Gaming might be the world’s favorite past time, but what if it became more profitable than working?
Time is money as they say, especially while enjoying your favorite online games. The time it takes to reach the highest level and acquire a top set of items in any MMORPG (World of Warcraft for example) carries value simply because there are people who would rather pay to skip months of grinding levels, gold, and gear. The value of digital items across popular online games further sparked an entire industry where workers are hired to play games all day with the specific goal of earning as much in-game currency as possible, so they can ultimately sell it in exchange for their own local currency. In fact, regions within multiple third-world countries have become entirely dependent on the billion-dollar business of what has become known as “gold farming”.
The challenge however is that these games all explicitly prohibit any “real life” monetary transactions in regards to your account, your characters, and your items. Discussing or soliciting the sale of your virtual property is immediate grounds for a permanent ban, in which case your account, characters, and items would be irreversibly inaccessible.
Because of these restrictions, selling your character or rare item generally requires you to have a private buyer lined up – otherwise your best option would typically be to find a 3rd party marketplace that connects buyers and sellers. This carries significant risks however, as scammers on both sides are prevalent. Most commonly, account sellers would contact the game’s support team to prove their identity as the original owner, thus resetting the account’s login credentials and returning the entirety of what was sold straight back to them.
What if you could secure, trade, and immortalize your character and all of their items on the blockchain? This is exactly what NFT powered games are now offering with immense success – under this structure, monetizing your character is not only allowed, it is showcased as the primary attraction.
In June of this year alone, NFT-based game Axie Infinity saw players make over $42 million in sales, going on to be the #1 most valuable NFT collection.
We are genuinely on the very cusp of this trend as there are not many NFT-based games in existence, with hardly any AAA developers publicly indicating interest let alone announcing such projects (although we will inevitably see this soon). Given the decentralized mindset of the cryptocurrency community, the NFT space is truly poised for creative and unique indie developers to thrive.
Among the most exciting of these independent gaming ventures is DashLeague.io, a Runescape-meets-Minecraft style MMORPG utilizing NFT tokenomics in completely new ways: players who conquer a town will then earn passive income on the town’s shops from all in-game item sales made by other players. In high-stakes PVP scenarios items can be taken from other players, transferring their NFT to your own wallet in real time.
Teaming up in “leagues” with other players allows you to split token rewards from defeating dungeons as well as pool conquered maps. DashLeague is intentionally structured for players to literally earn money while they sleep, which is hard to argue with considering the sole purpose of these games: to have fun while making money. What may prove to be their most brilliant move of all is their decision to theme the game around the same retro, pixelated style that resonates so strongly with the crypto community as shown through the wild success of NFT projects like cryptopunks and meebits.
As the NFT realm continues to grow in both awareness and application, one thing is for sure – the gaming industry has always been incredibly lucrative (out-earning both the movie and music industries combined), and with the adoption of these hyper-monetized NFT structures, will absolutely be stimulating real-life economies and jobs in a dramatic fashion.