In Q1 2022, gaming NFTs have replaced regular AI-generated art collections as the NFT category with the most individual sales. The experts at BDC Consulting have analyzed this phenomenon and the varied new applications that NFT assets find within and outside GameFi platforms.
GameFi is having a momentous impact on the development of the NFT industry. In 2021, AI-generated collectibles like Bored Apes Yacht Club or Sappy Seals accounted for most buys on OpenSea and other marketplaces – but in 2022, they were replaced by in-game NFT assets.
The research team at BDC Consulting analyzed NFT sales data provided by Non-Fungible.com. In Q1 2022, over 4 million gaming NFTs were sold, as opposed to 2.7 million regular collectibles.
This is due to the high liquidity of in-game assets and a very large number of market participants: almost a million active wallets interact with gaming dApps, especially play-to-earn games.
At the same time, the average price of a play-to-earn NFT is low compared to the price of popular generative art works – thus their overall all-time sales volume remains almost 10 times lower, too.
Another interesting trend is the slowing down of the supply growth of new gaming NFTs. While the total number of GameFi NFTs in circulation is very high compared to the supply of artworks or metaverse NFTs, it has increased by just 5% last quarter – as opposed to a 22% increase in Q4 2021.
This could mean that players tend to buy and resell NFTs from the same popular games, rather than shop for assets from new games.
The team of BDC Consulting proceeded to analyze how NFT assets are used in the top GameFi projects by the number of active wallets, according to DappRadar:
Source: DappRadar Report
Based on the study of the game mechanics in Splinterlands, Alien Worlds, MOBOX: NFT Farmer, Bomb Crypto, Axie Infinity, and others, the experts found that gaming NFTs usually have very little to no value outside of their respective ecosystems – and that most gaming projects require that users purchase a set of NFT assets (characters, weapons, etc.) in order to start playing and earning tokens.
Another common feature is that NFTs of a higher rarity rank yield better rewards, be it for completing quests, staking, etc.
The most popular in-game use cases for NFTs are as follows:
As for utility outside of a game, while rare, it comes in the following forms:
In the last part of the study, BDC Consulting analysts have summed up the ways in which NFTs add value to GameFi projects, giving them an advantage over traditional mobile and desktop gaming.
GameFi is becoming an important factor in blockchain adoption, as it introduces players to the concepts of NFTs and tokenization. Non-fungible assets already provide greater utility than traditional in-game assets, and in the future they may find even wider applications in GameFi and the metaverse.