Let's take a dive into why NFTs are set to become an integral part of the gaming ecosystem

Our US-based gaming studio Kongregate recently announced the reveal of Bitverse, their NFT-powered collection of interconnected games. Inspired by the 8-bit nostalgia of the fan-favourite Bit Heroes, this retro-style metaverse will hold an expanding selection of unique games, including Bit Heroes, that will all be accessible by a player’s single NFT avatar. The games will be united with blockchain technology, meaning a player’s NFTs and digital identity will stay with them whilst hopping from one game to the next. Here, fundamental free-to-play elements will still exist, and digital ownership will be an optional opportunity for players to become part of the ecosystem and governance of the game.

At MTG, we are captivated by the metaverse and its potential to take gaming to a whole new level, but we know developments are happening at lightning speed. We have been listening to the ecosystem and can see there are lots of questions about how this all works, so let’s break it down! Starting with NFTs and why we are so excited about them:

 

Let’s get down to basics

NFTs are hot property because they’re totally unique, they’re written in code and cannot be replaced by anything else. Like any other desirable object, they can be purchased, kept, used and sold, but NFTs don’t even require a tangible form. Say hello to the ultimate modern age collectable, that can host a range of diverse uses.

 

NFTs are exceptionally difficult to hack or cheat. Sitting on top of the blockchain, NFTs use their strict code composition to lead in the era of digital transactions. Their ownership and their history are safely stored and easily verified, which has been key to the success of NFTs so far. For the first time in internet history, digital ownership can have legal standing, all thanks to blockchain technology.  

By the end of 2021, people around the world had spent nearly $41bn on NFTs, with ownership figures significantly on the rise. The market continues to be a hotbed for celebrity involvement, popstar Grimes made $5.8million selling her own NFTs less than 20 minutes after she announced them on Twitter and the iconic rapper Snoop Dogg whipped up a fan frenzy after revealing himself as the NFT collector Cozomo de’Medici, with an associated wallet worth $17 million.

 

So where does gaming come in?

When we think about their future potential, NFTs are still in their infancy. Innovators and an emerging group of traditionalists already drive conversation in the space.  What is hard to ignore, however, is their roaring success within established gaming structures. According to DappRadar and Blockchain Game Alliance, the blockchain gaming industry has grown 2,000% in the past year. Games like Splinterlands and Alien Worlds have been driving a swarm of activity, with an average of over 650,000 daily UAW (Unique Active Wallets) in March, feeding and fueling the NFT gaming ecosystem. 

By bringing NFTs into game design, we can create environments that allow gamers to save purchases more widely, sell them in a marketplace or even move them to other supported games. Players are hungry for the power to collect, create, breed, build and earn without a centralised control system, especially one that can provide a concrete monetary reward. Blockchain creates a whole new economy for gamers, which praises and encourages gaming’s core values of community and innovation. 

But, and there’s always a but, the economics are not the key to getting players to engage. What players want, and what we believe has yet to be cracked, is a gaming experience that embraces NFT technology to bring players totally unique, personal and, most of all, fun experiences. Longevity and trading will probably be part of it, but to succeed, NFT games must do what all successful games have done before: create a compelling experience that players love and come back to over and over again. 

 

The best is yet to come 

Here at MTG we firmly believe in observing the outside and making sure that we understand, and are ahead of, important industry trends. We’re very excited about the opportunities that the blockchain brings to gaming, both for game makers and players alike. NFTs are fascinating because they are still very much an emerging field, and yet it’s crystal clear that they’re here to stay, driving the next big transformation in digital tech. 

We have a number of exciting blockchain projects coming up this year. Our US-based studio Kongregate is leading the way and getting ready to launch several NFT based gaming experiences this year. We can’t wait to tell you more about them as they develop.