NFT gaming business models could represent an attractive innovation for gaming publishers as they begin to make more of their titles available to play on blockchain.
Polygon’s vice president of global business development for gaming, Urvit Goel, believes games that integrate nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have a natural edge on traditional games that don’t allow users to sell their in-game items.
Goel spoke candidly with Cointelegraph in Seoul last week about Polygon’s push toward helping NFT games proliferate and why game publishers in South Korea like Neowiz and Nexon are diving headfirst into the space.
One of the main arguments Goel made is that the traditional business model that NFT games are competing against may be inherently weaker. In traditional gaming, users typically buy in-game items with real money, but they cannot sell those items to get back any United States dollar value.
However, with most games in the gaming finance (GameFi) space, users can buy items as nonfungible tokens and sell them when they are done playing the game. Goel referred to the traditional model as “money in, no money out,” and emphasized that gamers should be able to take back at least some of the dollar value they put into a game:
“We just want to give users the ability to own the content they’re buying. And if they choose to sell it, great if they choose to keep it, great […] But even if you get a penny back out, it’s better than nothing, right?”
Goel said he perceived clear signals that traditional game publishers are gearing up for big pushes into GameFi, starting with South Korea’s gaming giant Nexon, which owns the MapleStory title. It announced in June that it would put a version of its flagship title on-chain as MapleStory N, according to mmorpg, a gaming news media outlet.
Polygon has also entered into a partnership with South Korea’s Neowiz to put new and existing titles on-chain.
He noted that the entrance of such large companies is creating “a little bit of a domino effect” in the industry in order to “show that they’re still innovative.” Goel hinted that the bosses of the big firms entering the blockchain space must have a great deal of confidence in the technology or they wouldn’t dress up their top-tier titles for GameFi:
“These developers don’t have to come on blockchain to have successful businesses. They’re already generating hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars of revenue in traditional web teaming.”
Goel’s notions about gaming and blockchain are in line with ROK Capital’s Anthony Yoon, who told Cointelegraph that GameFi and crypto are a “natural fit” for publishers.
Part of Goel’s confidence in the bright future for NFT gaming and GameFi comes from the buzz within the communities. Although he said he did not have hard data to support his opinion, he believes that many people within large communities that have “millions of followers” are excited about the new game products being brought to their channels:
“So to me, that data speaks a lot louder than an article written by a journalist about why ‘X’ NFT’s will be good.”