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This Blog tries to capture, analyze and produce significant articles interlinking the Payments, Bitcoin and MMORPG worlds. The Free to Play model with an in-game cash shop has several implications that affect both the virtual currency and payment industry

Author: cheech2811

The Winkelvoss twins are set to make an appearance at beLAUNCH – Asia’s prevalent tech startup conference – on May 14th 2014, in Seoul, South Korea, reported Coindesk. Why is South Korea significant in terms of Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies in general?

“Because of South Korea’s early experiences with virtual currencies (based on its early pioneering history with MMORPG/free-to-play), we believe that Korea will become the early-adopter market that massively embraces Bitcoin, perhaps becoming the tipping-point market of Bitcoin,” John Nahm, Co-Founder of Strong Ventures, told Coindesk.”

In previous posts I have expressed how interlinked the worlds of MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) and Bitcoins really are. Over the course of 14 years I have tried my hand in nearly 30 MMOs and explored the entire game content of atleast 8. The one thing that was common to every single game from Ragnarok to Allods Online to Guild Wars 2 – a cash shop placed inside the Free to Play model, which would link to your credit/debit cards or PayPal accounts and enable players to buy items, pets, weapons, consumables and various other goods.

Let me give you an example:

At the behest of my former Guildmates, I recently began a popular MMORPG known as Rift Online. As soon as you login, you cannot help but take notice of the blaring Rift Store Icon at the bottom of the screen.

mmobit7

As you can see I have marked the available payment options in red. Top Up can made directly while playing via Credit Card, PayPal or additional payment methods such as Allopass and Rixity among others.

The importance and value of game cash should not be taken lightly. Gold within World of Warcraft, one of the most densely populated MMOs, has become so valuable to players that many of them are ready to exchange real cash for the virtual version. Recently, 10,000 Gold could be exchanged for about $14. Yes, there are several 12 year olds making a decent buck, farming in MMOs.

So what am I getting at here? What if Bitcoin became an option for every MMORPG’s cash shop? The implications are incredible. You could transfer the entire value of your account from game to game. Every action inside an MMO becomes valuable, and you have a living, breathing virtual gaming community that works on a single decentralized economy. This may not happen with Bitcoin as such, but it must be understood that the technology behind Bitcoin is something that we cannot go back from. We may see a decentralized cryptocurrency, especially for the MMORPG worlds, some time in the near future.

As another case, Imagine this – a virtual Bitcoin ATM in every single Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) in the world, thus connecting all online gamers via a currency network that could be utilized for a vast array of purposes such as – Online Casinos running solely on Bitcoin, trade of virtual items and goods between games and even entire transfer of value from one MMORPG to another.

Nevertheless, we can already see some significant efforts in this space:

CoinLab:

  • This is the first official venture capital raise for a direct investment in Bitcoin, according to Forbes.
  • Two companies have already agreed to participate in a beta for the CoinLab mining concept — Wurm Online and graFighters.
  • graFighters is the first online fighting game for your hand drawn characters.

CoinRPG:

CoinRPG is a Bitcoin Inspired Free to Play Multiplayer Online Action RPG Game. Players are initiated to explore an open world, discover hidden treasures and hunt monsters for loot. They can team up with friends to siege castles, and face off against other players in PvP combat. The main quest is to become the ‘Best Coin Collector of the Realm”.

Nevertheless, we can already see some significant efforts in this space:

CoinLab:

  • This is the first official venture capital raise for a direct investment in Bitcoin, according to Forbes.
  • Two companies have already agreed to participate in a beta for the CoinLab mining concept — Wurm Online and graFighters.
  • graFighters is the first online fighting game for your hand drawn characters.

CoinRPG:

CoinRPG is a Bitcoin Inspired Free to Play Multiplayer Online Action RPG Game. Players are initiated to explore an open world, discover hidden treasures and hunt monsters for loot. They can team up with friends to siege castles, and face off against other players in PvP combat. The main quest is to become the ‘Best Coin Collector of the Realm”.

Some features of the game:

  • F2P (Free To Play)
  • Open World to Explore
  • Loot Collection
  • Monster Hunting
  • Anti-Player Killing System
  • Castle Siege Events
  • Real-Time Combat System
  • PvP Combat
  • Unique Non-Stats Based Level System
  • Skill Based Gameplay
  • Compete with other Players for Leaderboard Ranks
  • Bragging Rights and Real BTC

BitFantasy: 

BitFantasy is a Bitcoin driven MMORPG in its early Beta development phase. Players within the game can trade with each other using Bitcoins. Players can complete quests, fight of enemies trying to destroy the homeland of Bitlandia as well as discover new villages, resources and items. 

 

  • On the other hand, if users find trading lucrative after the first year then they just need to refresh their account with 0.04BTC per year to continue using the escrow facility provided by BitFantasy. 

Huntercoin: 

With the creation of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakomoto essentially opened up a new stream of innovation. We have seen a number of alternate crypto-currencies or Alt-Coins emerge over the last year – Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin, Dodgecoin, Mastercoin and many more. Frankly it was getting suffocating to hear of all those Bitcoin clones. In February 2014 however, a very interesting and innovative new P2P crypto currency was introduced – Huntercoin.

Huntercoin is defined as a human Mine-able P2P Decentralized Crypto Currency & Game. It is a fork of Namecoin that makes use of Namecoin’s protocol to host a decentralized game that is played on top of the blockchain. Namecoin on the other hand uses the protocol to resolve domain names.

What is it exactly?

  • Huntercoin is the Worlds first peer to peer (P2P) decentralized Massively Multiplayer Online Game(MMOG). It definitely has appeal to both gamers as well as crypto-currency enthusiasts.
  • Here, players control Hunters which harvest coins in a 2D virtual environment.
  • The Hunters return to a spawn area after harvesting, where the coins are effectively ‘banked’.
  • Participants collect Huntercoins (HUCs) inside a virtual environment through the application of strategy, teamwork and human effort.
  • HUCs have a real world financial value and unlike other crypto-currencies.
  • Huntercoin is affordably accessible to the majority because dedicated and expensive ‘mining’ hardware isn’t a necessity according to them.
  • These coins can then be converted into Bitcoins and real world currency.
  • Basically, you get Paid to Play! And not the other way round as it usually is.

Huntercoin reached $1m within the first three days of trading. It also has a rapidly-growing community, having accumulated over 5,000 players so far.

Dragon’s Tale: 

Dragon’s Tale uses Bitcoins in the place of casino “chips”. Players can either import their personal bitcoin balance into the game or they can gather small amounts of Bitcoins that are given for free within Dragon’s Tale.Bitcoins are defined on their website as a digital commodity that can be utilized for bartering and commerce.

Players can gather tiny amounts Bitcoins that are given free with Dragon’s Tale, or they can import their personal Bitcoin balance into the game.

There are a few ways to obtain Bitcoins:

  • Buy from Bitcoin exchanges such as Bitstamp, Coinbase or LocalBitcoins.
  • The user has to select “Buy Bitcoins” in the menu after clicking his character and the game client can suggest a place to buy some Bitcoins.

LeetCoin:

LeetCoin provides a competitive gaming platform wherein gamers can battle each other for Bitcoins. It currently supports Counter Strike: Source, but the company says that other popular games (maybe Dota or League of Legends?) are in development. LeetCoin is legal in 36 out of the 50 US States, Canada, most of Europe, Asia, and South America.

In-Game video showing Real-time bitcoin account balance based on kills and deaths:

“Players can login and join any time, we have servers that usually have 15-20 players at any time, and every sever has a wager set per kill and per death. It’s about 70 cents usually,” Leetcoin Founder and CEO, Kingsley Edwards, told Blowstamps. “For me personally I’d be playing on that server all the time just like you would for fun but you are also earning some Bitcoin in the process!”

It is obvious that we are moving towards an era where professional gaming has to be taken seriously. With the addition of Bitcoins to the scheme of things, it looks like this progression is being hastened.

 
Vapeus writes:

I think there is a large gap between developers keeping up with technological developments such as bitcoin and their games.

Also, there is a very fine line between virtual currencies (WoW gold) and digital currencies (bitcoin, LTC, dogecoin, etc). The legal implications between the two is likely a very important classification they will want to steer clear of the digital currency's ruleset.

Gambling in video games is regulated federally and by state. The moment they add in a digital currency, or really any for-profit type gaming (not how games don't focus on this in MMOs and the prizes are usually items) they enter a whole new field of legality and regulatory requirements.

Online gaming in general was destroyed by our (US-based) shitty legal environment and resort-casino lobbyists. It is just not starting to open up on a per-state basis with ridiculous requirements such as... a game to offer gambling to a player located in New Jersey would need a brick-and-mortar casino partnership. Most states have no gambling legal structure.

I have been in bitcoin/crypto space for over two years and strongly believe in its future relation to virtual currencies from games. One noticeable place I'd start is... take the playerauctions.com and make it bitcoin-only. A person would skip all of the regulatory / identification issues and exposure those sites require AND guarantee no chargebacks.

It's really the same concept as many of the markets in bitcoin already. Require a third-party "signature" on a transaction and you replace the need for a centralized market to exchange between virtual currencies. You could even hide the bitcoins completely and use it to back virtual currencies. Then players could freely exchange various game currencies on various servers for whatever their current market value is.

I could go on and on about BTC uses in MMOs. I suggested the idea of using BTC as in-game currency to Smedley for H1Z1.

Leetcoin is a very legit company. They have counterstrike and team fortress 2 servers running where players compete for bitcoin between each other. It is legal because it falls under the "competitive gambling" legal umbrella. They are also working on LoL I know and have spoken to their developers.

CoinLab is defunct scammers in legal trouble and their mining idea is horrible (you can't profitably mine bitcoin with it running behind a video game).

FYI - you have several repeats of the companies in your post. You should re-read it and edit.

Tue Apr 29 2014 11:51AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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