TL;DR- The Roblox ecosystem now supports a blockchain-based gaming ecosystem by South Korean game developer PlayDapp. PlayDapp released their first title in the ecosystem in October 2021: Along with The Gods. The game offers NFTs and the PLA crypto token, and has play-to-earn features. There are many more blockchain-based games to come.
Use the ‘Jump to Section’ above to skip to game specifics and links to how-to’s.
Wouldn’t it have been awesome if you had started playing Axie Infinity a couple of years ago when it first started? Aside from a bunch of fun gaming, you’d likely have tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account from Axie and token sales.
The good news is that blockchain-based gaming and NFTs within games are only getting started. There are still plenty of opportunities out there for both earning and having fun.
Roblox has become an absolute behemoth in the gaming space, with a post-IPO valuation of over $70 billion and over 40 million daily active users. That’s roughly the population of Spain logging on to Roblox every day to game. If we take something like this and pair it with crypto gaming, the result could be an absolute Frankenstein of awesomeness.
This blog dedicates itself to helping others learn about all things cryptocurrency, and its real-world applications. Blockchain is a decentralized list of transactions- so where does this come in to the video gaming space?
Let’s take Fortnite for example. Epic Game’s Fortnite has been nothing but a monstrous success, earning Epic nearly $6 billion/year with over 10 million daily active users. One of Fortnite’s hallmark features is the ability for players to purchase unique outfits (skins) within the game to show off to their friends.
Players spend up to $10,000 for certain skins in Fortnite. Item sales like this is how Fortnite makes its money. These skins are valuable because they are unique and of a limited quantity. That sounds a little like something else, doesn’t it? That’s right, NFTs. Any rare item could easily be an NFT- as a matter of fact, it’s even better if it’s an NFT.
Why? Because NFTs have proof-of-ownership on the blockchain, an un-alterable (immutable) list. As it turns out, humans are drawn to items that are scarce. If your character in Fortnite has a super scarce skin that’s part of the Travis Scott set it signals to other players that you’re a badass (or rich).
Games within the Roblox ecosystem are now introducing NFT items (weapons, skins, etc.) into their games based on the Polygon MATIC blockchain (for now, many others will likely come later).
Combine this with the ability to play-to-earn cryptocurrency tokens and the ability to sell those tokens or NFTs on centralized exchanges like Coinbase or KuCoin, and you just might have something really special.
If you’re looking for a quick, comprehensive guide for some fantastic easy-to-learn, play-to-earn crypto games that aren’t on the Roblox ecosystem look at this video by Guy over at the Coin Bureau.
The first big game developer to introduce blockchain gaming into the Roblox ecosystem has been PlayDapp. PlayDapp has released its first blockchain-based game, Along With the Gods, and has several more games to come.
According to its white paper, PlayDapp is a game portal that provides a player-to-player marketplace. Many of the items in the marketplace are NFTs and are thus limited edition and unique. You can use these items anywhere across games within the PlayDapp ecosystem.
This means that new developers can join the ecosystem and make their own games, which will allow the use of your NFTs you’ve bought in other games. Think of buying a player outfit in Halo Infinite and being able to use that same outfit in Grand Theft Auto 6 when it comes out (in the year 2050? LOL). Obviously PlayDapp is on a much smaller scale than this, but you get the idea.
If you buy an NFT skin, you’ll be able to level up in the game and sell your skin for more than what you paid in the marketplace. You can also amalgamate your skin with other items that are unique to increase its worth in the marketplace.
Playing to earn with Along With the Gods
One of PlayDapp’s games, Along With the Gods, recently had its play to earn launch in early Q4 2021. Click the link in the previous sentence to get details for how-tos on playing to earn, but I won’t go through the entire topic here. The summary is that you can buy and stake your in-game NFTs (which are on the Polygon MATIC blockchain) to earn in-game rewards in the form of PLA (play) tokens. You can then use these tokens to turn around and buy more NFTs.
Earning and selling tokens with blockchain gaming
If you’ve been paying attention to the crypto gaming space for any amount of time, you probably know about Axie Infinity, the world’s most popular blockchain-based game. Axie Infinity’s native in game currency, AXS token, is currently the 27th largest crypto in the world with a $8.6 billion market cap. Reread that last sentence: AXS’ market cap is nearly enough to make it a Fortune 500 company.
AXS and Smooth Love Potion (SLP, the other crypto token in the game) are on the Ethereum blockchain. Buying and moving them around costs a shit ton in ETH gas fees, which sucks. This won’t be a problem with the PLA token, since it’s based on the Polygon blockchain.
Selling your items outside the PlayDapp marketplace
You’ll be able to sell your PLA tokens the same way Axie Infinity players are able to sell their AXS and SLP tokens outside of the game. This could be on either centralized exchanges like Binance or KuCoin or through decentralized exchanges like Uniswap.
Depending on how much adoption games within the PlayDapp ecosystem get, this could be a lucrative opportunity in addition to being a fun opportunity.
Where is blockchain gaming headed?
A lot of leviathans are going really big on the MetaVerse. Facebook changed its name to Meta (mainly because the Facebook brand was rightfully suffering). Gemini crypto raised $400 million to help build its own metaverse (and protect the metaverse from Facebook). Everyone from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to Elon Musk have sworn up and down that the metaverse is going to be a big deal.
All this means is that there will be increasing value assigned to digital assets that you can transact with or show off in this new digital world. Many celebrities already have Ethereum verification badges for the NFTs they use as their profile pictures on Twitter.
The future of NFTs in gaming
NFTs are not just limited to pictures of CryptoPunks or Bored Apes. An NFT can be anything of limited value that you can’t replicate. This could be an exclusive Fortnite skin (no NFTS on Fortnite- YET, I think this will change). It could be a 1/100th ownership of the royalties to Jay-Z’s or Katy Perry’s next hit single.
NFTs will begin to infiltrate the gaming space with reckless abandon. The examples layed out here are just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s talk a little bit more about where Roblox fits in to this growth model.
Is Roblox stock (RBLX) a good investment?
There is no stock I’m more bullish on than Roblox. Roblox’s platform has a user base far larger than so many other tech platforms out there but is still relatively unknown to the mainstream because its userbase is so young. Roblox has a partnership with Chinese gaming giant Tencent, and expects to see explosive growth in China over the coming years.
The stock had its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in March 2021 at $64, and it has since doubled that price (to ~$135 today), and will probably triple that price (to $192) by 2022.
Roblox’s active user base has grown like wildfire and now its surpassing some of the biggest players in the gaming space, like Microsoft, Steam, and Sony.
I think it’s worth it to give Along With the Gods a solid go. Even if you buy some skins and tokens and end up never playing the game again, those assets could be worth a whole lot a few years from now. Obviously a genuine interest in gaming helps. Worldwide, less than 3% of the world’s population owns or transacts in cryptocurrency. If this figure is small, then the NFT space is tiny, and the NFT space within gaming is micro. That means even if there’s a little more adoption we’ll likely see assets like these take off. Be on the lookout for more blockchain-based games to be hitting the scene. Who knows- maybe in a few years we’ll see mega-titles like Battlefield or Age of Empires adoption blockchain. Have fun, and be careful out there!