In 2021 and at the start of 2022, non-fungible tokens, popular as NFTs, became an attraction across the world and mainstream media. The sector also witnessed massive recognition from celebrities including athletes, musicians, artists, etc. during this period with superstars such as Snoop Dogg, Lionel Messi, Stephen Curry, and others buying themselves these pieces of digital art. While the rest of the world marvels at the growth of NFTs, crypto & blockchain enthusiasts are predicting these virtual assets could have a revolutionary impact on our everyday lives, and one of the areas already experiencing the impact is gaming.
According to Dappradar, the total trading volume on the top NFT marketplaces (Opensea and LooksRare) has reached a combined $41.5 billion, representing over 1000% growth in the past year, with in-game items representing close to a quarter of these sales. But what potential do NFTs have in the gaming industry, and what advantages do they present to the overall blockchain gaming industry?
How NFTS Are Revolutionizing the Gaming Industry
The growth of NFTs is magical as explained above. However, it offers much more than value growth and profits for users as these virtual assets are revolutionizing every global industry, one at a time. And the gaming industry could, unsurprisingly, be the biggest winner.
Till now, game developers have been the true owners of every in-game asset that they build, whether the player purchases, wins, or unlocks the assets. With NFTs, this could be a thing of the past, giving players real ownership of their in-game assets, so that you can own them forever. Simply put, players will own the NFT representing the assets hence gaining immutable ownership for these in-game assets, which could bring a revolution in gaming culture.
First, NFTs allow players to invest in the game like never before. Gamers put money into a game and will likely forfeit the assets gained if your account is lost, hacked, or you left the game completely. NFTs change the whole nature of the gaming ecosystem as it allows gamers to move their assets on other platforms, which gives them an opportunity to own assets as investments.
Secondly, NFTs also open up trading routes across the gaming ecosystem. Games that offered in-game assets as rewards for winning, or players that unlocked assets could only use the assets within that specific game. NFTs offer more equitable ways for gamers to trade in-game items on secondary markets, loan them, fractionalize them, stake them, and more. This creates an economically sustainable cash cow for the gamers as well as creates marketplaces within games, meaning more trading opportunities.
To this end, many blockchain-based games are adopting play-to-earn (P2E) mechanisms, which could lead to a new model for work and employment, where people earn real money for in-game achievements. Realm, a blockchain-based game on Ethereum & Binance Smart Chain, is one of the leading projects that is revolutionizing how gamers can utilize NFTs to create and explore the play-to-earn microverse.
A New Revolution in Blockchain Gaming
Realm is a cross-chain, community-driven project that aims to allow creators and collectors to create their own metaverses while experiencing their artistic vision in a digital realm. With realm, players and developers can create unique and customizable virtual ecosystems filled with NFTs, own genetically encoded living NFT pets, travel between realms via augmented reality (AR), mint collectible NFTix to host exclusive exhibitions, and use live audio streaming to connect with friends and fans.
The platform presents a new way of blockchain gaming by featuring infinite microverse realms that players can move through, from pet auctions, sporting events, art galleries, and others. On these microverses, players have an opportunity to view immersive art exhibitions, explore and collect rare NFTs, play P2E games, and earn $REALM tokens, which can be redeemed at secondary exchanges.
Notwithstanding, these new realms will emulate the real world by introducing virtual pets and trees in the microverses. Realms will include ‘living NFTs’, which encodes the genetics of Genesis pets on the blockchain. Unlike the Bored Apes collection, which offered ‘NFT pet dogs’ to every ape, Realm NFT pets will reproduce and their genes will mutate and create unique offspring. This allows players to breed incredible 3D interactive pets forever on the blockchain, while the pets evolve based on the realms they visit.
Additionally, Realm also allows users to plant their own food and trees, making the microverses more real. For every tree planted in the Realm microverses, the team promises to plant one real one, making a change in real life too.
As alluded to, the platform also allows users to create their own custom realm. They can combine music, art, and games to create the perfect realm and mint it as an ERC-1155. The creative Realm is powered by Godot open source gaming engine, giving players complete control over the space they create
Despite projects like Realm making massive steps in building NFT-powered games, the industry is yet to gain mainstream adoption, even if there’s widespread confidence their time will come. But the success so far of NFTs, with celebrities and the mainstream media swooning over these virtual assets, there is confidence the NFT-gaming partnership is set to succeed in the near future.
Additionally, the entry of Facebook Inc. into the metaverse further strengthens the opportunity for NFT gaming to take off.