NFT games are online games that use NFTs as collectibles, avatars, virtual pets, or in-game items. As a business, NFT games provide help for developers in monetizing their creations while giving users the ability to earn cryptocurrency by playing the games.
The advantage of NFT gaming is that it creates unique and limited tokens that can be exchanged with each non-fungible token existing in a decentralized digital ledger based on blockchain technology. This allows users to have real ownership with options to exchange, create, and implement NFTs within a game, while developers create smart contracts that make up the rules for the NFTs used in games.
There is a potential for continuous revenue streams from NFT gaming for businesses and gaming companies. NFT digital games can potentially provide new options for content creators to monetize their work, often through social tokens, digital art pieces, collectibles, or in-game items among millions of gamers.
Play-to-earn NFT games
Most NFT games work under the play-to-earn (P2E) style model, also commonly called GameFi. They became popular by the success of blockchain-based game providers like Axie Infinity. Play-to-earn NFT games give users the chance to generate an income stream through just playing. Typically, a player is rewarded with tokens and occasionally NFTs, earning more the longer they stay in the game. The tokens they earn are often needed as part of the game's crafting process.
The token method is usually the more stable of the two, as tokens can be earned steadily through play while NFT drops are more chance-based. Play-to-earn has been especially popular with users in low-income countries as an alternative or boost to fixed income or social security.
In-game NFTs offer another way for one to generate an income through playing NFT games. Instead of earning a fungible ERC20 token like SLP in Axie Infinity, you earn NFTs as collectible items. This gameplay mechanism is the traditional way of generating income with NFT games. Items will differ in their worth based on their rarity or utility in the game.
CryptoKitties is one example of a game that relies only on the collectibility of in-game NFTs. There is no way to keep playing and earn a steady income without the element of chance. Now most newer NFT games offer a mixture of both play-to-earn and in-game NFTs.
NFT game marketplaces
One can also create, buy, and sell NFT games. There are several popular NFT game marketplaces and gaming companies that allow users to create their own NFT game digital assets, mint, and trade in them. The main marketplaces are:
- Gamestarter. This marketplace helps supporting indie games by offering a set of tools to seamlessly handle the game’s integration with NFT game blockchains. It comes with ready-to-use, audited BSC / ETH token contracts, and an easy-to-setup NFT marketplace for the game.
- AirNFTs offers users an option to generate additional income from royalties on secondary sales. Besides NFT games it is a complex NFT marketplace that includes artworks, photos, and more.
- OpenSea is an NFT marketplace built for Ethereum. This marketplace allows developers to create games and applications without having to learn special programming languages, charges no gas fees, or deals with a single wide-ranging blockchain protocol.
- Forte is an end-to-end blockchain platform for games that is secure, easy to use, and fully compliant. The platform helps publishers and game developers establish regulated user accounts that allow players to hold stored value, purchase and trade digital assets, or transfer funds.
Most popular NFT games
There is a wide range of NFT games available online, with the majority being on BSC and Ethereum. Some of the games offer more traditional video game experiences, while others rely mostly on the collectibility of NFTs. These are the most popular of them:
- Axie Infinity is considered to be the most successful NFT game. This Ethereum-based game helps players breed and collect NFT-based digital pets called Axies with the main goal being battling other players’Axies. Each Axie has unique strengths and weaknesses based on its genes and has billions of possible genetic combinations. To start playing, gamers need to purchase at least three Axies.
- Sorare is a fantasy football game with collectible and tradable soccer players from real life. Users create a five-player soccer team using either free cards for beginner players or purchasing tokenized cards. You can earn points to level up for every game you win, goal you rating, or other events you complete.
- AlienWorlds is a metaverse-based economic simulation competition and collaboration among players to explore other planets, developed by the game publisher Dacoco. In AlienWorls players can acquire NFTs, engage in battles, and complete in-game quests.
- Gods Unchained is a free-to-play game designed that brings elements of NFT into a card trading gaming genre. Gamers collect cards by purchasing them from other players or competing with other players to win quality cards. The game uses a ranking system where players with the same ratings are being matched.
- Splinterlands is another free-to-play tradable card game that lets users earn as they play. In this game, earnings are based on rewards players get when they win card matches. To start playing Splinterlands, players will first need to buy a starter pack of cards, register a Steam account and unveil the purchased cards on Splinterlands.