In 2021, the non-fungible token (NFT) scene experienced a real mania: although in reality they have been around for much longer, the past year was marked by a series of milestones that have significantly changed the public perception of NFTs, which they were once seen only as “overpriced JPG”. changed. In addition to growing financial importance, NFTs have potential mainly due to their remarkable technical attributes and growing importance in the creative industries. This also includes the gaming scene, in which creativity, economics and technological development are combined, and perhaps also a democratic spirit through the use of the growing crypto ecosystem.
Earn bread, but not a game for thoroughbred gamers: Axie Infinity
Crypto is already a solid player in the video game industry today, at least by the numbers. There are currently around 400 active blockchain games, i.e. games that are based on blockchain technology. However, the spread remains limited to certain subareas of the market and is still met with skepticism within the scene. In most blockchain games, including the one released in 2021 DeFi Kingdoms and is now worth more than four billion US dollars infinity ax by Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis, are actually DeFi apps with which players earn in-game currency for their achievements, which they can trade with other players or exchange for fiat money.
The Axie Infinity model has certainly revealed opportunities through its specially created microeconomics: in low-income countries like the Philippines or Venezuela, gaming has become a profitable full-time job for some people, but recent price fluctuations in internal currencies AXS and SLP reveals several disadvantages. In addition, there are the facts that playing requires an initial investment due to the necessary purchase of an in-game character, and last but not least, it also harbors the potential for addiction.
NFTs: First rejection within the game scene
Aside from these DeFi games, whose graphics are more on par with gaming consoles like the Nintendo 64 than the contemporary triple-A title on PC and modern consoles, crypto technologies have barely found their way into video games. This is also due to the prevailing mood in much of the scene against the trend towards ever deeper profit maximization and monetization by game developers and publishers. Recently, a wave of internal criticism arose from employees of gaming giant Ubisoft when it posted on a forum about plans to introduce NFT trading to the franchise. ghost recognition revealed. Japanese company Square Enix also experienced similar reactions from its own community when company president Yosuke Matsuda spoke about plans to invest in NFT and Metaverse technology earlier in the year.
Right now, NFTs don’t symbolize an interesting innovation for many players, but rather another instrument in the ongoing “capitalization” of the scene, which is already being poisoned by it, through microtransactions, loot boxes, and more.
An ecosystem for everyone?
But cryptocurrencies have the potential for much more: the gradual rise of Web3 and its potential for technical innovation represent great strides towards the ecosystems of the future powered by from peer to peer Trade (P2P) enables financial and economic democratization and inclusion. In the gaming industry, these innovations could even lead to new value creation mechanisms that benefit players and developers by replacing the old ones.
One example is in-game transactions made by players of regularly appearing game series, including the one that is re-released annually. fifaDeveloper Series Electronic Arts: Available to purchase for real money. Only the market for so-called packs, which are used to build your own team in the mode ultimate team service, Electronic Arts generated 1.3 billion euros in sales in fiscal 2021, despite the fact that the packages for players are practically worth nothing with the launch of the next part of FIFA. Since NFTs, as digital unique certificates, can be linked to virtually all in-game items, they could serve as a substitute for such in-game purchases and thus be freely traded and traded between individual games and even people in marketplaces. secondary.
Developers and publishers supporting this development would be able to charge a small fee for each NFT transaction and thus have a motivation to maximize the quality of their game series and associated ecosystems. In any case, such an adoption would depend not only on the will of the developers, but also on the favor of the gamer scene and its high demands: for them, cryptocurrencies should offer a noticeable improvement and respond to the sore points of criticism. .
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