The integration of NFTs into video games is still in its infancy and there is great potential for positive change, believes Jonathan SchemoulCEO ofaleph.im†
In late 2021, Ubisoft became the first major gaming company to announce the integration of game NFTs. These tokens called “Digits” have been launched in beta for the computer version of the game “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint”† Since then, gamers have been able to purchase NFTs of unique items such as helmets, pants, and guns and then use them in-game. In collaboration with Aleph.im, Ubisoft has also worked on integrating NFTs into console games.
Why do some gamers refuse NFTs?
Reactions to this announcement were quick and some were very negative. Indeed, many gamers are concerned that the integration of NFTs will lead to skyrocketing prices for game items and the creation of a “pay-to-win” environment. Others fear that this use of NFTs will increase centralization and give large firms a market monopoly.
However, these concerns are not unfounded. When companies tried to integrate more microtransactions and other paid features into their games a few years ago, they didn’t consider the needs of gamers. As a result, many gamers felt left out or even overwhelmed by the rapidly changing video game industry.
Some studios like Team17 have even scrapped their game NFT plans after receiving negative feedback from employees and gamers, while Ubisoft faced heavy criticism.
The benefits of integrating NFTs into video games
However, it is important to keep in mind that the integration of NFTs into video games is still in its infancy and there is great potential for positive change. For example, the use of NFTs can provide gamers with ownership and the ability to transfer their gaming assets, give them greater control over their gaming experience, and strengthen their relationships with the gaming communities to which they belong.
For example, suppose that the trading of virtual items in video games is a massive $50 billion industry. If we could take a large chunk of that amount and redistribute it to gamers, we could fundamentally change the way we view video games and their value. In-game items can become more than just small digital props; they could be turned into real assets, with real value.
Game NFTs can solve some problems
It’s also worth noting that NFTs can help address some of the gaming industry’s most pressing issues, including the lack of secondary markets for gaming assets and concerns about microtransactions. For example, if developers integrate NFTs into their games, they can establish a more direct link between the value of game assets and the game itself. This would further encourage users to play and support developers, while providing a more transparent and fair secondary market for gaming assets.
Integrating NFTs into video games can indeed lead to a fairer and more sustainable industry for all players involved. On the one hand, players gain more control over their gaming experiences and are immediately compensated for their time and effort. On the other hand, developers will have a new tool to create more engaging and rewarding games while generating more revenue to reinvest in their projects. Finally, the industry will be able to provide a playing field with fairer rules, where the value of virtual assets is more closely linked to the game itself.
In addition, the use of gaming NFTs can help decentralize the gaming industry, giving smaller developers the opportunity to enter the market. This creates more competition and more accessible pricing for gamers.
The future of NFT games
In the movie Ready Player One, Ernest Cline tells the story of a world where the only escape from grim reality is the virtual world OASIS. In this world people can be whoever they want and do whatever they want. OASIS is indeed a place where people appropriate their virtual personalities, shaped by the interactions between users.
It may sound like science fiction, but it’s not that far from reality. Indeed, the integration of NFTs into video games has the potential to create a similar world, where players truly own their game assets and have the ability to shape the game environment as they see fit.
The adoption of non-replaceable tokens is still in its early stages. However, there is already a burgeoning ecosystem of projects and platforms exploring this new technology. For example, Decentraland is a virtual world based on the Ethereum blockchain, where users can buy, sell or trade virtual land NFTs. More than $500 million in “virtual real estate” has been sold through projects similar to Decentraland.
Other projects are also testing different ways to use NFTs in video games. For example, The Sandbox is a content creation platform that allows users to monetize their 3D voxel creations by turning them into NFTs.
Create more value with dynamic NFTs
Dynamic NFTs are a relatively new and innovative concept that increases the utility of NFTs within games. These new non-fungible tokens allow attributes to be modified and developed (ie NFT metadata) depending on the player’s activity. So they offer a level of customization and evolution that traditional NFTs simply cannot compete with. Aleph.im was the first company to integrate dynamic NFTs into mainstream games. That said, other projects like Chainlink are also breaking new ground in the dNFT segment.
Using Aleph.im’s technology, NFT metadata is transferred from player to player. Thus, users can get information about gamers who previously owned their NFTs. This builds community and creates a connection that would not be possible with traditional NFTs. In addition, Chainlink enables dynamic NFTs that connect to oracles to extract data from the real world.
NFTs in gaming: conclusion
The benefits of using NFTs in video games and virtual worlds are well known. As technology matures and new projects emerge, we will likely see even more innovative uses for NFTs in games.
So what does the future hold for gaming NFTs? It’s hard to say anything about that, but there are reasons for optimism. The benefits of non-fungible tokens are clear, and there is already a burgeoning ecosystem of projects exploring different ways to use them. As more people begin to understand and embrace this new technology, we are likely to see even more amazing use cases for NFTs in gaming and many other fields.
About the author
Jonathan “Moshe” Schemoul is the founder and CEO ofaleph.im, a decentralized cross-chain computing and storage network. Before founding his startup, Jonathan worked as a Community Developer at NULS Blockchain. He has also worked as an independent developer and software architecture engineer for several banks and startups. Jonathan and his team dream of revolutionizing the web with decentralized cloud computing and web3 infrastructure.
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