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NFT Avatar Projects Looking to Go Beyond the Profile Picture Hype

Posted by
Robert Hoogendoorn

Next step is into gaming and then into the wider metaverse

The NFT space is dominated by big purchases of digital art, collectibles and profile avatar pictures that give access to an exclusive community. However, there’s an increasing demand for utility, and the more serious projects will bring these NFT avatars into their own video games and the wider metaverse. 

CryptoPunks was never intended to be more than a digital collectible, but became the golden ticket in the NFT space. Owning a punk has become a status symbol, and automatically makes you part of an exclusive community. No wonder Jordan Belfort, Snoop Dogg, and other celebrities buy these NFTs to quickly gain clout from the community. The NFT industry was good for $10.67 billion in trading volume in Q3 2021 alone.

Bored Ape Yacht Club has been a big success story. BAYC leveled up the idea of building community around an NFT project, and has now become a blueprint for every NFT avatar project on the market. Everybody wants to become the next Bored Ape, tapping into merchandise and secondary NFT drops. However, a new trend is bringing the avatar to life as a 3D model. 

Bored Apes are becoming 3D models, the Metakey Krew will become 3D models. Yes, also RTFKT’s CloneX will become a 3D model. NFT holders will be able to have their character as a profile picture on Twitter, but more importantly, they can walk around as their character in virtual worlds and use them in Zoom meetings or VR Chat. There’s still a technical hurdle here, and it needs more standardization for a better user experience.

There’s a wide range of avatar projects offering or building 3D models for their profile pictures. Visitors of Imma Degen, Meebits, Deadfellaz, Fluf World, and the last goes on. The latest to join this transition from profile picture to 3D avatar is the Sipherian Surge NFT collection.

$6.8 million to build a game

Development studio Sipher launched the Sipherian Surge NFT collection earlier this year. With a total trading volume of 5100 ETH or roughly $22 million we can consider the initial launch quite a success. The floor price for the first 10.000 Sipherians is now 0.29, and the team is getting ready to drop a second collection called Sipher Neko. 

Now this is where things will get interesting. The team is developing a top-down dungeon crawler around their NFT collection. Every NFT owner can use their unique Neko or Sipherian Surge in the game as a playable character. Further down the line the team wants to create a virtual world where all players can interact, play, trade and enjoy social events.

Crowdfunding no longer gives investors access to only an early alpha test, but gives them a stake in the game. Their unique characters will always be identifiable as the first NFT characters in something that may or may not become the next World of Warcraft, League of Legends or Fortnite.

NFT avatars getting utility in virtual environments will be the next big thing. This starts now with in-house developed games, but the next step would be a wider metaverse. Imagine being able to move your Sipher Neko from World of Sipheria, and use that same character to watch Paris Hilton perform at a virtual event inside Decentraland. 

That’s where we are going.

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