It was a wild week. The Capital by CoinMarketCap took place in Singapore. And one of the panels was about NFT & Gaming.
Altcoin Buzz Co-founder & CEO, Shashwat “Shash” Gupta had the honor of moderating this panel. Joining him was Matthew Tan, Founder and CEO of Etherscan, Tama Churchouse, Vice President of EOS VC, Skirmantas Januskas. CEO of DappRadar and Larry Cermak, Research and Analysis Director at The Block Crypto.
It was an exciting debate and discussion about the blockchain gaming space.
Q: What do you think about NFTs?
Larry: What excites me is that NFTs can be a way to get people interested in crypto. People I talk to might not care about Bitcoin, but they are into NFTs. It could be a good vehicle to drive mass adoption.
Q: Any insides on blockchain gaming? Is there more traction even though the prices are going down?
Skirmantas: We saw it last year. In January and in the middle of the year when prices decreased by 50%. When such a drop happens we see Dapps activity getting lower. If prices decrease by 10%, nothing much is going to change. People won’t want to spend their crypto on NFTs when prices drop too much.
Q: Which blockchains are basing NFTs? Can you give me some insights regarding that?
Skirmantas: It is pretty obvious for everyone that it’s Ethereum. There isn’t much happening at the moment but it could just be me.
Q: What is happening with gaming and the NFT space?
Tama: In terms of the NFT space, it is being led by Mythical Games in which they will hit the market next year with their Triple-A game that uses NFTs and digital assets.
Matthew: We have seen increased activity in gaming over the last 18 months.
Q: There are some of the games that do stand out especially Gods Unchained. What are your thoughts on that?
Larry: The number of NFT transfers surpassed both ERC-20 transfers and Ethereum pure transfers this week. NFTs are currently really popular. Mostly because of God’s Unchained. In the past week, there were 2.9million transactions on Ethereum that involved Gods Unchained. The next in line was Cryptokitties which had 20k transactions. More than 90% of NFT transfers are done by Gods Unchained due to them recently having a token sale. They sold more than $6million in cards and also the recent episode with Blizzard which took away the prize earning of one of the players.
Gods Unchained took advantage of this and offered full compensation to the player. This led to them gaining more attention and many people became interested in buying their cards.
Q: Where can we start getting adoption for blockchain gaming?
Larry: What we really have to do is to have one very successful NFT game that will allow users to interact with the contract in many different ways. I think Gods Unchained has the potential to achieve that. After we see that there is actually an interest in some of the permissionless qualities of these games, maybe some of the larger studios will start making their own games.
For now, it’s hard to convince those studios as they will be giving up control over their own assets. But I think it can really happen as the best thing about NFTs is that they are permissionless and cannot be taken away. They can be traded on the open markets like regular cryptocurrencies and this is really appealing to people.
Skirmantas: If they decide to move Fortnite assets onto the blockchain, they start making less money. They earn money the first time they sell NFTs and people start interacting with NFTs on a secondary market after. We need to figure out the business model as losing control of their assets scares big companies away.
Tama: Removing the whole terminology of blockchain from how we view gaming will help in adoption. Migration of real gaming talents into the blockchain gaming industry like the move by Chris Clay joining Gods Unchained. Getting more experienced individuals in the gaming space into the blockchain gaming space will speed things up.
Matthew: It is a matter of use case. At the moment it is still very speculative and people buy NFTs with the thought of selling it at a higher price in the future.
The problem of scalability and usability comes into play as well. We are not really there yet for mainstream adoption. The whole episode where Cryptokitties clogged up the Ethereum network is a good case study. The interaction with crypto wallets has to be improved as well for adoption to happen.
Q: What are your thoughts on using game items in terms of depicting art and music?
Larry: There is very little traction and people don’t really value art that is digital yet.
Q: Do you think having a centralized marketplace will add value to the ecosystem?
Skirmantas: I’ll share a short story of how I ended up in this space. Five years ago, we had a service to allow players to buy and sell CS:GO skins by avoiding Steam’s marketplace. Steam’s marketplace charges 15% on sales. One day Steam decided to shut down all the APIs and our business was over in 1minute. A centralized marketplace can solve this kind of problem.
Q: We aren’t seeing much use cases of NFTs within games. How do you think this will change in the future?
Larry: Any in-game item in the really popular games can be tokenized.
The secondary market for NFTs helps. Players who spend money on NFTs know they will be able to get back some of their initial investment as they can sell the NFTs of the secondary markets. This is hard to do in regular games. Purchases from Apple store or Google Playstore aren’t recoverable and players are unable to make money from playing games. NFTs will help to incentivize players and reward them for their effort spent on the game.
Q: How do you think retail investors can get into this space?
Tama: Join the first triple-A game that goes mainstream. The next generation of games isn’t going to comprise blockchain and digital ownership only but also in-game economies, social media. The ability to also create value within the game. Minecraft and Roblox have been around for a long time when you have the ability to create something within the game and share it, it becomes a social function as well. Imagine having something like Minecraft but on a way larger scale. However, here you can sell and monetize what you created. On top of that, there will be very talented players who will create and build worlds. This will encourage companies to sponsor players to create content for them in the worlds. It creates a new breed of in-game entrepreneurs. I think the next wave of gaming will be in-game entrepreneurs, massive open worlds.
Q: What are some of the exciting things developing in the NFT space which people might not be aware of?
Larry: The biggest use case is to create a business model on top of the game. It is going to be really powerful when people start realizing you can monetize this kind of thing. It can be a profession or a form of livelihood for in the future where people build stuff(like in Minecraft) and monetize them.
Skirmantas: This is actually happening right now. In countries like Venezuela, people play CryptoWars tournaments in which they can earn money and they actually pay off their bills with those earnings.
Shash: At Altcoin Buzz we have been creating NFTs for the past year just to engage our audience. Our latest mint, the Black Knight Ashor is usable in multiple games.
This is an Altcoin Buzz skin which can be activated by having a Black Knight Ashor NFT while playing Forgotten Artifacts.