NFT games leverage the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to allow users to earn money by playing games. The genre has become popular in games that convert items and even characters into unique (or scarce) elements, making it possible to sell them for real money. Recently, even developers like EA Games and Ubisoft have shown interest in adding NFTs in future releases. Find out below what these titles are, how they work, and whether it’s safe to play.
🎮 Six strange cases of using NFTs
Axie Infinity is a game that uses a blockchain network and promises users real money — Photo: Disclosure/Axie Infinity
NFT is an acronym for “Non-Fungible Token,” which acts as a digital certificate, established with the same blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies. This registration gives a digital project originality, that is, it guarantees that the art, social network post or game project is unique, or one of the few in the world. An example of how this works is the sale of the first tweet in history, tied to an NFT, and sold for $3.8 million.
To understand the idea behind NFTs, we need to understand what are fungible and non-fungible goods. For example, a currency is fungible, that is, they are indistinguishable from each other. Therefore, a 1 reais coin can be exchanged for another coin of the same value without loss or gain. Artworks are irreplaceable commodities because they are always different.
The presence of cars and other NFT projects in GTA RP Cidade Alta is another example of the growth of the model — Photo: Disclosure/Cidade Alta
NFTs apply the same concept to digital goods. Such certificates can make memes, images, GIFs, videos, songs or websites irreplaceable commodities. From there, the project is ultimately appreciated by the market, especially if there is interest and demand for it, which could lead to appreciation.
In games, NFTs have been associated with digitally signed content with technology. A popular example is a Pokémon-style game, where the creatures players collect are NFTs that can be valued on the market.
The idea is to get more special, rare and powerful little monsters that will be in high demand and therefore have a bigger appreciation. Other apps can link collectibles and cosmetic items generated and earned in-game into NFTs, allowing players to earn money by playing.
Do I have to pay to play?
Everything will depend on the NFT’s games and applications. Currently, Axie Infinity is the most popular NFT game, and you need to purchase at least three axies (collectible monsters in the game) to play. Today, they start at $400 (2,234 reais, direct conversion), which means you’ll need to spend at least 6,581 reais (or $1,200) to start playing.
Gods Unchained is a free NFT example — Photo: Disclosure/Gods Unchained
But there are free examples, like Gods Unchained, which is basically a card and strategy game. At the start, each player receives a deck of 140 cards, which have no value in the game’s internal network and therefore cannot be traded. As the user plays and evolves in the game, he can start collecting valuable special cards to trade with other collectors and players.
Why do games make money?
The idea of NFTs is to determine the uniqueness of a given item. Once something is unique, special, and therefore rare, a market will emerge (as long as there is demand) around that type of product.
In games, special items are always of interest. Having a marketplace dedicated to cosmetics, equipment, etc. is nothing new, it’s happening in the CS:GO community, for example, and even in the sale of skin-only DLC.
The world’s first tweet is available in NFT format — Photo: Reproduction/Paulo Alves
NFT games are built around the notion that there is demand on top of special items, thus encouraging the birth of a barter market. These systems operate according to the same principles and techniques that guide the functioning of cryptocurrencies. Like any other market, they are subject to volatility, both due to speculation around NFT assets and the laws of supply and demand.
As with any activity involving money, the level of security is largely up to the user. To play (or invest in) this type of game, it is important to fully understand how blockchain works in order to adopt best practices and not be afraid. Another important note is to look for information about the game itself. Is it the product of a trusted developer? Does the market operate using a reputable platform? Does the value fluctuate a lot?
The same crypto precautions apply when trading NFTs earned in-game — Photo: Reproduction/Islam and Bitcoin
Ultimately, you should only get into this type of game if you understand that using NFTs can be as risky as other venture capital investments. Suppose you buy an item for 100 reais, but after some time the item is appreciated by the community for 50 reais. In this case, you are not necessarily the victim of a scam or robbery, but simply speculating on the negative impact of an extremely volatile and volatile asset.
Tips to avoid problems
As we mentioned before, it’s worth looking for information on how cryptocurrencies work in general, and the blockchain behind it. Another important precaution is to work with a broker (so-called “exchange”) that trades the game assets you are interested in.
Brokers act as mediators, offering your NFTs to interested buyers, as well as purchasing new items. Such services provide numerous technical resources, maps and charts that allow you to follow the evolution of NFT markets and cryptocurrencies that may be of interest to you.
EA believes NFTs will be an integral part of future games — Photo: Reproduction/Electronic Arts
It is also important to have a local wallet to store your digital assets. With this, you can efficiently load your cryptocurrencies and NFTs, isolated from issues that could affect the exchange. There are still cloud wallets, but there are records of people losing their crypto holdings after digital wallets turned out to be scams or even exchanges disappeared.
Besides Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained, there are other great games in the genre. These include Splinterlands, where card and trading gameplay, and Sandbox 3D, where players can create and manipulate 3D objects traded through the blockchain. Another example is Alien Worlds, which involves economic laws and teamwork, allowing players to discover new planets. The game revolves around Trilium, a currency that is collected and used to expand your base, among other features.
Ubisoft and EA, which are responsible for major games (AAA) in the market, have admitted to considering introducing NFTs into their products in the future. This could mean that, one day, an open-world game from Ubisoft (traditionally full of collectibles) could link such items to NFTs for players to exchange or trade with each other. For EA, for example, developers can associate NFTs with FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode cards.