NFT & Video Games: Cash Grab or Innovation?
Words like metaverse, blockchain and NFT have become trendy during the last few months. Some people see the new technological revolution in them, while others are just new forms of speculation. Video game companies as big as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, or Take-Two see NFTs as the medium’s future. Still, for the more sceptical, these new words only serve to excite shareholders.
NFT stands for a non-fungible token, translated into English as a non-fungible token or non-fungible asset. It is a digital certificate of ownership and authenticity for practical purposes, like the document that proves that a painting is a genuine Van Gogh. Virtually any type of file – a photograph, video, or audio – can be copied, downloaded, and shared on the Internet. NFTs, limit these possibilities because they link to unique, rare files that their author recognizes as the originals.
Let’s take the example of a photograph shared on social networks. Everyone can indeed download this image, print it, and use it as they wish, but with NFT technology, the author can define how many of these copies are “official” and to whom exactly they belong. For the most enthusiastic, NFTs create a kind of digital art market.
As cryptocurrencies already do, non-fungible tokens rely on networks of millions of users who constantly certify all transactions made with NFTs, which is the basis of blockchain technology. For purchase and sale to be effective, most network users must validate it, thus guaranteeing veracity and avoiding scams. It is a decentralized and anonymous system that is now mainly used for speculation.
NFTs in Video Games
These past few weeks, many big video game companies have been speaking out about NFTs. For example, Valve (the largest PC video game platform) has taken a stand against and vetoed blockchain-based video games from its Steam digital store. However, other companies such as Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Electronic Arts have taken an interest in these new technologies and believe they are part of the future of electronic entertainment.
For practical purposes, NFTs will allow the creation of unique items that could be sold and exchanged between users. Then, depending on the scarcity of each product and its demand, it would increase or decrease in value allowing users to earn money by buying and selling them. This is what Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson refers to when he talks about “play-to-earn”.
The Most Popular NFT Video Games
|NFT Game||Release Date|
|🎮 Axie Infinity||🗓️ 2018|
|🎮 Battle of Guardian||🗓️ 2022|
|🎮 Crypto Kitties||🗓️ 2017|
|🎮 Gods Unchained||🗓️ 2018|
|🎮 Idle Cyber||🗓️ 2022|
|🎮 Illuvium||🗓️ 2022|
|🎮 The Sandbox||🗓️ 2021|
Companies like EA already have great video games based on these principles without including NFT. The monetization system of FIFA Ultimate Team, FIFA 22’s most popular game mode, is based on the buying and selling of player packs and stickers, something that could easily be adapted and transformed into non-fungible tokens.
Some games are already based on blockchain technology, such as CryptoKitties, Plant Vs Undead, and Wanaka. But undoubtedly, the most important title is Axie Infinity, launched in 2018 by the Sky Mavis studio and based on the Ethereum cryptocurrency network. Axie Infinity is a game where users can breed monsters to fight against other players. Each monster is an NFT.
Three of these creatures must be purchased to start playing, which is around $1,500. This leads to new players having to borrow from older users, who then benefit from the income generated by the newbies. Between April and October 2021, Axie Infinity’s popularity has grown by 5000% and has reached over 1.7 million active daily users.
NFT Games List 2022
|NFT Game||Game Description|
|🕹️ Polygonum||💀 Cross-Platform DeFi Game With Crypto & NFT Marketplace. Polygonum is a multiplayer survival simulation game with a real money system (POG Coin).|
|🕹️ Rainmaker||👾 Stock Fantasy Gaming Platform based on Cryptocurrency. Rainmaker is a stock fantasy game designed to educate and gather all world’s crypto market enthusiasts.|
|🕹️ RaceFI||🏎️ Newly Launched Metaverse Platform, Earn Crypto Prizes. RaceFi is the Solana ecosystem’s first AI/ML vehicle racing game.|
|🕹️ Battle of Guardians||⚔️ Play-To-Earn NFT Fighting Game on Solana Network. NFT Game with cool PvP real-time multiplayer.|
Are NFTS a Novelty in Video Games?
For specialized journalist Jason Schreier, words like NFT or blockchain only “excite investors” in companies. These two technologies do not bring anything new to the sector since everything they offer has been around for years in electronic entertainment.
On Steam, for example, there is an internal marketplace where items from Valve’s video games are sold to other users for real money. For example, in Diablo III, there were auctions among players at launch, and World of Warcraft users sold gold in exchange for real currency. On the other hand, thanks to a user account and saved data, developers can now define which items each player owns in each title without the need for blockchain technology.
Another promise of NFTs is the possibility of “porting” these items from the original games to other titles. But as Jason Schreier says: “If I buy a new helmet in (Microsoft’s) Halo, why should Sony have any interest in me bringing it to Uncharted?” This may be an extreme case as they are actual companies, but the same example with video games from the same company is already a reality. For example, in Ubisoft titles like Watch Dogs, there are costumes and items from other franchises like Assassin’s Creed.