Blockchain technology opens up a realm of new possibilities for game developers and gamers. Blockchain games look set to boom in 2020 as more projects emerge, launch and others progress to anticipated launch dates. The race is on for developers to create the first major blockchain game title – one that achieves mainstream use and perhaps even the popularity of Fortnite or Clash of Clans.
By using blockchain in their game builds, developers can factor in the technology behind cryptocurrencies in order to enable the tokenization of game items and assets as well the transfer and trading of these non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and fungible tokens, or enabling digital currency transactions.
NFT and blockchain technology means that finally gamers will be able to own their game assets, take them outside of games, trade them or sell them or port them to their next new favourite game. The options at this stage are almost endless and they pave the wave for in-game micro economies and adding real world value and money earning potential to the gaming space.
Blockchain’s immutable and decentralized ledgers can remove the need for third parties, increasing the connection between developers and gamers. And, blockchain’s records and transparency may add trust to the burgeoning esports scene and esports betting as it grows to rival traditional sports.
For game developers, NFTs and the use of digital currencies adds new revenue streams and novel news ways to monetize their projects, whilst also rewarding players.
Without further ado lets look at some of the most anticipated and top blockchain games for 2020, in no particular order.
2020 blockchain games to watch or play already
Epitomizing the gold rush, the Prospectors blockchain game was the first massively multiplayer game (MMO) on the EOS blockchain, and now on the WAX blockchain. It’s a real time economic strategy game and has a fully user enabled economy.
In the game, gold miners head north hunting for the shiny ore and as in the gold rush of history, gold dealers, money lenders, traders and other adventurers follow. In prospectors, gamers can take a number of routes and they have to complete multiple steps to reach game goals.
Gods Unchained was one of the most popular blockchain titles in 2019 and could be the first big blockchain success of 2020.
It’s a free to play game with non-blockchain cards as well as blockchain ones if players want to progress onto trading or selling cards.
Gods Unchained already has an esports tournament with a $400,000 prize pool.
Card based games are incredibly popular and form a significant part of the esports phenomenon. SkyWeaver is based on the Ethereum blockchain and has similarities with Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone. It’s backed by one of the co-founders of Reddit and is currently in closed-beta mode with a full launch planned later in 2020.
In the game, collectible game cards are NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain, they can be used in the game or traded on secondary markets.
SkyWeaver says the game is easy for anyone to learn, but for game masters it is “deep and complex.” Card decks are used to summon creatures, cast spells and battle other players, or SkyWeavers.
The Sandbox, or TSB Gaming part of Animoca Brands, is developing a blockchain version of The Sandbox where players will be able to buy LAND NFTs which represent land in the game’s virtual world. Players and developers will be able to develop their own content within the voxel realm.
In April 2020, Atari partnered with The Sandbox and has taken large spaces of digital land, called ESTATEs in The Sanbox metaverse. Atari will use these spaces to create 3D voxelised versions of its classic games. Atari will have its own tokens and players will be able to use these and The Sandbox’s native digital asset SAND.
The Six Dragons
Currently in early alpha format, The Six Dragons is a massive RPG project with an open world where players can explore, fight, farm, harvest and create and utilise over 300 unique blockchain based game assets.
In The Six Dragons players create their own unique class of characters using combinations of abilities based on wizards, warriors and clerics. It’s a single player game but players can collaborate in a group of five companions working on quests together.
The developers, BlockPegnio, will also add esports options including PvP battles and a mode for two to four players.
The BlockPegnio development is being built using the Enjin blockchain game development platform, the Enjin Platform, an ambitious project tipped as one to watch for 2020.
With real-world style economies popular in blockchain games, a real-world sim is not a surprise. Upland is based on the EOS blockchain and players can trade virtual real estate in real cities such as San Francisco, US.
The game shares similarities with Pokemon Go but instead of collecting cute game characters players can gather buildings and local attractions. Like in monopoly players can hold collections of buildings and display their holdings value in fiat currency. Unique features can also be assigned to properties and players aspire to earn profit.
The game’s developers plan to add the facility for players to exchange their in-game tokens for real fiat cash, selling their game properties on the platform’s marketplace.
Upland will launch fully on mobile and web in 2020 and is currently available only on mobile with a limited beta of San Francisco. More cities for Upland are planned.
Kronoverse is building CryptoFights on the Bitcoin SV blockchain. It will be an esports fighting platform with built in cash prizes and esports betting. The Kronoverse blockchain gaming platform and its proprietary game, CryptoFights, is expected later in 2020
Nine Chronicles is being developed by Planetarium, also building their own gaming blockchain technology called Libplanet. Planetarium was chosen for mentoring by the Ubisoft Entrepreneur Lab.
Nine Chronicles will be an open-source RPG with its data stored on its own blockchain and then via Libplanet potentially the ability for gamers to create their own modifications and game versions or maps.
Age of Rust
This game has been in development by SpacePirate Games since 2017 and has evolved substantially. It’s now part of the Enjin platform, based on the Ethereum blockchain.
Originally planned as a text-based adventure, Age of Rust has become a 3D open world game with exploration and puzzle solving as well as combat missions.
Blankos Block Party
Building on the popularity of collectibles, Blankos will be just that. Blankos Block Party will be the first release from US blockchain game platform Mythical Games and it’s being developed by UK company Third Kind Games.
Blankos are “vinyl toys” and will be collectible as well as inhabiting an upbeat world which is now rumoured to also enable user generated content. The game format could well be a party MMO where players can utilise and show off their Blankos.
Blankos Block Party was scheduled for release at the end of 2019 but has been postponed until summer 2020. It’s being built on the EOS blockchain but is also rumoured to have compatibility with other blockchains like Ethereum.
Another blockchain-based RPG, Neon District has a cyberpunk theme and is being developed by Blockade Games.
Gameplay takes place in a city called Unity which has a rich neighbourhoods as well as one of outcasts, the Neon District. Rebels fight against oppression and players develop their characters by collecting in-game items, as NFTs. Players must develop a strategy, conduct missions and battle. Ethereum blockchain enabled game equipment can be sold or exchanged.
Neon District’s launch was postponed at the end of 2019 and is now expected during the summer of 2020.