Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda believes that NFT-based play-to-earn blockchain games are on the up, and that can only be good news for Tezos, a leader in the NFT gaming space that provides multiple unique benefits over alternative blockchain networks.
According to Matsuda, the rapid emergence of play-to-earn games in the past year proves that 2021 was “Year One” for NFTs and the metaverse and he’s not alone in that thinking. Andrew Wilson, CEO of one of the world’s best known video games developers, Electronic Arts, recently said the future of gaming is very much tied to NFTs, even though most people are still trying to work out exactly how they will function in the space.
Those thoughts were echoed by Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, who this week announced the launch of a new marketplace for gaming NFTs called Fractal.
“Durable digital assets through NFTs are the future of gaming,” Kan said. “We’ve partnered with some of the most innovative gaming companies on the Solana blockchain to bring that future forward.”
While Fractal is initially partnering with Solana blockchain-based games, Kan hinted at the prospect of extending support to additional blockchains, and there’s every reason to think Tezos will be one of them.
The Tezos blockchain is widely viewed as being one of the leaders in NFT based blockchain gaming and it is considered so for some very good reasons. Not least, because it is green and sustainable – two things that are key considerations for any games developer that’s looking to avoid controversy.
One of the main criticisms of NFTs besides the argument by some that they fundamentally hold no value is that, like some cryptocurrencies, they’re not very environmentally-friendly due to the extreme energy usage they require. It’s an argument that has some merit, particularly for Ethereum-based NFTs. But as Tezos itself explains, “not all NFTs are made equal.”
Ethereum’s high energy use is a direct result of its Proof-of-Work consensus that requires a massive computational effort to facilitate transactions on the network. Tezos however relies on a different, Proof-of-Stake consensus that’s known to use far less energy. Validators on the Tezos blockchain use around 60MWh annually, a continuous draw of 7 kilowatts. In contrast, Ethereum validators use around 26TWh per year, a draw of 3 gigawatts – comparable to the annual energy consumption of Ecuador. This incredibly low energy usage was the main reasons cited by Ghost Recon developer Ubisoft for choosing to host its new Digits NFTs on the Tezos blockchain.
Another advantage of Tezos includes its low gas costs to facilitate transactions, enabling a seamless and congestion-free experience for anyone wanting to mint or trade gaming NFTs, significantly reducing the barrier to entry.
One of the reasons games developers are so excited about embracing NFTs is their ability to create community-driven ecosystems, said Blockchain Product Director Baptiste Chardon in a recent interview. Again, Tezos is well suited for this, as it makes it possible for all stakeholders to participate in its consensus mechanism. It possesses both a modular architecture that’s easily updated, as well as formal and systematic processes for users to propose and vote on protocol amendments.
With so many benefits unique to Tezos, it’s easy to understand why the network has proven so attractive for the gaming community. In addition to its partnership with Ubisoft, Tezos is the chosen blockchain network for numerous other top entities including DOGAMI, a play-to-earn Petaverse ecosystem that recently landed $6 million in funding, Team Vitality, a top esports organization, and CCP Games, creator of the popular e-sports title EVE Online, which recently minted special “Kill Certificate NFTs” for the 2021 EVE Online Alliance Tournament XVII.
As we enter what Matsuda believes is “Year Two” of NFT gaming, there’s every reason to believe 2022 could well be the year that play-to-earn gaming – and Tezos – hit the big time.