NFT Gaming Trends to Watch in 2024
The volume of the NFT token market this summer crossed the $3 billion mark. Meanwhile, passion for record sales of art objects with NFTs has subsided, and the technology is actively used in new-generation video games. Let's figure out what NFT is, what the future of tokens is, and how authors, corporations, and gamers make money from it.
NFT – What Is It?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Some complex sets of words for people are far from the topic of crypto. Let's figure it out.
First, let's define non-fungibility. For example, let's take a gold bar - it is an interchangeable object. If you take exactly the same gold bar from another batch, you can replace it with it - the bar will have the same physical parameters, weight, fineness, etc., and the same price. A similar thought experiment can be done with a BTC jackpot.
But there are also non-fungible objects in the material world. For example, the painting of the Mona Lisa - no matter how many copies are drawn from it, nothing can replace the original and only it will be valued above all else. Or take your home - you can create a similar interior of your apartment or house, but it will still be alien to you.
Now let's move on to the blockchain. To simplify it as much as possible, the technology consists of sequential records of blocks - chains of data, which is why it is called blockchain. It can be thought of as a large barn book, in which miners record line by line each operation and other actions with tokens, and for this work they are given a reward in the form of pieces of cryptocurrency.
It is impossible to falsify records because there is no one “book of records” - they are simultaneously recorded by all participants on their computers and compared with each other.
Cryptocurrencies also have fungible objects, such as Bitcoin. It will not matter to you which bitcoin comes into your account and which one leaves, they have the same value. But NFTs are used so that each token can be marked with a special “electronic tag” that contains information about the transaction, authorship or any other data.
This allows you to protect copyright content from illegal use, as well as determine whether, for example, in-game content in NFT games belongs to a particular player.
The Rise of NFTs
NFTs gained their greatest popularity in 2021, when non-fungible tokens began to be used to mark artwork, pictures, videos and even memes. People quickly realized that they could make good money from this, and popular artists began to offer their works as NFTs.
Thus, artist from South Carolina Mike Winkelman (Beeple) created a huge collage of 5 thousand digital pictures that he drew every day for the last 13 years. At Christie's auction on March 11, the work was sold for a record $69 million.
Quite quickly, the video game industry saw the potential of NFTs. Casual games such as Axie Infinity have become very popular. In an early game, CryptoKitties, cats could be created, crossed, and rare specimens put up for sale. Then Axie Infinity added standard mechanics for a mobile game on a similar game where players’ creatures fight each other in special arenas, earn in-game currency, and then can exchange it for others cryptocurrencies.
Main Positives of NFT Games
The obvious advantages include:
- A significant part of popular and proven games based on cryptocurrency and operations with it (and their number has already reached a hundred) are highly transparent. This allows you to minimize the risk of fraud on the part of both players and developers.
- Non-fungible tokens obtained during the gameplay can be purchased and sold both in the game itself and on specialized platforms designed for NFT trading. For instance, weapons in shooters, players 'cards in football simulators, equipment in RPGs, and so on, retain a monetary value both in the games they are played on and off them as well.
- Functional feedback to developers. But since the internal economy of the game is directly affected by users 'actions from within the game, the makers of a project will carefully listen to their wishes and implement changes to the smart contract protocol immediately. There are also some game-like crypto-games, which are run on a decentralized management basis, all changes in which have to be decided by voting by the holders of non-fungible tokens.
The most obvious benefit is the commercializing of time. Everything in NFT games carries with it a degree of financial reward, and, naturally, this is the reason for their appeal.
It is nothing more than a natural progression in the evolution of blockchain applications. And there's a strong likelihood that 2023 won't be the last year for NFT games. This “play to make money ” format already existed before, minus the structure and convenience (for instance with gamers whose unofficial work was leveling up heroes on other people’s MMORPG accounts).
But now this format has found a fresh lease on life, and with so many big game makers jumping on the NFT bandwagon, it could become as mainstream as digital retailers like GOG and Steam!