Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

A few years ago, my family made several investments in the gaming world. Of course, we have a stake in Apple, which is the main gaming mobile platform (the most important platform right now). We’ve made some investments in software, ActivisionBlizzard and Ubisoft. So when Christmas 2020 came around, I decided I wanted a Sony Playstation, two Ubisoft games, and an Activision Blizzard game. You know, for stock research.

Well, here’s my confession: I never took them out of the box. That really good piece of hardware and software sat under the desk for a year, and the box didn’t open. Finally I gave it. Why didn’t I even try to play my cool game on Sony Playstation? Because I have a lot of fun playing free games on my iPhone, and there is a blockchain free game called Splinterlands (SPS -2.75%).

Free games are the best

On my iPhone, I spend a lot of time playing this free game, I think it’s from Korea, it’s called “Galaxiga”, and it reminds me of fun games from my youth. Sometimes I pay to upgrade one of my four ships so I can blow up the stupid aliens that keep attacking me. I also play “Clue” and “Jeopardy” and other games that don’t do much damage to my brain or wallet.

Back in 2019, when I was trying to research and understand cryptocurrencies, I came across a cool online game called Splinterlands. So, in the name of stock research, I started playing this free game on the blockchain. It’s a card battle game with aliens, vampires, robots, dragons, giant eyeballs – it has it all.

Splinterlands is incredibly addictive and fun. People all over the world are playing it. I’m “Saint Croix” – so if you see “Saint Croix” you’re playing me and I’m going to beat you. I’ve met at least one “clown investor” and he or she has done a great job at it.

So for me, I’m a mobile gamer and a crypto gamer. Recently I decided to spend less at Galaxiga and started spending more at Splinterlands. So my “free” game spending habits started to change. why is that?

Better to make money than free

I played Splinterlands for free for a few months. What happened was that I kept running into these weird aliens who didn’t fit in with me. I basically hit a level where if I wanted to go higher, I would have to pay more than $10. So one day I did it.

What happens when you pay $10? The whole game opens and all alien monsters are available to you. You start earning (and owning) non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can be crypto-traded on third-party websites.

At first I didn’t understand how big a deal this was since all the cards were worth a few cents. After a year of playing, I accumulated $2000 worth of assets in the game. Later that year, as cryptocurrency prices soared, so did the value of my battle cards. They went from $5,000 to $12,000 to $17,000 in a few months. (You can see why kids are interested in encryption.)

This year, cryptocurrencies crashed, and so did the value of my NFT playing cards. Now they are down to $5,000 again. I haven’t cashed in because the game is still addictive and fun and more and more people are discovering it all the time.

It’s still early

I’ve been following other free games on the blockchain. One of them that I hear a lot is a game called Axie Infinity. I don’t think I’m the target market for this game. These are some very childish graphics. Then when I click “Battle” it says “Coming soon”.

The other is called another world. It sounds a bit like Dune and/or Star Trek. But when I clicked “play” it said, “You must log in to Wax Cloud Wallet first.” I don’t have Wax Cloud Wallet. Star Atlas looks super cool, people are buying NFTs, but the actual game doesn’t exist yet.

For now, Apple doesn’t need to worry about encrypted games. Nonetheless, I’ve noticed a trend in my own spending habits. The number of coins I send to Apple is decreasing. I’ve started spending a little money on Splinterlands.

I play games for fun. But I have to say that wealth creation is an added bonus. So I think at the end of the day, these crypto gamers are on the right track. The future of gaming will be on the blockchain, allowing you to earn money with cool graphics and free games.

Taylor Carmichael works at Apple, Splintershards and Ubisoft Entertainment. Motley Fool has positions at Activision Blizzard and Apple and recommends them. The Motley Fool recommends Ubisoft Entertainment and recommends the following options: March 2023 $120 Apple long-term call and March 2023 $130 Apple short-term call. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.