More and more gamers are selling virtual weapons, helmets and other gear from video games in the form of NFT – non-fungible tokens, which could potentially turn these items into an expensive asset, writes The Wall Street Journal.
Gamers have had to pay for goods before in games like Grand Theft Auto Online and World of Warcraft, for example. But turning these goods into NFTs allows them to sell them as well, making money from it.
NFT is a unique digital item, its originality and ownership are proven using blockchain technology – a database for the purchase and sale of digital items.
The transformation of items from video games into NFT means that gamers who bought these items in the form of tokens can also use them in other games, on social networks and other corners of the Internet, which is an important step in the development of the economy of the so-called metaverse, the WSJ notes.
Major video game companies such as Zynga Inc. and Ubisoft Entertainment SA have already reported that they are experimenting with NFTs in their products. Other industry representatives such as Electronic Arts Inc., Playtika Holding Corp. – are also considering using NFT to attract even more players.
“We’re doing this because it could be the future of gaming,” said Zynga’s vice president of blockchain technology, Matt Wolfe. He took over at the company last month. His main task at Zynga in the near future will be the creation of several thousand virtual objects in the form of NFTs early next year, which will go both for sale and for money that gamers can win during the game.
Ubisoft, in turn, sold over 2,000 NFT items for free this month as part of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The realized tokens were limited edition virtual helmets and weapons.
At the same time, the head of the gaming division of Microsoft Corp. Phil Spencer and CEO of Epic Games Inc. Tim Sweeney expressed concern about the security of NFTs as an asset and their real value. In addition, major movements of gamers are emerging to oppose the practice. They think the NFT is just another ploy to siphon money out of them.
In October, fans of online game Neopets launched an online protest against developer JumpStart Games Inc. They demanded that the company abandon plans to introduce NFT into the game and urged gamers to abandon paid participation and purchase gaming “merch”.
“This is just an effort to make money easily and, in effect, take advantage of users’ interest in the brand without offering anything of value,” said one of the organizers of the protest, Kenny Shavel.
In 2021, more than 75% of the $180 billion spent by gamers around the world on video games went to in-game purchases of virtual items, according to data from Newzoo BV.
At this point, most of the NFT video games in circulation have been created by small and independent developers. At the same time, they are sold on sites such as OpenSea, at prices ranging from $1 to $2 million, according to analytical DappRadar.