Zynga Has Big Plans For NFT Gaming in 2022

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Mobile gaming powerhouse throws its hat in the ring

Mobile gaming giant Zynga has announced several big plans for blockchain and NFT-based games. The American social game developer responsible for hits such as Farmville and Mafia Wars revealed staff expansion, acquisitions, and playable games. However, they didn’t announce any titles yet for their blockchain games. 

In an interview with Axios, Zynga announced plans to build its new blockchain gaming team up from its current 15 team members, to as many as 100 by the end of 2022. A creative director and tokenomics designer are high on the list as Zynga starts to put the feelers out to a space they have identified as definitely wanting to be involved.

The waves of interest surrounding NFT infused blockchain games are peaking as it brings the ability for players to tie in-game objects to unique IDs using NFTs. Those items become tradable on open marketplaces, allowing players to buy and sell them, adding a real-world economic layer. While some commentators and gamers see NFTs as just another way for gaming companies to squeeze them for profits, others, arguably with a deeper understanding of the technology, see the potential myriad of benefits. Mostly for players.

Zynga launched its best-known game FarmVille on Facebook in June 2009, reaching 10 million daily active users within just six weeks, and began trading on NASDAQ on December 16, 2011, under the ticker ZNGA. In January 2022, Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns Rockstar Games and 2K, announced its intention to buy Zynga for $12.7 billion. A deal that is yet to be confirmed. 

Change of plan 

News of Zynga’s NFT plans in 2021 created a buzz around the gaming behemoth. Still, speculation lay mostly around Zynga’s idea to incorporate NFTs into its most popular games, such as Farmville or Words with Friends. Zynga, however, states that the current plan is to separate its NFT game ideas from its heavy hitters. Mentioning that they don’t want to confuse players of their existing games by giving them something they haven’t asked for. 

Furthermore, Zynga is well known for absorbing other game production studios and games into their organization, something they have no plans to stop. Moreover, those teams will have the option to opt-in or out of any NFT plans. A move that was potentially driven by rumors of protest against NFTs and tokenomics at game companies like Team17, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft.

Having identified a clear audience of investors looking for mechanics like yield farming, as a pose to players looking for rich immersive gameplay. Zynga states its early blockchain games will target those familiar with the blockchain game genre and NFT marketplaces. 

In December 2021, Ubisoft, the game’s publisher behind triple-A titles such as Assassins Creed and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, announced Ubisoft Quartz. An NFT marketplace platform running on the Tezos blockchain lets players purchase in-game items in the form of NFTs, which they can own, sell, and trade. Although Ubisoft received quite a lot of backlash for the announcement, they have since stated they are committed to delivering the technology to players. 

Play-to-Earn pushes blockchain adoption

According to the DappRadar January 2022 Dapp Industry Report, The games category showed positive signs amid negative news surrounding NFTs and cryptocurrencies, accounting for 52% of all users connecting to dapps in January. The play-to-earn movement is not going away and looks only to be intensifying as more GameFi dapps arise, offering users gamified financial tools

Despite all the negativity surrounding NFTs becoming a more significant part of traditional gaming. This writer thinks that serious gamers should be able to grasp the idea of buying and selling in-game items rather than making one-time payments for code. Of course, after years of game companies fundamentally holding players to ransom in a very monopolistic setup, skepticism is so strong. 

However, there are clear indicators that if the gaming big boys want to jump into Web3, they had better first learn the rules of Web3. Mainly collaboration, community, and a sense of equality. 

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The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds ETH, BTC, AGIX, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, OMI, IMMUTABLE X, GALA, AVASTR, GMEE, CUBE, RADAR, FLOW, FTM, BNB, SPS, WRLD, ATOM, and ADA.

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