Gaming NFTs as an avenue to mainstream blockchain adoption — our playbook for winning
It should be abundantly clear by now — 2021 is the year of NFTs.
Let’s take a (short) trip down memory lane, and look at the timeline of NFT popularity through 2021.
Things kicked off in January, as NBA Topshot (the digital equivalent of physical trading cards) gained significant mainstream traction because of their gas-free trading, and user-friendly interface. The project has exploded since then, and has done more than $365m in sales!
This was followed by a monumental increase of trading in projects like CryptoPunks and Hashmasks — the former seeing two recent sales of $7.5m each, which some consider undervalued.
We have also seen some notable names enter into the space, including the likes of Mark Cuban, Gary Vaynerchuk and even celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Soulja Boy. With them, art and music NFTs have taken centre stage, highlighted recently with Beeple’s $69m sale on Christies (bought by Metakovan), and 3LAU’s $11m album sale which broke numerous sales records.
During this time, we’ve also seen NFTs hit the ‘trending’ column on Twitter, as well as getting a run on the front pages of numerous “mainstream” news outlets from around the world.
Seemingly every day, a new NFT project is being launched, or an old one (cough Mooncats) is being discovered — with communities forming overnight to support these new and needle-moving ventures.
The year of the NFT - in practice
What does this mean for games?
The opportunity in the gaming NFT space is… enormous.
$100bn is spent each year on in-game items. None of these items are tradeable and they are fully centralised and owned by the developer, who can take it away from you or “ban” you from accessing them. This is ridiculous.
Gaming NFTs in one form or another are likely going to completely disrupt the market. Based on our own internal data and testing, we’ve observed that players will spend 10x more if they can own something, and they are 30% more likely to sign-up to a game which has play-to-earn elements as a core offering.
This means (and this shouldn’t be laughed away as one of those stupid, meaningless predictions that too often infiltrates your YouTube and social media algorithms) that blockchain can transform a $100bn market into a $1 trillion market. This is legit. It is huge, and it’s going to bring a hell of a lot of mainstream attention to NFTs.
Don’t just take our word for it, here is what a few others have said about the future of games and NFTs
The DeanBeat: How non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will change games
I was searching on Clubhouse again this week for the social zeitgeist about games. On the social audio app, I listened…
Why have gaming NFTs not hit the spotlight yet?
In our opinion, the biggest roadblock preventing gaming NFTs from getting the attention they deserve so far are scaling issues on Ethereum. Currently, it can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 to trade an NFT, meaning that low-value, high-volume NFTs such as those used in games just simply aren’t affordable to trade. The numbers don’t work.
Conversely, this is one of the main reasons why high value art NFTs have been so popular recently — because what is a $40 transaction fee on a $69 million purchase?
As a result, most gaming projects have been searching for, and implementing scaling solutions in order to reduce the cost of transactions. We are no different.
See problem, solve problem. Guild of Guardians plans to use Immutable X to have gas-free trading. This means that players own their assets on Ethereum and can be sure that they can trade with the same security of Ethereum, sans the prohibitive gas fees.
We firmly believe that L2 scaling solutions will unlock the value of gaming NFTs and we’re so excited to contribute to this trend.
How does Guild of Guardians fit in?
Guild of Guardians is our own project, which we’re looking forward to sharing with the world.
If you want a primer on Guild of Guardians you can checkout the following:
William M. Peaster’s write-up on Metaversal (By Bankless) here:
Cagyjan’s video review here:
Our goal is to create a AAA mobile game where players can ultimately turn their gaming passion into assets. Or put differently, we want players to play a game for fun while making money.
And, like ‘gmoney.eth’, we subscribe to the notion that your digital future can be in game-form.
We also strongly believe in the power of the community, and in giving back to those who make the game successful. We want to create a vibrant ecosystem of 3rd party developers, community members, content creators, players and eSports organisations who are all participating and interacting in the Guild of Guardians economy.
How does Guild of Guardians plan to be an avenue for mainstream adoption?
We want Guild of Guardians to be a vehicle for mainstream adoption. This is a major core value and driving force for us. There are a few different elements here which define our strategy:
- Build a AAA mobile game
We’ve always wanted Guild of Guardians to be a AAA mobile game, and we’ve been working on this project since early 2020 (during the ‘bear market’). We are excited to combine Stepico’s experience building 25+ mobile games with Immutable’s deep blockchain design and publishing expertise. Guild of Guardians will also leverage IP and content from a previous mobile game which achieved 1m+ downloads. This has allowed us to focus our development efforts on the really unique blockchain aspects of the game. We’ve achieved over 100,000 pre-registration emails so far with a growing community of almost 4,000 Discord members. This is a great first step in getting mainstream adoption — but there’s so much more to do.
2. Blockchain scaled for a mainstream audience
As mentioned above, one of the primary blockers right now for gaming NFTs is gas fees. We plan to use Immutable X as our chosen scaling solution in order to provide players with instant, gas-free transactions without compromising on security. We believe Ethereum will be the go-to-blockchain that is secure enough and scalable enough (via Immutable X) of servicing games with millions of players. In the future we will work hard to improve the user experience, as our ultimate goal is to make blockchain totally ‘invisible’ from the player.
3. Gaming NFTs as collectibles
We believe that gaming NFTs should also be collectible.
You should want to show your unique items off to your friends. This is why we’re not only online trying to put your “stuff” on the blockchain, but we’re taking it a step further to make your heroes super collectible. Players traditionally love collecting heroes and gacha, and we think gaming NFTs and collectibles should go in the same sentence.
4. Aligned and sustainable economics
One of the biggest challenges of all blockchain projects is incentives and economics.
We have a huge focus on this area and we want to ensure the right balance between scarcity, demand, and supply. This is one of the reasons why we’re designing the metagame systems from the ground up — to ensure the RPG game has a world-class economy. We also plan to have a system to align incentives, and we want to reward players and community members who contribute to the game.
If we get value from this project then we want to share it with you.
To (briefly) summarise — we are super bullish on gaming NFTs, and they have a really distinct and clear role to play in making blockchain mainstream. We’re very excited about being a part of that journey and can’t wait to release our gaming NFT collectibles presale, followed by the Guild of Guardians mobile RPG game.
How to get involved
Join more than 60,000 (!) other Guardians who have pre-registered:
- Drop your email on our website to get early access to the presale (look out for our new website coming soon!)
- Join our Discord channel to find out more about what we are up to!
- Follow our Twitter for spicy leaks and memes!
We are excited to share this journey with you.