When Konami recently announced they were to offer fans the chance to commemorate the much-loved franchise Castlevania, with the launch of their own NFTs, it was a further example of the growing influence of the non-fungible token in the industry.
The ‘Konami Memorial NFT’ collection consisted of gameplay videos, original pixel graphics, poster art, and audio, and it went on sale in early January. It was snapped up by fans, raising over £115,000 for the company, according to NME. Not only that, Konami can earn up to 10% every time the NFTs change hands in the future, pushing their value to the company up even further. The Japanese company had said this sale was the first project of many they have planned, although nothing else has been mentioned about their intentions. However, with the amount this sale has raised, it may not be long before the next offering is unearthed.
This latest development is an interesting one as a growing number of companies in video gaming have already spoken of the possibilities for the blockchain-based collectable, such as Electronic Arts and Square Enix. However, they’ve yet to put their head above the parapet as Konami has.
Notably, this latest sale isn’t that different from those we’ve already seen permeating popular culture. Musicians have released tracks exclusively via the blockchain, with the bonus of concert tickets as an incentive, and in sport, they’ve become prevalent too. Football, in particular, has seen a boom of interest, as Socios fan tokens are selling to fans across the world, raising millions in the process. That type of digital asset is popular, for a low outlay fans can buy digital influence over their club, but the companies in gaming who have tried to bring the digital assets to their games themselves in a slightly different manner haven’t had the most auspicious of starts. Ubisoft has found it challenging to make the breakthrough with their initial foray into this new world of the digitally based marketplace.
The developer of the Ghost Recon franchise made ‘digits’ available to PC gamers, which is the name of their NFT. Digits come in the form of in-game cosmetic items, which were initially given to players on a first come-first served basis if you met certain in-game requirements. Then they could be sold via their platform ‘Quartz’, allowing those who earned the items to make some money potentially. But, they weren’t met with open arms by players, demonstrated by the meagre sales of Ubisoft’s NFTs. Why is that? Well, gamers could say that these digital assets don’t bring anything new to the titles or gaming that doesn’t exist.
Microtransactions in gaming have been around for years already and have been met with indifference at best, so were Ubisoft foolish even to contemplate that as a concept?
The purchasers of the Castlevania items are getting access to things they’ve not previously been able to. The items are scarce, to say the least, and that’s the whole point, so it’s fair to argue that this is a more likely future path for the NFT in gaming for some time to come.