Don’t use NFT for that

Don’t use NFT for that

They call them “collectibles” for a reason.

Whether it’s Louis Vuitton bags or Funko Pops, people like to collect things. The reasons for collecting are many. Some do it for fun; some ride seasonal trends. Others seek status or prestige, or to show loyalty to their favorite teams or artists.

In the crypto world, people collect Bored Apes and CryptoPunks because of their high value – and maybe because they look cool.

Depending on market demand, many of these collectibles can fetch enormous sums. They can also have enormous sentimental value for their owners.

But here’s the thing – none of these NFT collectibles have any real purpose or, as we say in crypto, utility. The vast majority do not provide special access to anything or solve any real problems. They are simply pieces of physical or intellectual property that people for one reason or another want to own.

So here’s a question: So why do Web3 games spend so much time, energy and money finding use cases for NFTs? Do they really need one?

Is it enough that people just like to collect them?

It is.

Web3 game builders need to stop trying to use NFTs as ill-defined solutions to ill-defined problems. Instead of trying to invent questionable technical use cases for NFTs, Web3 game studios looking to create desirable non-fungible assets should focus on creating games, characters, and intellectual property that people love – and create NFTs based on these instead.

No need to add friction for players

NFTs are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain, providing verifiable proof of ownership and authenticity, and – like much of blockchain technology – often described as a solution looking for a problem.

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Nevertheless, they serve one important purpose: NFTs enable the ownership, trading and monetization of digital creations such as artwork, music, videos and virtual real estate. In other words, they are means of collection: They allow people to own things, whether physical or digital. And in the gaming world, developers have come up with a bunch of other ways to use NFTs in games.

But while these use cases may seem cool and innovative on the surface, the truth is that assigning technical use cases to NFTs often creates more friction than it removes. In fact, many of these features can be achieved – even enhanced – without blockchain.

Don’t focus on the technology that gets in the way

Here’s the thing, most players just aren’t interested in new ways to use NFTs unless they directly improve the gaming experience or provide some other value. This is the only thing anyone thinking about using an NFT in a game’s build needs to think about.

If using an NFT doesn’t improve gameplay, don’t bother.

What gives NFTs value – both in and out of the gaming world – is what they represent: association with an artist’s work, a piece of physical or digital property, or a popular brand. 99% of Pudgy Penguin owners don’t use them for anything – they just like to collect them.

read more: Web3 has an identity crisis on its hands

Instead of spending time and money creating NFTs for interoperability and access, why not use those funds to collaborate with a well-known artist in the space to create something rare and unique? The key is to focus on raising the profile of your brand – and as a result, make your NFTs irresistible to people who simply love what you make.

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In other words, your strategy here is brand building, not utility building.

That’s what any type of business looking to incorporate NFTs into what they’re building needs to think about: What kinds of digital assets are people interested in owning, why and how can we make more of them.

We have to put our energy into figuring out what the players want to collect – and then give it to them. Don’t let using technology for technology’s sake get in the way.


Corey Wilton is co-founder and CEO of Mirai Labs, a leading international Web3 game studio headquartered in Vietnam. Mirai Lab’s first release, Pegaxy, was recognized as the second most popular crypto project in the Philippines in 2022.


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