Blockchain Game Development: How to Use Blockchain Technology in Gaming Industry

 min read
5 March 2024
Maciej Kostyra
Maciej Kostyra
Blockchain Developer
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  • Intro

Blockchain technology was introduced over a decade ago and soon became synonymous with financial transactions and cryptocurrencies. Yet, everyone knows that the blockchain is much more versatile and can find applications in several other industries. 

Recently, the concept of using blockchain technology in the gaming industry has become quite popular. Axie Infinity blew up in 2020 and soon became one of the biggest and most profitable blockchain games, making more than $4 billion in sales.

Many other hot-selling games were launched about the same time, opening up the industry to new players and interesting innovations. In this post, we’ll explore all about blockchain development and how to get in one of the biggest waves in the gaming industry in recent years.

The topic in a nutshell:

  • The nature of blockchain as a secure and transparent way to store information makes it useful for a wide range of applications, including game development. 
  • Blockchain gaming merges traditional video games with blockchain technology, opening up a world of interesting possibilities. 
  • Play-to-earn games are blockchain-based games that allow players to potentially earn rewards as they play the game and complete tasks. 
  • To create great blockchain games, you have to research the market, define your concept, choose a suitable blockchain infrastructure, and build the game. 
  • It’ll cost between $25,000 to $50,000 to build a fully functional blockchain game, depending on the complexity of what you intend to build. 
  • More blockchain innovations are on the way, which promises more growth and new possibilities for blockchain-based games in the future. 

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a form of advanced database management technology. In this system, data is stored on a distributed ledger or database shared among all the computer network nodes that are a part of the system. 

On the blockchain, data is stored in blocks, linked together chronologically like a chain (hence the name). The database is consistent and immutable, which means it cannot be changed, deleted, or modified in any way without the consensus of all the participating nodes on the network.

The exact inventor of the blockchain isn’t known. The concept emerged publicly for the first time in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto (probably not his real name) published a white paper detailing the technology and how it works. Blockchain was born with the launch of Bitcoin, which is the first cryptocurrency built on this technology.

Blockchain introduced a new way for information to be stored on the internet. On regular online databases, anyone can add information, change existing content, or even erase things. With the blockchain, only participating system nodes on the network are allowed to write or add information to the blockchain. 

The blockchain is also immutable, which means any information added is permanent. It cannot be erased or altered, which ensures the reliability and transparency of records stored on the blockchain. The blockchain is also decentralized. Every participating system on the network holds an identical copy of the blockchain information, instead of a single entity controlling the information.

The nature of blockchain as a secure and transparent way to store information makes it useful for a wide range of applications. Although it is mostly associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, Blockchain is an advanced technology capable of supporting various use cases across different industries including finance, manufacturing, real estate, supply chain, and of course gaming. 

Blockchain in the Gaming Industry: What are Blockchain Games?

The term blockchain gaming refers to the use of blockchain technology as a part of a game’s architecture. Blockchain gaming merges traditional video games with blockchain technology either by building the game on a blockchain infrastructure or offering blockchain-based features as part of the overall gameplay. 

One of the main qualities of a blockchain-based game is decentralization. Even when they’re built by traditional game providers, the technology behind blockchain games means they’re built on a distributed ledger system, which makes them immutable and free from centralized control. 

Blockchain games typically utilize cryptocurrencies as in-game currencies while gaming assets such as avatars, themes, skins, weapons, and vehicles are in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

NFTs are unique digital assets stored on the blockchain, which means the records of authenticity and ownership are stored on public ledgers. Players who earn or buy these in-game assets can claim true digital ownership of them, which means the game publisher or developer would not have any control over these assets. 

Blockchain games are often designed to be interoperable too, meaning the assets have utility outside the game. Players can use their NFT avatars, weapons, themes, and other blockchain-based assets in other blockchain games or trade them on blockchain marketplaces for real money. 

The global market size for blockchain gaming reached a value of US$ 8.9 Billion in 2023. Experts think it’ll go up to US$ 854.4 Billion by 2032, representing a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65.2%. This growth is driven by various factors such as the growing awareness of the benefits of blockchain technology like transparency, reliability, and the monetization potentials through NFTs. 

What are Play-to-Earn (P2E) Crypto Games and How They Work?

Play-to-earn crypto games are blockchain-based online games that allow players to potentially earn rewards with real-world value as they play and complete tasks. These rewards can be in the form of cryptocurrencies or NFTs in the form of virtual land, game skins, weapons, collectible cards, and other non-fungible tokens. 

Game developers these days are increasingly incorporating blockchain development into their games. Unlike traditional games where game rewards are only valuable for gameplay within the game, play-to-earn games allow players to earn real rewards for battling other players, progressing through levels or achieving specific milestones. 

The type of rewards players get to earn depends on the nature of the blockchain technology on which the game is built. Most blockchain games feature in-game crypto tokens with real value outside the game. Players can also earn digital assets which have value on decentralized marketplaces and can be traded for cash. 

Play-to-earn crypto games leverage a system that already exists in most traditional games. Most games already have digital assets such as in-game tokens and game items that players can collect as they level up. Blockchain makes it possible to create complex virtual economies out of these rights within the games. 

Most blockchain games can be collected to crypto wallets, where they can store their game tokens and interoperable NFT assets. These tokens and assets can also be traded with other players within the game or sold on crypto marketplaces. 

Despite the attractiveness of play-to-earn crypto gaming models, the niche is still relatively new. Consequently, many games built on these models still face technical issues in terms of development and user experience. The volatility of the crypto market also introduces a layer of financial risk to these games. Like other crypto assets, the value of NFTs and other in-game rewards will rise and fall over time, which raises questions about the sustainability of these platforms among other challenges. 

Top Blockchain Games

Here’s a list of some of the top blockchain game projects that have been making waves in recent years:

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is one of the top P2E blockchain games. The game has made over $4 billion in sales since its release in 2018. In this Pokemon-themed game, players collect in-game creatures known as Axies which are in the form of non-fungible tokens. They can also earn rewards by using your Axie to battle creatures and breeding new Axies. In addition to the Axies, players can also mint runes and charms as NFTs on the Ronin blockchain network. The game’s token is known as SLP (Smooth Love Potion). Players can earn this token by completing quests and winning battles. 

 Alien Worlds

Alien Worlds is a play-to-earn game built on the WAX blockchain. It is set in a fictional alien universe where players act as intergalactic explorers seeking to mine Trillium (TLM) which is the game’s token. 

As part of the gameplay, players have to buy plots of land on which they mine with shovels and other mining-related equipment. The land and mining equipment in this virtual world are NFTs that can be traded for real money on the WAX blockchain. 


Splinterlands is an online card game with a play-to-earn model. In this game, players get to collect, buy, and trade cards that they own as NFTs. These cards are used strategically in battles as they face off against other players. Gamers in Splinterlands get to earn new cards in these battles and they also get in-game tokens (known as Dark Energy Crystals (DEC)) as rewards. 


Pegaxy is a horse racing game built on the Polygon blockchain. In this game, players compete against each other in races using their horse NFTs known as Pegas. Pegas can be purchased, bred, or rented from the game marketplace. Players that win in races win the game’s unique currency called Vigorus (VIS tokens). To get an edge in races, players must strategically upgrade, feed, and skillfully race their horses against 13 other gamers. 

How to Create a Blockchain Game?

Although the technology behind it is complex, blockchain gaming has proven to be a faster and cheaper way to build games compared to traditional game development. With these crypto games, developers no longer have to spend years on building complex backend systems and other infrastructure, cutting development time significantly. Here’s a quick step-by-step overview of how to create blockchain games. 

Market Research – Although blockchain gaming seems to be one of the hottest niches in the industry right now, you don’t just jump into building games without being certain it’ll meet the entertainment needs of players. There are loads of games in the blockchain gaming niche already. This is why you have to sample the interest of players and compare the options available to find a viable gap for your new game and design it along that line. 

Define your Concept – Based on your research, you can come up with a new game idea or refine your existing idea to suit market realities. You have to settle on the game genre and design the gameplay accordingly. Designing your gameplay mechanics and how it integrates with blockchain elements is also an important element in defining your game concept. You’ll also have to figure out how the game currency, NFT and other blockchain features will fit into your overall gameplay. 

Select a Blockchain Infrastructure – As you will discover, there are different types of blockchain programming languages and platforms. Your choice of blockchain infrastructure should be secure, flexible and simple to use. Blockchain platforms like Ethereum and Corda are popular with game developers for these reasons. Many blockchain games are built on these platforms, but there are other options you may consider too depending on your preference. 

Code the Game Logic – In blockchain gaming, game mechanics are typically coded with smart contracts. This helps to define the game logic transparently, manage in-game assets and define the logic for in-game transactions. The use of blockchain for the game logic also ensures decentralization, which is one of the core concepts of blockchain gaming. 

Develop the Front-end – Select the tools and frameworks for building the game’s user interface and interaction layers. In building blockchain games, the emphasis is often on immersive experiences. The graphics should also be high-quality and optimized for different platforms. This ensures an enjoyable visual experience for gamers. 

Development and Testing – At the final stage of development, you get to implement your design concepts, integrate blockchain features, and connect smart contracts to the front end. In some development cases, programmers leverage software development kits that are pre-designed by third parties to seamlessly integrate the game into the selected blockchain ecosystem and complete other development steps. In the end, thoroughly test all functionalities, ensuring security, bug-free gameplay, and balance.

Tips for Creating Blockchain Game

Start with a Clear Concept

Ensure you have a clear idea of what you want to build before you start creating a blockchain game. Just like conventional gaming, there are different subgenres in the blockchain gaming world, you must define which type of game you want to build based on the target audience and their interests. 

You also have to figure out gameplay and how you intend to incorporate blockchain into it. Finally, how do you intend to make your game stand out in a market where saturation is growing rapidly? You should figure this out before you start building. 

Choose the Right Development Tools/Platform

The tech stack for building your game goes a long way in defining your game development process. Your choice of blockchain platform, SDK and front-end development tools depends on the game you want to build and the mechanics you intend to include. In selecting a blockchain platform always consider factors like scalability, ease of use, transaction speed, development tools, and gas cost. 

Consider Monetization

As a game developer, the ultimate goal of building a blockchain game is to monetize it eventually. This should not be an afterthought after game development. Making money from your blockchain game has to be built into the game directly. Some of the options you can explore include charging fees for crypto transactions, selling in-game assets, or mining in-game tokens. 

Consider Graphics and Art Style

With most blockchain games, the emphasis is often on the game’s backend and the blockchain system that powers it. However, you should also pay attention to the game art and front-end graphics. Not only should the game look visually appealing, but it should also cater to the needs of the target audience and provide an immersive experience they’ll love and enjoy. 

Collaborate with Blockchain Game Development Companies

You’ll need to work closely with a reputable game development company to bring your game vision to life. Look for a company with experience in developing blockchain games by checking portfolio and client reviews. The development company you work with should be able to handle game design, development, blockchain integrations, and other blockchain game development services. 

Blockchain Game Development Cost

There’s no fixed price for blockchain game development. You can only get a price range based on the type of game you want to build, and the tech stack needed to execute it. Factors such as the overall game mechanics, blockchain integration, game graphics, and special features will contribute towards the cost of development. 

The cost also varies depending on whether you’re hiring a team of developers or working with a development company to execute your project. Generally, the minimum you can expect to spend on a medium-complexity blockchain game is about $25,000. 

However, this cost can quickly add up to $50,000 or more when you add other exciting features to your game. Here’s a quick overview of the development cost for building a Blockchain game. 

  • Designing the core gameplay – $10,000 – $30,000
  • Adding a smart contract functionality – $5,000 to $10,000+ 
  • User registration and secure authentication – $5,000 to $12,500
  • NFT minting functionality: $2,500 to $5,000 
  • Multiplayer functionality (optional for some games) – $12,000+ 
  • Payment integration: $5,000 – $10,000 
  • Marketplace (optional) – $7,500 – $15,000.

Benefits and Challenges for Blockchain Game Developers


  • Since developers don’t have to build backend game infrastructure, blockchain game development is the faster and cheaper way to build games. 
  • Thanks to composability and integration, blockchain developers don’t have to build everything from scratch. 
  • Blockchain games use sophisticated blockchain networks to ensure the security of player data and in-game assets. 
  • Developers can explore multiple growth and monetization opportunities within the rapidly evolving blockchain industry. 


  • Integrating blockchain into games adds layers of complexity that often require specialized expertise to navigate. 
  • While they’re mostly secure, blockchain ecosystems are potential targets for hackers, which can lead to costly losses. 
  • The evolving regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies and NFTs creates uncertainty for developers.
  • It can be difficult to maintain a fun and engaging game experience for players while maintaining a sustainable token economy.

Future of Blockchain Gaming

Blockchain game development incentivizes gaming for avid players. The potential to earn money and own game assets while enjoying gameplay is one of the factors drawing gamers to this niche. Yet, despite the growing popularity of blockchain technology, blockchain gaming is still not fully mainstream like other games in the traditional gaming market. As of June 2022, there were about 1550 blockchain games in the market. This is only a small percentage of the total number of conventional video games.

There’s no doubt that there is huge potential in the future of this gaming niche, but more developers have to gain native knowledge of blockchain technology for this to work. Blockchain game development is here to stay, and it will dramatically change the gaming landscape in the near future. And with more technological advancements on the way, the possibilities and benefits are limitless for both gamers and developers.

Leverage the Power of Blockchain Game Development

The future of blockchain gaming is exciting. As a business entrepreneur, you can make the most of what the technology promises by investing your money in designing and building blockchain games. While the technology might seem complex, learning the ins and outs of how blockchain gaming works and partnering with reliable game developers will make the process considerably easier. 

You can always rely on the CrustLab team for blockchain game development services. CrustLab develops software and games for various niches. We have incredible experience helping businesses build thriving gaming ecosystems. Call us to learn more about the blockchain games development process and where to start. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Blockchain Game Development

  • How is blockchain used in gaming?

    Blockchain technology adds a public ledger and smart contracts component to conventional gaming architecture. Games built on the blockchain are decentralized, which means they’re not controlled by an individual entity. In addition to the decentralized nature of these games and the unique gaming experience they offer, such games also reward players with in-game tokens and tradable NFTs as part of the gameplay.

  • Can you build games on blockchain?

    Yes, you can build games on blockchain. However, not every blockchain platform is suitable for this purpose. In choosing a platform for blockchain development, you must ensure that the platform is scalable, affordable, and easy to use. This is why blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon are often the preferred choice.

  • How much does it cost to develop a blockchain game?

    You’ll need between $25,000 to $50,000 to build a blockchain game. The actual cost depends on the scope, the game’s features, and the technology stack you intend to use.

  • How long does it take to develop a blockchain game?

    The exact duration of a blockchain project depends on the complexity of the game you’re building. For a simple to medium complexity game, you can have a minimum viable product in about 2 months and launch fully on the main network in about 2 to 3 months. However, for more complex games, development can take years.

  • How do you become a crypto game developer?

    Blockchain game development requires a merger of conventional game development skills and blockchain technologies. This means you have to take courses to gain technical blockchain skills and master specific platforms suitable for game development. You’ll also need to learn game design principles and the right programming language before you can start building real-world projects.

  • Can you earn money from blockchain games?

    Yes. You can earn money from blockchain games both as a player and developer. Most games in this niche are play-to-earn, which means you earn money from completing quests and game levels. Developers may also incorporate different revenue models in the gameplay, such as charging commissions for transactions or selling in-game assets.