We have seen many iterations of dodgy ways to fund a MMORPG, starting with cash shops, though some would say the pre-order takes that crown. Since then we have seen everything from loot boxes to crowd funding, some which are inherently more dubious than others but all of which have many examples of being used in an abusive manner.
Having linked our gaming to gambling, gaming studios now want to link our gaming to cryptocurrency commence. According to some elements of the gaming media this is "an exciting time", it was the blinkered forward thinking of that phrase that made me start this thread. When will the gaming media wake up to this, likely never as apathy has been their overall attitude towards the changes we have seen over the years. That said, have we as players not also been lazy in kicking back at being treat like cash cows?
Now I know some see potential benefits, such as content creators (real content creators) with the likes of a Minecraft style game being paid by players for their contribution. These changes have always had a plus side though, it is the overall negative that has damaged the way we play. Even here though I would point out players have been happy to supply their creation for free, is making this all about the money you get what we want gaming to be about? Going back to cash shops, a flat fee was replaced with a "buy everything in the game" approach. Now Blockchain games are going to turn us into venal merchants who only care for the coin we gather. Where is the gaming ethos there?
The dangers of blockchain to gaming are mainly an exaggeration of what we have already seen. We have talked on here before of the importance of items being bound to your account and the way "skin economies" can distort what gaming should be about. Now you will eventually be able to use your item from one game to purchase an item in another game and so on. This further commercialisation of gaming will turn players into mini cash-shops, completing the circle that cash shops started when introduced.
Another issue that arises is that Blockchain "players" do not like differences between themselves and other players apart from what they have "earned". That means classes and power lists will go the way of the dodo, bitcoin games will want a banality in character generation never seen before. Apart from power ups and P2P, as long as it can be earned that's OK, here you see the worst aspects of gaming being made a priority. I don't have an issue with cosmetics, but if you do bitcoin welcomes in a new era of cosmetics, as these games only exist for what you can buy and sell.
"Playing" in an enterprise based on cryptocurrency is a whole other issue, I see it as unstable ground, but I realise many do not. But that's an issue we have covered here in a number of threads. I did note that in articles about blockchain games, blockchain casinos were covered, which rather shows you where gaming is now.
Even supporters of these developments have spotted potential issues, such as the community can get very contentious when gaming is about what money you are making. Remember how bad your MMO community can get at times, well a lot more so. Their other questions seem to all be about if there is enough money in this for them, gaming has internalised the mindset of gold sellers into its players, that was sad to see.
In summery: Blockchain is the latest example of bad business practice in gaming, which will just like cash shops adversely change the face of MMOs as we know them.