Mobile games meet NFTs: What opportunities for devs?

Published:11 Jan 2022Author:HomaRead Time:5 min read

The mobile gaming sector is one of the fastest evolving spaces, due to its close ties with trends and buzzing tech innovations. Devs and publishers alike are always studying what other industry peers are doing and are on the lookout for new ideas to solve the industry’s challenges.

If this sounds like you, by now you may have probably acquired some cryptocurrencies or started exploring the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). And you may have noticed that, when it comes to the fusion of blockchain technologies and mobile games, there’s still everything to do. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this rather unexplored subject and examine the possibilities it brings.

Blockchains and NFTs: Towards a more accessible, transparent, and user-owned internet

A blockchain, being basically a public online record of transactions, enables the tracking of the movement of goods, services, and information by everyone. Data lives on decentralized networks publicly accessible instead of privately owned centralized databases. Therefore, the blockchains are permissionless, safer, transparent and open the doors for new ways to manage data and digital assets.

Among them, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) provide proof of ownership. Unlike fungible tokens (like cryptocurrencies), which are identical and have the same attributes and value when exchanged, NFTs are unique—they contain identifying information that makes them different from other tokens and thus irreplaceable and valuable.

NFTs have many uses including digital collectibles, artwork, music, or items in video games. For example, they can be used to prove that the in-game collectible you own is really yours and that only five of them exist in the game. As seen with famous NFTs collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club or also CryptoPunks, other utilities like exclusive access to real-life events or online communities can be attached to NFTs.

Different types of NFTs like CryptoPunks and Sorare collectible cards.

So what about games?

NFTs can be implemented in games in different ways (avatars, cards, collectible objects, etc.), and their verifiable uniqueness, and therefore scarcity, paves the way for new gameplays, open economies, and strong bounded communities.

Players now being owners of publicly tradable in-game assets, means they can be financially rewarded for the time and money they have poured into the game. In most blockchain-powered games, rewards are given to players under the form of in-game assets (NFTs) or virtual currency that can both be sold out for real money on a marketplace or exchange. The amount of money earned by a player will depend on the game's mechanics like a token's rarity or utility, and market demand. Usually, the more popular a NFT-based game is, the more valuable the in-game assets become.

A difference already exists between play-to-earn games with a focus on high revenue yield for players, and play-and-earn games where gameplay matters more and financial compensation comes second. For example, some games that incorporate NFTs, like CryptoKitties, mainly allow users to breed different kinds of cats and accumulate collectible animals without embedded monetization.

We are only scratching the surface of blockchain gaming. New gameplays, game economies, communities, and themes emerge on a daily basis and the market is learning on the go from the reaction of players. It’s a very exciting time to join!

CryptoKitties are one of the first examples of NFT games.

Where are we heading?

Since the CryptoKitties-based game launched, many things have happened in the blockchain gaming scene and new actors are standing out. Among them, Sorare is one of the companies leading the way in blockchain gaming by creating an exciting digital experience for football fans anchored in real life experiences where in-game items value is impacted by real-life events.

Sorare is a fantasy football game with collectible and tradeable real-life soccer players. Players create football teams using the cards they own and then participate in a fantasy game where they will earn points for every win, goal, or other completed events depending on the performance of players in real football games. Their most recent additions, Legends Cards, represent a historic season in the players’ careers. These new NFT cards also have utility and are mined in scarce supplies to maintain their uniqueness and add to the game economy.

An interesting opportunity linked to the blockchain-powered games is the possibility for indie game devs to add more uses for the NFT assets outside of the main game experience. Sorare, for example, allows the integration of its collectible cards to third party games to expand the experience outside its own platform in free-to-play games like Sorare Mega or Sorare Brag. This opens an endless number of possibilities for game devs to build on these NFTs and benefit from their already established success.

So, what opportunities lie in the combination of blockchain and mobile for game developers? How can NFTs be used to renew mobile gameplays? What exciting partnerships will arise? Will we earn some collectible NFT animals by solving puzzles, exchange them for cryptocurrencies and then ape on NFTs from another game, all in less than 10 minutes? Will we use Sorare’s Platini Legend Card to avoid monsters in a runner? NFTs guarantee the ownership of the assets, and our goal is to make this ownership as fun as possible.

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