By Ramkumar Subramaniam
Conventionally speaking, video games have always been a mode of departure from the rigors of the real world. Video games have proven that virtual reality can actually make you feel good and have fun without being bothered about the actual reality. However, video games have always operated along the concept of ‘Pay to play’, rather than ‘Play to earn’. That was until now. The entire world is now standing up to acknowledge the dawn of new-age video games that utilize next-gen Blockchain technologies such as NFTs to reward gamers in their preferred cryptocurrency.
With traditional video games there is no impetus attached to playing them other than the enjoyment the gamer derives. On the other hand, blockchain based gaming extends e-connect within the gaming community and offers opportunities to players to earn real money for engagement.
Reimagining the Digital Image in the Digital World
The global NFT Market was recently valued at about $40 billion and is well on its way to surpass the entire art market of the world which stands at about $50 billion.
The global market capitalization is around $40B for NFTs which is on the way to beating the entire market cap of Art, totaling $50B. In terms of leading the digital innovation race, Indians are not the ones to lag behind. The famous Indian entrepreneur and NFT holder, Vignesh Sundareshan, better known as ‘MetaKovan’ recently spoke on what caused him to splurge an incredible $69 million for purchasing the record breaking NFT Beeple’s “Everdays: The First 5000 Days” from Christie’s Auction. The basic idea behind people spending big on NFTs is to support digital artists and showcase the amazing potential of this technology. It is clear that a dynamic digitally native medium that monetizes art has arrived and is here to stay. The evolutionary nature of the NFTs is evident and the NFT is a mere piece of art but can morph into Thousands of other things.
The Indian Gaming Industry
The Gaming Industry in India is witnessing a sharp rise across numerous media sub-sectors such as OTT, television and major social media platforms recently.
According to a report released by BCG-Sequoia India report, Even though the Indian gaming industry is currently smaller than that of the US and China, it contributes to over 1 percent of the global gaming market. This means that there are enough lucrative opportunities here which can be milked into a significant business opportunity.
The rise of Play-to-earn models which come integrated with NFTs are capturing serious eyeballs everywhere attention as they offer absolute ownership while also allowing people to monetizing their time spent in playing the game. For instance, Axie-Infinity, an extensively played NFT game is quite popular in the Asia-Pacific region as almost 40-50% of users hail from Philippines. The Play-To-Earn model enables gamers to seamlessly upgrade their avatars, breed, and create more while passively earning on the side. This catalyses a strong and resilient connection that automatically ingrains a culture where people actively seek to build their economy.
With India being a country that has a high population of mobile users and gamers, the emergence of blockchain-based gaming could easily supersede the economy rate for players.
As per a report released by Deloitte, India’s online gaming industry is projected to grow at CAGR) of 40% while touching over $2.8 billion by 2022-23. It is further anticipated that the Indian mobile gaming industry will easily cross the $5 billion mark by 2025.
India and its incredible user base
India has the potential to command an enormous user base simply on account of its sizable population. In a country with over 65% of the population under the age of 35, the platform for youngsters to embrace the play-to-earn bandwagon is vast with contrast to other countries. A report says that an average Gen-Z like to spend over 80% of its time on digital platforms. With metaverse-led Web 3.0 raising a storm of disruption, the youth will surely want a want a piece of the action as well. After all, they are the primary trendsetters.
India also a special relation with the game of cricket. The sport easily inspires a religious fervor along the continent and is loved by audiences everywhere. Therefore, Cricket with its astronomical fan base can easily engineer games that can generate the highest ROI. In this regard, the development of gameplay from Indian tech houses can help in incentivizing gamers for the better. A host of reputed cricketers have already ventured into the digital space by introducing their own unique NFTs. Likewise, a Play-to-Earn game that can capture a large base from cricket could readily enhance the community, business and the overall capital derived from it.
A slew of emerging disruptors in the blockchain-based gaming and NFT space are doing exactly the same. GuardianLink, a state of the art technology infrastructure dedicated to NFTs has launched a sensational new NFT marketplace known as the Jump.trade. The marketplace provides user access to an immersive P2E Cricket game called ‘Meta Cricket League’ where both players and objects such as cricket bats are available as NFT collectibles for the holders to upgrade and play.
When the Meta-world beckons…
Although, the crypto and blockchain-based NFT industry is still in its nascent stages, the Gaming industry has its eyes on the prize and is aiming to incorporate this trend to the fullest. In all veracity, this intersection could act as a powerful tool for play-to-earn gaming with its promise of an interoperable world and NFTs allowing in-game items to traverse between metaverse platforms. To conclude, the potential of plat-to-earn games is tremendous and game-changing (pun intended) as it can empower everyone with an opportunity to earn a handsome living. All they got to do is play the games they enjoy most; an ultimate a win-win situation.
The author is co-founder and CEO, GuardianLink