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What Is On-Chain Gaming?

Everything you need to know about On-chain gaming, where blockchain, smart contracts, and oracles redefine the web2 gaming landscape.

Eliza Crichton-Stuart author picture}

Eliza Crichton-Stuart

Head of Operations

What Is On-Chain Gaming?

On-chain gaming is a term used to describe video games that are exclusively developed utilizing blockchain, smart contracts, and Oracle technology. In this article, we explore the world of on-chain gaming, where blockchain, smart contracts, and oracles redefine the gaming landscape. From major industry players to a growing community of pioneers, discover the transformative potential in fully on-chain games. We also cover how popular web3 titles like Axie InfinityGods Unchained, Deadrop, Illuvium, and Wildcard exemplify this transformative trend.

What Is On-Chain Gaming?

Fully On-Chain Games

Blockchain games are gaining prominence as a novel and enhanced method for attracting and engaging players, with major gaming companies like Square Enix, Nexon, and Ubisoft exploring this cutting-edge technology.

It's essential to note that blockchains may not be a universal solution for all games. For instance, most first-person shooter (FPS) games face challenges in running on blockchains due to their slow processing speed, making it impractical to handle sub-second player reaction times.

Consequently, the majority of blockchain games utilize the technology for specific aspects of their tech stack, particularly for the distribution and movement of digital assets representing in-game items and currencies. Nevertheless, there exists a niche yet expanding community of web3-native developers and players who are pioneering games and gaming experiences entirely built on blockchains, commonly known as "fully on-chain games."

What Is On-Chain Gaming?

What Are On-Chain Games?

On-chain gaming refers to the growing ecosystem of games and NFT primitives that operate entirely on blockchains. This implies that every element of the game, excluding the front end (the visible part of the game for players), is executed solely through blockchain technology.

The key distinction between an on-chain game and a traditional blockchain game lies in the integration of game logic directly into smart contracts and the storage of game state (such as player names and ranks) on the blockchain, rather than relying on a centralized gaming server connecting only with an NFT smart contract. For a game or game-like experience to be categorized as an on-chain game, all its game logic and data must be stored on-chain.

What Is On-Chain Gaming?

How Does On-Chain Gaming Work?

On-chain gaming mandates that games exclusively utilize smart contracts, which are self-executing pieces of code managed by blockchains, to store their game logic and data.

In broad terms, game logic establishes the rules of a game. For example, in an online trading card game (TCG), the game logic determines how matches commence, the order in which cards can be played when a match concludes, and more. In on-chain games, these fundamental aspects are encoded into smart contracts, making them unalterable.

What Is On-Chain Gaming?

Smart contracts are also employed for the creation, distribution, and transfer of digital assets. In the context of a trading card game (TCG), the digital assets in use would typically be trading card NFTs. These digital assets are widely utilized in blockchain games and have already been implemented by NFT games like Axie InfinityGods UnchainedDeadropIlluvium, and Wildcard.

Amazon Prime Gaming Now Offers In-Game Content From Gods Unchained 4.jpg

Final Thoughts

On-chain gaming represents a paradigm shift in the gaming industry, leveraging the capabilities of blockchain, smart contracts, and oracles to create novel gaming experiences. While major players in the gaming industry are exploring blockchain technology, it's evident that the full potential is being realized by a niche community dedicated to developing and experiencing fully on-chain games.

The integration of game logic directly into smart contracts and the storage of game states on the blockchain signify a departure from traditional gaming models, offering increased transparency and security. As the on-chain gaming ecosystem continues to grow, with notable examples like Axie InfinityGods UnchainedDeadropIlluvium, and Wildcard leading the way, the future holds exciting possibilities for a decentralized and player-centric approach to gaming.

This article was inspired by an original blog post from Chainlink, you can read the full post on their website here for more information.


NewsEducational

updated:

March 1st 2024

posted:

March 1st 2024

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