Luck is the most important element of every gambling experience, and it has a part to play in many broader gaming contexts as well.
The early days of the crypto gaming scene were defined by this, with releases either purely being based on traditional betting models, or adopting a pay-to-win approach that put those with the deepest pockets at the top of the pecking order.
However, as crypto gaming enters the mainstream, skill-based alternatives are rising to prominence.
So what is the significance of this shift in the market, and what might it mean as it evolves further?
The balance of skill and luck
The concept of balance is at the core of game design, especially in the case that competition between players is part of the experience.
Flagship games, from fast-paced shooters like Call of Duty to turn-based card battlers like Hearthstone, regularly receive balance adjustments by the developers. This is done to ensure that there’s enough luck involved so that skilled players don’t always dominate, and thus everyone has fun and feels the rush of winning.
Games of chance are quite different. For instance, crypto casinos host everything from dice games to slots to sports betting, and in most instances the only thing that the player controls is what they bet and what prediction they make.
A good crypto casino review will cover all this, and on this website they come reviewed by experts. But where skill is absent and luck reigns supreme, it’s gambling and not gaming that’s taking place.
The problem with pay-to-win
We touched on pay-to-win earlier, and it’s an issue in lots of spheres of gaming. Basically, if you let people buy better gear or faster access to unlocks, whether with fiat currency or crypto, then luck and skill are both diminished, in favor of pure financial clout.
It’s a disparity that’s plagued not only the crypto gaming space, but casual games more generally for some time now. Either players have to grind out levels and earn in-game assets with their own time, or put funds they’ve earned elsewhere into the game to get ahead of the competition.
While it’s obviously satisfying for the whales, it’s no fun for the average player, and this has catalyzed the rise of skill-focused games.
The significance of skill
Skill exhibits itself in a couple of ways in a gaming context, with fast reactions and strategic thinking acting as two sides of the same coin.
Thus there are crypto games which exploit one or both of these concepts to put players at the head of the pack.
One example is the crypto-powered first person shooter Vibe or Die, often shortened to VOD. It follows the same blueprint as established franchises like Halo, but adds crypto staking to the mix so that there’s the possibility of a payoff for the person who gets the most kills in a match.
There are also slower-paced games like Splinterlands, which is a collectible card experience akin to the aforementioned Hearthstone. While you can earn rewards by paying for them, skill is also relevant here. And with hundreds of thousands of active users, it’s clearly popular.
The road ahead
Crypto gaming has a bit of an image problem, in the sense that it is still a market that is seen as swamped by luck-based experiences, or pay-to-win products.
Hopefully this new age of skill-based games being brought to the foreground will change wider perceptions, and bring more people across from the standard gaming scene to take a look at what’s on offer.