From Arcade to Blockchain: The Evolution of Gaming and Its Impact on Retro Gamers

The Last Monarchy
5 min readSep 8, 2023


The history of video games is a thrilling journey, one that has seen the industry evolve from the monochrome simplicity of Pong to the hyper-realistic, immersive experiences of today’s AAA titles. This evolution has brought forth a myriad of technological advancements, each shaping and reshaping the gaming landscape. Among these advancements, blockchain technology stands out as a promising frontier, offering to revolutionize gaming as we know it. But what does this mean for retro gamers, those who hold an enduring affection for the games of yesteryear?

The arcade era, which peaked in the late ’70s and ’80s, laid the groundwork for the video gaming industry. These were the days of Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong — games that may have been simple by today’s standards but were revolutionary at the time. They also established the sense of communal gaming, with gamers flocking to arcades to share experiences and compete for high scores.

In the ’90s, the gaming scene began to shift from public arcades to private homes with the advent of consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega Genesis. This era saw the birth of timeless classics such as Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog. These games, marked by their 8-bit and 16-bit graphics, catchy soundtracks, and engaging gameplay, won the hearts of millions worldwide and cemented the popularity of home gaming.

As we moved into the 2000s, technological advancements brought forth more sophisticated consoles and games. The graphics became more realistic, the worlds more expansive, and the narratives more complex. However, amidst this technological evolution, a fascination for retro gaming endured.

Fast forward to today, and we’re witnessing the dawn of the blockchain era in gaming, characterized by decentralization, token economies, and player-owned assets. These web3 games promise to hand power back to the players, offering them true ownership of in-game assets and the ability to earn real-world value from their gaming experiences.

But where do retro gamers fit into this picture?

The answer lies in the core attributes of retro games. Simplicity, nostalgia, and a keen focus on gameplay mechanics are some of the aspects that draw players to retro games. It’s not about the graphics or the size of the open world — it’s about the pure enjoyment of the game. And that’s where blockchain gaming can offer something new and exciting.

Blockchain’s decentralization can bring back the communal aspect of the arcade days — this time, on a global scale. Imagine a world where retro gamers can form communities around their favorite games, trade assets, and compete in a decentralized manner, all while retaining complete control and ownership of their gaming experience.

This is where we see our web3 project “The Last Monarchy” absolutely thriving — by giving retro gamers a space to enjoy the old school game mechanics they love, while making the most of the next-gen machine that is blockchain gaming.

The Last Monarchy is a browser-based web3 strategy game set in the ancient worlds of Egypt, Rome and China, built by gamer nerds who grew up playing the strategy classics like Travian, Age of Empires and Civilization.

As lifelong gaming enthusiasts, we wanted to bridge the gap between our favorite games growing up and the gaming revolution that is happening right now with web3 gaming, on the hunch that the average “retro player” has the best predispositions to thrive in web3 gaming.

Why is that so? It’s simple — the token economies common in blockchain games provide tangible rewards for the skills and time invested by gamers. This mechanic can appeal to the strategic mindset of retro gamers, who are accustomed to working towards high scores and in-game achievements.

Perhaps most excitingly, blockchain technology can enable the tokenization of retro games themselves. This could take the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), each representing a unique, ownership-verified copy of a retro game. This not only provides a new way for gamers to collect and trade retro games, but also a means to preserve these games for future generations.

In conclusion, blockchain technology has the potential to significantly impact the retro gaming community. By bridging the gap between the past and the future, it offers to enhance the gaming experiences of yesteryear with the technological advancements of today. However, this is a two-way street. The simplicity, community focus, and pure enjoyment that characterize retro gaming can teach the blockchain gaming industry a lot about the core values of gaming. After all, no matter how advanced our technology becomes, the essence of gaming remains the same: creating enjoyable, engaging experiences for players.

The future of blockchain gaming holds immense potential for retro gamers. However, it’s important to remember that this potential can only be realized through careful design and implementation that respects the values and preferences of the retro gaming community. Herein lies an exciting challenge for game developers: how to integrate the cutting-edge technology of blockchain with the time-tested charm of retro games to create experiences that are both innovative and nostalgic.

The future could see retro gaming titles being reborn on the blockchain, with players owning unique digital copies of their favorite games. It could see a resurgence of communal gaming, with players forming global communities around their shared love for classic games. And it could see retro gamers earning real-world rewards for their in-game achievements, just as they once competed for the highest score in the local arcade.

Blockchain technology offers more than just a new platform for gaming. It offers a new perspective, a new set of tools, and a new way to experience the games we love. For retro gamers, this could mean a renaissance, a chance to relive the golden days of gaming in a whole new light.

As we stand on the precipice of this exciting evolution, it’s clear that the journey of gaming has come full circle. From the arcade to the blockchain, each stage of this journey has left its mark on the gaming landscape, shaping and reshaping it in countless ways. And yet, through all these changes, the heart of gaming remains the same: the joy of play, the thrill of competition, and the sense of community that brings gamers together.

For retro gamers and indeed for all gamers, the evolution from arcade to blockchain is more than just a technological shift. It’s a testament to the enduring power of gaming, a celebration of how far we’ve come, and a promise of the incredible experiences that lie ahead.

The potential impact of blockchain on retro gaming is enormous, but it’s up to us — the gamers, the developers, the dreamers — to harness this potential and create the future of gaming that we want to see. And as we do, we’ll carry with us the lessons, the memories, and the enduring charm of the games that started it all.

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Teaser Trailer:



The Last Monarchy

The Last Monarchy is an upcoming „play and earn“ Web3 strategy game set in the ancient world where players use their wits and in-game NFTs to claim the Throne.