The gaming industry has always been filled with creative individuals, overall highly skilled and often with a great vision to create new worlds, ideas, and concepts. From the Pong days to the early PC and console era, and now the global online games, we have come a long way. But where we used to see developers and publishers work together to get the best experience for their clients, in the last couple of years or so, we are seeing a steady decline in the quality of games being launched. Furthermore, we see that more and more companies are solely focused on making profits, or in some cases even cash-cowing gamers on a yearly basis with seemingly minor updates being made to the franchise. Especially the larger publishers are functioning more as a company that needs to increase their revenue and profits every quarter, catering more towards the wishes of the shareholders than towards their clients, the gamers. CEO’s are also incentivized to have a short-term outlook rather than a long-term visionary perspective due to bonuses being handed out when (yearly) targets are met.
In a sense, you could say that the gaming industry has now fully matured, but luckily there will always be some bold visionary people, with the intent of creating new experiences focusing on enjoyment rather than profits. Others are looking into new ways of changing the industry for the better. There will always be new startups, or motivated individuals looking for ways to make new entertainment possible for the public. So while we may lose previous crowd favorites like Bioware and Bethesda, new companies and developers will sprout, and with new technologies come new ideas.
Just as we explained in our Blockchain & Gaming article, the gaming industry has always been one of the first sectors to embrace new technologies and look for ways to let it enhance their products. Blockchain will be one of those new technologies that will revolutionize the gaming industry, and the company that is leading the charge is Enjin.
The Enjin ecosystem
In contrast to the vast majority of cryptocurrency companies, Enjin already has a decade of experience under its belt. Enjin initially started out as a premade guild- and social media site for gamers, focusing mostly on the Minecraft space. Gamers were, and still are, able to create an all-in-one website platform for free. While already catering to 20 million gamers at the current time, the Enjin team stepped into a new market while already being highly successful.
Intrigued by blockchain technology, and primarily in what ways it is able to enhance the gaming experience and the new possibilities it can bring, Enjin decided to steer into a new direction. They saw how the technology can enhance genuine transparency and how it can address and resolve the lack of true (in-game) ownership of items, avatar, accomplishments, etc.
To solve these problems, the Enjin team initially designed and created a digital platform that can be used to trade, manage, and distribute virtual goods, but in the last couple of years, it has become much more than that. By combining their existing services with their future developments, it shows Enjin is trying to create an altogether new gaming experience for both the gamers as well as the developers.
The Enjin Marketplace
Enjin envisions a future in which games and their assets have true (real-world) value. Imagine being able to earn in-game items due to playing a game, and being able to be the sole true owner of said item. The time someone spends will not only results in entertainment for just that moment but can also grant you actual earnings. These items can be bought and sold on a blockchain-powered marketplace, sprouting entirely new professions for gamers besides Esports. While we already see game items being sold on, for example, the Steam marketplace, the big difference will be the true scarcity and ownership of items. Every item can be attached to an ERC-1155 token.
What is an ERC-1155 token
The Enjin team has developed a new standard for Non Fungible Tokens, completely unique and non-interchangeable blockchain-based digital assets, also known as NFT’s. Examples of NFT’s in a gaming environment can be a rare and powerful in-game sword. There already was a digital token for these items called ERC-721 tokens, however, the ERC-1155 for the first time enables the creation of both fungible and non-funigble tokens at the same time.
Imagine the difference between a vending machine that solely sells 1 soft drink, this is the ERC-721 token.
The ERC-1155 token in this example is a vending machine that sells you that soft drink but also sells 10 different soft drinks, some candy, and some popcorn and beer too.
It makes the entire generating, sending and receiving different kinds of assets a lot easier, cheaper and faster, while still maintaining all the advantages of using a blockchain. It also enables these items to be send across different games.
If you want to dig deeper into the technical aspects we recommend reading their Ethereum improvement proposal.
Although this obviously enables major changes in the way games are played, an even greater difference, and in our view the real gamechanger, is being able to attach your own profile or avatar to an ERC-1155 token, and transferring your character from one game to another. For the first time ever this means that all the time invested into leveling up a character, with certain accolades and accomplishments, will not vanish after completing a game. The connection between the player and his or her in-game character will strengthen tenfold. In essence, this means that you will now be able to create lifelong avatars. Seeing that avatar play in an enticing role-playing game, and after finishing that game – getting some cool gear in the process – importing that character into a FPS seems not so far away anymore.
So far we have only discussed how blockchain technology can improve the gamers’ experience, however, it may even be a bigger gamechanger for game developers. For the first time, due to game assets now being truly owned and verifiably scarce, developers can use this new aspect to create items with real value. In a nutshell, it means that a particular item in a game, for example, a piece of armor, can be enriched with Enjin coin which is locked up in the item and can only be released by destroying the item. The entire process is called minting and smelting and it’s pretty ingenious. More on this later. This also enables new ways for developers to receive funds prior to selling the full game by crowdfunding.
So how does the entire ecosystem work?
Think of Enjin coin as a cycle, existing of 5 steps with Enjin being the fuel to the entire system. We’ll explain the 5 steps below, but for people looking for an explanation by the Enjin team themselves, we’ll post a video below this section.
Step 1: Acquisition
Developers have to buy some Enjin coin to be used for their in-game items. Enjin has reserved 100 million Enjin coins available for partnerships which they will grand to developers that are going to use Enjin coin, otherwise they will have to be bought via an exchange like Binance (if you need help with buying alternative coins, we have got you covered in our how to article).
Step 2: Minting
Developers design game items and fill them with Enjin coin. In this process, developers turn Enjin coins into tokens. It’s the raw material to make your items. All the items will be backed by Enjin coin and will have the minimum value of the Enjin coin in it. All these items will then be stored on the blockchain!
Step 3: Gaming
Players acquire tokens by playing the game and use them in-game for various functions. Besides earning these token in-game players can also choose to buy them with fiat money from in-game stores or from other players.
Step 4: Trading
Because all items are Enjin based, they are all securely held in Enjin Wallets. The trading will have to be confirmed by both players before a trade can be made. Players really own these items, and trading is peer to peer. All these transactions have to be signed by both players on the blockchain. It doesn’t need a big central entity to facilitate the trade. And this is a big gamechanger.
On a side note: legendary items could be very rare and valuable, and can become 100 times more valuable than the initial Enjin coin stored in the item. This means that gamers can acquire items that are worth way more than the amount of money they have put into the game simply by playing the game. But the trading aspect of items with real value isn’t interesting just for gamers. Developers can set rules in their game whereby they receive a percentage of the trade themselves. Generating a constant stream of income.
Step 5: Melting
Players are able to liquidate the items they no longer need. They will receive 50% of the Enjin coin that is embedded in the item. The other 50% will return to the developers. This means that every player is sure to receive some value for their items. Although it is generally smarter to try and sell the item on the open market, melting does ensure that players will get some value from the items they melted.
The Enjin wallet
All of the above-described actions require an Enjin wallet, and the team has been very busy making one of the best wallets available out there. The wallet is available for Android, IOS and PC, and it isn’t designed just for Enjin coin but also for hundreds of other coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and many others.
One of the more interesting aspects of the wallet is that you can store your in-game items in your wallet. In contrast to general blockchain use cases, the Enjin team has made interacting with the blockchain very easy. Simply by pressing a button such as ‘Send’ and ‘Store’ people can transact items using encrypted blockchain technology. This ease of use is desperately needed. All too often we encounter projects that even for us make it difficult to interact with. If Enjin is looking to bring blockchain technology to the masses via games the entire ordeal should be intuitive. Enjin has a track record to cater to its customers and it shows in their products.
Accessibility is another major aspect of making Enjin universally accepted and used. Luckily Enjin has software developer kits for a plethora of applications such as Unity, Godot, and the Unreal engine, but also for the likes of Java, PHP, and C#. People can transact Enjin items between different games, and even from a game to a social media account or website. Enjin acknowledges that trading high-value items can sometimes be daunting so they even created an escrow option inside the trading experience.
In essence, the gaming worlds are now transcending virtual places, again making sure that the gaming experience does not stop when a game has been completed.
Increased built-in scarcity
Since Enjin tokens are locked up in items, and part of these items will never get destroyed, Enjin coin automatically increases its scarcity in case more and more developers are using Enjin coin, and blockchain technology in their games. Considering there still aren’t that many games using Enjin coin this means that Enjin coin has the potential to become scarcer with every passing year, increasing both the demand and price for the token and the value of Enjin fueled items.
Since Enjin has been around for a decade, it already partnered with a wide range of companies such as Unity, but since their adventure into the blockchain space, the company has been in talks and partnering with, some big names. 2 new partnerships are worth mentioning in this article, both due to them being big household names, and because they can lift the blockchain and gaming space into new heights.
At the start of 2019, it became known that Samsung and Enjin are collaborating for games and services, provided through the Samsung Galaxy store and used on their Samsung Galaxy S10 phone. Although both parties have been rather skittish with bringing out exact details of their partnership it has been said that Enjin will be used to settle in-game payments and for receiving and sending ERC-20 and ERC-1166 game assets. There are also rumors that Samsung will use the Enjin wallets on its phone.
Microsoft and Enjin have collaborated in a local pilot to create a blockchain-based recognition program. The system is pretty accessible. Individuals that provide a valuable contribution to the community, such as creating a tutorial or blogging about Azure, can be rewarded with Azure collectibles. These Azure Heroes badgers were created in several original and unique designs and have been tokenized into digital assets. These collectibles have to be stored on the Enjin wallet.
While it may seem small, it does show that a company as big as Microsoft isn’t just looking into the possibilities that blockchain can provide, but have chosen Enjin to be the company to test these out.
Games using Enjin
Due to this already being a lengthy article, we will revisit the games using Enjin coin on a later date. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to be notified of our latest updates!
To us, it is obvious that gaming and blockchain are a match made in heaven, and so far we feel Enjin has been the most progressive company in the space. We could see a winner takes it all scenario. And with partnerships like Unity, Samsung and Microsoft this may well mean that Enjin will become this winner.
There are a couple of other blockchain companies or cryptocurrencies that are trying to take a foothold in this vertical but Enjin shows they are ahead of the curb. With their platform, marketplace, wallet and developer kits, Enjin is catering not only to the gaming audience but even more so on the developer audience, highlighting the need for collaboration and to join forces into getting blockchain technology more and more used in newer games. Whether it be the true ownership of scarce items, the increased value of in-game items or the possibilities to take your entire game persona including accomplishments towards your next game, a lot of signs are pointing towards a future of the gaming industry in which blockchain technology has become an indispensable factor.
Besides the amount of work the team has been able to do in the previous couple of years, the company itself seems to have a culture that unfortunately is getting rarer with every passing year. They still care about their end-user. Both in regards to the gamers as to the developers, Enjin, although obviously a commercial enterprise that wants and needs to make a profit, is thinking in ways to improve their customers’ experience and their lives. In a short period, they have managed to include not only an entirely new platform, made it possible for developers to use a plethora of development kits, and develop a wallet which is also useful for a lot of different coins, they also made some new improvements that we didn’t even mention in this article such as their incredibly user friendly Ethereum explorer EnjinX, and the fastest way to send cryptocurrencies called Beam.
Most importantly we see the possibility that Enjin will level up the entire gaming industry by bringing an entirely new concept to live with the ability to take in-game items and avatars with you to other games, in a way making it possible to connect all games together in the future.
The only real hurdle has to be adaption and game developers both being interested in blockchain technology and skilled enough to make blockchain games work. Without adoption this all becomes irrelevant. However, we are sure that blockchain technology will be the next step in the gaming industry. We hope next-generation blockchain games will also combine other aspects such as VR and AR in the process. When looking at the companies that are spearheading this levolution, Enjin has to be our prime candidate to make this happen.
We will continue to digest all new endeavors in this space which include blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We are certain that blockchain technology will add fuel to the already big pile of new and promising technologies that will rocket the gaming industry into a new era. Be sure to follow us too and join our email list to get notified when we finished a new review or write up of one of the projects inside the gaming space!