It is safe to say that 2021 was the year of NFTs as the burgeoning industry that exploded in terms of sales, number of users, and adoption rate. NFT-based items are fetching incredibly high prices in the world of art at auction houses.
There has also been a considerable uptake of NFT in the gaming industry, with the topic becoming the center of heated debates between pundits and critics. Despite the conflicting views online, gamers quickly adopt NFTs because of their exciting value.
You don’t need to look far to see some exciting innovations that are already advancing the adoption of NFTs in games. Play-to-earn models have allowed some players to earn a living by purchasing and playing with NFTs of cute monsters and creatures in various digital spaces.
Here is a look at some of the main ways NFTs are revolutionizing the gaming industry.
Ownership of Digital Property Rights
As we creep closer to the metaverse, full ownership of digital assets is bound to become a necessity across all gaming platforms and beyond. NFTs can give game players full control and ownership of in-game items free from the control of game publishers. By definition, an NFT (non-fungible token) is designed similarly to a cryptocurrency.
Anyone who owns that NFT’s private and public keys essentially has full control over the NFT. The difference between NFTs and cryptocurrencies is that while cryptos are fungible, NFTs represent unique assets that are not equal to others of their kind. Therefore, an in-game NFT can be earned, bought, and sold just as you would any other digital asset on the Blockchain.
NFTs Enabling a Create-To-Earn Economy
Since the advent of online gaming, established game publishers have maintained an absolute monopoly over the industry. Even though some game publishers produce free-to-play games, they still make millions of dollars in revenue from in-game purchases made by players. However, NFTs offer game developers a way of branching out and launching their games while marketing directly to game players.
Basically, through NFTs, a game developer can create a game, integrate NFTs, and make money from the sale of NFTs in that game. Platforms such as Mytheria are going a step further by incorporating a create-to-earn aspect wherein platform users can still contribute to the game’s platform without the necessity of having the skills of a developer.
Mytheria users, for instance, can create artworks that will be able to be traded on the external NFT marketplace and earn revenue directly. That artwork or in-game asset could even get incorporated into the game’s ecosystem through a popular vote by the platform’s community.
NFTs and Play-To-Earn Gaming
On most conventional gaming platforms, players spend tons of hours and money achieving success in the game’s environment, collecting rewards and other in-game assets, only to realize that all the in-game assets collected have zero value in the real world.
Apart from the select few gamers who can monetize their gaming skills and build a career through sponsorship deals, the rest of the gamers never make anything substantial through their gaming.
A play-to-earn economy can be established by giving players full control over in-game assets, as seen with Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Alien Worlds, and God’s Unchained.
Interoperability and Composability
At the moment, most games only allow players to carry out a limited, predefined set of activities. Most of these activities oblige the player to operate within the game’s ecosystem. Players can only trade and transact solely within the game’s environment while only using the game’s in-built assets.
NFTs are changing the narrative as they are designed with interoperability and composability. With NFTs, players will move bits of content within the game to other games and third-party platforms and trade those items or use them in other capabilities.
As the world edges closer to a Web3.0 internet, game developers will have to create composable platforms such that a player can own the maps and skins of one game and possibly use them on another game.
NFTs are disrupting nearly every aspect of the gaming industry. While traditional games give game publishers full control over the game, even while the developers and players create the most value, a tide of change is on its way, as seen with the widespread adoption of NFTs.
Already, major game publishing studios are dipping their toes into NFTs, with the likes of Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, and Take-Two Interactive expressing interest in taking steps to try out NFT collectibles on their gaming platforms.