Gaming On ETH An Expensive Disappointment

in Hive Gaming2 months ago

ETH gaming.jpg

Quite a few games on ETH these days are being choked to death by gas fees. The players don’t want to pay the fees to be able to play them. The developers are having to find ways to raise more funds or reduce costs just to stay afloat and pay the gas to send items. Why is everyone suffering so badly for ETH? It’s quite simply they lust for smart contracts that are not being used reasonably.

If you can’t tell by now I’ve been growing rather unamused by the high cost of trying to game on the ETH blockchain for what is starting to feel like the better part of the year. I’ve watched a number of my gaming assets some decently rare fail to find buyers even at reduce costs and are not even worth the cost to relist at this point.

There are a lot of games out there that are not optimized very well for dealing with a high gas fee. On one end you have endless frivolous transactions some games want to broadcast on ETH. On the other end, some games don’t want to broadcast anything at all unless you pay a special minting fee which is the only way to even sell those items for ETH otherwise you are stuck in that games ecosystem with no other cashing out method.

I think when a game costs more in gas to play than the actual game itself dose that is a major failure of the game developer and they should rethink some things. When facing these hard times they should be looking to reduce non-financial yielding actions that are being broadcasted.

In some cases, games have you do an RNG roll. Where more times than not you get nothing at all or the item itself is worth cents if that. The issue comes in with some games wanting that role to be a transaction on the ETH. They are using smart contracts to determine the outcome and it’s just costly for everyone involved.

Even when you do get a hit and now to have an NFT you just paid double the gas fees in acquiring that item than if it was a non-success and item found roll. Some games out there seem to even be counting on gas costs adding “value” to their items as a player would not want to sell at a loss 99% of the time. Expect no one is even playing those games and those items are now disintegrating in price.

Not to mention a lot of these items have bulky smart contracts. I’m talking about the full TOS (terms of service), multiple user agreements, and other bulk in them. It’s no wonder ETH is being bogged down. You just have to look at the top gas guzzlers overall even outside of gaming to see the concept of a light smart contract is beyond reality in most cases.

Instead of just some fat trimming to reduce playing costs to the player some games are going with the nuclear options. This could include zero items being broadcasted on ETH and those items are no longer true NFT. Even worse those games only allow you to sell your items in-game for that games token that is only used in-game. If you want to sell that item for anything else like ETH you have to pay a massive minting NFT fee and then list that item at an external exchange.

Many games are also leaving ETH. Are they coming over to Hive? Not that I know of and many people have suggested it to a couple of games. They just want their smart contracts and gas fees. If gas fees choked out your game on one blockchain how is it not going be an issue on another one day? Some actual changes would be needed.

In one instance I assume the blockchain in question was an ETH fork or a clone of some information. You can use your same private keys and all of that. First, you just need to buy there token on ETH and pay a gas fee. Then you need to pay another gas fee to transfer it to over to that blockchains wallets with some kind of conversion. You then can use that blockchains coins to pay the gas fees they have. Geez that a lot of gas just to pay gas and wtf? Hard pass from me.

You also have a lot of projects where they seem to have just gutted every staff member they can. I would not be shocked if many games on ETH are just down to the current owners and no further staff members. Lots of people announcing in different games that they are “leaving” the project to go work on something else. No one seems to want to use the words “we let go all our staff” but that is what it seems like.

You even have games doing everything they can to get people to spend. Everything from taking pay to win options and tripling or great item stats, amounts offered, and lots of add-ons. You even have game developers sending out announcements that if spending does not increase the game will shut down and trying to allude to the fact all those assets you have would have no use then.

Then you have some projects moving out of ETH sidechain (or whatever you would even call them) where they are paying both that blockchains coin and reduced ETH gas fees to just being on ETH. I don’t know enough about them to fully understand the strangeness that are those kinds of things. I can only guess it was a way to try and have transactions on ETH to some degree but when the next ETH fork comes out they will end up still needing to pay that sidechains gas fees regardless so they appear trying to get ahead of things.

I had several ETH posts I’ve yet to publish or was planning to do some follow up posts on games I’ve already talked about. Some are somewhat written in various unfinished states waiting for some kind of conclusion so I could wrap them up and publish them. Other games I thought I should just play them in the meantime (months ago) so I can write on them later (to late now.) Now many are just disasters of a shell of games remaining if at all and a bunch of wasted time on my part and expense playing.

Final Thoughts

To say I’m disappointed by the lack of innovation by a lot of games out there on ETH is an understatement. Some of those games have as many players remaining as they do developers. Bag holder could not even dump if they wanted to without taking further losses greater in the cost of gas than those assets are selling for.

I think I’ve even had stuff up for 6 months now in some cases and I’m not even going bothered paying gas fees to delist as those assets are not even worth that cost of doing that. Sure I could have paid 6 months ago to make them a “warped” asset and made it cheaper for myself and the buyer but that ship has sailed. Not to mention I would want actual ETH, not a promise of being able to redeem for it during these crazy times.

It is just tempting to only want to play blockchain games on Hive. Every time I go elsewhere it ends up being a disappointed riddled with issues and frustration. While I never expect to get rich or even make my money back in most cases when playing blockchain games out there. I also was not expecting gas to be a nail in a coffin for me either.

Game Review


The content was written by @Enjar.


When facing these hard times they should be looking to reduce non-financial yielding actions that are being broadcasted.

I don't get why many games on Eth and on other blockchains are trying to make everything by smart contracts... only things of value should be on the blockchain, mainly the items and trading those items. There are a lot of inefficient smart contracts on Ethereum that over complicate things and end up wasting a lot of gas fees, most protocols aren't using ZKroolups which make tx on Ethereum very cheap... I have no idea what is going through the devs minds, it's like they are not excited anymore for the future of gaming on a blockchain! The only one which I've seen trying to change things around is Dissolution by changing from Enjin to Ethereum to try and make their tokens more effective and less expensive to tx, but who knows how long that will take to be 100% developed...

I have to take a look at Matic, seen some games moving to Matic which is supposedly a sidechain of Ethereum that has checkpoints every now and then that make one single big transaction on the Ethereum mainchain, but not sure how that works, need to research it.

Great post! And really well explained, many people don't understand that some of the tx fees issue come from the fact that many protocols are not adopting new tech, and many smart contracts are inefficient AF because their creators haven't been improving them, it's like going on a highway riding a horse and then complaining it took very long and you had to stop 10 times for the horse to feed and drink water, ofc it did, it's a horse, not a car!

We're working on a solution for gas prices! I think the best way to go forward is to be completely chain agnostic.

Dissolution by changing from Enjin to Ethereum

That is one game that has been sitting on my backlog to check out for a while now.

Are they going to stay on ETH or switch back to Enjin at some point? That was something that seemed unclear when I was looking into it a while back as they seemed to be testing on ETH. Enjin for a while looked like they were going be the place to game.

seen some games moving to Matic

That is what inspired my rant lol. I was informed of a game I was playing until the higher gas fees create a secondary universe in their game where players could go over to Matic and acquire NFTs over there. Just about everything in that game required paying gas and that was not addressing the underlying issues they had. Just seemed like a quick and dirty way to have cheaper fees.

I’ve not looked into Matic myself. At this point, I’m somewhat done with ETH. A lot of games showed up over there for the big money and failed to do much with the piles of ETH they got.


re they going to stay on ETH or switch back to Enjin at some point?

From what I read, they were quitting Enjin because the fees to use Enjin were high and on top of that they also had to pay the fees on Ethereum, so what they are doing is to create a similar ERC token standard similar to the one Enjin uses on the mainchain Ethereum, customize it for them and make it more efficient. They also talked about the fact that this decision was also because of sharding, it seems that sharding might be great for DeFi but not as great for games for some reason...

Just about everything in that game required paying gas and that was not addressing the underlying issues they had.

So many game devs doing this... moving right and left shouldn't be a tx on the blockchain, or the action of mining, picking up herbs, etc... shouldn't be a tx on the blockchain, or the number of points you scored in a PvP match, that's not something valuable! Game devs need to start thinking what is valuable and what is not that valuable, only valuable things should be on the blockchain and also, game devs need to look into ZKroolups, Multi party computation and plasma. The scaling solutions alrdy exist, they just need to be implemented.

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It boggles my mind why anyone would create a game on a blockchain with high fees like ETH has. Eventually you run into the economic problem where the transaction fees are higher than the actual assets of the game, which in turn make the game no longer worth playing.

The only game I got into on the ETH blockchain is Gods Unchained and it is a great game, I have not played it in awhile though, so not sure how it is now. I bought a few card packs but I saw right away the game would eventually be unsustainable because of the fees you had to pay for buying the card packs. Eventually some of the cards would be worth less than the fees you would pay to buy them...

The reason blockchain technology was created is to reduce the cost of moving currency from point A to point B, which the banking system has had a monopoly on since the creation of currencies. When you have high fees on a blockchain there is no more incentive for people to use it.

high fees

When whales are willing to blow a lot of money in a game that creates incentives for other game developers to try their luck. They see past “success” and try and repeat it. In the short term it worked out for many. Once we have ETH 2.0 things could swing up again and start to bloom. Until then, it’s going be some hard times for as they fumble around in the dark.

At least from what I recall ETH has had moments in the past of high gas prices that than reduce to something more reasonable over time. This prolonged amount of time seems to be hitting the hardest for many. I think I only had a few hours over the past 6 months where I found a window of cheap gas to get some stuff dealt with.

Gods Unchained and it is a great game,

I’m in the same boat I don’t play it anymore. I even tried selling a few of my cards and other things with little success. I at least had one large sale early on that covered what I spent on the game.


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So, far the only decent game I found was axie infinity but even then. I find that a lot of eth games are not crypto beginner friendly. While on Hive you can easily earn hive and then spend it in whatever way you wish. it´s a lot more complicated with the Ethereum blockchain, specially for the reasons you just mentioned.

That is why I love Hive. There is a good chance when I spend Hive on a game here I can get it back by just posting about it.

It’s also nice having the three second transactions and not waiting forever and a day which is becoming the norm on ETH.

What do you think about Gods Unchained?
Does it have same problems?

I’ve not checked into Gods Unchained for quite some time.

I think they were doing quite a few things right. They stayed away from people having to transact on ETH within reason.

The ultimate issue is Eth could not handle the size of their player population with the kind of contracts they were doing. It took them forever to airdrop the cards or even event rewards due to the transactions they were making being rejected due to size and not paying high enough gas fees. Which result in some people getting cards early and others waiting a long time.

I do hope they made their internal market for selling cards less confusing. That seemed like a bit of a mess the last time I played.

I got lucky and sold some cards early on to break even. Beyond that I have a bunch of stuff listed that never sold. Last time I looked most of those cards and items are now at prices not worth trying to relist due to gas prices.

Cool post thanks. Haven't really being following games outside of hive even though i have game assets on other chains. Guess i wont bother to look for another year, or five. :)

I hope those assets hold some kind of value best not to look for a while! I know I can’t even sell some items for a 50% haircut at this point.

I’ve given up on EOS and now ETH. I should have just stayed with Hive!

I can imagine I tried gaming on ETH too and it really becomes pricy those microtransactions are also not always worth it for the progress you make

I’ve blown quite a lot on gas. Even worse is having to wait half a week and still be paying ten times what you wanted to get it done that quickly.

Oh that's the worst and even upping the gas doesn't mean speed because others may be doing the same so its a race to the bottom. as you say there is now tons of dust value in tokens and NFTs locked up on ETH because they not worth the transaction

I was playing one of those coin dozer games on ETH. It got to the point I couldn't afford to play because of the gas price. Like you pointed out, it was costing more to play than I could get back.

That sucks. I hope they come up with a solution so you can get back to playing it. No idea how long Eth 2.0 is going to take. Seems like it’s been needed for a while now.

I’m glad I set a personal limit to how much I was going spend on certain games. Once I hit the limit mostly due to gas fees I was done.

I've followed enjin for a long time.
Imo the best provider of games on eth.
Here's a list of their games.. many still in very early dev but a lot also very playable and plenty of $$ able to be earned by playing then selling the rewards.
Most playable and fun I would say are:
Lost Relics / Forrest knight / 9la / Six Dragons/ Bitcoin Hodler/Alterverse.
My favourite atm is kingdom karnage just released on steam.
Full list:

For scaling they have had a project called Efinity in dev since 2018 or so..

"Since 2018, Enjin has been hard at work on Efinity, our upcoming scaling solution. Our goals were very clear:

Users need to be able to create transactions and trades of ERC-20 and ERC-1155 assets without incurring any transaction fees.
Secure transaction speeds in the hundreds of milliseconds or less.
Throughput scales horizontally to meet any demand without increasing costs.
Truly decentralized, no hostile takeovers or security compromises possible."