Makers of video games are keen to milk the popularity of crypto-currencies. Photo: Reuters/ Kai Pfaffenbach

Are crypto-currencies nothing more than a high stakes game? Well, yes actually.

The World of Warcraft is one of the highest-grossing video games of all time and one of the reasons for this enduring popularity was said to have been a “digital economy” component that allowed for virtual “gold” to be bought or sold.

Recently published data shows that millennial gamers apparently are 10 times more likely to use crypto-currencies than their non-gaming peers, and as the global video gaming market is worth around $80 billion, the fact that the gaming and crypto worlds are fusing should come as no real surprise.

A swathe of games are now introducing crypto-currrency or crypto-mining components and these include an updated version of World of Warcraft, the ever-popular Candy Crush and an augmented reality game, Crypto Hunt, that combines a Pokemon-like platform with crypto coin rewards.

Even old-school stalwart Atari, creator of the 1980s classics Star Wars and Pac-Man, is rumored to be launching its own crypto-currency with many more similar crypto-based products likely to be launched at next week’s industry-showcase Game Developers Conference in San Fransisco.

So, let the games begin.