Gaming is a multibillion-dollar business traditionally dominated by megacorporations such as Atari, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
These large corporations have strived to deliver exciting gaming experiences throughout their history to attract new players and expand their market share.
Non-fungible tokens, on the other hand, are seeking to provide gamers with a financial incentive for playing games in the form of NFTs, as well as a compelling gaming ecology.
These games, often known as play-to-earn (P2E) games, are set in a Metaverse, which is a fictional realm. Users of the platform are paid monetarily for their time and effort in the game under the P2E gaming paradigm. As a result, according to Newzoo, the model has a chance to capture a piece of the $175.8 billion global gaming market, which is expected to expand to more than $200 billion by 2024.
Minh Doan, the co-founder of Warena, a personalized NFT game, explained the significance of this model. He stated:
“Today, we refer to the blockchain as a play-to-earn approach.” Because players acquire tokens that can grow in value by tens or even hundreds of times during games, GameFi — the mix of decentralized finance with game mechanics — has become a real market sensation.”
According to CoinMarketCap data, AXS is presently trading in the $120 level and has grown to become one of the top 25 cryptocurrencies in terms of market value, making it the first NFT gaming-related token to make the cut. Since its launch, the site has seen significant growth in terms of both users and volume. According to Dappradar, the platform has seen trading activity worth $2.6 billion, with 836,149 traders taking part. In addition, a staking program for the platform’s native token has also been introduced.
Alex Salnikov, co-founder and head of product at Rarible, an NFT marketplace, elaborated on the factors contributing to the rise of NFT gaming platforms in terms of both volume and users. He stated,
“This rise is in line with the larger acceleration of the NFT business, and it appears to illustrate the breadth of NFT applications.” In addition, gamification has been popular in the crypto world, and it fits in particularly well with the concept of NFTs, which are so tightly linked to participatory and enjoyable community engagement experiences.”
He also stated that the value proposition of blockchain technology is intuitive and natural for the gaming business, citing P2P experiences and in-game assets with transparent provenance as examples.
The number of NFT gaming platforms is increasing
Even though Ethereum is the most widely used blockchain network for the deployment of decentralized applications (DApps), other blockchain networks in the NFT gaming ecosystem, such as Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Polygon, Hive, Harmony, Solana, and Flow, are gaining large user bases and growing volumes.
“Polygon is usually considered one of the leading blockchains for gaming due to its EVM compatibility, high throughput, and low gas prices,” Salnikov continued. It’s also Ethereum’s leading sidechain, which means it’s linked to the main NFT ecosystem on layer one.”
“People have thought our choice of Hive has been bizarre since the early days, but it has a freemium structure. Players can sign up with a username and password and get started. It’s hard to replicate that on POW blockchains with gas fees.”
Binance launched a $1 billion accelerator fund for the BSC ecosystem’s general development on Oct. 12. Popular BSC games like MOBOX: NFT Farmer, Faraland, ZOO Crypto World, and CryptoBlades will undoubtedly flourish due to this money, resulting in widespread network adoption.
Despite the increase shown across many platforms and networks in the NFT gaming sub-sector, the long-term viability of these games may be in doubt, as traditional gamers are accustomed to playing exceptionally well-designed games. These games also have excellent gaming ecosystems, thanks to the bulk of them being backed by large firms with significant resources and development infrastructure.
This cannot be true of games that reward users with NFTs, native tokens, and other incentives at this time because they are still in the early stages of development and hence are not as complex. As a result, it’s critical to assess how much time and effort users of these platforms put in to gain these incentives on games that may or may not be as engaging as conventional games that are also reasonably accessible to acquire.
“First and foremost, there has to be a game that is fun to be a mega-hit,” Reich continued. “I’m sure grind-to-earn, like play-to-earn, will be a thing, and it’ll come down to what minimal salary someone is willing to accept for computer click job.”
These games, according to Doan, are an entirely new generation of games that are difficult to compare to standard PC games. He stated:
“This is similar to a leisure economy, in which users are paid to play games and can then compound their earnings like real traders. The beauty of NFT games is that they are designed for young people, who are the primary target audience. They comprehend trends and technological details that other users may find difficult to grasp.”
Blockchain gaming has several challenges
Despite the fast-growing NFT gaming ecosystem, established gaming behemoths have yet to incorporate blockchain technology or NFT integrations into their existing titles. Indeed, a couple of them have flatly denied the possibility.
Valve recently announced the withdrawal of blockchain games from its Steam platform, as well as a request that users do not upload anything connected to cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens. Nevertheless, thousands of titles, including Counter-Strike, Battlefield, Halo, and Resident Evil, are available on the Steam store.
The company dabbled in crypto in 2016, announcing that it would take Bitcoin payments, but quickly ended the service due to high fees and volatility.
Following the ban, Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, stated that his firm is willing to host and promote games that employ cryptocurrency and blockchain-based assets.
Epic Games, the company behind the massively popular Fortnite, has stated that developers will not take bitcoins through the platform payment service. They will have to develop their payment methods instead. Without this infrastructure, this might constitute a barrier to game uptake and inclusiveness.
Valve’s perception extends to game industry authorities as well. For example, the Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom launched an investigation into Sorare, one of the most popular NFT fantasy soccer games, on Oct. 14. The gambling watchdog is determining whether the site requires a license and whether its services are considered gambling.
Sorare has said unequivocally that it does not “provide any types of regulated gambling,” despite its willingness to participate in an open discourse and interact with regulatory organizations to explain its game. The platform is worth more than $4.3 billion and is rapidly expanding.
Because the entire ecosystem is still in its infancy, it appears to be more of a waiting game to discover the true potential, utility, and long-term implications of integrating crypto, blockchain, and NFTs into gaming environments.
Sloika Raises $2 Million to Fuel the Growth of the Ethereum Photo NFT Market
In the developing NFT scene, photography is becoming more popular, and Sloika wants to give it a specific room to flourish.
Photography NFTs are becoming more well-known and in demand, with a growing number of well-known artists selling images for large sums and well-known NFT collectors making a determined effort to gather photos.
With a specialized platform, a new platform named Sloika seeks to enable even more photographers into the Ethereum NFT arena. In addition, it announced today that it had raised $2 million in a seed round headed by 1confirmation.
Ev Tchebotarev and Arseniy Ivanov, the founder and first employee, respectively, of the online photo-sharing platform 500px, co-founded Sloika. They’re now hoping to help photographers capture value in the NFT area after building their community to tens of millions of users.
Unlike OpenSea, similar to Amazon or eBay for non-ferrous metals, Sloika is completely dedicated to photographs. Photographers aren’t competing for attention with flashy profile picture collections or animated cryptoart compositions, and images in the curated drops are given a broader canvas on the Sloika website than you’d find on a standard NFT marketplace. Sloika’s platform also offers producers complete control over important aspects such as rights and royalties.
“Photography rights are unimportant to none of the platforms.” Every new series on Sloika comes with attached photography rights,” Tchebotarev explained, “It’s the simple things. But, we want to go deep and start solving challenges for photographers, such as how do they market themselves? What does their work mean to them?”
Whether it’s a photo, drawing, video file, or something else, an NFT works as a deed of ownership to a provably scarce digital property. According to data from DappRadar, the NFT industry exploded earlier this year and will continue to grow until 2021, with a record-breaking $10.67 billion in total trading volume in Q3.
In recent months, photography has gained traction in the NFT market. Justin Aversano is likely the most well-known photographer in the NFTs thus far, with Snoop Dogg and Gary Vaynerchuk among his collectors, with one piece selling for $1.1 million at a Christie’s auction in October.
Isaac “Drift” Wright, Cath Simard, and Dave Krugman are among the other noteworthy photographers in the NFT space. At the same time, prominent collectors like punk6529 and WhaleShark have recently increased their photo NFT purchases. Aversano is also a member of RAW DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) focused on collecting photo NFTs, and has recently created Quantum Art, a photo-centric NFT platform.
This summer, Tchebotarev and Ivanov co-founded Sloika to hasten the emergence of picture NFTs and assist photographers in monetizing their work through the technology.
1confirmation General Partner Nick Tomaino, one of Coinbase’s original employees, noted in a blog post announcing the investment that Web 2 services like Facebook and Twitter suck up much of the value when photographers publish their work online. Photographers may now benefit from direct digital sales to collectors and have more control over their work and life. In addition, he stated, thanks to the advent of Web 3 and the concept of NFTs symbolizing ownership.
Sloika will launch a ‘killer app for NFTs’
Sloika’s $2 million seed round comprises SuperRare founder & CEO John Crain, Manifold founder and CEO Eric Diep, LogDNA co-founder Christopher Nguyen, and startup accelerator South Park Commons, in addition to 1confirmation. Sloika has also established a $20,000 monthly funding program to assist aspiring female photographers in producing their first NFTs.
Tchebotarev believes that the picture NFT area has a lot of potential, but that there’s still a lot of work to be done as new photographers navigate the space, including the need for some to be “more vulnerable” and disclose their personal tales, as Aversano has already done. Sloika’s co-founder believes that as a result, a significantly wider group of collectors will emerge.
“All we have to do now is be patient and keep presenting the story of those photographers,” Tchebotarev added. “I believe that a growing number of collectors will begin to regard photography as the ultimate killer app for NFTs.”
Afterwords to The Conference.NFT: A Real Phenomenon in Today’s Digital World
On November 27, 2021, together with The Conference.NFT, we deep-dived into the world of NFT or “non-fungible token,” which captured the cryptocurrency and art market in 2020. Following the success of The Conference.NFT (online edition) from the AroundB organizers, which took place in June 2021 and gathered more than 1,500 participants worldwide, The Conference.NFT Kyiv was the first Ukrainian conference entirely dedicated to NFT.
During the event, everyone had the opportunity to listen to dozens of memorable speeches and hot panel discussions; they could see the live launch of the NFT game from the world-famous pop star DOROFEEVA, visit a unique workshop from SpaceSeven (NFT-marketplace partner of The Conference.NFT), take part in a real NFT auction of a painting, created by a Ukrainian artist and much more!
Millions of questions from the audience (at the same time, more than 500 people attended the conference offline and almost 2,000 online), interesting and meaningful presentations of speakers, discussion of the most relevant topics, and cool networking – these are the things that will make guests remember The Conference.NFT for a long time ahead. Representatives of the Ukrainian industry and Polish, Swiss, German, and others led to a better understanding of different views on the NFT market, its future, and the current state in different parts of the world.
Among the speakers were the leaders of modern digital and NFT world – Lars Seier Christensen (Chairman of the Board, Concordium Foundation), Andrew Sarnavsky (Tacans Group COO), Dmitry Kornilov (CEO, co-founder of FFFACE.ME), Anna Avetova (curator and founder of the art agency Tuasho ), Tais Poda (creative producer and art director), Nikita FREEBOID Khudyakov (NFT artist, initiator of CryptoArt Ukraine) and many others.
More than seven hours of unique performances, presentations, and interesting discussions ended with a fantastic after-party, which took place in the Avangarden Art Gallery and Wine Bar.
AroundB, as the organizers of The Conference.NFT, are grateful to every guest, all the incredible speakers, media partners, and sponsors: SpaceSeven, Concordium, Metis, Harmony, Bancambios, Tacans, without whose support this conference would have been impossible. In addition, AroundB is grateful to all the creators and artists who visited The Conference.NFT from all over the world to present their NFTs and talk about their personal experience.
Video and all photos will be available during this week. Every participant will receive a link to the video and photo materials to remember once again and immerse themselves in the incredible atmosphere we had created together.
Thanks to everyone who was a part of it; stay tuned!
Bundesliga Signs a Two-Year NFT Deal While Waiting for the NFT Market to Develop
In its quest to become the world’s premier football-centric NFT platform, Sorare continues to attract significant commercial partners.
Bundesliga International, the commercial arm of Germany’s top-flight football league, has signed a short-term deal with Sorare. This football-focused NFT platform counts French striker Antoine Griezmann as an investor and FC Barcelona star Gerard Pique as a strategic advisor. This comes after an 18-month learning process in which the business company attempted to understand NFTs better.
For the launch of the NFT, the Bundesliga has enlisted the help of international teams
Softbank invested $680 million in Sorare’s five-a-side NFT fantasy football game, valuing the company at $4 billion. Players can use ETH to buy and trade digital trading cards recorded on the Ethereum blockchain as transactions. The NFTs are the digital cards. The ownership of Sorare NFTs can be validated on a public blockchain. The NFTs are the well-known ERC 721 kind. In a two-year licensing contract with Sorare, the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga will offer digital cards. Following the two-year deals, the league’s CEO, Robert Klein, has stated that the league wants to study the commercial usage of NFTs and hopes to offer tenders in 2022. NFTs, according to Klein, should be taken seriously by the sports industry. In October 2021, the Bundesliga began selling cards. Sorare will also release NFT films from the two German leagues next year, collectible and playable in the game.
By the end of next year, Sorare expects to have signed contracts with the top 20 football clubs globally. Sorare has worked with 216 football clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Juventus, to name a few.
The card of Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo, which sold for $400000, was the most expensive card ever sold on Sorare. With digital trading cards, the issue of scarcity is crucial; there are limited supplies of cards labeled as “ultra-rare,” “rare,” “limited,” and “unique.” The Premier League, the wealthiest league globally, is planning to introduce its NFT collection for the 2022/2023 season.
In The Sports Collectibles NFT Space, Sorare Isn’t Alone
Topps, a sports collectibles firm, will distribute digital NFT cards of well-known players and plays throughout the current season, complete with audio commentary. Packers of NFTs will be produced for different matchdays, with at least one of the four NFT cards guaranteed to be a video card. In addition, limited edition Club Pennant NFT Cards will be available for all Bundesliga teams, capturing the moment when the leaders exchange a pennant, which is generally a banner of their respective teams, at the start of a football match. The cards will be classified as Common, Epic, or Legendary.
LaLiga is the other major league with whom Sorare has partnered to deliver NFTs for the first and second divisions of La Liga Santander and La Liga Smartbank, respectively.
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