Gaming — Pioneers of NFTs

Gamers are more ready than they think for NFTs.

Decentraland Gameplay (Source: Generation T Asia)

So what is an NFT?

Most people would directly put an equals sign between NFTs and digital artworks which are collected and traded for monetary gain — but you can’t “right-click” a utility NFT stored in a wallet.

The most exciting aspect of NFTs has nothing to do with individual assets, but the scope of their utility within an evolving digital landscape.

Gaming has long been a testing ground and early-adopter of emerging technologies.

For instance, Augmented reality’s (AR) best moments arguably came in 2016 with the explosion in popularity of mobile game Pokémon GO. Or, given that the requirements to be a Metaverse aren’t written in stone yet, gamers have already been in archetypes of a “metaverse”, such as the islands of Animal Crossing or GTA.

So it should come as no surprise that gaming would likely be the main driving force behind NFT adoption as well.

The trend has already carried over to the world of gaming, with major game publishers including Square Enix and Ubisoft all viewing blockchain and NFTs as the future of the industry.

In the traditional gaming landscape, even though players pay real money for their virtual in-game assets, they are only effectively rented from the game developers and have no real-world value. In time, if the server is ever switched off or if the game ever goes out of favour…all of the effort, gaming assets, and money remain the property of the publisher or developer.

Blockchain gaming spells the end of this reality.

Already, so much of how we engage with games is fertile ground for new ideas. For those used to spending and enjoying countless hours in hugely popular massive multiplayer online (MMO) gaming worlds, NFTs can translate time spent in-game to earn statuses or rewards to real-world value and true ownership.

One example of a game developed entirely on the blockchain would be Axie Infinity, which showcases a play-to-earn gameplay and a player-owned economy.

Players purchase NFTs of cute monsters called Axies and pit them against each other in battles. Axie Infinity has two tokens: an in-game currency Smooth Love Potion (SLP) and a governance token Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). SLP is a system of incentives and rewards for playing the game which can also be used to breed axies — the in-game creatures. Players can sell their axies, which is the game NFT, for Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), a token that can be traded for fiat currencies. (Read more: here)

Axie Infinity is now one of the most popular and successful blockchain games in the world. As of time of writing, the market cap of AXS is US$3.3 billion, with more than 3 million daily active players worldwide as of Dec 2021.

Axie Infinity Gameplay (Source: Niko Partners)

NFTs open a world of new possibilities and utility, and are perfectly positioned for lasting success in gaming. We are excited to see and share where this is all going.

Stay tuned with us for more updates on all things next-gen consumer tech!

WNJ Ventures invests in how Next-Gens Live, Work and Play. Shoot us a message if you want to chat! ;)

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