While play-to-earn was among the most overhyped narratives of the previous cryptocurrency market rally, it is still unclear whether decentralization is actually what the gaming segment needs. A survey of 2,300 game developers suggests that we should not overestimate blockchain usage in gaming as of today.
Sensation: Only 2% of game developers are using blockchain, crypto and NFTs
The team of the Game Developers Conference 2023 (GDC) surveyed over 2,000 leading game developers about business models, monetization schemes, technical opportunities and preferable platforms for their products. Two sections of the survey covered developers' opinions on the prospects of blockchain adoption in gaming.
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The results of the survey might look bearish for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Asked about whether their studios are interested in using blockchain technologies in development — either cryptocurrency, NFTs or Web3 as a concept — 75% of participants answered "not interested," 16% are "somewhat" interested and only 7% are "interested" in experiments with these instruments.
Only 2% are already using decentralized instruments in their products. Metrics of positive attitude toward blockchain saw a 15-20% decrease in one year.
"What is your opinion on the use of blockchain technology in video games now compared to a year ago?" The answers to this question look even more "bearish": more than half of developers claimed that they were opposed to blockchain a year ago and are opposed now as well; 5% of developers became more pessimistic about blockchain in the last 12 months, while one developer out of four is unclear about their opinion.
"Solution looking for problem" or devs' guilty pleasure?
In a discussion, a number of polar opinions were expressed. Some developers said that the blockchain sphere itself is seeking viable use cases to explain its usefulness:
Blockchain is a textbook example of a solution looking for a problem. Despite being well known for over a decade, it has no practical use-cases—outside of cryptocurrency, which itself has a single use-case of enabling finance fraud
Less adamant critics of blockchain suggested that the sphere might find use cases for blockchain and NFTs in 10 years or so, but in 2023, databases are as useful as distributed ledgers in gaming.
However, one developer claimed that some of his colleagues are "exploring its (blockchain — V.S.) use more quietly." It is highly likely that regulatory and ethical problems are the main roadblocks to crypto adoption and gaming alongside the well-known volatility of digital assets.
The Game Developers Conference 2023 will take place in San Francisco (CA) between March 20 and March 24, 2023.