Sony and Microsoft, the two biggest video game publishers and console producers in the world, have both been reportedly making significant moves to integrate blockchain technology with gaming in recent years.
A series of big strides made by Sony include:
filing a patent for a system allowing players to transfer digital assets (e.g. non-fungible tokens, or NFTs) between games on its PlayStation console using blockchain technology. This could enable digital asset ownership across different games rather than having assets locked to individual games;
exploring tokenising in-game assets, allowing players to sell and trade them on secondary markets;
announcing in October that it was partnering with Web3 builder Startale Labs to build their own blockchain; and
in a recent blog post on the Sony Group portal, Sony announced plans to leverage blockchain beyond the confines of cryptocurrency, echoing a transformative belief in blockchain's potential to reshape social systems.
As for Microsoft, leaked documents show that it is planning to add crypto wallets to Xbox. This would allow players to trade digital assets across different platforms securely. Microsoft's is also pursuing the acquisition of Activision Blizzard and acquiring Savage Game Studios for mobile. This suggests that Microsoft is serious about expanding its gaming presence and that blockchain could play a role.
Video games and the "metaverse" have long been considered significant use cases of blockchain technologies, digital assets and NFTs. Some of the main drivers of the growth of the blockchain gaming market include:
the increasing popularity of play-to-earn games;
the growing demand for more immersive and engaging gaming experiences; and
the increasing adoption of blockchain technology by game developers and publishers.
Sony and Microsoft are definitely not alone in eyeing a NFT gaming future. Companies like Disney are also increasing stepping onto the blockchain stage. Closer to home, Sydney based Immutable recently signed a deal with UbiSoft to bring Web3 into that studio's games.
The footsteps of global gaming titans certainly sends a resounding signal to the world—the era of blockchain isn't just a digital spectacle, but has the power to reshape entire industries.
By Jake Huang and Michael Bacina