How NFTs Have Changed In-Game Purchases & Economics   

Published on: March 7, 2024
Last Updated: March 7, 2024

How NFTs Have Changed In-Game Purchases & Economics   

Published on: March 7, 2024
Last Updated: March 7, 2024

Blockchain has become one of the most talked about technologies in recent years. Most people are familiar with cryptocurrency, but that is not the only kind of digital asset.

There is another kind that represents ownership of a virtual item like art, collectibles, or even tweets. This is called non-fungible tokens.

The video game industry has been quick to adopt this novel technology to introduce new in-game economies.

Because of NFTs, which are growing in popularity, digital assets like skins, avatars, and weapons can now have proven scarcity and ownership.

This is improving player incentives, participation models, and general economics in games.

Major gaming companies are racing to capitalize on this technology. Early experiments have already proven extremely lucrative, with virtual NFT plots of land selling for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even indie developers are getting in on the action with a wave of crypto-based games offering tradable tokens to players. 

If you want to find out specific ways this new phenomenon is transforming the gaming universe, you’ve come to the right place.

NFTs In Online Casinos

NFTs are also making inroads into online casinos, bringing blockchain benefits like transparency and ownership to betting.

NFTs In Online Casinos

With NFT integration, online casinos can offer players authenticated ownership of rare digital items that can be used across casino games.

This is not surprising given the recent developments in the field, where platforms are super competitive and try to integrate innovations as much as possible.

Simply click here for an example of an online casino that is technologically powerful, yet attractive for gamers.

You can link your Ethereum wallets to purchase non-fungible tokens that represent unique casino collectibles.

These include 3D wearable items for player avatars, slot machine NFTs providing rewards, and even digital artworks.

Such digital collectibles create new revenue streams for casinos while finally giving you true ownership rights.

Because all NFT data lives transparently on the blockchain, players can verify the scarcity and transferability of casino assets.

Some leaders in live casino games have unveiled NFT showpieces. Their limited NFT series contains things like exclusive tables and artwork.

But importantly, owning the NFTs will offer rewards like participation in exclusive game shows. Here NFT acts almost like a membership token granting casino benefits.

For nascent casinos themselves, selling unique NFT items has become an alternative crowdfunding mechanism. Numerous crypto casinos have held NFT sales events to jumpstart development.

Not only does this allow raising funds, but early supporters gain perks assuming the casino succeeds. It’s a novel loyalty and incentive system based on blockchain-verified digital ownership.

Empowering Players Through True Ownership

Gaming has always been a way of entertainment, but several genres allowed the players to put themselves in a reality that didn’t exist.

However, this simulation would make a big difference for gaming fans, until now. The creative approach to award players with additional items helped the gaming companies boost interest and provide a sense of ownership.

Later, when marketing strategies became a pivotal part of the gaming industry, these simulations started being used for marketing purposes.

You may remember some cases when playing a simulation game, you were offered to purchase a new dress for your character or to get a fancy suit for it.

Even knowing that those are just gaming items, many players pay money to make their digital characters look different. 

In other words, despite spending real cash, you don’t truly own these digital assets. Game publishers can modify availability or inventories at any time.

Some items may become unavailable over time, or expire because you purchase those but you don’t own them.

NFTs change this equation by cryptographically securing player ownership. Take the most popular NFT project, NBA Top Shot, for example.

Here players can buy and sell collectible NFTs in the form of video highlight clips. Thanks to the blockchain, the owners and scarcity of each collectible are public information. This makes them coveted collector’s items.

It is not a surprise that when the idea of NFTs boomed, many celebrities started sharing their digital assets, being proud of their ownership, and knowing that they could even sell those to other buyers at a higher price.

Driving Participation With Play-To-Earn Models

Play-to-earn games are also seeing impressive growth thanks to NFTs. These games incentivize participation by rewarding players with items that can gain real-world value. One standout example is the monster battle game Axie Infinity.

Driving Participation With Play To Earn Models

Axie allows players to purchase NFT-based characters called Axies. By actively playing the game, owners can earn tokens and other rare Axies to populate their stable.

The game took off in 2021, with rare Axies selling for thousands and even hundreds of thousands on NFT markets.

For players in low-wage regions like the Philippines and Venezuela, profits from playing Axie surpassed their regular salaries.

Axie shows how play-to-earn models create positive feedback loops. Players are incentivized to participate more in games when their game assets can appreciate or provide token earnings. In turn, active gameplay and demand drive up the NFT assets’ value.

NFT Crowdfunding Opens New Avenues

NFTs are also creating new crowdfunding avenues for indie game developers. Instead of raising funds through traditional channels, developers can sell unique NFT items before games launch.

This was the case with the fantasy RPG Nine Chronicles, one of the first big blockchain games.

Nine Chronicles generated key funding by selling NFT virtual land plots and rare weapons ahead of release. Not only did this attract investor interest, it paved the way for an in-game economy from day one.

To Wrap Up

NFTs remain controversial. Speculation around high-priced digital items might well make many people uncomfortable, but in gaming, NFTs are changing ownership and participation for the better.

Gamers now have verified control of assets. Developers have more options to fundraise.   

And play-to-earn is introducing whole new business models where players and creators alike benefit from thriving gameplay economies.

NFTs are opening up public, transparent ledgers that better align incentives around games.

While the technology is still young, it’s clear NFTs have unlocked revolutionary new opportunities by empowering players to truly own digital assets.

Given the progress that technological advancements witness today, new kinds of use cases of NFTs can be seen in the future, enhancing the gaming experience, in particular.

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Written by Allison Langstone

Allison produces content for a business SAAS but also contributes to EarthWeb frequently, using her knowledge of both business and technology to bring a unique angle to the site.