NFTs are confusing. For many bystanders, NFTs are just digital pictures that sometimes get sold for outstanding prices. For blockchain enthusiasts, the future. What are they really? And are they good for anything?
The hype for NFTs seems to be over. The realization hit: these digital assets, if they don't have any utility, are worthless. For example, the screenshot of the first Tweet ever was sold for $2.9M in 2021, March. When the owner decided to sell it, the highest offer they received was a mere $277. It is, after all, just a picture on a blockchain.
But NFTs can be more than that. The technology allows developers to create unique NFTs that have utility. It is not NFTs that are good or bad - it is how and why they are used. One of the best NFT use cases is NFT games but how can NFTs be used in games?
What are NFTs anyway?
Non-fungible tokens, or simply NFTs, are authenticated digital assets that cannot be interchanged.
NFTs indicate ownership by storing the relevant information via smart contracts. While all this sounds technical, the main attribute of an NFT is the fact they are stored on the blockchain.
As blockchains are secure and reliable, NFTs can be used as a tool for artists, content creators, and service providers to enhance the user experience in the digital world, where it can be difficult to assert ownership.
So how can NFTs be used in games?
How can NFTs be used in games: CryptoKitties, the first blockchain game
If we want to learn how NFTs can be used in games, it is worth mentioning the first blockchain game, CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties, an Ethereum-based game, was released in 2017.
The CryptoKitties game is straightforward: you buy NFT kittens and breed them to produce more NFTs. Following that, you may sell your brand-new kittens on the NFT marketplace in the hopes of making a profit on your investment. Why the hype around CryptoKitties? It doesn't seem very fascinating, and virtual pet games with similar concepts have been around for a while.
The most compelling aspect of CryptoKitties may have been the NFTs themselves. These assets allowed players to trade among themselves and even earn from engaging in the platform. As soon as your NFT is minted on the blockchain, you have full ownership of it. CryptoKitties did not belong to the game developers, they belong to the players. This allowed the play-to-earn gaming market to emerge.
How NFTs can be used in games: NFTs create play-to-earn mechanisms
Earning from gaming seems like a dream come true for many.
We, as a society, have been focusing on monetizing our talents for ages. This leads us to develop various skills around subjects we might not enjoy in particular but since they pay well, we stick to them.
Players are moving closer to a moment when they will be able to earn money through NFT games.
In essence, an NFT game is one that uses NFT assets to provide players the ability to genuinely own their in-game possessions and make money from playing. These games provide NFTs which are actual game assets rather than merely images stored on a blockchain.
In conventional gaming, even if you purchase game assets, you do not actually own them. Typically, you cannot sell it to other players; therefore, people must sell their accounts that contain these assets instead. This creates a risky market where you can get defrauded and lose your money and possessions. Even if there is a secondary market where you can sell your stuff, you cannot resell your items if your account is banned, thus you lose your assets forever.
NFTs can't be taken away from you since they are held on the blockchain rather than in the game, and you may sell them to other players without the trouble of selling your account. You connect your wallet to the game to use your items in the game, but they remain outside the game.
In addition, most NFT games have native cryptocurrencies. This helps players to earn - as cryptocurrencies are on blockchain, they can be exchanged for other currencies and used outside the game.
How NFTs can be used in games: Mars4
In theory, any in-game asset can be created as NFTs.
For example, Mars4 has two types of assets that are minted as NFTs: land plots and in-game vehicles. Land plots and in-game equipment like vehicles are the two categories of NFTs that players can invest in. Mars4 land plots are utilized as playable zones, while vehicles are used to drive around Mars, transport goods and mine resources.
So how can NFTs be used in games? The answer is simple with Mars4: you can use NFTs both in the game and to earn money from Mars4.
If you own a vehicle NFT, you can already drive it around the Red Planet. Land plots will be utilized soon as well - the game demo takes place on one of the developer’s land plots, but after the game is completed, players will use their unique lands.
Another great use case for NFTs is their earning mechanisms.
How NFTs can be used in games: Earning from Mars4
NFTs transform gaming into platforms that allow players to earn from gaming. Every NFT game does it differently: some allow players to heap the rewards from the game, others only let players earn from reselling their assets, and some even have mechanisms in the game that allow earning passively.
Mars4 has all of these earning mechanisms integrated into the platform.
The game allows players to complete missions and reap the rewards. For example, players who own vehicle NFTs will be able to profit from mining resources. As resources will be minted as NFTs, you can resell them in the secondary market. But vehicle owners can work for other players and take fees for completing the task, thus earning without actually selling anything.
In addition, investors can profit by simply owning NFTs. Anyone who holds Mars4 NFTs (both in-game and land plots) will earn passive income. The community pool built into the platform makes it feasible.
A portion of each sale made by Mars4 (both through B2B and B2C sales) is sent to the community pool. This pool can be unlocked by landowners and redistributed to NFT holders.
That way, NFTs are similar to stocks: you own a part of Mars4 by having its NFTs and collect dividends from the company’s profit. The only difference is that landowners can open the community pool by voting, thus you could be getting your passive income more often than once per year.