NFTs intrigue. The NFTs even seem to fascinate some crypto players who wonder if this is not a new El Dorado still hidden by the gold and the glitter of cryptocurrency.
In 2019, we see Binance launching its first NFT to “celebrate the end of the year” or CoinGecko’s magnificent entrance to the NFT community , but it is quite easy to detect behind this little giveaway, the interest of the crypto giant for these tokens that it does not yet allow to trade, but whose economy is flourishing!
Initiatives of this type are expected to multiply in 2020, and we believe that other players such as Coinbase will launch more “test & learn” products & events confirming their interest in NFTs technology and standards.
After the dedicated blockchain studios, and the small studios that have had the flexibility to adapt to new standards to offer the first games using blockchain and NFT technology, it will be up to the big studios to advance their pawns on the blockchain field gaming.
Video game studios, and more specifically their R&D departments, have been watching the potential of these technologies for a while. Obviously, we don’t expect to see a Call of Duty or World of Warcraft on blockchains in 2020, but first projects, beta or tests should see the light in the second half of 2020.
As much as Ubisoft officially seems to be interested in blockchain technologies, Activision and Blizzard remain much more discreet about their position, and the news comes from elders of these gaming giants, who left the ship to set up their own structure dedicated to blockchain gaming.
The beginning of the NFT era was undoubtedly marked by the advent of crypto-collectibles, the most famous one is still CryptoKitties. SuperRare has also seen quite a boost in interest toward the end of 2019. In the aftermath (to a certain extent, at the same time) it was the virtual worlds that quickly took hold, with the arrival of Decentraland, CryptoVoxels, Axie Infinity LAND presale, or even more recently of The Sandbox. But a new trend seemed to emerge in the last weeks of 2019.
Gods Unchained hit hard in 2019, with the end of its Genesis sale, the opening of beta, and opening of the secondary card market. They also had the intelligence to bounce on TCG news, as with the banishment of BlitzChung from the HearthStone Grandmaster tournament, which gave them enormous visibility, and allowed a large number of traditional TCG players to initiate blockchain gaming via TCG.
This type of game has long had a very large and often very passionate communities. Thus, with the advent of Blockchain TCGs, there is a good chance that the new trend of 2020 will be around trading card games. “Blockchain” or more specifically, true ownership of assets, perfectly responds to the problem encountered with traditional studios that have control over each player’s accounts and cards.
There are no longer fundraisers around NFT projects in 2019. Mythical Games, Immutable, Sky Mavis, PixOwl … but if we look more closely, we see that other types of projects are starting to attract the attention of investors at the end of 2019. It is no longer only the game and NFT publishers that are attracting, but also all the projects allowing the ecosystem to develop: infrastructure, markteplaces, payment gateways, …
We believe that the balance will tip over in 2020 and that investments will go more towards tools, service platforms, and technical infrastructure projects that are the scaffolding holding up the ecosystem.
In 2017, in the crypto universe, ICOs were the main and the best way to raise funds. It lasted a while, before the model ran out of steam and other systems appeared (IPO, traditional funding, …).
In the NFT ecosystem, we believe that the presale wave that swept through 2018-2019 is comparable to the period of crypto ICOs. The mass presale model of assets, the value of which will depend on how useful the asset will be later, is strangely reminiscent of the demons of 2017.
Thus, we believe that in addition to any legal aspects that may arise, the NFT presale model will gradually run out of steam in 2020 to make way for new financing models where rounds are much smaller, reflecting the current state of product development. Many notable projects are already shifting to much smaller but sustainable sales rounds.
The underdogs with strong values and products will continue to take more market share from the well-funded projects who only focus on “blockchain-hype”. Centralized assets are becoming less and less desirable as projects slow to a crawl or fail completely, the community is quickly realizing the pit-falls and misrepresentations of many projects.
MyCryptoHeroes seems to have been one of the first blockchain games to attract an audience of “traditional” players, not necessarily familiar with NFTs or Ethereum Wallets. At least that’s what the number of weekly MyCryptoHeroes players (around 4,000) seems to prove and the very high isolation rate of its community (more than 90% of MycryptoHeroes players have not played a single other game. on the Ethereum Blockchain in 2019).
More recently, Gods Unchained has achieved the same feat, by talking to HearthStone players.
The massive adoption of NFTs will not be via a big bang, nor by a spectacular success, but by a multitude of quality projects, offering a product and a UX sufficiently attractive for players who have never heard talk about the blockchain enter the NFT field.
Despite all the hopes and dreams described in the Medium articles, the Whitepapers and the tweets, the ecosystem quickly fell back into the ruts of traditional aggressive business models: lootboxes, pay to win, …
New models are currently under construction and we believe that the funding models in play will gradually change with the arrival of games to enhance the player’s involvement, and his real contribution to the ecosystem of the project.
The lootbox and pay-to-win will not disappear, but we believe that projects like Ember Sword, or the system of redistribution of profits to artists set up by The Sandbox will bring a breath of fresh air to the economic models of Blockchain gaming.
We will not yet reveal all the trends for 2019, you will find them very soon in the annual report that we will publish in January!
The data we have already collected proves to us that 2019 was not a year of exponential growth in terms of USD traded or trading volume. However, 2019 has seen the emergence of new types of projects, prepared to last, with a strong economy, a real value proposition, and an active community.
We believe that 2020 will mark the beginning-of-the-end of dishonest projects, which largely hampered the beginnings of the NFT industry.
Whether it is art, video games or tokenization of assets, 2020 will be the year of projects that will last, and projects that will bring real value to their users. So, let’s not stay focused on volume of dollars traded. Let’s ask ourselves, take a look at the big picture, and enjoy what’s happening, because we don’t even realize how huge it’s gonna be.
We have decided to let you determine the 10th prediction for 2020! What will be the main trends? What type of project will see the light of day? What surprises do we have in store for the blockchain gaming and crypto-collectibles industry?
What are your predictions? Post your predictions for the coming year as a comment!