If you like to keep up to date with the crypto world, then you won’t have been able to avoid the hype around CryptoKitties. From social media to mainstream news, there have been heated debates as crypto-enthusiasts argue whether this heralds a revolution in the cryptosphere or if it’s just a fad that will fade away as quickly as it appeared.
While there is no definite answer to the first question yet, there are some interesting perspectives on how these games can develop further. In this article, we’ll explore what NFT games are from a technical perspective and discuss their potential applications for gaming and other industries.
We’ll also provide a list of games that have already jumped on the NFT bandwagon.
NFTs: Non-fungible tokens
Let’s look at how NFTs work and why they were introduced in the first place. In contrast to fungible tokens such as BTC or ETH, where each token is identical to another, every NFT is unique. The most famous example of an ERC721 token is CryptoKitties, where each kitty is stored as one smart contract with different attributes. It means that even though they may be similar, no two cats are the same.
But why was this necessary, and how does it help?
Creating a singleton of a specific type of object has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, it allows creating unique collectibles that cannot be replicated by anyone else (or should not be, since copying them is possible). However, it also makes scalability difficult because every object must be stored in the blockchain, which leads to higher costs and slower speed.
That’s why game developers came up with a clever solution for this problem: they use one token to represent an archetype while allowing modification of specific attributes through the contract. When objects are created based on these archetypes, people can create rare items like CryptoKitties without slowing down the network or requiring additional storage space!
The role of NFT games
Having understood how NFTs work technically, let’s get back to the gaming industry. These collectibles are already very popular, but their potential has not been completely tapped yet. Despite having numerous players on board, mainstream game developers have not started using NFT mechanics in large-scale games.
While some big companies like Sony and Nintendo tried to explore the possibilities of blockchain gaming, they did it inefficiently within their own game universes. The reason is simple: they don’t need this tech at all! Therefore, we aren’t likely to see Super Mario collecting CryptoKitties any time soon.
However, NFTs can be applied to more complicated games where unique attributes for each character or player will add another layer of depth without sacrificing user experience. Let’s look at how these mechanics can work in more detail.
Player vs. Player (PvP)
One of the most natural applications of NFTs is PvP games. If every player owns unique items, equipment, or creatures that can be used to fight others. This system is already implemented in several games like Ether Warfare.
PvP game mechanics are very popular among gamers, so there are many opportunities for adding this kind of gameplay to existing titles.
Decentralized storage of resources
Another clever use of blockchain helps developers tackle one major problem of online games: cheaters who steal resources from legitimate players. The industry loses around $60 billion annually because people manipulate the game code to get more virtual currency than they have paid for.
Such problems were already being solved with new models based on blockchain, allowing players to store their assets in a decentralized way.
Collecting rare items is a huge part of what makes games so addictive. However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to provide this experience since the market is already saturated with all sorts of different sets and cards that can be collected.
The success of CyberKitties has led to dozens of similar concepts, all backed by companies keen to make a quick buck.
Using blockchain for unique assets opens up an entirely new field for game development. Not only that, but also NFTs make item collection more fun by adding elements like scarcity, uniqueness, or special abilities, making playing much richer and more rewarding.
Despite having many advantages, some problems still need to be solved before these tokens become mainstream both in the gaming industry and in other sectors. The main issue revolves around the limited number of NFT games and collectibles available, as well as their high price.
Developers are still hesitant to introduce blockchain mechanics in their games because it’s difficult to justify this decision to players who don’t know what NFTs are.
CryptoKitties became so popular thanks to its low entry threshold for both developers and gamers. A game can be introduced to a broader audience only if it provides something innovative yet easy-to-learn.
As the technology matures, there will be more new games with unique assets that are either very cheap or completely free. It’s important not to assume that NFT games are just about Kitties!
Applications for NFT
As you can see, there are many possible applications of NFT token mechanics in online games. These assets can bring more depth and get players more involved in the gameplay since they will rely on their collection of rare items, monsters, or characters to win. Players who want to significantly boost their chances of winning should consider buying unique assets from other gamers.
The market for such collectibles is still very small. Still, we can see a huge potential here: NFTs provide new ways to monetize games and make them more interesting by allowing each player to feel like a unique hero with special abilities and strengths.