The gaming industry is growing fast and each day it seems a new buzzword is created. The innovations in the “metaverse” have been driven primarily by the integration of blockchain technology, meshing cryptocurrency and gaming to create a novel “GameFi” experience.
The relationship between the blockchain, metaverse, and gaming is a perfect match, and one that gamers have desired for a long time. Anyone who’s ever played an MMORPG has seen in game businesses prop-up before — whether it’s in-game gold or currency farming, or selling in game items, or even leveling up another players character for them — but these businesses always seem to be sussed out by the corporations behind the game and shut down. It seems corporate America has always been afraid to let their players earn money off their video games; but, the tides are turning and now play-to-earn NFT gaming makes every gamers dream a reality.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, is a unique digital file stored on a digital record called a blockchain. This can be a picture or video or even a 3D video game character. These virtual assets can be bought and sold, and the ownership is protected by blockchain technology.
NFTs are central to crypto-gaming and became prominent with the rise of blockchain games like Axie Infinity, which has rapidly increased in popularity over the past year due to COVID-19 pandemic and the need for people to earn a living working from home. The Axie Infinity model is what’s known as “play-to-earn,” which means players can earn cryptocurrency from winning matches within the game and that digital currency can be swapped for real money.
Axie Infinity has tens of thousands of users that play the game everyday to earn a salary. Seeing the success of Axie and their cryptocurrency (AXS), which has $4 billion market cap, many other play-to-earn games have emerged. We now have digital horse racing games (like Zed Run) and a multiplayer kart racing game called Kart Racing League that all operate on this play-to-earn model.
The future is bright for blockchain-based gaming, and it seems this is just the beginning.