Why do you say NFT plus games equals unreal?

For games, the significance of NFT is economic stimulation, not entertainment.

The continuous integration of blockchain and gaming is accelerating. Game publisher Ubisoft is already driving the trend with Quartz, a platform designed to facilitate NFTs in the company’s games, while startups like Forte and Mythical have jumped in with hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. Come in.

Why do you say NFT plus games equals unreal?

Even with the enthusiasm in the industry, the response from gamers has been mixed. To find out why, I interviewed Tim Morten, CEO and co-founder of Frost Giant Studio. Morten was previously the production director of Blizzard’s StarCraft II.

Morten is not optimistic about the future of blockchain in gaming, and he believes there may be some thorny issues.

Lack of long-term viability

The discussion around blockchain gaming has been fueled by the rise of “play-to-earn” games such as Axie Infinity. Like the Pokémon series, Axie allows players to collect, trade, and breed cute digital creatures. Players earn cryptocurrency by trading in-game creatures or items (“Smooth Love Potion”), which are required to breed new Axies (as the Chinese community likes to call them A Crab).

Why do you say NFT plus games equals unreal?

There was a time when players were able to earn more than the minimum wage in some countries, and that changed as the value of in-game cryptocurrencies plummeted.

Morten is uncomfortable with “play-to-earn,” even though it might earn some players meaningful wages. “I’m not interested in developing games because games can make a living for people in third world countries,” he said in a video interview. “It sounds a little dystopian to me because people in the economy who are struggling to make a living are just playing games to get by, not for entertainment.”

“Play-to-earn” games also raise questions about game economics. “Maybe someone figured out a way to make a great game while also saving players money, but I think that begs the question of where the money comes from,” Morten said.

The players of the game are by far the biggest source of funding. Most blockchain-based games require players to purchase in-game items, and developers typically charge a small fee for each transaction.

Morten sees this model as “dangerously close to a pyramid scheme.” Blockchain games using this model are healthy when their popularity increases, but run into trouble after they peak. Declining interest in games means lower valuations of game tokens, which leads to a decline in player revenue, which further reduces the game’s popularity. It’s a vicious circle.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that games are bound to experience explosive player growth and then a gradual decline after launch. “The number of players in the game isn’t going to keep growing,” Morten said. “Gamers peak and then decline. So I have a lot of concerns about the long-term viability of play-to-earn.”

For eSports, payments and bragging

Of course, play-to-earn is just a fork of blockchain-based games. Publishers like Ubisoft want to explore new modes from a different angle, positioning NFTs like badges, skins and decorations as a way for players to tout their status.

Motivating players in a game is an area Morten is familiar with. StarCraft II has been a mainstay in the esports world in the years since its release, and players who win tournaments often receive in-game badges as a sign of their achievements. “I think trophies are bragging rights,” Morten said. “It’s a great thing. Of course I love being able to show my achievements in the game.”

Why do you say NFT plus games equals unreal?

NFTs promise players the opportunity to trade trophies, badges, and other badges of achievement, but Morten isn’t sure players will be eager to trade those achievements. “I currently think its value is in the game,” Morten said. “Maybe one day we can let our friends go to our virtual Metaverse trophy room. But that day is not today.” Tradeable NFTs with tournament trophies strike him as particularly odd, since trophies are proof of player achievement.

There is another way that blockchain could be useful for gaming: payments. Handing out cash to esports players is no easy task. Tournament organizers must find funds for the prize pool, hold it securely, and then pay out the prize money while complying with local regulations.

“The benefit is just the simplicity of payment,” Morten said. “If we want to pay cash, we have to take into account taxes and so on in different regions.” Morten believes cryptocurrencies could be particularly useful for smaller tournaments.Conceptually, players can use cryptocurrency to contribute to the prize pool and receive prize money in the same way.

But here, too, problems can arise, which is why Frost Giant Studios has no plans to use cryptocurrencies for tournaments.

The reason is that transactions on the blockchain are generally immutable, leaving no room for error. If a tournament pays the wrong competitor or awards the wrong NFT, the transaction can only be reversed by rolling back the entire blockchain ledger, a very difficult solution. And once a program bug or hacker attack is encountered, it may permanently change the game’s money system. That’s enough to keep any game developer up at night.

What does a great esports platform look like?

Morten is clear: Frost Giant Studios will not be using blockchain in its upcoming untitled real-time strategy game. But what will the next generation of esports experiences offer if not blockchain?

“Historically, there has been a disconnect between participating in esports and playing games,” Morten said. Like most games that encourage the esports scene, StarCraft II tracks player performance and assigns each player a ranking after playtesting. Rankings are used to match players with similar strengths and provide targets for players with stronger comprehensive strengths to pursue.

However, the link between a game’s ranking system and its esports scene is often weak. Competitive gaming success is tied to an ecosystem of tournaments, teams, and sponsors that exist outside of the game itself.

Some games have made an effort to bring some of the activity in-house: StarCraft II added an automated tournament system in its last expansion, Legacy of the Void, and League of Legends has a similar system called Clash. But these features are more of a training ground for players looking to improve their game, and an easy way for amateur players to gain tournament experience. Those looking for a “path to pro” must find that path outside of the game itself.

“We want to bring all of this to the game client,” Morten said. “We want to give tournament organizers the opportunity to organize tournaments on the client side, present them to players, and allow players to seamlessly transition from playing to participating in those tournaments.”

Clearly, Frost Giant Studios has a vision for the modern esports platform. When asked about it, however, Morten said the studio’s esports efforts will revolve around supporting its upcoming RTS. Also, the studio has no plans to sell its esports platform.

This focus on the studio’s unannounced games reinforces Morten’s skepticism about blockchain technology. Clearly, Morten sees potential in blockchain, at least in theory, but sees its use primarily driven by economic incentives rather than entertainment.

“It’s a valid thing, but it’s not our goal,” Morten said. “Our goal is to keep our players happy.”

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/why-do-you-say-nft-plus-games-equals-unreal/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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