The general consensus is that video NFT games designed to be played for money are about power fantasies: kill enough dragons to level up to 99, sell enough wolf skins to buy a showy gold cape, and become rich, strong, or successful in the game’s world—even if you aren’t in real life. Catdicax, a 30-year-old lady from Finland, thought of Runescape as a place where she could work hard and put out effort to get more in-game items. She had amassed a collection of pricey artifacts over the course of 10 years of playing NFT games that she could earn money for.
On the other hand, Catdicax finally started to feel restless. Working so hard to get Runescape’s virtual axes or cloaks looked pointless and like a grind. In 2019, Catdicax came upon axie infinity, a blockchain-based video game where players acquire and level up collectible virtual animals called Axies. NFTs that stand in for the players’ Axies battle to win cryptocurrency tokens that may be used to breed more animals.
The NFT games industry is about economics, not the typical play that generates gaming enthusiasm. Rarer Axies fetch astronomical premiums, similar to holographic Charizards on steroids: 2020 saw the purchase of the rights to a stocky, wingless angel called Axie for $130,000 in bitcoin. Smooth Love Potion, or SLP, tokens earned by winning Axie-fights may be exchanged for cryptocurrencies on online marketplaces before being turned into actual money.
Catdicax describes herself as having lived in poverty all of her life.
(Catdicax uses her screen name because she worries about sexist trolling and fears being “targeted” because of her riches.) She is currently observing as the price of each of her digital Axies rises from a few dollars to as much as $500. Catdicax stopped being a spectator. She had a few properties. And she understood that many potential play to earn game players who couldn’t afford to buy their own Axies would rush at the opportunity to profit off hers when Axie Infinity became popular in late 2020.
Catdicax started hiring people she met online, the bulk of whom were based in the Philippines, to help her with her video game grind. As part of an Axie loan scheme, or a scholarship in Axie lingo, these players may get a share of her earnings. Catdicax was engulfed by a fresh power fantasy from a video game: that of being a manager.
“Wow, this is great, I thought. People in the Philippines are making twice as much playing this game as they would in a typical job “She clarifies. “The same goal also applies to me. I also wanted to help other people.” (In actuality, a study by analytics company Naavik found that the bulk of gamers made little more than the $7.03 daily minimum wage or less, with only the most proficient players making more than the Philippines’ average daily salary of $41.49). And that’s before the costs of the scholarship managers are subtracted.)
The phrase ” NFT games” has become popular in the bitcoin world. The term describes a rising category of widely played NFT games that employ blockchain technology to reward players with virtual goods that have real-world, or at the very least, virtual currency value. Uplands, splinterlands, and Alien Worlds are also featured. The most famous of the three is Axie Infinity, which was created by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese woman.
The sector is expanding: Gamers spent more than $2.32 billion on blockchain-based exclusive gaming items in the third quarter of 2021, according DappRadar, a cryptocurrency analytics company. The recipients of venture capital grants from Andreessen Horowitz have made significant investments in start-ups in the industry, including leading a $152 million investment round in Sky Mavis in October. And probably most importantly, thousands of individuals play simultaneously: As of August 2021, it has 1.8 million daily users, according to Axie Infinity.
When Axie Infinity launched in 2018, the sole element related to cryptocurrencies was the link between Axies and NFTs, which are unique money units that may be created on the Ethereum blockchain. Later, in late 2019, Sky Mavis published the SLP tokens and decided against peddling them to users in favor of letting players collect them in-game.
Aleksander Leonard Larsen, cofounder and chief operating officer of Sky Mavis, asserts that his company is trying to change the way people make money by playing NFT games online. In reference to NFT games with business models centered on players acquiring exclusive products or features, Larsen continues, “Other NFT games businesses are continuously attempting to extract as much money as possible from players.” He contends that NFT games like Axie Infinity and others reward skilled players with worthwhile virtual items.
Even better, these resources are kept in the player’s bitcoin wallet rather than merely existing as numbers on an MMORPG server. An NFT is required to own an Axie; SLPs and Axie Infinity’s other currency, AXS, are ERC20 tokens. Sky Mavis has also been progressively implementing a monetary policy that seems to be meant to avoid token excess, almost like a private central banker. The company has tightened restrictions on users who establish several accounts, reduced the number of tokens accessible in non-fight mode, and made it more difficult to accumulate tokens overall.
Analysts talk about “Axie overpopulation” causing inflation in a non-ironic manner. (It turns out that the little bastards’ immortality is the main problem.) Axie Infinity tokens may be traded for ether on Katana, an automated cryptocurrency market maker, which Sky Mavis revealed in November. This creates a low-cost, direct connection between the game and the developing field of cryptocurrency-fueled decentralized finance, or DeFi.
Few people would suggest the gameplay of Axie Infinity when asked what keeps players coming back. In a May survey of his Twitter followers, Sky Mavis inventor Jeff Zirlin found that 48% of them were most excited about “the economy.” And Axie Infinity’s economy, like any other economy, has a bustling labor market.
Since the introduction of NFT games, gamers have lost their reputation as outsiders who prefer to waste their time than do anything important.
By 2025, the value of the global gaming industry is predicted to be $268 billion. Consideration of a profession in gaming is no longer frowned upon but actively encouraged in many countries.
This is how the NFT games paradigm, which is gaining popularity in relation to cryptocurrencies in particular, came to be. In this essay, we’ll look at the nft games paradigm in the bitcoin industry, along with several important ideas and well-known games.
Online gaming has seen a wide variety of trends and patterns throughout the years, as is the case with any industry. First-person shooter (FPS) and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games are both included on the list.
The market for bitcoin seems to have been aware of its development potential as well as the possible impact that blockchain-based technologies may have on it. This was made possible in large part by the growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which were created when developers recognized they could create and transfer tangible value within gaming ecosystems, providing extra incentives for individuals who play games.
But first, it’s important to set certain ground rules.
Online Gaming Increasing the Meta
Online gaming has without a doubt developed into a phenomenon that cannot be disregarded. A variety of games are played by millions of people worldwide, some for money and others just for fun. A year ago, gaming was seen as a niche hobby, but now it is the norm for many young people.
Numerous traditional NFT games are played at a very high level of competitiveness online. One of the first games to progress the competitive gaming business and legitimize eSports to a larger audience was League of Legends, along with the massive 2015 LoL World Championship.
A gaming competition was conducted at London’s iconic Wembley Arena for the first time ever, with the victorious team taking home a massive $1 million prize.
Games like World of Warcraft, New World, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Final Fantasy are played by millions of people worldwide today. They join groups, interact, and in a way create a whole other parallel universe where they may escape reality.
This final piece is the core of the idea known as the “metaverse,” which refers to a completely virtual and imaginary world that individuals may physically visit via various augmented reality technology, as well as a location where they can spend time and money.
It is difficult to overlook this while talking about NFT games. This also introduces us to the metaverse, which is the next crucial idea.
The Metaverse: What Is It?
Recently, the term “metaverse” has been used often. Its popularity has recently increased as a result of comments made by Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, about his desire to be a driving force behind its growth. He even went so far as to say that they want to recruit up to 10,000 people in the EU.
Furthermore, the idea of the metaverse is absurd even if Zuckerberg is a well-known and important person in the endeavor to make it a reality (pun intended).
Simply said, the metaverse is a virtual setting, a kind of nation, that people may inhabit as opposed to just viewing a flat-screen display. It’s the internet in all its complexity, brought to life.
Imagine a world where everything is possible as long as it is planned out and built. It is a universe of endlessly connected virtual worlds where users may use augmented reality equipment, headsets, and other cutting-edge technology to play, interact, collaborate, and accomplish whatever they desire.
Here, the idea of NFT games becomes even more significant. Just think about how much time you spend on your phone utilizing chat applications to connect with distant friends and family to understand how digital the world is becoming. Think about using virtual reality to interact with them online.
There is now competition among billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg to be the first to execute this idea. As this idea gets momentum, the play-to-earn model will gain traction as well since it will enable people to produce value and be paid in this metaverse.
Let’s now look at what the phrase “NFT games” really means.
NFT games are what?
NFT games are exactly what they sound like: a business model that allows people to play games and earn cryptocurrency.
Because it combines two things that have driven people throughout history—earning money and having fun—it is a highly powerful psychological paradigm.
Offering players ownership of particular in-game items and allowing them to increase their worth by active involvement in NFT games is a crucial feature of this approach. Typically, non-fungible tokens are used in the cryptocurrency world to identify and transfer ownership (NFTs).
You may see our in-depth explanation of what NFTs are here.
Players contribute to the ecosystem as a whole and to the creators through engaging in the in-game economy. In exchange, they get rewards like potentially appreciating in-game valuables. These assets might be anything from highly sought-after individuals with fluctuating scarcity to a specific kind of cryptocurrency.
In NFT games, players are rewarded for devoting more time and effort to the game, which is the basic tenet.
It is a relatively recent phenomenon in the cryptocurrency industry, or, at the very least, it only just became well-known thanks to the launch of one particular project, Axie Infinity, but more on that later.
Can You Play NFT Games for Free?
There is debate about whether or not NFT games should be free, but in practice, each creator takes their own path. While some games are fully free to play, some need a fee.
It is expensive to create a video game, and it is important to realize that these NFT games are produced by businesses. Any business wants to be profitable.
The benefit of NFT games, on the other hand, is that they provide players the opportunity to make money. Even if users must pay to start playing, these things may still be resold at a profit.
Additionally, most NFT games that are available for free need a one-time payment to access all of the game’s features.
In light of this, let’s examine some of the top bitcoin NFT games that are now offered.