The NFT Gaming Meta Approaches 🕹️
Tuesday was another slower day in NFTs, as the tenuous macro situation and subsequent crypto surge continued to take center stage.
GM! TylerD is on vacation this week, but the Lucky Trader team is filling in to keep you informed. Ghost here to catch you up on all the latest news in web3 and crypto.
Tuesday was a bit of a slow day in NFTs again, as the tenuous macro situation and subsequent crypto surge continued to take center stage. The FOMC meeting is taking place today, with all eyes on the policy statement expected at 2:00 p.m. EST.
While the trading news was brief, one emerging segment of the space had some juicy headlines. Let's get into our main topic — the wave of innovation coming to the NFT gaming space.
🕹️ The NFT Gaming Meta Approaches
“Gamers hate NFTs.”
The above sentiment is one we’ve likely all heard — and has been a perceived reason for why blockchain technology would never make the leap into mainstream gaming.
Even during the NFT Bull Run of 2021, we saw companies like Ubisoft and EA attempt integration of the technology, only to abruptly change position after fierce pushback from gamers.
But while the broader mainstream attention around NFTs has quieted, the rumblings around Web3 gaming have continued to grow.
In early March, MetaMask made a blockbuster announcement — revealing the launch of an SDK (software development kit) in the major cross-platform game engine Unity and enabling access to a whopping 3.9B monthly active users.
In essence — making it easy for developers to incorporate NFTs into games.
And updates coming out of this week’s Gaming Developer’s Conference have continued make the impact of blockchain/ NFTs tech on the gaming industry increasingly apparent.
A few of the most notable headlines coming out over the last few days:
🤝 Polygon’s Gaming Partnerships
Monday saw two giants in the space team up to push Web3 gaming forward.
Polygon and Immutable are partnering to create a new zkEVM network designed for Web3 gaming — with Immutable President Robbie Ferguson stating that “this is how the next billion users will be onboarded into Web3.”
The Immutable zkEVM will support custom smart contracts, enable advanced tokenomics, and feature low friction and minimal transaction costs — breaking down some major barriers to entry we’ve seen in early Web3 gaming initiatives.
But that wasn’t all for Polygon this week — with the company revealing another major partnership with Nexon on Tuesday. One of the world’s largest game publishers, Nexon will be building a “dedicated, application-specific Polygon Supernet’ to power the ecosystem of MapleStory Universe — which boasts 180M registered users and an already thriving in-game economy.
Polygon continues to lead the way in onboarding major companies and IPs into Web3, and is investing heavily in bringing blockchain gaming to the masses.
💰 A16z Makes a Major Bet on Gaming
On Tuesday, CCP Games announced a $40 million funding round led by A16z to create a AAA blockchain-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) game set within the iconic EVE Online universe.
EVE Online is one of the longest-running (launched in 2003) and successful games out there — with the Sci-Fi universe already featuring a total player base in the millions and a sophisticated in-game economy that lends itself perfectly to blockchain tech.
It’s been easy for naysayers to fade the current iterations of Web3 games — but what happens when the tech is seamlessly incorporated into titles they already love?
👀 Sony’s NFT Enthusiasm
Tech giant Sony recently submitted an NFT-related patent application that went public this week, highlighting the gaming giant’s intentions to create a digital infrastructure allowing gamers to own and transfer digital NFT assets across various game platforms.
This development could signal a potential shift towards embracing NFTs in the broader gaming industry — especially with the nugget below about moving assets across consoles and other platforms:
🎮 Deadrop Bringing Streamers to Web3
While the tech innovations above help break down barriers to building NFT-enabled products, there’s still work to do on earning trust and buy-in from a skeptical user base.
We’ve already seen professional gamers like Mongraal and Orangie wade into the space and make headlines recently — reaping huge rewards for their skills in Yuga Labs’ Dookey Dash.
But meeting gamers where they currently are is a different story — and Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm’s Deadrop is laying the foundation for a bridge between the two worlds.
The well-known streamer’s AAA game studio Midnight Society recently started ramping up the vertical extraction shooter — which is currently in pre-Alpha. The latest release, ‘Snapshot V’, was showcased via a massive in-person event last week featuring some of the biggest names in the gaming space:
But here’s the kicker — NFTs are IN the game, but not THE GAME.
The original NFT drop featured a limited series of 10,000 Midnight Society Access Passes, which grant perks including a Variant PFP (eventually able to be used in-game), voting rights on game features, access to studio events, and early access as the game progresses. Judging by the floor price (.72 ETH, up 93% over the last week), the market is seeing the potential.
None of the NFT components are required to play — just simply an additional way for gamers to both customize and engage with the experience.
And as we’ve seen recently in other popular games like CS:GO, people are willing to pay for purely cosmetic and scarce in-game items (even with no NFT component):
While the play-to-earn model was all the rage in the early days of Web3 gaming, the ponzinomics often did more harm than good for mainstream adoption — further feeding into the scam label that already plagues the space.
True mass adoption will likely come from players not even realizing they’re interacting with NFTs at all, in games they already know and love.
How do major technological shifts happen? Slowly, then all at once.
🚚 What else is happening in NFTs?
Here is the list of the other major headlines from another slow day in NFTs:
Trading volume came in at around 25,000 ETH on Tuesday, with most NFTs continue the recent down trend. Wrapped CryptoPunks continued to lead the market with over 5,000 ETH in volume, though the floor remains down from recent Blur farming highs at 62.99 ETH.
Magic Eden added support for BTC Ordinals, becoming the first major NFT marketplace to implement the chain.
Pudgy Penguins filed two trademark applications, covering items ranging from comic books, trading cards, board games, and candy.
Renga saw a nice gain of 14% to a 1.34 ETH floor, with anticipation growing ahead of Thursday’s token-gated party in Los Angeles.
HV-MTL #16 (a Holo with a companion) was purchased by Keungz for 107.5 ETH ($192,622).
A BTC DeGod sold for 3.52 BTC ($100,000) Tuesday night.
🌎 Around Crypto and Web3
A few other Crypto and Web3 headlines that caught my eye:
The crypto market was slightly up overnight; BTC +.6% at $28,392, ETH +2% at $1,808, BLUR +2% to .58.
NBA legend Magic Johnson filed trademark applications for "Magic Johnson's Neighborhood" and "Building. Magic. Together", which hint towards future web3 initiatives
Wynn Las Vegas has filed U.S. trademark applications on behalf of two of its properties, Desert Inn and Encore Beach Club, that hint towards possible future web3 initiatives for the casino
The IRS released guidance seeking to tax NFTs like other collectibles, the first move to clarify tax treatment of digital assets.
Galxe, a platform for building web3 communities, is collaborating with Avalanche Blockchain developer Ava Labs, to integrate Galxe's On-chain Achievement Token (OAT) on Avalanche.
🚀 NFT Total Volume
Wrapped CryptoPunks (5,243 ETH, 62.38 ETH Floor)
Pudgy Penguins (2,271 ETH, 4.72 ETH)
Azuki (2,039 ETH, 13.2 ETH)
HV-MTL (1,425 ETH, 2.1 ETH)
Doodles (1,272 ETH, 3.86 ETH)
MAYC (1,121 ETH, 12.69 ETH)
📈 NFT Floor Price Increase
0N1 Force (19%, 0.89 ETH Floor)
Renga (10%, 1.29 ETH)
HV-MTL (7%, 2.11 ETH)
Checks VV Edition (6%, 0.72 ETH)
Doodles (3%, 3.84 ETH)
🗓 Upcoming NFT Mints and Reveals
Not a super eventful day for drops, but there are a few on the docket:
Art Blocks Presents: SKEUOMORPHS by itsgalo is live at 1:00 PM EST. The 300-edition collection has a fixed price of 0.15 ETH, and is utilizing a whitelist for a presale to holders of the artist’s other works (RASTER, SOBEL, SILICA). The snapshot was taken on March 12.
Launching at 2:00 PM EST is NeoTokyo 2121, a collection of 500 voxel room NFTs created by CryptoCities on the Ethereum blockchain. This collection marks the first extension of the initial CryptoCities NFTs to expand the lore of each city.
At 2:30 PM EST is the public mint for Camp Cosmos, a collection of 8,888 illustrated character NFTs from Alexandra Zutto, who has previously worked with the likes of Figma, Adobe, Apple, and many other companies.
SKEUOMORPHS (1:00 PM EST, 0.15 ETH)
NeoTokyo 2121 (2:00 PM EST, .06 ETH)
Camp Cosmos (2:30 PM EST, .06 ETH)
Learn more about today’s drops here.
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For all volume and floor price data, see Lucky Trader's Project Rankings page.
For all upcoming mints, see Lucky Trader's Project Schedule page.