NFTs & Gaming: Where is the Market Heading?

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NFTs & Gaming

NFTs have become one of the most critical components of blockchain and cryptocurrency. In fact, some of the very first blockchain games that were powered by Ethereum and Bitcoin relied on NFTs to capture new users. These were the days of games like CryptoKitties and marketplaces like the NBA’s Top Shot.

 

Over time, however, NFTs have started to evolve. Their use cases in the realm of gaming and collectorship (which often go hand in hand) have steadily diversified. However, NFTs rely on cryptocurrency and blockchain platforms, which have hit more than a few roadblocks in the last few years. It seems that NFTs need more time to fully enter the gaming market.

 

In the realm of iGaming, for example, NFTs could become a larger part of the picture. At the moment, however, most players are focused on the classic choice of pokies or slots. These minigames offer a short and exciting setup, taking players to unique and quirky worlds as they spin the reel. There’s plenty of potential for growth and diversification of slots, especially when it comes to adapting tokens for the gaming experience.

 

The same is true for dozens of other games, from casual match-threes to hyper-competitive battle royales. The idea is that NFTs can integrate into the overall system, world, and even mechanics of popular titles. At the moment, fans of games like Axie Infinity and Decentraland are helping pave the way for future projects.

 

So where could things go in the future? Let’s take a closer look.

 

In-Game Markets

Let’s start off with one of the clearest examples of NFTs in gaming: in-game markets. Axie Infinity is a great example, as players help raise and battle-harden tiny creatures called Axies. The Axies are actually NFTs, which players can use to level up or trade with others. Assuming they can create a truly formidable (and cute) Axie, they can even cash out.

 

Any type of game with an extensive in-game market could similarly adapt in-game items as NFTs. A classic example would be EVE Online or even RuneScape. Both are vast open-world and multiplayer games that rely on extensive in-game economies.

 

game market

Virtual Real Estate

Another likely adaptation of the NFT is as virtual real estate, which is the case for the aforementioned Decentraland. As with The Sandbox, players enter a virtual world where they’re able to buy digital property, launch digital projects, and much more. NFTs are focal to the experience, as just about everything in these worlds are NFTs.

 

Along with virtual plots of land, other in-game NFTs could be art, wearables, and other items… which can be used to help deck out real estate or the player’s avatar. Going forward, NFT-based digital property could take off—especially if more and more VR games start turning toward blockchain, as with games like Victoria VR.

 

Customization & Limited Editions

So far, we’ve outlined two of the most involved ways that NFTs could become part of the gaming industry: as economic assets and as virtual property. But some games might instead prefer to use NFTs in a more complementary way. In other words, they aren’t the game’s focus—they’re just an added bonus for players.

 

This reflects the more collectible nature of NFTs but would center the popular trend of customization in gaming worlds. Skins and similar visual features, for example, are hugely important for many players in games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike. Should these games see blockchain adaptations, NFTs could simplify the concept of creating and trading these types of collectible designs and virtual items.

 

They could also become the subject of certain rewards. For example, players who manage to meet a certain milestone could be offered a limited edition NFT, which they can trade or keep. This allows game developers to create more meaningful playing experiences for hardcore players.

 

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