The NFT market relies heavily on video games

Rather confined so far to the world of art and collectors, the NFT market is seeking to conquer a wider audience.

The NFT sector has highlighted the video game this week in Paris to convince that these fashionable digital objects, which particularly panic the auction rooms, are not reserved for a microcosm of “geeks”, collectors and speculators. “The most important thing is to put an NFT in the hands of the players and that they see what benefits they can derive from it”, explained Tony Pearce, specialist in games using NFTs, during “Paris NFT Day”, an event dedicated to this universe, the first edition of which took place at the Palais Brongniart.

The name NFT is the acronym for the English “Non-Fungible Token”, or “non-fungible token” in French, that is to say that it is unique and not interchangeable.

These unique and tamper-proof digital objects, whose market exploded in 2021 with 44.2 billion dollars in transactions according to the specialized firm Chainalysis, have invested in a multitude of fields, from art to sport, including video games. But between technological complexity and sometimes exorbitant prices, it is still difficult for them to interest the greatest number beyond the simple effect of curiosity.

The French video game publisher Ubisoft has just completed a first experience in its title “Ghost Recon: Breakpoint”. For a limited time, it was possible to obtain “cosmetic” NFTs (an outfit for your character, for example) that could then be resold on a dedicated platform.

According to Tony Pearce, features related to NFT suffer from a bad image among gamers, in particular because of their speculative dimension, which could explain “the slow growth” of this trend among “gamers”. However, “once the user has understood the benefits, the concept sells itself”, wants to believe Robby Yung, producer of mobile games.

The “best gateway”

If it is possible to resell NFTs to earn money thanks to its video game performances, it is also possible to buy them but the barriers to entry are sometimes high for neophytes. For example, “Axie Infinity” or “The Sandbox” – two popular games – initially require the creation of a wallet to accommodate cryptocurrencies used to acquire NFTs.

On “Axie Infinity”, “you have to put 500 euros on average to get off to a good start”, says Sami Chlagou, the director of “Cross The Ages”, a card game using these digital objects.

“We are not at all on a project that is aimed at the greatest number,” he believes, even if the title has counted more than two million players around the world, the majority of them in the Philippines.

Other creators, like Mr. Chlagou, try a different strategy: the game is free and, by spending time on it, you can unlock NFTs without spending anything. “A classic player”, without a cryptocurrency wallet, “can play” and “have it all”, he assures.

The co-founder of the card game “The Legends of Elysium”, Eryk Rutkowski, confirms: there is no question of “paying to see what an NFT game looks like”, he insists on his stand. With “3 billion players”, video games are, according to Mr. Chlagou, “the best gateway” to make NFTs “accessible”.

However, the road is still long. At “Paris NFT Day”, the general public was almost absent: apart from reduced rates for students, you had to pay more than 1,000 euros for an entry ticket.

Pauline Armandet with AFP

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The NFT market relies heavily on video games

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