What is an NFT?
Blockchain and cryptocurrency are getting more mainstream attention day by day, and so are the other use cases existing in the ecosystem. One of these use cases is NFT (Non-Fungibility Token). NFTs have a wide range of applications in multiple industries and use cases, exhibiting the main characteristics of indivisibility, rarity, and non-fungibility. Most NFTs are generated on Ethereum (ERC-721 tokens). NFTs act as a certificate of digital ownership for an asset that is extremely rare, for example, a pair of Air Jordans worn by Micheal Jordan during his last game, the bat used by M.S. Dhoni during the 2011 World Cup, a famous art piece like Mona Lisa’s portrait, etc. These items can be tokenized and sold on the Blockchain as NFTs.
Online Gaming Ecosystem
The total revenue generated by the Global Gaming market is primarily done across three platforms, that is, PCs, mobiles, and consoles. This Billion-Dollar Industry holds a strong and dominating place worldwide in terms of daily engagements and entertainment. The number of users and time spent on the Online Gaming Ecosystem has increased dramatically after the Covid outbreak. In 2020, the Online Gaming industry has seen a YoY growth rate of 9.3% ($159.3 Bn). Mobile Games singularly account for 48% of the total revenue generated which amounts to $77.2Bn.
The shift from local servers to cloud servers is responsible for the humongous growth in the online gaming ecosystem. With the existence of Cloud servers, a gamer can now play a game on multiple devices without losing the saved progress made in the game. It is also a cost-efficient technology as many high-end games could be played on multiple platforms without the need to purchase new high-end consoles.
How Can NFTs Revolutionize Online Gaming
The use case of NFTs in Gaming has revolutionized the entire gaming scenario completely. In traditional gaming, a player must spend money to access in-game content and features that were still owned by the game companies. However, in blockchain gaming, the main focus is to create value for players through decentralized apps. The many benefits of NFTs and decentralized gaming include
- Ownership: The items in games such as character skins, vehicles, emotes, wraps, costumes, etc. can be tokenized into NFTs. An owner of such a token is entitled to its digital asset ownership. The owner is entitled to the holding of the tokens even if the game gets deleted from the system. With the help of the Cloud ecosystem, owners can save these NFTs as in-game purchases, sell them to other players, or move them into other supported games.
- Distinctiveness: The collection of such one-of-a-kind tokens (in-game) is highly anticipated by gamers around the world. These tokens can be held as digital assets if there’s a chance of getting good returns by selling them in the future. The rarity and authenticity of such tokens assist the collectors to generate high profits through reselling and giveaways.
- Exchangeability: Traditional online games exist on centralized servers. Thus, in-game assets exist within centralized systems that don’t communicate with others. In contrast, decentralized games exist on Cloud servers and Blockchain networks that act as the backend framework for other interconnected games. As a result, game assets represented by NFTs can be designed to be exchangeable across different environments. For instance, two games built on Ethereum can easily support the same in-game assets like vehicles, armour, or even entire characters.
- TRANSPARENCY: The in-game purchases (tokens) owned by the gamers can be displayed on the public blockchain ledger which acts as a transparent record of rare and authentic collections. This would surely let the gamers attract the community at large.
- REWARDS: Rewards can be given in the form of NFTs to the winners who participate in Online gaming tournaments and Esports.
SOME OF THE NFT GAMES EXISTING ON THE BLOCKCHAIN ECOSYSTEM :
On the Blockchain Ecosystem, many games combine the use case of NFTs in the ecosystem, allowing the gamers to earn crypto, trade NFTs, win NFTs and keep them as digital assets. Some of the popular NFT games are :
- Axie Infinity: Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-inspired NFT game available on Ethereum Blockchain. A player can battle, trade, and earn by playing in Axie card battles. Although immersive gameplay is yet to come in the future, Axie Infinity is still considered to be the number 1 NFT game existing on the Blockchain ecosystem.
- Sorare: Launched in 2019, Sorare is a Global fantasy football game that is played with official licensed digital cards and prizes that can be won every week, backed by world-class team investors and supported by gaming giant Ubisoft.
- F1 Delta Time: It is the official Formula-1 game on Blockchain. A player can buy, sell, and trade unique items that comprise F1 racing cars, F1 digital collectibles, circuits, drivers, upgrade parts for F1 cars and racers, etc.
- Evolution Land: It is a virtual management game based on Blockchain and autonomy. It is a virtual simulation game that supports cross-chain transactions. The players can increase their wealth in their blockchain assets by performing tasks like mining, fighting against each other, scientific research, and PvP in this game.
Although NFTs are becoming more popular among the masses day by day, a lot of time and effort is still required for the proper application of this use case in video games. The use case of NFTs is more popular in the artwork community. However, with the integration of NFTs in several online games, the gaming community is manifesting more interest in learning about this ecosystem for trading and making investments. Most importantly, NFTs need to be made more appealing to the mainstream public who might not be technically oriented. There’s a risk that many gamers will be using these tokens as speculative assets. However, the potential for profit generation and expansion within the gaming industry will motivate more non-blockchain-focused companies to experiment and adapt the integration of NFTs and video games in the future.