NFTY NEWS is a weekly newsletter covering the latest developments of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the blockchain space – collectibles, games, new platforms, and much more. NFTY NEWS is created by contributor Brian Flynn and adapted from his Medium page. For more information on NFTs, check out Brian’s reading list to get you up to speed on crypto digital assets.
Forte’s new partnership, Loom Network gears up & Fortnite Battle Pass significance
It’s an exciting time for blockchain games and consumer crypto. New players are emerging, products are finally launching, and experiments are being done with new business models.
Announcements this week
It’s been quite the plot twist. One of the more promising startups in blockchain games has announced a grant program to give away $100M to game developers in partnership with Ripple. This has left a few heads spinning: 1) what’s in it for Forte? 2) why Ripple? Forte realizes it’s really tough to bootstrap incentives and player-driven economies, and many products in the blockchain space have that issue today. With the grant money, game developers can build on top of Interledger and use Forte’s suite of blockchain tools to make the transition to blockchain smoother for game developers.
We started Forte because we think contemporary expressions of the free-to-play business model in games are not the mountaintop. We think there is new, better territory to discover in game design. While we’re proud of the products we’ve built in the past and admire the efforts of our colleagues who do their utmost to serve as benevolent dictators of, command and control in-game economies, we feel like it shouldn’t have to be this way—Forging the Future of Games
Here comes Loom
Plasma Bears has been one of the more interesting non-fungible token projects this year, mainly because it’s one of the first to prove the Loom sidechain stack. Just this past week, they built the bridge to the Ethereum main net so users can start listing their items on open marketplaces like OpenSea.
Zombie Battlegrounds is the other blockchain game from Loom Network and they too had a bustling week with their binance promotion. Similar to Gods Unchained, Zombie Battlegrounds in a TCG on the blockchain. The promotion is rivaling the traditional loot box experience—users are now gambling to earn. If users pull five of the same colored cards, they receive 30 BNB (~$480). Each pack is worth roughly .1 BNB.
Loom also launched their validator service last month and already has ~10% of the circulating supply staked while they also recently integrated around 100 different ERC20 tokens to enter their PlasmaChain.
Check it out – one of the first blockbuster games built on EOS showed off its game at SXSW this past weekend… and it looks better than expected.
Grzegorz Kapkowski has been attempting to solve one problem in the blockchain space—how do we communicate between addresses? What will communication be used for? How do we enable programmable access to filter information?
Ethmail.cc is his newest project. With Ethmail, anyone can send an e-mail to an Ethereum address with a normal e-mail client like gmail. You can even have token restrictions; users must have a specific token/token balance in order to e-mail you. More details can be found here.
I’m keen to try something like this for my newsletter eventually, but it still seems a bit early.
Weekly Musings—Battle Pass as a monetization method in F2P games
The Battle Pass is becoming the dominant form of monetization in free-to-play games. Following the astronomical growth of Apex Legends, the team at Respawn Entertainment has introduced a battle pass to Apex just this week.
The idea of the Battle Pass is simple: users pay an up-front-cost at the start of a season which lasts ten weeks. During the course of the season, users can complete achievements in order to earn new unlocks that don’t affect the power of the player.
The Battle Pass started with DOTA2. Users were able to buy a pass to automatically unlock new heroes and features while a portion of the funds were put towards the e-sports prize pool. Fortnite was the next one to introduce the Battle Pass in a much more powerful way—users now have to play to unlock this content rather than just having it up front. It seemed too simple to make much of a different… instead of giving it up front, let users play to earn in a subscription style.
I’ve been thinking why the concept of the Battle Pass is such an effective monetization strategy for Fortnite.
A small price that pays out far more than it costs – but only if you engage in the game
Users pay an upfront cost to play to earn what they already purchased. If users don’t earn it all. It’s gone forever. There’s no limit of digital scarcity.
But what if we applied this same concept in blockchain games? These unlocks would be leftover for the next player to earn. This sounds like a lot like some of the lending products used in decentralized finance today. These products are fueling a pot of a pool using subscriptions, so players can start earning in-game with some skin-in-the-game.
This rabbit hole seems like a way to escape the wrath of free-to-play—a way to start forging new mountains as incumbents start to explore blockchain game monetization models.
Disclaimer: I work at Dapper Labs. All opinions are my own and don’t represent the opinions of Dapper Labs. Interested in talking NFTs? Reach out to me on twitter @flynnjamm, my DMs are always open.