Inevitably, NFT gaming will take off and become a no-brainer for the 3 billion gamers worldwide.
According to an article for many, NFTs are still hard to sell. They can be complex and suffer from poor UX design (continue with our UX Design Foundations course). There is inherent volatility and the environmental impact of NFTs, in their current use, is hard to ignore. Especially for players, the specter of loot boxes still reigns supreme, these paid random boxes of items suck money from players. More and more major publishers are returning or exploring the use of NFTs, including Square Enix, Ubisoft, Konami, Epic, Capcom, and EA…there’s a good chance you’ll be designing or using them soon. So, what can we expect for the future of NFT gaming?
NFTs in games can unlock gameplay and add value. As KokoSwap, Chris Clarke explains, “In the gaming industry, if the player puts their value into the game, it makes perfect sense that they can take that value out of the game.” That is the view of Ubisoft, with the creation of its own platform called Quartz, and its in-game NFT called Digits. The publisher launched Quartz in late 2021 to get fans to respond, but it stuck with it. This is crucial because NFTs can effectively create a second-hand market for digital games and items.
Quartz gives current players of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the open-world tactical shooter, NFTs of new, often obsolete items to reward old players. Using NFTs means that players can be the sole owner of an in-game item and then choose to trade, sell or hold it. The idea that players can make money from gambling is not new, but NFTs are safer and more flexible.
Players are used to buying in-game items through microtransactions and season passes. But NFTs give players more power and allow them to sell items and even earn a percentage on future resale. For gamers who grew up selling old games to buy new ones, that’s huge for an era of digital gaming. A game like FIFA already offers temporary skins, just like Fortnite. Both games create scarcity, but the developer is in control. NFTs allow players to control the sale and resale of items. If you arrived late in FIFA Ultimate Team and missed the first kits of the season, you can buy them from other players.
In addition to items, players can also invest in NFTs for new skills or XP. Taking the example of FIFA Ultimate Team, it can give players income as a team builder to create unique teams and sell them to other players in an NFT marketplace. This Ultimate Team example raises an important issue for concerned players. Those players with big purses can just buy a big pre-made squad and earn trophies, earn NFTs as rewards and never look back. In some ways, NFTs can bring about the worst aspects of real football as the wealthiest “clubs” thrive. Yet NFT games can also involve the property that players could take with them. The key to many games is the idea of customization, this could be extended to allow creators to create NFT powered assets for their favorite games and sell them on a marketplace.
Play to earn
Play to Earn of GameFi has taken the cryptocurrency world by storm this year by combining DeFi and entertainment to create a new kind of game that allows people to earn money by playing. HERE 12 P2E games were analyzed. The rise of Play-to-Earn games, such as Axie Infinity, (think of the Axies as Pokemon) points the way forward. Some players can even make a living from these games. With 3 million daily users (opens in a new tab), Play-to-Earn games like Axie Infinity won’t go away. While many Play-to-Earn games share similarities with non-NFT titles, such as Pokémon and Stardew Valley, some are simply backdoor blockchains with gameplay created after buying and trading cryptocurrencies in the form of collectibles.
Axie Infinity co-founder Aleksander Leonard Larsen has revealed that 50% of its players have never used cryptocurrency before playing the game. This shows how NFT games can help develop UX design and make blockchains accessible. The design of Play-to-Earn is similar to that of Free-to-Play games and as such the roots are there for players to join in as long as “Play” always takes precedence over “Win” and not…
It’s a big word, and it’s a big idea. Your NFT collectible can be used in many or all games. NFT is held on a blockchain, its data and ownership is maintained and is above corruption, meaning it can be easily transferred between games that share the same blockchain. It would be a power for Ubisoft’s Quartz to be able to link all of them and their items as NFTs would be fascinating. Items purchased and earned on an NFT blockchain can theoretically be used in all games.