March 15, 2022

Millions of Dollars and Dislikes: How NFTs are Infiltrating Games

Let’s find out how NFT got into video games, who needs them, and when it will end (spoiler: probably never again now).

The NFT boom came at the beginning of 2021, when Christie’s, the largest auction house in the world, announced the world’s first digital art auction. In March, a work by the artist Beeple went under the hammer for 69 million dollars. Then musicians, filmmakers, meme writers, and game developers entered the NFT world.

What is NFT?

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a unique digital identifier that cannot be copied, replaced, or shared. In simple words, if a bill of one hundred rubles can be exchanged for two 50 rubles banknotes, they will in any case have the same value because they are interchangeable. With the NFT this scheme won’t work – each object is original and one of a kind. Whether it’s a Kandinsky painting or an unreleased Whitney Houston track, there’s nothing to replace them and you can’t trade tokens on equal terms either.

All information about NFT is recorded in a blockchain (a sequential chain of blocks) and used to authenticate the authenticity and ownership of a particular digital asset.

Why NFT in games and how did they get there?

NFTs have managed to cover many areas of human life. You can use them to buy works by famous artists, filmmakers, and musicians, or you can buy the rights to memes or buy the skin of a character in a game. So far we can say only one thing: NFT has turned the culture of gaming upside down around the world.

Whereas previously users mostly just poured money into games to buy items, now they can truly earn from their own achievements in blockchain-based games, the information about which can be found at Gamefiboost.

Simply put, the rarity of knives in Counter-Strike depends only on Valve’s willingness to limit their output. If Gabe Newell wants to, he’ll release a thousand more of the same knives, dropping their rate. But if you make a unique NFT-knife, tied to, say, a thousand victories, then fake it will not work, you will know exactly the work it took to get it, and such a product can greatly increase the value of the market. The illusion of authenticity is created.

Imagine if HappyHob put up for sale the halberd with which he crushed the last boss during his ten-hour Souls marathon – NFT would give that weapon a unique status, and the maniacal Dark Souls fans would fuel it it it the bidding. The economy of the future is in action.

NFT first appeared in the 2017 game CryptoKitties, based on the Ethereum blockchain from Canadian studio Axiom Zen. The mechanics of the game are simple: you breed a virtual kitten, take care of it, cross it with others, and sell it (each pet is unique, it has different properties that it can pass on to its offspring). In 2018, one of these virtual cats was sold at auction for 140 thousand dollars (about 10 million rubles).


Opinions of developers, journalists, and analysts about NFT are categorically divided. For example, Square Enix stated that they plan to support and develop their business in the field of NFT and blockchain, and the head of Xbox Phil Spencer said that the ideas behind such projects are more exploitative than entertaining.

Journalists from gaming publications have tried to get a glimpse into the future of NFT. So, Happy Mag editor suggested that the introduction of the technology will help players monetize their time and achievements, and Daniel Tack from Game Informer thought that NFT is a marketing ploy that will “siphon off” money from users by encouraging them to buy unnecessary items.

About the author 

Elle Gellrich

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