In 2021, the number of NFT art sales surpassed 1.5 million in a single month. To top it, the five countries with the highest NFT adoption are in Asia, and the most valuable NFT is worth more than $91.8 million.
Undoubtedly, NFTs and Cryptos are changing the world as we know it. One area where this impact is felt is mobile gaming app development. Traditionally, mobile gaming has been all about gaming formats that were based on a free-to-win or a play-to-win or a pay-to-play model. These models were for entertainment and did not involve receiving economic returns for the players.
Recent reports say that the gaming market, which is already growing by leaps and bounds, will continue its exponential growth, reaching a value of over $200 billion by the end of 2023. According to the market research company Newzoo, mobile gaming accounted for more than half of the $174.9 billion gaming industry in 2020.
With the rise of Blockchain technology, gaming developers are focusing on monetizing the games they developed.
The following are the two ways to monetize gaming:
- Trading NFTs
- Scoring in-game rewards in the form of cryptos
It ushered in the era of the play-to-earn model of mobile gaming that embraced the leading technologies like NFTs and cryptos and offered a new dimension of earning while playing to mobile gamers all around the world.
What are NFTs?
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are part of the Ethereum blockchain and can be anything digital – it could be a painting, a music track, anything at all that exists digitally. The NFTs are designed to offer something that cannot be copied by giving the owner of the NFT the possession of the digital asset. Every NFT will be a unique token on Ethereum, and they are being hailed as the future of fine art collecting.
According to market watcher nonfungible.com, NFT assets grew from $40.9 million in 2018 to more than $338 million in 2020. Experts predict NFTs to be the first real breakaway crypto that is not connected to Bitcoin in any way. NFTs have already begun transforming the world of art, collectibles, sport, and pop culture – they are also gradually making their presence felt in the gaming world with the evolution of the NFT mobile gaming apps.
What are cryptos?
Cryptocurrency or Cryptos are virtual currencies that have been secured by cryptography. Due to this, cryptos cannot be counterfeited. Cryptos are decentralized and not usually issued by a government or government-regulated body.
They are powered by blockchain technology and are distributed across a network of computers. According to Global Cryptocurrency Ownership data, in 2021, the global crypto ownership rates were at an average of 3.9%, and there were over 300 million crypto users worldwide. Cryptocurrency is not just gaining acceptance among individuals, but thousands of businesses globally have also begun accepting cryptocurrency as payments. It is transforming the gaming world by offering gamers a decentralized crypto gaming model.
NFTs, Cryptos, and Play-to-Earn Model of Gaming
NFTs and Cryptos have created new forms of gaming – NFT mobile gaming and crypto-mobile gaming. While these two terms often get used interchangeably, they do not have the same meaning. Crypto-mobile gaming uses cryptocurrency to transact with the gamers, whereas NFT mobile gaming uses native tokens for generating or collecting NFTs and giving access to the NFT markets for trading.
The play-to-earn model is a recent development in the world of mobile gaming. The best thing about the model is that it makes the most of the advances in technology while allowing gamers to earn while they play. Earning while gaming – how cool is that!
With the play-to-earn model, game developers get a larger audience, and gamers earn money for doing what they love – gaming!
So, how are NFTs and Cryptos changing the world of mobile gaming app development?
NFT mobile gaming brings a sense of ownership to the gamers – something rare to come by in the gaming world. Mobile games are usually owned by corporations and mobile game development companies, while gamers have no ownership or stake in it. Any in-app upgrades purchased in a traditional mobile game would remain restricted to the game itself. However, the NFT Metaverse builds a mobile gaming environment where the players get a sense of asset ownership by earning the NFTs and being able to use them in the real world. NFT mobile gaming apps bring a real economic component that gives gamers a tangible economic benefit, which is completely absent in traditional mobile games. Some NFT mobile games even offer a small ownership stake in the game, giving the gamers a say in the future of the NFT mobile game. It gives power in the hands of the people and is a leap in the gaming world.
As we mentioned earlier, traditional mobile games are owned by corporations or game developing companies, and gamers have no say and no stake in the game or its future. However, crypto-mobile gaming and NFT mobile gaming apps are not centralized like traditional games. The digital assets of NFT mobile gaming apps are run publicly on blockchains. The NFTs are, thus, immutable. If the server of a traditional game were to crash or be under a cyberattack, it would get wiped out and affect the games across the world. However, it is not the situation with NFT mobile gaming apps and crypto gaming. The immutable nature of the NFTs secures the in-game assets and digital collectibles. Moreover, if someday, a traditional game decides to shut down for a reason, the gamer loses everything they accumulated. But when an NFT mobile gaming app shuts down, the NFTs and digital assets that a gamer would have earned during the game are still intact and can be used or exchanged as they have real economic value.
A new revenue model
NFTs are indivisible entities, whereas cryptos are divisible. It means cryptocurrency can be sold and exchanged in units smaller than the total amount. NFTs, in contrast, are a whole entity and can only be sold or exchanged as such. It creates a new revenue model for NFT mobile gaming apps involving the in-game digital assets, now called tokenomics. Tokenomics governs how gamers receive and use the tokens while playing crypto and NFT mobile games. Mobile gamers can now purchase digital assets, exchange them, or sell them in the high-value NFT metaverse. As a gamer, you invest a lot of time and money in the mobile game – playing the game, purchasing in-app assets, and going up the gaming levels. However, if the mobile game is discontinued, or you decide to quit a particular game, you lose everything you have invested in the game. NFT mobile gaming prevents this occurrence. If an NFT mobile game is discontinued, or you decide to stop playing a particular game, the digital assets you earned during your time playing the game are secure. It is an additional incentive for gamers to invest their time and money in NFT mobile gaming. NFT mobile gaming offers gamers a valuable investment for their money, something traditional mobile gaming does not offer.
Farming the NFTs
There is a growing trend of NFT farming in NFT mobile games. NFT farming involves using tokens to gain new rare NFTs. NFT mobile games now allow users to stake the tokens they possess to earn special cards, chests, and other digital assets. These assets could have a visual rarity – being a visually unique asset like a new game background or a character skin or a card frame to be used in the game, or a game-play rarity asset like a new weapon that gives the gamer an advantage against other players. In both cases, the digital assets would hold immense value for the gamers. This new model in NFT mobile gaming is gaining popularity and engaging gamers to purchase more in-app rarities for the NFT value.
What does the future of NFT Mobile Gaming look like?
There is no doubt that NFTs and cryptos will transform the way people around the world work, live, and game. When it comes to mobile gaming, the stage is set for a revolution worth billions of dollars. The chief question is – why play a mobile game for free when you can earn while you play? Moreover, it is not just a small random amount we are talking about – we are talking about NFTs, which will shake up the future of art, sports, collectibles, and so much more.
Given a choice, would you prefer to play in an environment where you have no stake or ownership or the one where you have a stake and ownership in the game and its future? The latter, right? The way things are going, sooner or later, the entire mobile gaming industry would have to enter into the NFT mobile gaming and crypto-mobile gaming segment.
NFTs are proving to be a true digital alternative. People are spending millions of dollars on digital assets and NFTs, and the market is still at a very nascent stage. NFTs won’t just be limited to the social world or the gaming space; they would expand to financial markets, real-world assets, and so much more with time. The current NFT market is driven more by a sense of nostalgia or pride in owning the piece of art or collectible than by a sense of having invested in something valuable that will yield a return in the future.
Sandbox – a blockchain and crypto-based user-generated game – offers elements that give gamers freedom and creativity to interact with the game. There are no predetermined goals in the game. However, if the gamer wants, they can set a goal. Sandbox recently sold virtual land worth more than $1.49 million in NFTs in a game sponsored by Atari. Instances like these play a positive role in influencing the larger gaming market towards crypto-mobile gaming and NFT mobile gaming apps.
Gradually, the outlook towards NFTs is changing. And it would affect the NFT mobile gaming industry. The NFTs and cryptos are not just part of the metaverse but will also become an indispensable part of the mobile gaming industry. Cryptocurrency changed the way people looked at investing money and growing their wealth. Along with NFTs, it is doing the same to the gaming world. The NFT metaverse is changing people’s perspectives towards gaming and game development – from being a mere source of entertainment, a means to kill time or engage with friends, to a lucrative activity that could earn them unique digital assets that hold value not just in the game but also in the real-world. This transformation in mobile gaming app development is just getting started. And there is a long road ahead.
Imagine a day in the future when gaming is considered an economic activity, a means of earning a livelihood – primary or secondary – or as an investment exercise. Wouldn’t it be fun to see a time when parents would commend their children for playing a mobile game instead of pestering them for wasting time and money? Thanks to NFTs and cryptos, this could be a reality someday.