Psychologists have long believed that people collect things because they have an emotional connection to the subject matter. They also believe that due to something known as The Endowment Effect, people have a tendency to value something the more they own it. The world loves to collect things. Did you know that an arctophile collects teddy bears, or that a helixophile collects corkscrews while numismatists love their coins and currency? People just love to collect stuff. Some collect for emotional or sentimental value, and others collect for profit or the hope of future profit. One can wonder what Freud would make of the ‘object of desire’ beginning to gain traction in the world of gaming — The NFT. The Non Fungible Token, nicknamed The Nifty.

Digital — Unique — Authentic

Some will already be very familiar with this term or have a rough idea what an NFT is. In short, they are digital assets that have unique properties programmed into them using cryptography and are often called crypto collectibles. These unique properties in a digital asset give it rarity, can make them highly collectible, easy to trade and potentially profitable. Thanks to blockchain technology, and its ability to record data that can’t be altered or tampered with, digital assets can now have their lifespan tracked, giving trust and reassurance to an NFT collector or owner that they own something original.

The NFT Powered Gaming Revolution

As well as art, music, poetry, books and land, NFTs can be applied to in-game assets in gaming. Until now the companies designing games have held all the power. If you want to buy an item to use within the game you’re playing, you pay money, get your asset but you don’t actually own it. The moment you choose to give up playing the game and walk away, your purchase is gone. All those hours battling clans, or mastering race tracks are gone as the gamer finds their next game adventure to immerse themselves into. NFTs can shift the power back into the hands of the gamer. NFTs can not only be bought, auctioned and traded in online marketplaces, but in the future it’s expected they will be transferable between games too. That rare sword you levelled up in one game may just be a very useful item in your next game. Imagine being able to own an asset that was once owned by one of your favourite gamers or YouTube influencers. Blockchain tech can show the provenance of an item giving it value and making it collectible.

Developers — Up Your Game!

This shift in power to the gamer means game developers need to up their game. They need to design and mint (the process of creating new NFTs) quality items that people want to buy and use — and when the gamer chooses to trade that item, they will expect a seamless experience.

There are many projects and games currently being built on the Ethereumblockchain, and gamers have every reason to get excited about where their gaming experience is going to take them over the next few years. Let’s put Ethereum to one side though, because a sleeping giant called Phantasmahas recently come out of left field with their state of the art platform. Showcasing the last two years of well funded development, they are ready to unleash the true value of NFTs and blockchain enabled gaming to the gaming industry and players alike.

Built with NFTs and Gaming in Mind

Founded by a former City of Zion blockchain expert back in 2018, Phantasma brought together a group of talented developers with a collective vision. They saw an opportunity to build their own chain from the ground up, capable of solving the current scaling and transaction fees problem that blights the Ethereum blockchain. The original vision was to create a chain for decentralised mail, chat, storage and content creation — but sometimes great tech can be utilized in other ways. It became clear that the speed of the chain would easily support NFTs and gaming, and soon after GOATi — an independent team of game developers based in Australia sharing the vision — chose Phantasma as the platform on which to develop their game 22 Racing Series.

Enabling the Future

22 Racing Series is a fast, adrenaline fuelled racing game using real time physics. Ten years in development, GOATi (Greatest Of All Time interactive) were just waiting for the advent of blockchain to provide that light bulb moment to solve their vision for 22 Racing Series, and a partnership was born.

Film director James Cameron was once quoted as saying he had the idea for Avatar years before he could make the film, and was forced to wait because the tech quite simply wasn’t there yet. GOATi had to show similar patience, and will now release their masterpiece game on PC, Xbox and PlayStation in the near future. Currently still in beta since February 2020, 22 Racing Series has impressively minted over 280,000 NFTs to date. And perhaps even more impressive; this was done at a chain mint cost to the developer of around $9, all inclusive. For context, to mint an equivalent number of NFTs on Ethereum would have cost approximately $300,000 (based on October 2020 gas fees).

Harnessing the Power of NFTs for Steam Users

A unique integration of games and blockchain technology needs a unique platform to get it into the hands of players, and it was clear that the current gaming platforms on the market weren’t built for the job. That is why GOATi built their own, called Pavillion Hub, a platform that gels the current gaming world with the blockchain one. Pavillion acts as a bridge, and cleverly allows users to link their blockchain games of the future with the Steam gaming platform which currently boasts over 34,000 games and generates an annual turnover over $4.3 Billion. Users can either link their current wallets (blockchain “accounts”) containing their NFTs, or create new Pavillion accounts which will automatically include a new blockchain wallet for them. Smart, savvy gamers will adapt to platforms like Pavillion easily as a Steam account could be used for log-in credentials. The entire experience for the user is intuitive and seamless.

A Revolution: Free Transactions and Multi Layered NFTs

Like with all blockchains, you have to pay fees to utilize the chain functions. To facilitate this Phantasma has their own token called SOUL — locking/staking this token in one of the blockchain’s smart contracts allows users to earn Phantasma Energy (KCAL), the utility token used for pretty much everything that happens on the blockchain: doing transactions, minting NFTs, deploying smart contracts, sending mail, chatting, selecting new block producers and much more.

GOATi has cleverly staked the SOUL raised from their game related sales to generate the KCAL needed to pay for all transaction fees in their game. This enables them to cover usage fees for all their users so that the gamer doesn’t have to — providing a much more seamless user experience playing blockchain games than most have been used to up until this point. This is a model that we predict many other companies will adopt. On top of this, GOATi created multi-layer NFTs. One NFT car made up of twenty-five other individual NFT car parts which can be assembled and disassembled, traded as one or individual parts, to get the creative juices of those that like to mod their cars flowing.

Done Playing? Sell the License

In another game changing development from GOATi, even the game license itself is an NFT, and holding this NFT provides access to the game. This concept enables a gamer to resell their game license if they should not wish to keep playing. This stands in stark contrast to the many companies that have banned players for trying to sell their accounts — with GOATi cleverly challenging the status quo between gamer and game company, offering the gamer a place to sell their games in the marketplace when they’re done. Sadly this may not be beneficial to those high street community stores where kids can meet, talk, trade or re-sell their games — but this is the evolution of the gaming space in much the same way Netflix put an end to the Blockbuster video store concept.

In another world first, GOATi has also introduced timed NFTs which are valid only for a limited period of time. This allows, among other things, game studios to provide free, partially or fully featured, trial periods for gamers who are not sure whether they wish to buy a license until they have actually experienced the full gameplay on offer. The timed NFTs can be valid for any period of time, by number of uses or by allocating an amount of playable time, decided by the game studio. They can be requested through the game’s website, be distributed at gaming conventions or any other way the studio chooses. This unique type of NFT premiered during the PAX Online 2020 gaming convention.

Developers: Create On-Demand, Cut Costs!

Games studios currently developing on Phantasma cannot fail to see the appeal that lies in the NFT minting process. Phantasma enables users and developers to mint their NFTs on-demand, so as and when they are required (for example when an item is bought by a gamer). This differs greatly from other projects where developers have to pay up front and, at times, at considerable cost. Who would want to design and pay to have something minted without knowing if there’s any chance it will ever sell? By minting on-demand Phantasma instantly solves this problem, saving developers considerable costs. This min on-demand feature, when couple with the exceptionally low minting fees mentioned earlier, make the choice easy for game developers looking to empower their games with blockchain technology.

Own Your Assets — Trade Your Assets!

The concept of NFTs revolves around true ownership. Your assets should not reside on a centralized server, under full control of a third party that can nerf or delete them as they please. Blockchain based NFTs for in-game assets solves this challenge and puts the user back in control. But to truly own your assets it must also be possible to trade them. Having developed their platform and NFTs with gaming in mind, Phantasma knew they would need a standout marketplace for gamers to trade and auction their NFTs, and they haven’t failed to deliver: GhostDevs, an independent group of developers have launched the beautiful, world first multi chain GhostMarket, which will be utilized more and more as the ecosystem grows.

Join the Revolution!

It’s worth remembering that most gamers couldn’t care less about the underlying technology as long as they can enjoy a seamless experience. Do you have any idea what’s going on in the background when you make a contactless payment using your debit card — and do you care as long as it works? Gamers will soon be talking about and trading NFTs, and blockchain gaming will make a smooth transition into the gaming world, an industry that keeps evolving and that currently generates over $150 billion per year with estimates that it will top $200 billion by 2023. Companies like Phantasma will be at the forefront of this new revolution — and gamers should be very excited about how NFTs will change the way we play. Game studios realizing the benefits NFT powered gaming can bring are welcome to reach out to GOATi through the Pavillion website.