2 min read

2 types of video games that need NFTs (and 1 that doesn't)

I'm trying something new today. If you want to listen to me read today's newsletter, I've recorded it here: 2022-05-10_TKP.mp3 Let me know if you like having this option so I know whether to bother with it in future.

Video games fall into three categories: short lived, long lived, and franchises.

Short lived games are the most common. A studio builds a cool game, releases it to the public, maybe releases a patch or some DLC, then moves on to the next project. For this kind of game, NFTs don't add much to the player experience. Data on blockchain is forever, so if your game isn't, then once you stop supporting the game, your NFTs just become collectibles... like beanie babies.

A lot of games start out with the intention to be long lived, but very few actually succeed at this. World of Warcraft and other MMOs are the most commonly long-lived games. The game world is expansive and expanding, and the players make it a community more than just a game. This type of project requires a lot of dedication from the game studio to maintain the game and continue to add new features, items, game modes, etc.

Franchises are distinct from either of these because each game is short lived, but there are sequels and spin offs that build on the universe established in prior games.

Both long lived games and franchises can benefit from NFTs. What you're building for these types of games is a universe. It's sprawling and changing and can outlive the games themselves. If you're building a world full of lore and legend, then capturing that world on blockchain is a very meaningful choice.

Your players can always pick up where they left off. If you build a sequel or spinoff game, you can carry your players' existing characters, money, and items to the new game. This is true for community built projects as well. Anyone can build a website to explore game data without needing you to expose your game APIs. Anyone can build their own spinoff casual game that builds on your game world.

I hope that sets a clear picture in your mind of the game design possibilities; however, if you're not a game designer, it might help to think of this in terms of the long term value of the blockchain-backed assets. Your in-game items and currencies are only valuable as long as they have a purpose. If your game is short lived, that purpose goes away and your players will lose the majority of the value they accrued by playing.


P.S. This applies outside of games. If you're thinking of building on blockchain, think of the assets you're creating as something that will outlive you.