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Games using non-fungible tokens (Non Fungible Tokens, NFTs) allow players to earn cryptocurrency through the gameplay by selling received game items, farmed pets or digital collectibles through special exchanges. The market for tokenized objects is growing every day. Entire metaverses based on NFT technology are developing. Mark Zuckerberg renamed the Facebook corporation to Meta and plans to develop his virtual tokenized world. The launch of its own NFT marketplace in December 2021 was announced by the Ubisoft studio, a giant in the video gear industry. All this means that the topic of NFT in gaming is more relevant than ever.
In this article, we will look at the most interesting NFT games and talk about the industry as a whole.
A bit about blockchain
NFTs are based on blockchain technology. To give a simple analogy, the blockchain is the lines in copies of the “account book” stored on different computers and containing information about transactions. Entries in these "lines", or blocks, cannot be changed without the consent of other participants - the owners of the "book". There is no “main controller” in the blockchain – all actions are performed decentralized. This approach provides security, because in a distributed network it is impossible to hack one specific computer to erase or change all information.
In order to control the correctness of new records in the network (that is, transactions made), large computing power is required. They are provided by the computers of the miners. With the help of special software, they solve cryptographic problems, thereby confirming transactions.
Developing blockchain games is a more complex topic. It involves crypto exchanges and special “smart contracts”.
How smart contracts are used in NFT
Simplistically speaking, a smart contract is a piece of code that works under certain conditions, establishes the order of interactions between users and ensures the transparency of transactions in the blockchain network. Some smart contracts make it impossible to replace one original token with another, as if assigning it a “certificate” with a set number. Yes, the cryptocurrency also has a conditional “serial number”. However, it is interchangeable. In this regard, bitcoin is like a dollar (one piece of paper is equal to another), and an NFT token is like a collectible card or paper with ownership of a house (the value of each object is not equivalent, and ownership is officially assigned to the owner). Due to their properties, non fungible tokens have been used to sell digital works of art - paintings, photographs, sound recordings.
How NFTs are used in games
Let's return to the main topic - NFT games for Android, iOS and PC. The use of new technologies has complemented the classic monetization schemes in the gaming industry and added new ones. Game-fi is based on cryptocurrency settlements and securing ownership of virtual items through NFT. Game projects on the blockchain allow users to earn income in several ways.
Play to earn. Users get items, develop characters, master game territories - just like in regular games. But when using NFT, a virtual helmet or a house becomes a unique object, a “single copy”, the ownership of which can be sold on a crypto exchange. Neither game developers nor other users will be able to take away the token without the consent of the owner. With this monetization model, the more time and effort a player spends, the more profit he gets. Most often, NFT games on iOS and Android are built according to the play-to-earn scheme.
Pay to earn. By investing in collectible game items - usually cards or decks - the user can sell them later for a higher price. The value of a digital object depends on its rarity, its use in the game, and overall market demand.
NFT mystery boxes
Loot boxes have long been common in the gaming industry. They were not spared by NFT projects either. Crypto exchanges sell "boxes" with unknown tokens from certain collections. Mystery box contents may vary in rarity and price.
Why NFT in games has become popular
The possibilities of blockchain technology bring a number of advantages to games.
Players are now less dependent on the developer. An item protected by a token cannot be simply taken away or drastically reduced in price by stamping a hundred similar ones. The value of the conditional magic NFT sword is only lost if the game completely stops working.
In theory, one item with NFT can be used in different games and traded on all available crypto platforms, and not on special marketplaces. Many players would like to slash enemies in Skyrim with their favorite sword from Dark Souls.
- Original use cases.
Tokenization is not only about trading in virtual rarities. NFTs are already becoming part of the gameplay. In the CryptoKitties game, users are encouraged to raise crypto kitties by crossing the cats of the "parents". Due to the NFT smart contract built into the code of the game objects, the offspring receive a unique appearance, which depends on the "genome" of the ancestors.
Best NFT games
Users all over the planet play crypto games with NFT technologies. Here are 5 of the most sensational projects.
A game from Vietnamese developers based on the Ethereum blockchain. Collecting and evolving pets, Pokémon-style one-on-one battles, and PvE (player vs. environment) co-op play all in Axie Infinity. Users can buy and sell creatures - Axie, as well as land and various items. Successfully completed tasks are rewarded with new tokens.
The project combines "fantasy football" and a card game. On collectible cards there are photographs of real football players. Having assembled your “dream team”, you can arrange virtual matches. For victories in competitions and other achievements, users receive points and level up. Starter cards are distributed free of charge. Rare tokenized copies are sold for considerable amounts in crypto.
A collection of cards created under the direction of the former game director of the famous Magic The Gathering. The goal of the game is to build a deck and fight it with other players, participate in tournaments. For winning battles, players are given in-game items or Fluex cryptocurrency.
First RPG with NFT items. Users go through missions of varying difficulty or conduct one-on-one turn-based battles, earning in-game currency and items, pumping characters. Players have the opportunity to buy loot boxes that contain both common and very rare items.
Open world, graphics and partially gameplay reminiscent of MineCraft. Players can buy lands, build on them, or create their own mini-games based on free software. The site uses its own internal NFT tokens - SAND - as the currency. There are different ways to monetize. From a simple investment in the project's cryptocurrency to installing a billboard with advertising inside the game.
A virtual metaverse. As in Sandbox, here you can buy and sell land, build buildings. In addition to private property, Decentraland has themed community areas and the Plaza, developer-controlled lots. Players can visit special locations to listen to lectures, buy digital goods and participate in events. For transactions, we use our own cryptocurrency - MANA.
Russian NFT games
In 2021, domestic developers began to rapidly break into the industry. A world-famous Russian project with $2 million in weekly turnover is Waves Ducks. The game is similar to Axie Infinity and CryptoKitties. In it, you can raise ducklings and earn EGG cryptocurrency by developing your farm.
Another promising development is Neon Earth. Initially, this is a classic card collectible. But in 2022, the creators plan to globally modernize the game and launch a new metaverse based on the NEARTH token.
How much can you earn in an NFT game?
The most profitable NFT play-to-earn games can bring in over $1,000 per month to active players. Earnings on collecting are not so stable, but even there, with luck, you can get large sums. The most expensive kitten from CryptoKitties cost $270,000.
Possible income depends on the luck of the player, the amount of time spent, the popularity of the game and the volatility of cryptocurrency rates.
How to avoid losing NFTs
Since the cost of NFT tokens is high, the risks associated with their storage and movement are also high. There are many ways to lose an object:
- accidentally hand over to a scammer;
- transfer the token to a wallet that is incompatible with it (standards for storing and processing data on cryptoplatforms differ);
- open access to the wallet for a malicious smart contract that can take the token;
- to lose during the game.
The value of an object may simply drop sharply due to a drop in hype, site closures, or other unpredictable reasons. The NFT market is a relatively new phenomenon, and it is poorly predicted. But you can protect yourself from most threats. There are a number of rules for this.
- Allow access to the wallet only to smart contracts from projects that you are familiar with, so as not to "pick up" malicious code.
- Learn about the token protocols your wallet supports. Always check compatibility.
- Check counterparties for signs of fraud, do not participate in dubious schemes like pyramid schemes or "gifts" from well-known companies for a small transfer.
- Take an interest in the rules of the game and how to interact with game items.
Platforms for creating and trading NFTs
NFT game developers create and sell NFT items using special crypto exchanges. There are many similar sites on the network for 2022. They use different currencies and wallets to exchange. Most often, exchanges are universal, and you can trade various virtual goods on them. But there are also specialized ones. For example, NBA Top Shot sells tokenized video clips of basketball games.
Let's take a look at the 5 most popular NFT marketplaces.
The largest and currently known NFT exchange. It sells paintings, audio and video recordings, collectible cards, game items, as well as lands from the Sandbox and Decentralend metaverses. Trade is carried out through an auction or at fixed prices. There is a commission.
In 2021, a popular cryptocurrency trading platform launched a marketplace for NFT trading. On it you can buy works from artists and developers from different countries, including Russia. There is a special section for implementing mystery boxes. The principle of sale is standard - auction or fixed price.
An exchange from Russian developers, known all over the world. It sells objects from the well-known CryptoPhunks and BoredApeYachtClub collections, lands and properties from Sandbox. With the help of the RARI token, anyone can create an NFT object and put it up for auction. Authors are rewarded each time their work is resold. There is no such mechanism on other exchanges.
A project powered by the WAX blockchain. Offers many items from new, emerging NFT blockchain games and loot boxes starting at 0.85 WAX. The exchange has a simple and free tool for creators to create their own NFTs.
Another venue at WAX. Known for its drops - free or very cheap distribution of objects (usually for promotional purposes). Thanks to the open API of the exchange, some users create special bots to track and automatically buy profitable offers.
What is the result?
NFT projects are increasingly appearing on the market. With their help, users can earn money by playing. Crypto games for phones and PCs using tokens are created by both indie developers and large studios with a name. Thousands of NFT objects are traded on exchanges every day. More and more players are joining the metaverses based on tokenization.
It is impossible to say exactly what the future holds for the industry. NFT games in development today can bring thousands and even millions of dollars to creators and players, or close due to a drop in interest. But the first option is more likely.
Crocoapps studio develops NFT games on unity and Unreal Engine. Ready to discuss your project!