What’s An NFT Game?

What’s an NFT game? NFT games are a phenomenon in the games industry, similar to blockchain games, these are titles which are curated on digital ledgers and include digital assets, which create a unique gaming experience.   What makes NFT games different to traditional video games is that in-game assets have a real world value, which until now, have not been so clearly defined and transparent. Often connected to established cryptocurrency networks such as Etherium, assets can be bought, sold and traded, for thousands of dollars and sometimes even millions.   The impact on the games industry has been widespread, many indie game developers have become major players in a matter of years with valuations in the billions. It’s an incredibly exciting time in the space, which is changing how all games will be monetized in the future but there are also some questions to ask around sustainability, ethics and legislation.  Axie-Infinity What’s an NFT A NFT is a non-fungible token, a unique digital asset stored on a blockchain, that cannot be altered or manipulated from its original genesis once created. NFTs often take the form of an image, graphic or digital object, to create a unique visual identifier.  NFTs have been embraced by the blockchain and gaming community as they create a truly unique asset, which owners can use in game or as an avatar to create an identity in the metaverse, where rarity and scarcity create an inherent value.  The Evolution of NFT Games Owning gaming items with a real world value is not a new concept, World of Warcraft and Eve are two examples where resources, items and assets, have had a comparable dollar value, even traded in black markets and sold between players. Monetising in-game assets by developers is also nothing new, with characters and items available through purchasing game packs which allow players to accrue the latest assets and strongest characters. What’s different about NFT games is that virtual assets are all recorded onto developer owned blockchains and can be openly traded in marketplaces that put a definitive value on items. NFT Games  An excellent example of an NFT game is Axie Infinity, where players collect, develop, battle and trade creatures known as ‘Axies’ which are recorded as NFTs. There’s a barrier to entry for the game, where like many other NFT games, players are required to purchase characters to begin playing the game, which can cost hundreds of dollars or more.  Players can earn in-game currency, which has a real world value, virtual assets such as characters, territory and objects, can also be accrued, then traded for other virtual currencies on cryptocurrency trading platforms. The currency now changing hands in Axie Infinity is significant, with some its NFTs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, playing NFT games like Axie Infinity has become not just a pastime but a way to earn huge sums of money with real world value.  Gods Unchained Is it all fun and (NFT) games?  The appeal of NFT games is plain to see for gamers and the games industry, a definitive digital record for assets and identity, is a huge positive for gamers and presents a great opportunity for transparency of ownership and value.  The danger comes in the perceived value of assets being dictated by developers and players themselves, that the space is unregulated to an extent and that token values are tied to the often volatile and unpredictable cryptocurrency markets.  Many developers, who could be deemed unscrupulous, are also rushing to release games, whose intentions are unclear, game mechanics suspect and economies unsustainable. There’s also a suggestion that playing and trading in NFT games could be seen as gambling.  It’s inevitable that NFT and blockchain games will rapidly change the way in which games are monetised and even played, and this evolution will be intrinsic to the development of the metaverse, but it would be wise to exercise caution when what happens in game can have severe real world consequences. Thanks for reading our article, What’s an NFT game? Read more in-depth articles on the Into Indie Games features page.

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This Article was written by: Harry Cole

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