NFTs got attention by creating hype and riding the trend wave. Although everybody knows about NFTs, many people imagine NFTs like cryptocurrency’s not-so-smart little brother.
In reality, NFTs have the power to disrupt the world as much as any crypto asset. Unlike bitcoin, where you can exchange almost any bitcoin for another, an NFT is unique and as the acronym states, “non-fungible”.
To put it simply, bitcoin is like the $10 bills in your wallet — you don’t care which bill you have as long as you have it in your pocket. NFTs are like having a Mona Lisa in your house. There’s only one original, and you do care which version you have.
NFTs are finding their practicality in many industries. At Arianee, we take real assets and give them a digital identity, also utilizing NFT technology. And even though we personally haven’t touched the world of gaming yet, imagine if proof of ownership of a physical object could open up unique in-game experiences! You own a collectible, that give you special powerups. You own a particular pair of shoes, well, you can now wear them in-game. But we’ll get to all this later..
Here are some of the leading gaming projects incorporating blockchain technology and NFTs and how they are changing the world of gaming.
As the pandemic hit the world in 2020, many people found themselves locked inside their homes without jobs.
In the Philippines, people found a way to deal with both issues simultaneously by playing Axie Infinity.
Axie Infinity is your regular trading and battling game. Imagine Pokemon, but add blockchain to the mix. Players can collect, raise, battle, and trade creatures called “axies.”
But while in the Pokemon game, each creature is nothing more but a digital code made to look cute, in Axie Infinity, each monster is also an NFT.
So let’s say you breed a rare axie that’s one of its kind. It isn’t Mona Lisa, but you can still fetch a reasonable price for the NFT. Considering the “Genesis” virtual land in Axie Infinity got sold for $1.5 million, the fire-spitting monster you own might be worth something in the future.
Finally, in the little economy of Axie Infinity, you can battle your NFT monsters and earn Small Love Potions (SLP). SLP are necessary to breed your axies and is a fungible token you can trade on any exchange where the token is available.
Instead of a specific game, Decentraland is an entire virtual world where players can do whatever they want. Like Minecraft, players can purchase real estate parcels, build houses, create items, and even clothes.
Naturally, everything in the game can be an NFT. Maybe you own a piece of land on the top of an active volcano, or you have a rare art piece hanging in your virtual home. You can auction and sell it to the highest bidder. Remember we mentioned bridging physical ownership of goods to the digital world? Well, Decentraland would be a perfect example of a platform that could support “digital-twin” wearables. You just bought a limited edition designer watch? Now you can wear it in the game.
Furthermore, Decentraland has its native cryptocurrency called MANA. Besides using it to buy items inside the game, players can use MANA to vote for changes in the game. Meaning, instead of being mere players, people can participate in how the world develops.
Decentraland is like an open-source, decentralized virtual world. Decentraland plans to allow players to create their games inside the world, form virtual communities, and even advertise.
For that to happen, Decentraland needs attention. The same goes for NFTs. It can be silly to think how a pixeled shirt can hit a 5-digit dollar value. But with enough eyes on it, anything can happen, and Decentraland is heading in the right direction.
Like Decentraland, The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build NFTs, buy and sell their NFTs, and create various gaming experiences for other players.
You can create unique and scarce NFTs on every step and have genuine ownership of a one-of-a-kind item.
The engine allows everybody to animate and design 3D objects such as people, animals, and countless other items. On top of that, players can use their NFTs and develop their 3D games inside the Sandbox metaverse.
This allows the players to sell their NFTs on the marketplace and advertise their games and earn additional income through the game’s popularity.
If you’re still not convinced, keep in mind that Sandbox has partnerships with some well-known names such as DeadMau5, Hell’s Kitchen, and Atari. They are also another player in the space that is bridging digital and physical worlds.
Cometh goes back to old-school space games and takes them to a whole new level. You create or buy a spaceship (you guessed it, the spaceship is an NFT) and go on an adventure throughout the universe.
As you explore the space, you’ll stumble upon comets that you can mine for tokens. The stronger the ship, the faster you can mine. After you finish gathering resources, you can either trade them or use them to improve your ship and add more value.
Players are selling their ship NFTs on popular markets such as OpenSea. The most expensive spacecraft so far is Sunriser and it goes for 32.235 ETH.
For people who’re into card-trading games such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, they will be glad to know that there’s a similar game, but with NFTs.
Like Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained prides itself on the “game that pays you to play” slogan. But unlike Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained is a card-trading game where you collect cards, create decks and take part in strategical 1-on-1 battles.
In every card-trading game, some cards are more valuable than others. If we go back to physical trading card games such as the initial Magic: The Gathering, cards like Black Lotus (Beta) from 1993 can fetch a price of $42,000.
Naturally, this wasn’t possible with video game cards because how could you prove the origin and rarity of a Black Lotus card designed and created in 1993? NFTs provide precisely that type of verification.
Every card in Gods Unchained is an NFT you can collect, exchange, or sell. Give the card a couple of years, and maybe you’ll be the owner of a digital card that’s as rare as Black Lotus.
Strawberry.wtf is a small but remarkable project that builds on early ’90s gaming nostalgia. It’s similar to big NFT avatars projects such as CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, but with the gaming aspect added to it.
Although not available yet, you’ll be able to play simple 2D platforming games with gorgeous pixelated art that are reminiscent of the ’90s Gameboy games. And after 100% of sales on the platform, limited physical Gameboy and game cartridges will be released.
Besides exchanging and selling NFTs, players can also alter the games and provide a unique touch. Strawberry.wtf is a community project mixed with video games that can make a significant change in the world of gaming nostalgia with the right community.
The gaming industry has been evolving rapidly in the last 30 years — from pixelated sprites to immersive graphics and gameplay. But up to now, games were nothing more than entertainment (unless we’re speaking of pro players).
It seems that video games, NFTs, and blockchain technology go hand-in-hand. About the same group of people interested in video games also have a knack for crypto and NFTs. With technology being gamified and now games being augmented technologically, the possibilities are endless. We’re personally interested to see how we can bring what we’re working on with our current clients to the gaming industry, and might even have a few pilot projects in the works.
Although there are many hurdles to overcome, mainly finding the balance between fun gameplay and earning money, gaming and NFTs will evolve in the upcoming years. The fuse has been lit. All that is left is for game and blockchain developers to show NFT gaming’s true potential.