Since 2020, NFT gaming has been evolving in a clear direction. Giving gamers a different approach towards video games, making them realize they actually own the rewards they earn.
In 2021 the hype around this kind of games got really intense, with Axie Infinity leading the list, followed by a heterogeneous variety of them. But, as an interesting astronomus once said, everything that goes up has to go down. That’s exactly what happened with this gaming dynamic. After an intense but short period of growth their ecosystems and economies started to wear down leading, in many cases, to collapse. This series of unfortunate events had big consequences on common people’s expectations causing them to move away.
But in perspective, was that the end of NFT gaming or simply an uncoordinated start of something bigger than what can actually be understood by the naked eye?
In a pass-through to the gaming history. We can see how the player’s attitude toward it is becoming more and more defined, even in a context where the industry is growing wider and generating new categories, which allows them to adapt to a more heterogeneous public. From the first game ever created (a simple tic-tac-toe game called OXO developed by Alexander S. Douglas in 1952 running on EDSAC) to the latest releases with incredible playability and graphs, we have seen millions of variants, popular hits that were part of family gatherings such as Super Mario Bross, also, the famous and enduring Counter Strike listing more than 20 years after its release is still chosen by the people. And just as we talk about console/PC games, the appearance of smartphones brought this industry into our daily lives, reaching not only the younger or gamer audience, but also people who would have never even dreamed of using a joystick and today can’t take their eyes off the screen because their farm needs more maintenance or they can’t get past level 2400 of Candy Crush.
These events changed the gaming industry so much that today we can see many types of categories not only characterized by the kind of game but, by the way, users interact economically with it.
And so we start with Pay-to-Play, and we refer to MMORPGs, where players have to pay to maintain an account. Examples of these games are World of Warcraft or Mu. A somewhat obsolete form, but it was one of the first.
Free-to-Play games present us with a free world but induce us to make in-game purchases to improve our experience, buy weapons or wearables, or improve animations. These types of games like Fortnite are trendy. Nevertheless, a certain drawback lies in the fact that everything we buy within the game, stays in the game, it’s its developer’s property, and it is not an NFT that we can use outside the game as we will see in the following case.
Play-to-Earn games bring a new gaming model based on real-world value creation from in-game objects and other forms of digital goods using NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and other blockchain technologies.
P2E games typically require players to pay an initial fee through cryptocurrencies to play and collect unique in-game objects. These items can then grow in value and be sold to other players.
At their core, P2E games not only mean that you can have fun while playing but also get actively rewarded for it with cryptocurrencies or NFT rewards, causing communities to flock to the extensive variety of platforms we, nowadays can easily get access to. This brings a brand new horizon when it comes to sitting in front of a game. It is no longer just me in front of a new universe. Still, it is me within a community creating a new, decentralized universe: from simple video games to decentralized blockchain-based games. The new decentralized model with self-governance represents the voice of the general public.
An example of the first P2E game that was well recognized was CryptoKitties, a breeding game developed on Ethereum. This allowed us to buy, collect, breed, and sell our virtual kitties. It was so popular that in 2017 it had an all-time high that congested the ETH network.
The actual value gamers appreciate lies in the exact same reason we all choose to play video games, to have fun. Even though this seems pretty obvious, sometimes it’s taken for granted. In our experience with first-generation NFT Games, amusing was not the exact word to describe their gaming experience. Instead, the main incentive for people to play these games was trying to earn some extra money, where the offer in some cases, was unrealistically attractive.
Analyzing the proposal developers are now working on, we can conclude that they’ve caught the message and are now focusing on the user experience. Also, adding in-game value gives players the chance to earn some extra money in exchange for the hours spent and therefore, motivates them to invest in items that not only allow a more fun experience, and earn more, but also help the game’s economy to subsist.
What are the big ships in these new on-chain waters?
Nowadays, developing firms have doubled the bet. Companies such as Revolving games(Polygon) or Psychedelic games (Internet Computer) are currently working not only on cutting-edge technology but in great in-game economies that will bring players all the advantages blockchain provides to the game. The development of innovative games will be a step forward to reaching one of the industry’s main objectives, attracting conventional gamers to use this revolutionary technology without forcing them to give their money away unless they want to.
“We believe that players should be able to experience our games for free, invest their time into learning our world, and ultimately decide whether or not we’ve provided the experience they were looking for before committing their hard-earned dollars into supporting our games.”
Revolving games founders.
Revolving it’s working on two main games, Battlestar Galactica and Skyborne Legacy, and in the last few days, they raised $ 13.2 M to make their games. This is very good news because the sneak peeks of these games are awesome.
In Solana we can play Star Atlas, an upcoming space-themed NFT-game developed using Unreal Engine’s Nanite technology. This game features stunning graphics and offers a cinematic and detailed exploration of this virtual space. It depicts the events of the year 2620 in a galaxy far away where three factions, Humankind, Alien races, and Android are constantly engaged in a conflict to control the ample part of the Star Atlas cosmos and establish a dominion.
What about Internet Computer Gaming?
The gaming world at Internet Computer is constantly growing and has the essential support of the Dfinity Foundation. A few months ago the supernova hackathon was held, and we were able to meet many new and interesting projects, especially in gaming.
Let’s talk about one of the big winners. Cubetopia seeks to be the first fully decentralized multiplayer RPG/sandbox game built on the Internet Computer. It will allow users to express their creativity on their unique island on the blockchain. Just like Minecraft, but on-chain.
The benefits of building on Internet Computer will allow them to verify ownership and permissions for player-owned islands using NFTs. On these islands, players can place and sell NFTs from their wallets. Other players can also be invited to help collaborate and hang out.
Another winning project is Eimolad, a hybrid between a full MMORPG (World of Warcraft, LineAge) and PLAY-2-EARN. An incredible world inhabited by humans, dwarves, orcs, elves, and other fantastic creatures. Characters of different races will fight against in-game monsters and each other. They can form groups and alliances for greater efficiency. The more a character plays, the faster their game level and skills will grow. Weapons and attributes can also be bought or sold in the in-game marketplace using ICP and eGOLD tokens. A world to explore with a clear tokenomics vision. For now, the development is in its demo version but we expect news by the end of this 2022.
What’s the actual direction developers are heading?
Well, we can’t get to know exactly what they are thinking on, but it’s quite easy to access some content where they try to make us understand what they are planning to do.
Psychedelic studio, which recently bifurcated into Psychedelic Games as well. stated a clear list of their priorities at the time to create games, following strict principles.
1- The rule of cool.
They will only create cool games, games they’d play. If they can’t see themselves spending hours on a game. Why would somebody else do it?
2- Getting rid of Ponzi schemes.
They’ve made it their goal to achieve:
- Low barriers of entry.
- Highly scalable games.
- Sustainable in-game economies.
3- A passionate team towards WEB3.
They want external collections to be able to be played in their games.
4-Experience maximalist and chain neutral.
Their main goal is to create immersive AAA experiences completely on chain. The chain the game is running won’t matter, they’ve got an omnichain vision in mind.
One of the games Psychedelic hope to launch by the end of this year 2022 is MetaSport, a blockchain-based basketball management game built on Ethereum, StarkWare’s StarkNet, IPFS, and the Internet Computer blockchain (with the help of the Terabethia bridge) that will bring the entire basketball ecosystem (franchises, players, coaches, fans, stadiums, and so on!) into an e-sports metaverse videogame experience
With this path in mind, now we can understand more accurately what they are aiming to do. But for those that are just getting started in this world, here are a couple of definitions for you to get used to this new language
An AAA game (commonly called Triple A ) is an informal rating used for video games produced and distributed by a major publisher or major publisher, typically having high-budget marketing and development. The development of an AAA game is associated with a high economic risk, which requires high levels of scalability to obtain profitability.
The ability of a business or system to grow in magnitude.
form of pyramid scheme that attracts investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors.
Is a term that captures a token’s economics. It describes the factors that impact a token’s use and value, including but not limited to the token’s creation and distribution, supply and demand, incentive mechanisms, and token burn schedules. This is very important in an NFT project like gaming.
In conclusion, Web3 shows quite a promising future in the development and adoption of, in general. However, there’s something special about NFT games that makes us feel optimistic, and that’s the great public gaming holds behind. We believe that the key point lies in NFT’S capability to give gamers a sense of ownership, the missing piece that can change the way we understand gaming forever. Not to mention all the extra advantages blockchain brings into the game, such as scalability, decentralization, and processing capability that Internet Computer specially provides. So yes, we believe in the future, we believe in decentralization, and overall, we believe in Internet Computer.