Can Blockchain Really Work in MMO Games? | MMONFT with Infinite Fleet’s Samson Mow –


Steven Weber Posted:

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Can Blockchain Really Work in MMO Games? | MMONFT with Infinite Fleet's Samson Mow

If you came to me and told me that the NFT and Crypto craze was a flash in the pan fad that has fizzled to the point of relative obscurity, there is a large part of me that would have to agree, at least where some NFT’s are concerned. There are sectors of the blockchain space that have done poorly and in the case of recent disastrous failures to the popular exchange FTX and asset lender BlockFi, it can sometimes feel like the risks are disproportionate to the rewards of a monkey picture. Then we have a separate sect, blockchain gaming, where in some places we see massive losses, like what happened in the Axie Infinity hack, while, on the other end of the spectrum, we see thoughtful, more traditional cash shop methods with a blockchain based market like Blankos Block Party.

To paraphrase Forest Gump, Blockchain Gaming is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Despite some extreme hindrances to the rise of blockchain gaming, there are still companies that are vying to build real games but with the use of blockchain. Infinite Fleet is one of those games. Recently, Infinite Fleet has pushed their game into the next phase of development, opening up their game to new players through free to play, where current players will be able to invite up to 100 of their gamer friends. The new players can then join in and play without having to purchase a ship. They will be given non-NFT ships to play, as they travel the galaxy, mine resources, and battle the Atrox.

Infinite Fleet is a unique game that stands out from many other blockchain games in development, due to the insistence of starting with a well-made, fully-featured, playable game as their base, but built with blockchain. The team at Pixelmatic wants gamers to play the game, so their currency $INF won’t be available for purchase, but only earned in game, and necessary for player-to-player trading. The question still remains though, is it completely possible for blockchain to work in MMO games? CEO of Pixelmatic, Samson Mow, provided the following guest article to explain why blockchain has failed up to this point, and how Infinite Fleet aims to do better. Mow’s pragmatic view of blockchain is in stark contrast to many GameFi and NFT game developers that believe that Tokenomics is a game feature in and of itself.

The following is an article detailing Mow’s thoughts on how blockchain gaming has failed up to this point, and how Infinite Fleet looks to change that:

Why most blockchain games are terrible

Studios are attempting to incorporate blockchain technology into games to cash in on the hype, but they’re missing the point. Cryptocurrencies do not make games more fun to play.

To play most blockchain games, you have to purchase their tokens and then their NFTs. Due to the target market of crypto investors, blockchain games are usually designed as gamified investment tools. Consequently, everything comes with a price – and often a high one.

Getting in early and cashing out at the top is the typical strategy to make good money with blockchain games. As with a Ponzi scheme, latecomers tend to lose money.

Developers realize this, so they build fast, trash games that last only for a few years (if that). This is why most blockchain games look like early 2000s browser-based games. This is a predatory monetization model that works well for early adopters and VCs.

What does blockchain do well?

Blockchains can have practical use cases, mostly to facilitate financial transactions or trustless swaps, but aren’t very practical outside of that scope. Blockchains are inherently inefficient and do not scale well – they are best at settlement. 

For fast transactions, we have Layer 2 tech that can sit on top of Bitcoin (note that Bitcoin is the only truly decentralized blockchain) and allow for faster and cheaper transactions. 

Moreover, bitcoin offers a straightforward use case: storing and transmitting huge values over the internet without centralized control. No one can stop you from sending value across the globe. 

While traveling abroad, have you ever had your bank freeze your card or stop a transaction? How many times have you had to go through Paypal’s annoying verification process when they updated their terms?

A deeper look at Bitcoin reveals how it is crucial for protection and self-sovereignty.

Consider the current conflict in Ukraine. As a result of the war-induced sanctions, how many average Russians have had their transactions halted? In how many cases have Ukrainians fled without having access to their savings? Bitcoin is really good at fixing these problems. If you have your Bitcoin wallet’s private keys, you can take your wealth anywhere.

Bitcoin represents free, open markets.

Let’s look at why games might benefit from this feature.

A feature that can be made really well with blockchain

In MMO games, real money trading is common.

Being an ex-Lineage 2 gold farmer, I know there is a market for it. 

Players regularly pay for power leveling and in-game currency, but this can be risky! Secondary trading is usually against a company’s T&C’s, so you can get you banned if you’re not careful. 

Putting so much trust in other players is also very dangerous. After you’ve paid them, they can easily disappear with your money.

Bitcoin fixes both of these issues. 

The Bitcoin protocol is decentralized, so no one can stop two people from trading Bitcoin p2p. The same can be true for game assets as well! 

Embracing open markets so players can trade without permission is where I see the greatest potential for blockchain in gaming. NFTs have no effect on gameplay, but they affect what it means to purchase a digital item.

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are simply a pointer, or kind of receipt, to an asset. Using Infinite Fleet as an example, I imagine our NFTs as keys to our spaceships. The spaceships are stored centrally in the game database. The keys, however, can be traded anywhere without our permission. 

It is possible to trade real money with other games as well. The difference is that you always risk being shut down by the studio. Even if your account is banned in Infinite Fleet, you can still trade your NFTs.

Essentially, it’s a free-market ethos, and bitcoin facilitates this through its battle-tested protocol.

Infinite Fleet

In order to set ourselves apart from other studios, we decided to do something unique. We decided to take the Bitcoin’s simple but powerful use case, and apply to our game.

Infinite Fleet uses the $INF currency to facilitate the P2P trade of NFTs. You can’t buy it from us, you have to earn it by playing. 

We have a model called “Proof of Participation.” In Infinite Fleet, you will be rewarded by taking part in the game.

Our belief is that the economy of Infinite Fleet belongs to the players; we do not monetize $INF in any way.

Secure trading

Infinite Fleet uses the Bitcoin sidechain Liquid to implement atomic swaps.

During an atomic swap, transactions occur simultaneously or not at all, eliminating the need for trust. Both parties must complete their sides of the transaction, or the deal will fail. Trading becomes totally secure, so you don’t have to worry about scams.

You could trade your Polaris Versa MK-1 for $INF tokens without trusting the other player – or even us. Transact on Telegram, a forum, Whatsapp, in person, or wherever you like!

Take a moment to think about that. Our marketplace will help you trade goods, but you do not have to use it. You can use any platform you like.

There is no argument that blockchain improves gameplay. If blockchain game studios don’t build great games that players want to play, they won’t succeed (depending on their criteria for success). Players, however, gain the freedom to freely trade the digital goods they’ve earned.


The blockchain is used for Bitcoin. It exists only for this technology to allow for the freedom to hold and trade value without a 3rd party. 

Altcoins may sell you “true ownership”, “metaverses”, “web3” and all the other buzzwords, but blockchain technology will not revolutionize the games industry, only great games can do that. What it can do, however, is allow players to trade their digital goods however they like.

Samson Mow, CEO Pixelmatic, CEO

We thank Samsom Mow for his time providing us with his thoughts on blockchain and his insight into the philosophy for Infinite Fleet. We look forward to seeing how the game shapes up in the future. 

Full Disclosure: Steven Owns 2 Infinite Fleet NFT Assets


Steven Weber

Steven has been a writer at MMORPG.COM since 2017. A lover of many different genres, he finds he spends most of his game time in action RPGs, and talking about himself in 3rd person on his biography page.

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