Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs Comments Off on Stakester Brings New Experiences and Royalties to Gamers with NFTs 237

A cheat code NFT allows owners to accrue money, prizes and royalties in the context of popular games.

On Tuesday, Stakester announced its intention to launch a VIP pass in the form of NFTs that it says will enhance the experience for users of its popular gaming app. 

The app, which pairs gamers with real-life opponents, allows players to stake real cash and prizes on their competitive skills in popular games like FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Warzone. It’s seen significant growth since its launch in 2020, and touts 100,000 members across 31 countries. 

With the forthcoming NFT drop, users will now unlock the potential for larger prizes, access to VIP arenas, and 50% of royalties on the secondary market.

“The NFTs embody Stakester’s vision of delivering electrifying gaming experiences through the thrill of competition,” says Tom Fairey, Founder and CEO of Stakester. “NFT holders will help us shape new, undreamt-of entertainment experiences as gaming becomes ever more powerful and immersive.”

Two levels of NFTs will be offered. At .1 and .25 ETH, respectively, the barrier to entry is high, but Stakester is hoping gamers will see the value of layered experiences and unlocking additional incentives with real-world value. 

“The idea of earning rewards, just like a normal reward scheme but built around NFTs, is totally fit for the future,” says Mike White, CEO and Strategist of immersive entertainment marketing agency, Lively.  “The whole idea of royalties is truly exciting.” 

Stakester’s 50% royalty incentive, Fairey believes, will create stakeholders out of the players on his platform.

 “As well as the increase in gaming utility, the NFT drops provide Stakester users with a chance to invest in the future of the company and, for VIP Legendary holders, there’s also an opportunity to benefit from a royalty share from certain competitions and to make a passive income from NFTs, regardless of whether they go up in value or not,” he says. “Stakester is one of the only platforms to offer this kind of bonus.”

White points out that Gala Games is doing something similar with Nodes which allow gamers to receive rewards like NFTs when they contribute meaningfully to the Gala Network.

He predicts that legacy gaming companies will be adopting similar NFT models, but the winners in the NFT gaming race are hard to predict, particularly since there’s so much attention around NFTs that it’s hard to differentiate between hype and long-term value. 

“I’m sure it will be an immediate success,” he says. “Will it be a long-term thing? We can only wait and see.”

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Tina Mulqueen is the founder of The Block Talk and the CEO of Kindred PR. She consults with blockchain projects on marketing and public relations strategy, helping clients to secure more than $10M in funding. She is a 2x Top 100 Women in Media honoree and was named one of the top young communications professionals by INC Magazine. She's an advocate for women in technology, and often speaks about the intersection of technology, media & marketing. She writes regularly for Entrepreneur, and has written for Forbes, Huffington Post, Today, Thrive Global, Elite Daily, New York Lifestyles Magazine, and more.

Why Are Some Gamers Against NFTs? Comments Off on Why Are Some Gamers Against NFTs? 217

From Gen Z Corner, The Block Talk’s interns tackle topics from the perspective of young consumers.

On December 15 of last year, Game World, the developers for the widely- anticipated S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 videogame, announced that the game would be entering the metaverse. The implementation, they said in a tweet which has since been deleted, would not impact gameplay and would be optional for players. One day later, due to massive backlash and pre-order cancellation threats, Game World sent another tweet announcing that they reversed their stance on these changes. 

And Game World isn’t the only gaming brand that had second thoughts about introducing NFTs. Just this year, Forbes reported that game publishing giant EA had backtracked on their major NFT projects. Another major publisher, Ubisoft, similarly experienced pushback from the gaming community after pursuing their own NFTs which are called digits. Digits are digital assets that can be used in Ubisoft’s games. They’re stored in Ubisoft Quartz, which is effectively a digital wallet. These NFTs can then be bought and sold on marketplaces using Tezos cryptocurrency on the XTZ blockchain. Ubisoft Quartz’s announcement video was so controversial for gamers that it initially garnered a 96% dislike on YouTube. 

Why Are Some Gamers Anti-NFT? 

One reason gamers are so adamantly against NFTs is because they see them as another way publishers can get away with giving them an ‘incomplete’ game. Many gamers have grown weary of microtransactions in games, which are seen as a way for developers to nickel-and-dime the consumer. Microtransactions are encouraged for downloadable content (DLCs for short), that include the sale of in-game content, expansions, character skins, digital art, and more. In other words, NFTs if they are minted on a blockchain.  

Another concern is that NFTs will utilize lootbox mechanics. A lootbox is a container with undetermined contents from a pool of obtainable items. Like in a slot machine, getting your desired outcome is not guaranteed, but the prospect is addictive. Lootboxes have been widely-debated for their link to gambling addiction, and the implementation of lootboxes has been banned in some countries, including the Netherlands. 

However, even though some gamers are opposed to the notion of in-game NFTs, the community has historically embraced the general concept. Steam, the biggest digital video game distribution platform has a community market where NFT-like digital assets for games are bought, sold and traded regularly, much like any NFT marketplace today. The main difference being that Steam is centralized, and it does not permit cryptocurrency purchases or use a blockchain of any kind. 

Gamers, knowingly or not, have been using digital assets for close to a decade, though many are still feverishly against NFTs. There’s likely a path forward for NFTs in the context of games, but gamers and developers have a way to go to ensure mutual value. Surely, with the right set up or incentive, gamers, NFTs and the blockchain technology that enables them will be accepted as the norm and enjoyed within games. 

Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? Comments Off on Why Is Everyone Talking About NFTs? 51972

In this writer’s opinion the NFT hype is warranted — but not for the reason most people are investing. 

For those who’ve been in the space since Bitcoin’s early surge, you’ll remember the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of 2017. The crowdfunding vehicle, which mirrored an IPO on the public market, brought with it massive amounts of investment into the blockchain space that seemed to mirror Bitcoin’s rapidly increasing value. 

In retrospect, none of it made sense. 

With all the hype, the investment in the space didn’t match due diligence. As of August 2018, investors had lost nearly $100M in ICO exit scams, a major reason we no longer hear about ICOs. 

From there, crowdfunding through token sales was rebranded alongside SEC regulation as Security Token Offerings (STOs). Additional fundraising iterations to enter the scene are Initial DEX Offerings (IDOs) and Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs).

NFTs are having a similar moment to the immature and potentially reckless ICO market of 2017. The danger can be credited to a mix of hype and a widely unregulated environment with various points of entry and gatekeepers that are not incentivized to shore up fraud. 

As a result, many purchasers of NFTs are falling victim to a spectrum that spans undeserving projects on the mild end and outright scams at the extreme. Meanwhile, hackers are exploiting the unregulated environment. 

Just yesterday, $3 million in NFTs were stolen via an Instagram phishing scam. 

This writer, however, is still bullish on NFTs — just not the ones that are getting all the attention.

NFTs represent a concrete entry-point into the blockchain with a tangible utility and infinite disruptive implications. 

Here are a few.

Digital Assets as Social Proof 

As a Millennial, I personally have a hard time understanding the notion of owning and assigning value to a digital asset, but my kids don’t. 

I’ve written about how Gen Z has already adopted the concept of social proof in digital environments by assigning socially relevant value to digital assets like video game skins. 

As Gen Z ages and becomes an increasingly powerful consumer population, this experience will matter. Whether or not their purchase behavior translates to adulthood remains to be seen, but our kids are already leveraging digital assets in the metaverse to exhibit their position in the social hierarchy in the same way that my generation assigned value to Jansport-brand backpacks. 

Their concept of digital assets will be fundamentally different from ours, and NFTs are likely to benefit. 

But Why Are NFTs Relevant to Me Now?

Social proof is far from the most interesting use case for NFTs. 

In the near-term, NFTs can be utilized to store sale information of physical goods on the blockchain in order to eliminate nefarious actors in fraud-riddled industries like fine wine and art. 

Moreover, NFTs can disrupt any industry with a substantial secondary market. By coding royalties into the smart contract of NFTs, original sellers of wine, art and other trade-susceptible brands and industries can ensure they’ll capture a fee anytime an item is transferred. 

This solves a major problem for creators like photographers, artists and musicians that are notoriously underpaid in comparison to the value they create for brokers. It also has the potential to cut out middlemen like auction houses, record labels, and galleries to democratize the creator economy. 

Other Innovators Have Introduced Creative Use Cases for NFTs

Gary Vaynerchuk utilizes NFTs as tickets for events and other value-adds to his community. Forbes introduced a series of NFT Billionaires that will update alongside the real-time NYSE to gamify their user’s NFT experience in a way that’s brand-relevant. Foxies.art is using a gamified version of NFTs to fundraise blockchain education for women. 

The utility of NFTs is confined only by the imagination of our innovators. Whether or not NFT headlines today will remain relevant is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: the disruption is only beginning. 

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