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Ever since the introduction of the first NFT onto the Internet, the world has been abuzz with different applications of this new technology. It has transformed our concepts of digital property with the Bored Ape Yacht club to our ideas of music ownership within marketplaces like OpenSea. Now it dives even further into the world of virtual entertainment with NFT gaming.
What are NFTs
First, before we delve into the impacts of NFTs within gaming we need to understand what an NFT is. NFT stand for Non-Fungible Token. In its simplest explanation, an NFT is a non-interchangeable unit of data that is stored on a blockchain or on a digital ledger. NFTs are like cryptocurrencies but can store more data, data that might be a picture, an audio file, or a video.
A more technical explanation of NFTs is that units in certain blockchains like Ethereum hold extra information that can be used to store data that makes up the digital media. These extra stores of data are called smart contracts and can store small data structures that execute in certain contexts.
In video games, NFTs may become items that are bought, sold, or traded on a marketplace that also has interactions with the game and the game mechanics. More than that, the video game itself may allow players to collect NFT items on their virtual quests.
Building on that, we get the modern play-to-earn model of NFT gaming. This means that players can actually generate an income playing a video game. As mentioned above, the play-to-earn model allows players to collect items, NFTs, and NFT tokens. NFT items in gaming might come once in a while, but NFT tokens would be something that a player can earn in a stable manner as they play.
Expanding on Freemium
If you know anyone who played games like the MMORPG game, World of Warcraft, or modern games like Valorent, know that to these players digital assets are as real as any gift in the real world. In games like World of Warcraft, a player earns items or can buy items and sell them to other players. The purpose of this freemium model is that it allows players to show off something unique or help them move through the game quicker.
The advent of NFT gaming has a chance of making the in-game economies more vibrant and interactive. Building on making the game more interactive, the creation of NFT gaming gives the player actual ownership of the in-game items. Now a player can safely convert items into a cryptocurrency, and from that cryptocurrency into cash.
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The most common NFT game you will see throughout the internet is Axie Infinity. Axie Infinity is an online video game that was made by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese Studio.
Axie Infinity, like Pokémon, allows players to go through the game catching Axolotle-inspired digital pets. These pets can be pitted against other pets, like Pokémon battles. Along with that, Axie Infinity pets can be bred with one another and traded with other players on an online marketplace.
In order to play the game, the player needs to pay a starting cost. According to Sky Mavis, The starting cost of this game averaged around $400 in 2020. This high cost led to the development of gaming guilds in the Philippines which rented out their assets so new players can play.
The second most talked about NFT game is God’s Unchained. This take on Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone allows gamers to collect NFT cards. Like many blockchain games, the cards are attached to the Ethereum blockchain.
In this game, the player collects cards that are used to combat other players. More specifically, the player needs to watch their avatar’s health, remove injured creatures, and shuffle the deck. As you play the game you earn something called flux. In this game, the basic cards are not tradable.
To get started, a player can buy cards in the “Genesis pack.” That or the player can continue to play and earn Flux. Flux can be used to craft better cards for battle. With better cards, a player can sell them on the marketplace and invest the money into getting better cards.
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Defi Kingdoms was made by GameFi and is their largest game. This game has a total value of $350 million in TVL(Total Locked Value.)
To get started in this game, the player needs to convert some Ethereum into tokens. How this game works is that 51% of the rewards will be given to the player, while the other 49% of the rewards must be earned in a linear game fashion. To start playing the user needs to acquire a Hero. These can be acquired at the Tavern. These heroes can be traded with other users. Along with that, the hero has a castle, which can be decorated with other NFT items.
The player has the option of farming jewels in the Garden. If they need to trade items, they can do so at the Marketplace. More interesting is that they can stake their tokens and earn interest in the market. Or they can transfer locked Jewel tokens on a secondary marketplace.
The game has a maximum supply of 500,000,000 Jewels. 5,000,000 jewels are used for future game development, 2,000,000 Jewels are allotted for marketing schemes and airdrops, 2,000,000 jewels are used for initial liquidity, and1,000,000 jewels are used for bounties.
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NFT gaming is taking pre-existing video gameplay and payment models and serves to make these games more interactive. There are a few things that make NFTs the future of video games:
- NFTs allow players to earn money in the in-game economy by having a way to convert these items into currency. Think about the game God’s Unchained, which has an online marketplace of different cards,
- NFTs give players a more personal sense of ownership over items in the game. In Axie-Infinity, players own their pets and can cherish them for their individuality.
- NFTs give game programmers a way to make a more advanced in-game economy. Think of Defi Kingdoms. In this game, you can stake your jewels to other players much like how bankers might loan out money for interest.
If you are a game maker in the 21st century, you should give serious consideration to entering the arena of NFT gaming. This technology can make your game more realistic, interesting, and engaging without the money and moderators for an expansion pack.