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What Is NFT Gaming?

This blog will help you learn more about NFT games and how they work. We’ll also look at the differences between crypto gaming and NFT gaming. Finally, we’ll conclude with a factual outlook on the future of NFT games and Web 3.0.
December 9, 2021

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What started out as a way to pass time is now a bustling industry worth upwards of $130 billion. No prizes for guessing what it is - we’re talking about the video game industry. 

There are more than 3 billion gamers worldwide as of 2021 across platforms like mobile, desktop, and consoles. That said, video games were not considered to be a means to create wealth by average gamers.

Of course, video game publishers would stand to earn a boatload of money through sales while professional gamers could win tournaments and sponsorships for their efforts. 

But the general consensus was that the average gamer could never really mint money by playing games. That was, until blockchain technology began gaining steam in the early 2010s. 

The average gamer can now create wealth through NFT games. But what is this technology that everyone’s raving about? Is it actually true that you can earn money by playing games? Let’s find out.

What Is Blockchain & NFT Gaming?

A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a digital asset that you can own in two ways: you can either create it on your own or buy it from someone else. These NFTs are minted on the blockchain.

NFT games go one step further and allow you to “play-to-earn”. In simple terms, NFT games create a digital economy where a player can play a game like Axie Infinity and earn digital assets with real value. 

Certain games also allow you to create your own in-game digital assets. These digital assets are stored as NFTs and can be bought or sold with crypto tokens that act as a store of value. 

Investment facts
Source: The Sandbox Game (YouTube)

Both the NFTs and crypto tokens carry inalienable property rights transferred to the holder. That said, “digital asset” is a broad term in the NFT games universe and include (but is not limited to):

  • Characters
  • Collectables
  • Creatables

Other NFT gaming features include traditional concepts like winning or defeating foes to earn rewards in the form of cryptocurrency. The concept of NFT games gets more interesting from here. 

Traditional games are centralized, which means that the game developer has control over the way in-game assets, collectables, and more can be used. They’re also riddled with security flaws.

NFT games are the opposite. 

They are decentralized, more transparent, and place control of the in-game assets in the hands of the player. In fact, the player has complete control over their assets akin to real-world properties. 

NFT games fact

Crypto Gaming Vs NFT Gaming

Cryptocurrencies eventually make their way into a conversation whenever someone mentions NFTs. There’s a reason for this. Most NFTs are purchased with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.  

That’s why it would not come as a surprise to many that there is such a thing as crypto gaming. But it’s comparatively different from NFT games and the proposition or the level of innovation that they offer. 

Crypto gaming is generally used to refer to a version of online gambling like casinos. The primary medium of betting in this form of gambling involves cryptocurrencies. 

For example, chips used as a wager in crypto gaming poker would represent equivalent value in digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or others rather than fiat currencies like USD, GBP, etc. 

But crypto gaming is not as complex and sophisticated as NFT games. In fact, tabling a wager in the form of cryptocurrencies is the only difference you’d find between traditional gambling and crypto gaming.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that blockchain technology is still very nascent and poses challenges that NFT games have to learn to traverse if they are to continue innovating in the gaming domain. 

Challenges In Blockchain & NFT Games

NFT games are sophisticated in terms of the underlying technology but are relatively new and thus, basic in terms of functionality, gameplay, and aesthetics. A typical NFT game looks like this:

Investment Facts
Source: Axie Infinity (YouTube)

Classic gamers can place this with the likes of Pokemon Red and Blue while modern gamers may notice most NFT games are somewhat similar to Stardew Valley or early 2010s mobile games in terms of aesthetics. 

There’s also the fact that transparent and seamless transactions on the blockchain are still relatively slow compared to traditional and centralized systems. There’s another implication of this. 

Since blockchain and by association NFT games are still evolving, mass adoption is still a few years if not decades away. Furthermore, there are deeper concerns regarding NFT themselves. 

For example, most NFTs can’t be altered once created. In fact, it’s a feature, not a bug when it comes to NFTs. This has created problems for certain NFT games like Wolf Game who found a bug in their code. 

For context, Wolf Game put their entire code on the Ethereum blockchain. Add this and the unalterable nature of NFTs, Wolf Game was open to vulnerabilities due to the bug in their code. 

As any inventor would tell you, problems are expected when the technology is so new. Emerging technologies are always coupled with a period of discovery within and outside the community. 

A bunch of NFT games like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Sorare, and others are establishing the groundwork for what could become the GTA San Andreas or Assassin’s Creed of the NFT games universe. 

But all these factors do not necessarily mean that the traditional gaming industry is at odds with NFT gaming. It has simply increased the scope of what can be achieved through games. 

NFT games facts

The Future Of Blockchain & NFT Games

NFT games may be a recent invention but they’re gaining popularity and funding in droves. Sky Mavis, the developers behind Axie Infinity, raised $152 million from the popular VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Other blockchain platforms like Polygon (MATIC) are entering the NFT games foray by partnering with GAMEON while legacy game developers like Sega have announced their intention to build NFT games.

Investors, developers, and gamers are banking on the evolution of NFT games because of:

  • Limitless possibilities: Metaverse, play-to-earn, digital ownership, and more
  • Robust functionality: safe & secure transactions, anonymity, immutable ledger technology, global validators, and more

Above all, NFT games, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies are paving the way for what’s being dubbed as Web 3.0, the future of the internet where everything is decentralized and anonymous. 

Costliest Cryptopunk NFTs

Note: Facts & figures are true as of 06-12-2021. None of the information shared here is to be construed as investment advice. Exercise caution when investing in unregulated assets like cryptocurrency.

Priya Bansal
Curious about personal finance and all things money. Can either find me reading a book or dancing to a tune.

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