StraitsX Insights

StraitsX Insights #6: How can blockchain & stablecoins revolutionise gaming?

July 7, 2022

Key takeaways:

  • Microtransactions in gaming is on the rise as it forms the bulk of its revenue 
  • Blockchain gaming offers users real ownership of their in-game digital assets
  • Blockchain gaming also offers increased transparency of coveted digital assets such as prized trading cards, or legendary items
  • Gamers can stand to earn in-game or stablecoin rewards
  • Stablecoins can monetise in-game currency
  • Stablecoins can create in-game payment rails
  • Publishers and developers can get a cut of in-game transactions facilitated by gamers

Much of the gaming industry lies in the hands of AAA companies who publish award-winning titles such as Apex Legends, Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2), Fortnite, League of Legends, PUBG, World of Warcraft, and many others. 

They control things such as in-game items and currencies, which usually have no real value outside of the game.

However, blockchain technology and the programmability of stablecoins can shift the power back to gamers, especially with regard to ownership, transparency, and real-world value.

AAA publishers make record revenues via microtransactions

Gaming revenue is generated by three sources: hardware, the game itself, and microtransactions. In terms of platforms, mobile gaming makes up the lion’s share of the industry’s revenue – it grossed at US$93.2 billion, compared to US$50.4 billion for console gaming, and US$36.7 billion for PC gaming.

Most mobile games operate on a free-to-play (F2P) with a microtransactions model. Microtransactions can include in-game items such as skins, loot boxes, currencies, power, or experience boosts. These items are still largely controlled by the publishers, with no real-world benefit to the gamer.

Microtransactions are seeping into console and PC gaming, where they traditionally made money out of hardware and the game itself. 

Microtransactions are not beneficial to gamers

The problems with microtransactions that gamers face are the lack of ownership, transparency, and real-world value.

Consider a game like Diablo Immortal, a mobile F2P game with many microtransactions. A player can spend over US$100,000 to upgrade a single character to the highest power levels, but these upgrades do not transfer over to other characters on the same account. The player cannot monetise the upgrades either, short of selling their account. Even then, selling the account is against Activision Blizzard’s terms of service, and the account can get banned.

In the unlikely event that a game like Diablo Immortal ever shuts down, the player’s US$100,000 investment could vanish. Meanwhile, the player’s time spent in-game getting rewards do not necessarily translate to real-life value.

Blockchain use-case in gaming: ownership & transparency for gamers 

There should be a healthy and symbiotic relationship between publishers and gamers. Blockchain gaming, while still in its infancy, offers real benefits to gamers.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, offer gamers real ownership and transparency of in-game items. Players who own coveted trading cards or legendary in-game items have the assurance that they own them, whilst players who do not own those items can track them.

Stablecoin use-case in gaming: in-game payment rails & monetisation opportunities for gamers and publishers

Currently, many blockchain games’ tokens are specific to their network. These tokens tend to be price-volatile, and not readily redeemable or interoperable. 

Stablecoins like XSGD and XIDR offer four things – monetisation of in-game currency, adaptable in-game payment rails, play-to-earn opportunities for gamers, and enhanced revenue opportunities for publishers. This is in addition to its price stability and one-for-one redeemability with its fiat equivalent.

Monetisation of in-game currency with stablecoins can go beyond cashing out – a gamer can use its interoperability and programmability to transfer funds or items between different games. Likewise, gamers can transact between each other with their local currency, as smart contracts facilitate the exchange.

Publishers and developers need not concern themselves with developing new in-game payment rails as the technology stack already exists on the blockchain. This frees up developer time and lowers the learning curve for gamers to adapt to a new payment system.

Gamers can potentially be rewarded via stablecoins for completing in-game activities. Stablecoins can be programmed to dispense themselves to the gamer through smart contracts that check against its criteria of completion. In a way, this is “real-life questing” for gamers, which in turn creates a positive feedback loop where they spend more time playing games. Metrics such as time spent playing and total amount of on-chain transactions would increase as a result of this activity, which can easily draw in investors and other gamers. 

Publishers and developers can get a cut from every transaction in their games – gamers’ need for ownership can easily replace the publisher-derived microtransactions. This allows publishers to focus on creating a more immersive experience; a step closer towards the metaverse.

How to use XSGD and XIDR in-game?

Gaming publishers and developers can tap on XSGD and XIDR payment rails via our Payment and Payout APIs. They can initiate payments, manage transactions, and access the aforementioned APIs with a StraitsX Business Account.

Likewise, for gamers, they can get XSGD or XIDR by opening a StraitsX Personal Account.

It is a simple process:

  1. Sign up for a StraitsX Business Account or  StraitsX Personal Account.  
  2. Verify your identity and upload the required documents.
  3. If you have a StraitsX Business Account, get access to all features available to the StraitsX Personal Account, plus user multi-tenancy and transaction management.
  4. Start with the StraitsX API sandbox or get assistance from our Sales Team.
  5. Transfer Out your XSGD or XIDR to any one of our DeFi partners via a personal, non-custodial wallet:  DFX, Uniswap, and Zilswap.
  6. Pool your XSGD or XIDR on DFX, Uniswap, and Zilswap to swap and redeem between different stablecoins such as USDC, EURS, and others.
  7. Alternatively, you can pool your XSGD or XIDR on our partner DeFi protocol to reap attractive yields with low slippages.

Note: If you are a high net worth individual, or institution, you can take advantage of
StraitsX’s OTC Desk feature that offers deep liquidity and OTC block trades.

StraitsX and our DeFi partners are especially catered for our Indonesian and Singaporean users because of our native support of XSGD and XIDR. This would allow our regional investors to transact in their home currency, as opposed to factoring in the conversion of their home currency to the US Dollar (USD), minimising transaction fees, and slippages.

Ready to get started?

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