Updated: Oct 6, 2021
The video game industry generates more than $160 billion per year. In the past, gamers had no avenue for monetizing their activities in the virtual world, but that has changed thanks to the emergence of content-sharing platforms like Twitch and DLive, new monetization models like subscription services, and the rise of esports.
According to The State of Online Gaming 2020, an in-depth report based on responses from 4,500 global gamers, more than 38% of video game players would like to become professionals if they could support themselves financially while doing so.
Gamers are mostly young and tech-savvy, so it’s no surprise that many of them prefer to earn crypto rather than fiat currency. Several platforms allow them to do just that.
A blockchain-based live-streaming platform, DLive uses a virtual reward point system known as Lemon. In the DLive ecosystem, Lemon is a virtual currency used to reward gamers or pay for subscriptions. The unit price of Lemon is fixed at 0.012 USD, and payouts are made to gamers twice a week. The minimum threshold for payouts is 4,250 Lemons ($51), but because DLive is owned by TRON, gamers can request payment in TRX, BTT, or USDT stablecoins. Lemons cannot be spent or traded outside the platform.
Rally is a little different from platforms like DLive and Twitch. It was designed to allow gamers to earn via a separate economy where supporters can buy, donate, and hold unique assets known as Creator Coins. Since these Creator Coins are entirely unique to the streamer in question and have monetary value like any other asset with a finite supply and volume, they can help gamers earn even if they leave the platform for any reason.
To quote co-founder Amit Ranade, “Creator Coins empower content creators to build a whole new marketplace around their brand and community, opening the floodgates for both content creators and their fans to participate in a greatly expanded creator economy.”
Amazon’s streaming service for gamers has more than 15 million daily users. Twitch has had a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrency. Early in 2018, the platform accepted subscription payments in both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, but in mid-2019, it quietly abandoned support for crypto. In 2020, Twitch flipped once more, offering a 10% discount to subscribers who paid in crypto.
Twitch has expanded its crypto support to include Ether and stablecoins such as GUSD, USDC, PAX and BUSD. While Twitch gamers can’t, at this time, earn cryptocurrency, they can accrue in-game virtual assets known as Bits (each one’s worth 1 cent), which are redeemable for fiat.
Of course, you don’t have to be a professional gamer with an army of devoted supporters to earn cryptocurrency from gaming. Immersive virtual reality games likeDecentraland, Sandbox, and Somnium Space have their own economies and currencies, meaning players can buy and sell virtual land and in-game assets represented by non-fungible tokens. Gamers can charge others to play, rent out virtual land, or participate in events run by fellow players.
The Enjin platform specializes in minting NFTs for the gaming market and helping developers (and, in turn, gamers) integrate blockchain technology to monetize gameplay. Billions of assets have been created to date, each backed by Enjin Coin (ENJ), an ERC-20 token with real-world value. ENJ is available for trading on many of the world’s top crypto exchanges.
There are even platforms looking to pay those who watchgamers live-stream their exploits online. San Francisco startup Refereum, for instance, is working on ways to pay viewers in Tron’s TRX coin and BitTorrent’s BTT token following a partnership agreement struck with the companies in 2019.
There are a great many decentralized applications, particularly on Ethereum, TRON and EOS, that bring monetization to the world of gaming. To date, the most successful has been CryptoKitties, a game based on breeding collectible cats. At the peak of the viral game’s popularity, one player sold a CryptoKitty for $170,000 worth of ETH.
Written by HubPod School