The first time NFTs were mentioned and showcased at E3
Upcoming party game Blankos Block Party has announced partnerships with fashion brand Burberry and music artist Deadmau5 at E3 2021. Together with both brands, game studio Mythical Games will release unique NFTs for their game this summer.
Details about the NFTs are still a bit scarce, but both Burberry and Deadmau5 will have at least one branded NFT inside the game Blankos Block Party. In this game, players own limited edition characters that they can dress up using wearables and items. The NFTs will launch this summer, but pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.
Mythical Games made the announcements during the live streams of the E3 2021 convention. More than 100,000 viewers got their first glimpse of player-owned game characters and learned about NFTs. Since the late 90s, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3) has become the biggest gaming event of the year. The event lost some of its prominence over the past few years, as publishers moved towards private or online events.
The deal Mythical Games made might seem like one the game industry has seen a thousand times. However, these Blankos characters are NFTs, with a limited supply. After purchasing, players can sell them on the open market. Deadmau5 and Burberry NFTs could very well become highly sought after items in the universe of Blankos.
Blankos and play-to-earn
Blankos Block Party is an online party game currently in open beta on PC. In this game, every player can join quirky races, fierce battles, or social party games. In addition, users can create levels, known as Block Parties, while every player can earn rewards.
Earlier this month Blankos Block Party moved from closed beta to open beta, and with that change, the entire game has been reset. In addition, the game has now introduced the first play-to-earn mechanics.
Gamers can do daily, weekly and monthly missions in order to earn points. Depending on the amount of points gathered, they will earn rewards. These rewards range from in-game currency to crypto tokens and NFTs. As a result Blankos now also has a play-to-earn mechanic, allowing players to earn from gameplay activities.
The rise of play-to-earn
In the grander scheme of things, play-to-earn is really in its infancy. This new business model still needs to hit the mainstream, as major games publishers are holding off the boat. Companies like Ubisoft and Namco Bandai are experimenting on the sidelines. However, native blockchain projects are at the forefront of this new business model.
Play-to-earn is only possible when a game and its developers embrace blockchain technology. Through this technology, players can earn rewards with actual value. These rewards can be cryptocurrencies or NFTs. Most importantly, players can move these rewards out of the game in exchange for other digital goods, tokens, or money. As a result, digital rewards have real value in the physical world.
Currently, the best example of a play-to-earn game would be Axie Infinity. However, there are more projects that allow players to earn through gameplay. Alien World gamifies DeFi and allows players to earn TLM tokens, in F1 Delta Time gamers earn REVV, while Splinterlands rewards players in DEC tokens. There’s a variety of games in development that look to push the play-to-earn mechanism into the mainstream, including space game Infinite Fleet, building adventure game My Neighbor Alice, the MMORPG Ember Sword, and the create-your-own-game universe of The Sandbox.
However, at the moment the blockchain-powered side of the games industry is still very small. With 100,000 players Axie Infinity is a market leader. Those aren’t numbers that will wake up the CEOs of Electronic Arts and Activision. But as more gamers get exposed to play-to-earn gaming, more will realize the monumental potential.