda) dictate royalties. This can cut game developers completely out of the transaction.

With royalties secure, game developers can expand into new revenue generating streams:

  • Gaming multiverse - more interconnected games with interoperable characters attract new players
  • In-game loot systems - rarity-based items manufacture demand and encourage trading
  • Player-based models - community-driven games lead to innovation and the birth of secondary markets

This is only the beginning and the potential is only limited by developers’ imagination.

Seamless Blockchain Game Integration

While blockchain games show a lot of promise, building one is another matter.

Indie game developers lack both time (to do blockchain integration on their own) and funding (to hire the resources capable).

Fortunately, Enjin is committing to building tools that make life easier for indie game developers.

Through their simple solutions, indie game developers can integrate blockchain elements within days.

The Etherscape, an up coming Rogue-like game, took only 48 hours with Enjin’s seamless solution. A detailed explanation of the game’s architecture can be found here.

If you’re a developer, it’s time for you to take advantage of these plug-and-play solutions.

Benefit from the possibilities of blockchain game integration today.

Why Indie Game Developers Should Build Blockchain Games
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