Mobile Menu

Whatever Happened to Crypto in Video Games?

There was a lot of talk, not that long ago, about the potential of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in video games. Now that discussion has died a death.


There’s a couple of obvious reasons for that – all of the mainstream news about these things has been negative lately. I barely go a day without reading something about how someone lost a fortune on an easily stealable picture of a cartoon ape. But then again, you know what they say about fools and their money.

Still, it’s easy to write-off these things based on the shallow reading of the situation. The ape thing is funny, sure, but is it the be all and end all of blockchain? For most of us that’s probably the case. We’re never going to invest, so we’ll get the laughs where we can.

That doesn’t mean that cryptocurrencies are going anywhere, and it doesn’t mean we’re not going to have to get used to NFTs in our video games. But what does that mean for the future of the industry?

Crypto is Changing

This tech has changed rapidly in the last decade or so. More people are getting into it than ever, and companies are much more accepting than they were too. There are businesses that can help mainstream stores accept cryptocurrencies and it’s only a matter of time until some of the bigger players start accepting that too.

It’s really useful for those who are into Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies, because it means they can buy and sell using money they have. That seems fair and, if enough people are using crypto, it’s a service that absolutely makes sense.

And, in fact, that’s likely the biggest immediate change you’ll see in gaming with the NFT/cryptocurrency stuff. Eventually you’ll be able to buy things through the consoles via methods like these, especially if it keeps getting more and more popular.

You’re able to use Paypal through consoles, and through Steam. Not that long ago, that would have been unthinkable – it was the service you used for eBay and little more. But here we are. These kinds of things change and change quickly. If there is demand for it and if the console makers deem it safe on their end – and I suppose merchant services certainly help with that – then it’s a no brainer. (note: a quick Google search says this may already be possible on Xbox, but if so it doesn’t seem available in my region).

Cryptocurrencies are no longer the pure domain of tech bros certain they’re bringing down the world banking system or doing something that brings them off the grid. Your mom probably doesn’t own them – that’s when we’ll know they’re mainstream – but they’re somewhere in between.

Other Uses for Blockchain

There is a visceral reaction to the use of anything blockchain in video games, and that’s because the people who get behind this stuff are often reckless, foolish and LOUD. See the apes story again.

But realistically this tech could still have good use in video games. Imagine an MMO where the weapon of the first person to beat a boss becomes a legendary, one-of-a-kind item. History is created in a way writers and developers just can’t match through fiction.

Imagine winning guns in one game, and being able to take them to another. That’s pretty cool.

If you’re questioning whether these uses are worth all the other stuff that often comes with this tech are worth, well the answer is absolutely not. I don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for an official limited JPEG of Tifa in a bikini. Nobody does, even the people who think they do.

But through all the earned negativity is a tech that could be good. If only those wielding it could learn a degree of restraint.


Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

Follow on:
Twitter: @matgrowcott