by R.A. Rowell
For all the great things and projects with Blockchain games being built on the popular Ethereum blockchain, this trend is likely to not last forever. A recent article on Crypto Vest suggests that "Gaming is Out, DeFi In for Ethereum" and that statement is backed up by some hard data. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is the use that the Ethereum blockchain seems better for, as the creation of DApps (Decentralized Apps) has slowed. Of course, Ethereum was originally designed for fundraising for ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). So, the crypto lending programs such as Nest seem like they are better suited for the network than games.
As this CryptoNews article about the top 5 most popular blockchain games shows, only one of the five games is on the Ethereum blockchain. The other four exist on the EOS blockchain. The one Ethereum game is the very popular MyCryptoHeroes, but it doesn't reach the popularity of Prospectors or EOS Dynasty. Of course, popular blockchain trading card game Gods Unchained uses the Ethereum blockchain, as does the Enjin software development kit for the Unity game engine.
Which Blockchain Network Will Be the Long-Term Solution for Crypto Gaming?
Of course, the real issue with Ethereum is its scalability. It simply isn't designed to handle the amount of transactions necessary to properly run a popular and complex game. Even CryptoKitties, which is hardly complex, badly congested the network back in 2017.
The other news in the TRON network's favor is a Unity SDK for the TRON blockchain similar to the one Enjin created. Up until now, it's been the fastest growing network and largest blockchain ecosystem so far. But, primarily the games have been limited to gambling. A Unity SDK will give game developers the option of another blockchain to develop with, one that offers far more scalability. Also, the TRON network has boasted the best transaction speeds among the popular blockchains. There's a lot to like about the future of the TRON blockchain.
While EOS was the slowest growing of the major blockchains during Q3 of 2019, it also had the best user retention rate. Already many popular blockchain games exist on the EOS blockchain and there are sure to be more.
Will Ethereum Blockchain Gaming Survive Its Growing Pains?
With many projects and related assets tied to the Ethereum blockchain, it will be interesting to see how Ethereum adapts. It's still a growing network, of course, but it's been experiencing big growing pains. Fortunately, one of its biggest pains, the Fair Win FOMO game that turned out to be a scam, is no more. It congested the network so badly that legitimate DeFi apps actually had problems functioning. The loss of an app that congested up to 60 percent of the network at one point will open up the network to more legitimate ventures.
If the trend continues, however, it's likely that Ethereum blockchain gaming won't have a chance against the rapidly growing TRON, the already solid EOS, or rising stars like Chromia. As the author of a website called Digital Collectibles Journal, obviously I am watching these trends carefully. After all, DeFi is cool, but it's not my speed. With so many game related digital assets tied to Ethereum, I'm curious to see how blockchain gaming evolves (or doesn't) on that network.
Where do you see Ethereum blockchain gaming going? Is it doomed to network limitations or will innovations be made?
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Richard A. Rowell is a collectibles enthusiast coming from a long history of collecting trading cards in both sports and in Trading Card Games. He is passionate about educating the world about the future promise and benefits of digital collectibles, especially those using blockchain technology.