By: Zachary Fingerle
While the phrase “during the pandemic” has not left our vocabulary and likely will not for some time, the COVID-19 pandemic has truly changed streaming, gaming, and entertainment as a whole most likely forever. Gaming reached new heights during the pandemic as people were forced to stay home along with the financial difficulties that arose during the pandemic. Many people began seeking new ways to make money on the side, what better way to make money than play video games?
Now we are not talking about streaming and signing contracts to stream and becoming a Twitch Partner or anything of the sort, but rather a new game has mixed the rise of gaming with the surge of cryptocurrencies and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Now I am far from being declared an expert on the space of NFTs but they can be appreciating or depreciating assets and a company has been connecting them into games.
Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese game development studio created and released Axie Infinity. The game is reminiscent of Pokemon but with the ability to buy new creatures that themselves are NFTs where you can power them up and use them or sell them as more powerful versions.
The game uses a currency called Axie Infinity Shards and the Simple-love potion which are both Ethereum based. While each creature/pet themselves are NFTs that can be trained, sold, or traded. This allows the game itself to have and create its economy. The first thing I think of in this space is the CSGO skins economy, but they are not NFTs, meaning anyone can have a copy of the same skin. No one holds the rights to that skin in specific.
This is an interesting move for the future of games. Could future MMO’s move to this style of play, or even shooter games if they take on the style of loot boxes that Call of Duty Advanced Warfare had, where there are better variants of each weapon. Although that would seem to be discouraged from the get-go due to the nature of Pay-2-Win features.