Crypto

Video games want to put you to work (and make money)

Definitely, no domain seems to be able to save itself from the NFT fever. Blockchain-based play-to-earn games allow you to play to win money, cryptocurrencies… and now NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

The principle is simple: we no longer play just to win teams and levels, as in a classic game, but to acquire ownership of a unique game item, the act of possession of which is recorded in the blockchain.

The game Axie Infinity, for example, offers players the opportunity to collect cute and colorful little animals, called Axies. The creatures then engage in a fight to win these collectible gadgets, in the form of NFTs.

Some players have made fortunes from these cleverly maintained rare items. In 2021, according to Bitcoin.com, play-to-win games accounted for 25% of the $2 trillion crypto market.

In December, Peter Molyneux, creator of Populous and Fable, among others, brought his latest baby, Legacy, back into the spotlight by turning it into a blockchain-backed money-making game. It would have sold for more than 47 million euros of NFT, according to the calculations of Ars Technica, all before the official launch of the game.

the disgust

While some are happy to use games to secure new income, like this player featured by Business Insider who says he earns an average of $148 per day, other players are more upset. In addition to the confusion created between pleasure and work, they denounce the total lack of playful added value.

Because, ultimately, there is no advantage: nothing new in terms of gaming experience, just a cosmetic showcase. The interest remains above all purely financial, even speculative: the holder of the NFT can expect to make a profit by reselling it.

The resale market for digital video game objects did not wait for the blockchain to exist; NFTs only allow publishers to keep this market in check. Some even go so far as to compare the inflated prices of NFTs to true digital Ponzi schemes.

Back in December, fans of the highly anticipated STALKER 2 flocked to Reddit to express their discontent with the integration of NFTs into their favorite game. His protests ended up making the publisher shudder, which announced on Twitter that it was removing any concept of NFT from the game. When will there be a players’ union?

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