Gamers and cryptocurrency are a good match, according to a survey by BitCrystals, a blockchain gaming company that the Switzerland-based EverdreamSoft owns.
The surveyors interviewed 513 people who play the BitCrystals game collectible card game Spells of Genesis and use the Bitcoin games wallet Book of Orbs. So the results are skewed toward people who are already using both blockchain games and cryptocurrency. But it does offer insights into the habits of people who are on the bleeding edge of games, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.
The survey said 46 percent of respondents had transacted a digital game item on the blockchain in the last 13 months.
Of the 51 percent who had not transacted in the last 12 months, the largest reason was from 33 percent of players who said they just did not have the money. The second largest reason was due to the complexity involved.
Fifty-one percent of respondents had bought or traded four or more items on the blockchain with the most interesting insight being that 27 percent of respondents had purchased or traded 10 or more items.
And 63 percent of respondents who transact digital game items on the blockchain also spend money on in-app purchases in mobile games.
When questioned about their motivations to transact on the blockchain, 58 percent cited ownership as “very important,” and 64 percent cited the ability to trade items freely as “very important.”
It is of little surprise that freedom and ownership are the key drivers of why people engage in trading or buying items on the blockchain.
Of BitCrystals’ players that had used the blockchain features associated with a game, the majority said that they had found it reasonably easy. Bitcoin and Ethereum were the two most popular currencies that respondents had invested in with 83 percent purchasing Bitcoin and 75 percent Ethereum.
Respondents also demonstrated an apparent desire to invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies with 42 percent spending in other currencies that were not listed.
Sixty-six percent of the players have invested in an ICO in the past 12 months. Overall investment in ICO’s seems to be quite conservative, with 35 percent investing in three or less and 33 percent not investing at all. At the other extreme,there was a group of 14 percent of players that have invested in ten or more currencies.
Nineteen percent said they had spent more than $500 on blockchain games in the past year. The majority had said they spent less than $100. About 63 percent said they had also spent money on in-game items in games during the past year. Older players in the 35 to 44 age group were most likely to have spent money on both blockchain game assets and in-game items.
Of the 513 gamers surveyed, 90 percent were male and the largest group was ages 25 to 34. The largest pool of respondents came from the U.S. followed by Japan at 12 percent, 5 percent for Russia and 4 percent for the United Kingdom, and Canada.
“Although there is a lot of media attention currently being given to the potential use of the blockchain in the games industry, very little research has been done into the attitude of gamers themselves towards the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” BitCrystals said in its survey. “Game developers need to focus on making the process as seamless as possible if there is to be a more significant adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency.”
Those who bought blockchain game assets said they did so because they could actually own the items they purchased, that they could trade their items freely and that they could convert in-game items into blockchain items (or “blockchainize” their items).
Seemingly contrary to popular perception in light of the sums people have spent on the blockchain, the ability to make money and buy assets as a long-term investment were two of the lowest reasons cited overall compared to all of the ones offered.
The lowest interest/motivation expressed was around the capability for players to create their own content and trade it on the blockchain.
Of the players that had used the blockchain features associated with a game, the majority said that they had found it reasonably easy to trade items on the blockchain. Only a minority found the process difficult, so we can assume that the basic process of using the blockchain is not the main barrier to adoption.
The survey concluded, “While it is indeed positive to see that 46 percent of all respondents had transacted game items on the blockchain, it is also apparent that there is still some way to go to ensure that there is more widespread adoption of the blockchain with everyday gamers. The fact that those who had not transacted on the blockchain cited complexity and lack of money as the two significant factors should come as little surprise when some well-documented CryptoKitties have sold for over $100,000 per card.”
The survey also found “a healthy appetite among gamers for the blockchain and perhaps not in the way that one would expect.” The value of the blockchain wasn’t financial to gamers. Rather, the value comes from giving gamers a real sense of ownership and freedom to convert their items.
GamesBeat Black Friday Gift Guide: Everything we recommend this holiday season