Last year, cryptocurrency enthusiasts tried to inject virtual currency and blockchain technology into video games. However, while Play-to-Earn crypto games are popular with those enthusiasts, they aren’t popular with gamers.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian believes that this will change. Speaking to the Where It Happens Podcast, via Business Insider, Ohanian bet that crypto video games will become a major part of the market.
Alexis Ohanian on Play to Earn crypto games
Speaking on the podcast, the Reddit co-founder predicted that Play-to-Earn crypto games will overtake gaming. Ohanian believes that the traditional gaming format of buying a title and just playing it will become extinguished in the next half-decade.
Ohanian's argument revolves around the use of a player’s time. As play-to-earn titles can offer players items with perceived monetary value, the Reddit co-founder believes that crypto games will become more popular.
“90% of people will not play a game unless they are being properly valued for that time," Ohanian said. "In five years, you will actually value your time properly, and instead of being harvested for advertisements, or being fleeced for dollars to buy stupid hammers you don't actually own, you will be playing some on-chain equivalent game that will be just as fun, but you'll actually earn value and you will be the harvester."
Of course, non-crypto games also have items with real-money value. Gamers have sold CS:GO skins and Runescape hats for eons. There's no reason to believe that 90% of gamers want to do that instead of just playing games.
Gamers don't want crypto
Despite Ohanian’s comments, gamers have been vehemently against the inclusion of crypto elements in video games. For example, multiple video game developers have attempted to include NFTs, much to the fury of gamers.
One of the most infamous examples of this is the release of Ubisoft Quartz, an NFT line that is tied to Ubisoft video games. Launching last year, the product line was a massive failure for the company. Not only did the launch destroy the company's reputation, but only a handful of NFTs were actually sold.
This trend has continued with every NFT launch or crypto inclusion resulting in a massive amount of backlash. Additionally, bespoke “NFT games” have received even more backlash with many criticising the lazy and ugly nature of most titles.
As games are such a massive, profitable industry, there are always more monetisation efforts being created. However, after years of scummy microtransactions, loot boxes, battle passes, on-disc DLC and more, crypto is just another shot in the barrel.