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When I think of how #NFT could be used for gaming, the first thing that comes to mind is Gacha Games.
In case you don't know what Gacha Games or NFTs are, consider yourself lucky and stop reading the rest of the article.
...If you still want to know, they're basically mobile games that could be from any genre but they include collectibles earned via the Gacha mechanic. Points bought with real money or earned in-game can be used to buy the game's collectibles whether cards/characters/items at random. You can't choose which specific ones you'll get.
Gacha Games and Blockchain Games has a bit of similarity, but while the latter attracts the #Pay2Earn community and most of its members care more about the earning aspect than having fun, Gacha Games are all about burning as much as time and/or money as possible for short bursts of fun. Both types rely heavily on Skinner Box & Gambling psychological traps that led many players to addiction.
But I see value in Gacha Games even though I agree about the toxicity and the greed behind their creation. I did put a lot of time in some of them & I believe they can be fun when made correctly, Genshin Impact proved that to some extent.
If there was a way to get some of the money back by selling the collectibles, the experience would be worth it more for me...
In my ideal scenario, Gacha Cards & characters would be able to be traded, sold, or given to other players.
From a business perspective, the game could take a percentage of each resale transaction. Users will have to sell at higher prices than the game's official price to profit. It'll also leave the option to give cards away or sell them for cheap if you want to leave the game's ecosystem.
What I described above is already happening in the steam in-game item community, the NFT technology could be the framework for that in a way that includes other features as well.
The Gacha card/character could hold information specific to that version of it, like the usernames of the players who have used it or the events it was used to participate in. That alone could make a specific card more valuable than the other copies of the same card.
Something like that is possible without NFT technology, to be honest. But the NFT technology can make it easier. If it went well, (in a close-to-ideal world) the decentralization will preserve this information even if the game servers are destroyed and/or the cards couldn't be used for gameplay anymore.
#Splinterlands does something similar to what I imagine. The cards of the game are all NFT-based, and the game has a healthy eco-system, but Splinterlands made me aware of a problem that might exist in any game with this model.
It's hard to sustain the #Play2Earn aspect of the game while maintaining the fun for people who only play the game for fun at the same time. People will find a way to turn the game into a job which is bad when you consider all the problems inherent in Gacha Games from the beginning.
There's also the misconception of ownership... Even if you own NFT you don't own the thing that it represents. I can imagine that some NFT Gacha Game will tell you "You own the cards forever," but that would be a lie... The collectibles are only there as long as the servers are running. If the NFTs are on a decentralized public blockchain there's a chance that someone will make a new server or a gallery with the information, but that's not guaranteed nor financially reasonable. Even if the collectibles are public, the game's code probably should stay private so there's a little-to-no chance of the fandom reviving it on another server.
I'm sure if you think about it, you'll find many obstacles that I didn't mention, but also solutions to them as well. But even if a Gacha NFT Game happened, I'm not really sure if it'll be worth it.
I want to end with this: *Splinterlands fits almost all criteria to be defined as NFT Gacha Game. I didn't treat it as such in this article for two reasons:
Because I meant games with more involved gameplay. If Splinterlands was a turn-based card game instead, my post will be different!
Because Splinterlands is also an investment game! You can try it for free, but unless you pay for a starter pack + a bunch of cards you'll be very limited. A True Gacha Game will have a much cheaper entry fee even if that would hurt the investment side of the game.
Finally, I want to say that I haven't played a bunch of Blockchain Games, so if you know a game that leans more toward that play aspect in the #Play2Earn, tell me about it in the comments.