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The difficulty of the Escape from Tarkov video game is affected by the price of bitcoin

Key facts:
  • The game uses an object called physical bitcoin, which is anchored to the actual price of BTC.

  • Within the video game it is possible for players to mine and get more virtual bitcoins.

Escape from Tarkov is a post-apocalyptic multiplayer game, where players must survive in an open world, facing other players, and obtaining objects that allow them to improve their survival. Its economy is based on bitcoin. At present, due to the existing anchoring of the price of the BTC used in the game with the real one, the difficulty of the same has been affected.

Within the game the players have an object called physical bitcoin, pegged to the actual BTC price on a 5: 1 scale. Each physical bitcoin is equivalent to the value of 0.2 BTC in the real world.

However, due to the explosion that the price of bitcoin has experienced in the first quarter of this year 2021, regular players have seen the difficulty of the game suffer. This, because new players are only dedicated to acquiring BTC, managing to equip themselves with the best objects in the game without even reaching a good level within it.

In addition to this, BTC-related objects within the ecosystem have also been affected by high demand. Among them are video cards, which allow players to create mining farms within their hideouts. The GPU price differential has been exponential. In December 2020, they were traded on the domestic free market for approximately 200,000 Rubles (in-game currency) and currently cost more than 2 million.

This injection of fictitious capital related to the increase in the price of real bitcoin, has made the most valuable objects, be they the best weapons, best ammunition, or any other class of objects that allow improving survival within the game, see a rise in their price. This by virtue of the fact that the trade between valuable objects is usually carried out between users through the internal free market, and not through interactions with in-game avatars (NPC).

The main complaints about this problem come from more experienced players, with more time in the game, who mention how easy it is for new ones to go “hunting for bitcoin and graphics cards” by winning large sums of money. This allows them to advance very quickly in the game, without even completing the respective missions.

On Youtube, you can often find videos in which it is mentioned how bitcoin is ruining the difficulty of the game. Source: Sir Hans Vader / Youtube.

Solutions to the problem: increased difficulty

The fact of linking the price of virtual BTC to the real one has caused a problem that is being widely commented on by the Escape from Tarkov community of players. The direct solution would be remove such leverage and price arbitrarily. However, the game developers They have opted for other types of solutions.

In patches after the rise in the price of bitcoin, certain characteristics that seek to reduce the ease with which users can acquire bitcoin, or, get hold of the video cards. In this way, the level of difficulty of the game has been increased.

One of these “nerfs” was to limit the number of graphics cards that appear, making them more difficult to get. The possibility of trading physical bitcoins between users was also eliminated. These have come to make a kind of trading within the game, to take advantage of BTC trading and price fluctuations.

Despite these patches, the problem persists, and players are still waiting for an upcoming fix.

However, a fact that occurred just when this note was being written is that the Twitter account of the game’s developer company, Battlestate Games, advertisement that Therapist, the only NPC to which it is possible to sell the physical BTC at present, had reduced the price of the same between 10 to 15%, predicting possible reductions in the near future.

This measure seeks to get miners who own a large part of the cryptocurrency to start selling their bitcoins now, before its value decreases further.

The analogy with the real world

The demand for objects caused by the rise in the price of BTC within Escape from Tarkov, is similar, in part, to the demand for video cards in the real world, which are also used for cryptocurrency mining.

This is because, with the increase in the price of cryptocurrencies, mining becomes more and more profitable causing shortages in the graphics card market. While this directly affects the mining community, it also creates difficulties for miners. gamers, and even the scientific community, who often complain about the shortage or increased costs of GPUs.

To mitigate these scenarios, companies such as NVIDIA, a leader in the manufacture of graphics cards, have decided to create video cards exclusively dedicated to mining, as reported by CriptoNoticias at the time. This as an option to try to segment the mining and peripherals market.

This company has also chosen to limit the hash rate, or mining power, of its latest GPUs, the RTX 3080, to prevent the mining market from using them. Although, they, through a modification in the firmware, have begun to be used for cryptocurrency mining.

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