The best type of blockchain game is subjective and depends on personal preferences. Some players may enjoy testing their skills in runner-style games, while others may prefer exploring a virtual world. However, card games have stood out as the most compelling example of blockchain integration. Even critics of NFT games have been forced to acknowledge the utility of NFT card games. The first large-scale blockchain game was Spells of Genesis, a card game influenced by Magic: The Gathering. Other popular NFT card games include Gods Unchained, Axie Infinity, Sorare, Splinterlands, and Metropolis Origins.
The allure of collecting unique and rare items has proven to be a successful strategy for game developers to keep players engaged and growing in numbers. As a case in point, MTG: Arena has nine major releases planned for 2023, each introducing new gameplay mechanics and expanding the game’s story. Just in the last month, the platform has seen a surge in the average number of monthly players, with an increase of over 100,000.
However, the lack of trading options in digital card games such as Hearthstone or MTG: Arena detracts from the true essence of collecting trading cards, which is the ability to trade. This limitation was a deliberate decision by the developers, as they aimed to drive players to buy booster packs from the in-game marketplace for added profits.
The limitation of not being able to trade or sell cards in traditional digital card games is one of the major drawbacks for players. This restriction limits the player’s ability to customize their deck to their preference and forces them to continuously purchase booster packs in the hopes of obtaining the missing cards. Blockchain can solve this issue by allowing players to trade cards and make their own decisions about the composition of their collection. It is important to empower players to pursue the cards they desire by giving them the ability to trade. Collecting cards is a crucial aspect of collectible card games, and it is not empowered in Web2 but is a basic function in Web3.
The impact of Web3 on digital card games is significant due to the use of NFTs to mint the playing cards. This allows each card to be freely traded just like a physical card. Players no longer have to rely solely on purchasing booster packs from the game’s developer to obtain the cards they desire. Instead, they can purchase the cards directly from another player through an NFT marketplace hosting cards for the specific Web3 card game.
This results in true ownership and empowerment for the players. The blockchain gaming industry is currently focusing on ownership, as demonstrated by the rise of play-to-own, a new term that has replaced the declining play-to-earn. In play-to-own, players can finally claim true ownership of their in-game assets and creations. This concept is applied to all aspects of virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox, where everything is up for grabs with regards to ownership, excluding other players.
According to Chris Clay, Game Director of Gods Unchained, allowing players to own, trade, and collect cards freely, without being restricted by the booster pack model, enhances the overall gaming experience. Clay stated that there is a thrill in curating a collection of unique and rare cards and exploring the different possibilities they offer to win games. He also mentioned that NFTs provide the perfect technology to restore true card ownership and bring digital collectible card games closer to their physical counterparts, putting the power back in the hands of players to build their collection as they see fit. Before joining the Gods Unchained team, Clay held a directorial position at Magic: The Gathering Arena, another major Web3 collectible card game. He sees Web3 as the logical next step and potential endpoint for this part of the gaming industry.
This text suggests that blockchain technology in trading card games could significantly change the gaming industry, to the point where players may base their decision on whether to play a new card game based on its digital or physical format. Chris Clay, believes that digital collectibles will eventually become more popular, especially among younger generations who are more familiar with digital platforms. He also believes that the benefits of NFTs, such as true ownership, will become increasingly valuable as time goes on.
Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the collectible card game industry and its adoption may pave the way for future generations to embrace the next phase of the internet. As the Web3 technology is still in its early stages, card games have served as a successful demonstration of the new possibilities for gameplay and interaction brought by blockchain. However, there is still much room for innovation and integration of blockchain technology into other gaming experiences. According to Clay, the full potential of card games and how blockchain will change the gaming landscape is yet to be fully realized. But one thing is for sure, there will be more changes and advancements on the horizon.