2017 has seen an explosion of cryptocurrency projects and startups focused on video games. As a whole, the video game industry appears to be one of the first sectors to meaningfully embrace cryptocurrency in a number of ways. While there are dozens of projects focused on video gaming, there are a select few that seem to be breaking away as front runners in building a bridge between crypto and the US$100 billion gaming market.

GameCredits

GameCredits (GAME) is the grandfather of crypto gaming. Recently, GameCredits made several key moves to put it in a position to lead this niche as early as 2018. GameCredits (and its utility token, MobileGO) has rebranded as GNation, which is seemingly taking on the market from every possible direction. Its team of over 100 employees is currently developing applications to take on eSports and eSports wagering, mobile gaming, and game development.

The primary focus is on its app store, GStore, and its flagship game, Pixel Wars. Pixel Wars is a next-generation mobile MMO currently in open beta. Once the game is launched, it’ll be mass-marketed with the help of a nine-figure advertising budget. These advertisements will include free-to-play tournaments that pay out top players in MobileGO. MobileGO will also be used for eSports wagering and as universal in-game currency.

On top of this, GNation has been establishing itself by sponsoring eSports tournaments throughout the world, as well as Japan’s Team Detonation. Most importantly, GameCredits has established a partnership with Unity, a development engine which powers more than half of all mobile games. Unity is implementing features to allow game developers to integrate GAME and MGO with one click.

If GNation can capture just one percent of video game revenue, the combined market cap of GameCredits and MobileGO will increase by over 500%. 2018 will be a pivotal year for this platform in terms of gaining traction and adoption.

EnjinCoin

EnjinCoin (ENJ) is a much newer project, with its ICO having taken place this summer. EnjinCoin integrates with Enjin, a forum host for gaming communities which together boast over 18 million monthly users. ENJ initially struggled outside of its ICO, with the coin seeing a significant decline out of the gate amidst the overall altcoin bear trend. However, the coin is beginning to rebound, and upcoming developments suggest that EnjinCoin has a strong future.

The first major development set for release within the next two months is a Minecraft plugin that will allow servers to integrate EnjinCoin. 15% of the total supply of ENJ has been set aside to sponsor communities, which will distribute coins to their players as gameplay rewards. EnjinCoin has already partnered with over 100 Minecraft communities, meaning it will enjoy vast exposure once this plugin is finished.

The other major milestone is the release of EnjinCoin’s mobile wallet, which is rumored to be the most secure Ethereum wallet to date. If it lives up to expectations, there may be a new wave of support from altcoin investors looking for a secure method of storing tokens in light of recent Parity wallet hacks.

Chimaera

Chimaera (CHI) is still in its infancy, currently in the pre-sale stage. Out of these three, Chimaera is perhaps the most ambitious project. Chimaera is approaching video gaming very differently, as it offers a custom blockchain on which games can be published, maintained, and interacted with. MMOs, turn-based games, and real-time strategies, among other games, are the focus of Chimaera.

With this system, developers will be able to launch and run their games on the Chimaera blockchain, which will act as a global ledger for all games operating on the platform. There are a host of benefits to interacting with games in this manner, including assigning real and proven value to items and currencies with which players interact. It also allows for decentralized wagering and matchmaking systems.

The team behind Chimaera has already employed this system with their earlier blockchain-based games, HunterCoin and Chrono Kings. These two games served as proof that the blockchain can be gamified. Chimaera is the expansion of this gamification into a platform that synchronizes developers, gamers, and the games themselves in the same ecosystem.