Despite promises of “decentralization” and “trustless ownership,” the vast majority of crypto games today are, at best, partially decentralized. Web3 is the branding, but in reality, most are “Web2+.” Game assets live on-chain, yet the game logic, state and storage remain off-chain on centralized servers.
Why? Simply put, it’s not easy to build a fully decentralized game on-chain. Blockchains in 2023 are still far too slow for processing the gargantuan number of transactions that video games require. Lattice CEO Ludens tells Cointelegraph:
“Building a fully on-chain game right now is a little bit like building video games on a computer from the 1980s. We don’t yet have complex on-chain games yet because the blockchains – even Layer 2s – are not powerful enough right now.”
Furthermore, developers have to make important tradeoffs when using blockchain technology to make the game widely accessible to non-crypto audiences.
For instance, Aurory’s developers created a hybrid inventory system called Syncspace, which allows players to leave their assets in Aurory’s custody, but move them into their Solana wallets if they wish.
“Syncspace is Aurory’s UX strategy,” Julien Pellet, Aurory’s infrastructure technical director, tells Magazine. “Not every player wants to handle the complexities of a crypto wallet. We accepted that tradeoff by building Syncspace and allowed some assets to live off-chain in order to bring Aurory to a wider audience of non-crypto-native Web2 players”
But there are passionate communities of degens interested in full-fat, on-chain “autonomous worlds” that are built from the bottom up by the players. One group even modded a game to form a communist collective so everyone “won” the same. Autonomous worlds, as they’re sometimes known, face a lot of hurdles, but given the limitations, the early results are impressive.
Sky Strife from Lattice. (X/Twitter)
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