We saw this play out earlier this year when a massive fire in France destroyed approximately 30 servers connected to the hugely popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) Rust. As a result of the incident, thousands of players lost their saved data, which wasn’t backed up offsite.
The destruction of Rust’s servers helped make the case for more decentralized, blockchain-based gaming models, where external circumstances won’t cause gamers to lose their hard-earned progress or in-game items. As the digital economy has matured, these items have a real-world value, sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars range or more.
“People spend a lot of money in games. When they quit a game, that money is gone. Your investment is gone. It doesn’t mean anything,” said Gabe Leydon, the former CEO of Machine Zone. “So if people are willing to spend that kind of money in something where if they stopped logging in, it has no value. What happens when, if they stop logging in, they sell what they bought. It will change the whole nature of video games. It won’t be spending anymore. It will be investing. So it totally changes everything.”