The crypto market is a versatile and ever-evolving place. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were created to provide an alternative to our flawed financial system. Today, the original cryptocurrency has evolved into the ultimate store of value and people buy ethereum to hedge against upcoming inflation.
The Ethereum network was created as a natural evolution of Bitcoin, providing smart contract functionalities to the blockchain. These smart contracts allowed us to deploy decentralized applications (dApps) which multiplied the use cases of blockchain tenfold.
Consequently, crypto is now used in various industries including finances, healthcare, and gaming. We will be paying attention to this latter sector in our article today. We will explore the use of NFTs in games and talk about one of the latest collectible games from the developers of Cryptokitties.
What are NFTs?
NFTs or non-fungible tokens are assets that are created using smart contracts. In contrast to fungible tokens like ETH or BTC which are indistinguishable from one another, NFTs are unique.
Each NFT contains a set of properties that allows us to tell them apart, which in turn, allows us to create digital collectibles. But what are the advantages of such virtual items over physical collectibles?
Easily transferable - NFTs are recorded on the blockchain as digital assets. Consequently, they can be traded on open markets such as opensea.io and they can be transferred from one user to another without any issue.
Provide proof of ownership - conserving some of the most important blockchain properties, NFTs provide proof of ownership to the user. They are protected through cryptography and only the private key owner can access them.
Resistant to fraud - because they are only digital representations on the blockchain, they cannot be duplicated. As such, a fraudulent NFT cannot exist, as it would be detected by the verifying nodes on the network.
Convenient storage - any collector will tell you the main issue with collecting physical items - space. Memorabilia takes a lot of room, whereas thousands of NFTs can be kept on a piece of paper or in your smartphone wallet app.
What are Cryptokitties?
One of the first popular games involving NFTs was the Cryptokitties game, which was released on November 28, 2017, during the peak of the 2017-18 bullish cycle.
This collectibles game became all the rage back then, and hundreds of thousands of users flocked to the game to start breeding NFT-backed kittens. The interest was so high that it caused the Ethereum network to be completely oversaturated with transaction requests. The Ethereum developers even had to mend this issue by increasing the size of the transaction blocks.
The concept of Cryptokitties was extremely simple - breed virtual cats as NFTs and exchange them over the internet. The popularity was immediate and even today some of the figures of the most expensive Kitties remain impressive. The most expensive Cryptokitty was Dragon, ho sold for an astonishing 600 ETH. Considering the price of Ethereum today, this would equate to more than $1.4 million.
Cheese Wizards - the new PvP game from the Cryptokitties team
The developers of the Cryptokitty game have since attempted to repeat their success by releasing a new game called Cheese Wizards. It’s also an NFT collecting game, but this time with a PvP twist.
Much like Cryptokitties, each Cheese Wizard is a digital collectible item, recorded as an NFT. However, the difference resides in the fact that Wizards are much more active than Kitties. Where Kitties were a passive NFT, only meant for collectors, Cheese wizards can engage in battles against each other.
Players spend ETH for gas fees to pit their Wizards against each other. They then compete in a series of duels with the goal to become the top Wizard, or “Big Cheese” if we were to use the game’s nomenclature.
When wizards battle each other, the winner gains an amount of power equal to the wizard that he beat in the duel. Consequently, the most powerful wizards are those that have won many battles.
Similar to a battle royale game, when the end of the tournament approaches, the weakest wizards are slowly destroyed, while the strongest prevail. The winner of the tournament becomes the Big Cheese and gains some Ether as a reward. Finally, worth noting is that players can organize in groups or guilds and win special prizes within the game’s ecosystem.
Collectible games are just one of the multiple applications of NFTs in gaming. In the near future, we can expect role-playing games where each discovered item is an NFT, free to be sold on the open market. As such, NFTs provide a great opportunity for gamers with an entrepreneurial spirit. Rare digital collectibles can be a great source of income for those that are skilled with these games. So what are you waiting for - go create your Cheese Wizard and start making some ETH!