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What could NFTs mean for the gaming industry

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According to market research firm Interpret, 56 percent of 1,500 console and PC gamers are interested in earning nonfungible tokens (NFTs) through gaming

By Siddharth Swarnkar

Since early 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have become the new focus of the cryptocurrency market’s scientific and industrial communities. Unlike standard cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, whose coins are all identical, indistinguishable, and “fungible,” NFTs are described as digital pure assets that cannot be transferred like-for-like; as a result, they are extraordinary and “non-fungible.”

When you purchase an NFT, you receive a token (similar to a receipt) for that item, whether it’s art, an in-game aesthetic, or anything else. Part of the dispute is whether copyright counts at all, because the internet’s nature makes picture sharing and downloading a wild west, thus you may own an NFT for an image while millions download an identical JPEG. Nonetheless, there has been a surge in the previous 12-24 months of image owners — particularly those in photos that became ‘memes’ — making large bitcoin sales for an NFT token of that image.

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NFTs in the gaming industry

NFTs are now the most publicised instance, thanks to Ubisoft, a French Video-gaming company and their Quartz initiative. It provides ‘digits,’ which are just NFT brandings that appear as cosmetics in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on PC. These NFTs were initially not sold directly to players, but were issued on a first-come, first-served basis if you claimed them or completed specific in-game conditions, such as playing for a particular number of hours. The initiative has partnered with Tezos, a platform that has its own cryptocurrency (XTZ); transactions take place with the Tezos cryptocurrency, so anyone selling a Quartz Digit will need to navigate the Tezos’wallet’ system and follow multi-step processes if they want to change the sale into a currency like US dollars.

Ubisoft will not be the last company to include prior microtransactions into limited edition NFTs; additional firms are expected to follow suit. It does, however, provide people who earn or purchase the products the chance to resell them if there is a need. Hence, NFTs will enable the creation of digital assets and currency for the Gen Zs who in the coming times will value the NFT possessions more than the real-life possessions.

NFT’s would shift the power of the gaming economy into the hands of the gamers

NFT would totally change the way people buy/own virtual assets in games. To give an example, let’s say you buy an interesting costume in a shooting game for your avatar, the validity of the costume you buy is within the game, you don’t truly own the virtual assets and can’t even sell the costume to another player in an open market, at a price which they value for the costume. Interoperability in NFT’s would also play a huge role in bringing more utility and value to the NFT’s where a NFT purchased in a game would possess value in another game as well.

According to market research firm Interpret, 56 percent of 1,500 console and PC gamers are interested in earning nonfungible tokens (NFTs) through gaming. NFTs have a market capitalization of $11.72 billion, according to reports. Axie Infinity, Guild of Guardian, and more games in this genre are gaining popularity. It’s reasonable to say that the next gaming revolution has here.

Current challenges in NFTs

According to a research published in Munich Personal RePEc Archive, it offered a study of the performance and dynamics of this new crypto niche, which is characterised by consistent development driven by the curiosity of gamers, traders, and businesses. On the one hand, the findings demonstrate that play-to-earn and metaverse tokens have favorable long-term performance on average. Thus, (i) the gaming activity is paid by the tokens that players acquire while playing, and (ii) given the good returns, blockchain firms may discover in this sector an alternative market segment in which to invest. However, because to the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, ambiguous findings were shown when comparing the performance of these tokens to the cryptocurrency market.

While NFTs are a good method to manage ownership across different gaming ecosystems in theory, the technological hurdle of actually transferring goods across them makes it a pipe dream. It is just like attempting to fit a cup holder from an Audi into a Honda Civic. The Honda Civic doesn’t have the structural supports, it doesn’t have the basic form, the materials are all wrong, and it’s probably going to look funny since the car type is inappropriate.

Similar is the situation while transferring NFTs from one gaming environment to the other. It may not always be the exact fit. However, in the times to come with technological advancements, this may become an easier transition.

The author is co-founder and chief product officer at Tamasha Live

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