The Rise of the Bitcoin MMO

If the adoption of Bitcoin by Expedia, Microsoft and Virgin Galactic isn’t evidence enough that Satoshi Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency is one of the more versatile payment methods out there, a handful of massive multiplayer online (MMO) games have also added Bitcoin to their list of accepted currencies in the past two years.

311A5567” (CC BY 2.0) by SteelSeries


Blockchain

The internet is a very creative place, the home of keyboard cat and many other game-changing achievements. It’s perhaps no surprise then that Bitcoin originated online back in 2008. While it might have taken a while to make an appearance on the high street, Bitcoin’s endurance to date is perhaps the best evidence of all that it’s here to stay.

s, with iGaming notable for embracing the cryptocurrency early in its lifecycle. It’s not unusual to find iGaming brands that accept Bitcoin exclusively – like Bitcasino.io, the first licensed cryptocurrency operator. The site offers a range of games to suit all types of punters including poker, roulette, slots and blackjack. The latter game is available to play now in no fewer than 20 different variations, including Pontoon, Pirate 21 and European blackjack.

Crowfall

With regard to online games, IGN’s “Most Anticipated MMO” of 2016 is a Bitcoin-accepting game called Crowfall, a World of Warcraft-style title with an emphasis on political domination, faction wars, and player vs. player action. Crowfall allows players to use Bitcoin when buying “pledges” and subscribing to the game. Like Steam, the developers intimated that the currency will benefit people who don’t have access to traditional credit and debit cards.

Island Forge, a unique title based around world building and story writing for other players, is another Bitcoin-accepting MMO, although it does have a free-to-play model. The game’s graphics aren’t likely to win anybody over (it resembles the early Ultima titles with a little Age of Empires thrown in) but its novel approach is refreshing in an industry dominated by goblins and house-sized barbarians.

Growth

As a final note of caution, other Bitcoin accepting MMOs do exist but it wouldn’t be unfair to say that their developers have invested too much in the cryptocurrency as a draw for players; in other words, there are a lot of Bitcoin MMO games out there that don’t bear talking about, with dreadful graphics, limited gameplay and very little developer support.

The coming year already looks like a promising one for cryptocurrency, with some of the more excitable pundits predicting a value of $1000 (£814) to each Bitcoin (it’s currently at $886 or £721). Expect the currency to penetrate deeper into MMO land in the future, even if Bitcoin’s growth is a little slower than advocates are predicting.