The popularization of blockchain technology holds the promise of an exciting new future for gaming and trading card games. For nearly thirty years, trading card games have held a special place in the industry, with trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon all becoming household names and internationally recognized brands since their inception, each of these games has moved online.
Now, with the advent of blockchain technology and the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the online trading card game landscape is poised for a dramatic shift.
As it stands, traditional online card games (TCGs) are played solely for entertainment. In contrast, their blockchain counterparts incorporate a whole new aspect of online gameplay thanks to play-to-earn capabilities and the possibility for players to truly own the cards and digital items they obtain through the game. In this article, we will cover who is involved in the industry, why it’s gaining so much popularity, and what the future holds in the coming years.
There are a lot of trading card games on the market right now that use NFT technology. These are the true pioneers and trailblazers of the industry, and in many ways, are likely to set the tone for the direction it goes in next. Here are a few examples of the most popular.
Spells of Genesis
Spells of Genesis, developed by EverDreamSoft, is the first blockchain-based mobile game ever made. The game combines two genres of gaming: TCGs and arcade-type point-and-shoots. The game works like this: players gather and mix cards to build epic decks and engage their opponents in combat. Spells of Genesis, which combines deck-building strategy with straightforward gameplay, boasts a large and passionate community of players and collectors.
Players with existing blockchain items in their wallets can play with those items in SoG, or they can purchase in-game cards and then put them into a blockchain. “Blockchainization” is an SoG-exclusive feature that allows players to convert their in-game cards into separate blockchain assets that they can exchange outside of the game.
As one of the founders of the Blockchain Game Alliance, EverDreamSoft is also leading the charge on a wide variety of fronts when it comes to blockchain gaming and the integration and use of blockchain tools in the space. Their impressive suite of tools, products, and features include things like a multi-chain currency for gaming on the blockchain (BitCrystals), open-source software (Crystal Spark), a multi-chain block explorer for digital game items and collectibles (Orb Explorer), and a multi-chain wallet (Casa Tookan Wallet) that supports a wide variety of digital assets, including in-game NFTs.
Splinterlands is the #1 most played blockchain-powered digital collectible card game. It’s similar to games like Magic: The Gathering, it lets you create a deck that has a variety of cards, each with different attributes and abilities, and use them to face other players in skill-based bouts.
Using blockchain technology, players may freely purchase, sell, and trade their digital assets as if they were actual cards, and all transactions are publicly and immutably recorded.
Sorare is another example of a TCG adopting blockchain technology. It’s a soccer card collecting and trading game, and it ticks all the boxes that users are looking for in online TCGs. You truly own the cards you obtain from the game, enabling players to trade and sell cards to other players. This is the way online TCGs are meant to be played.
The emerging market for NFT trading card games
If you need a quick recap, an NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital item that can be sold with confidence over the internet.
Think about it like this: let’s say you have a dollar and trade it for another dollar. Well, the new dollar you have now is indistinguishable from the one you just traded away. There’s nothing unique, nothing special about either one. That’s not the case with NFTs.
How does this impact trading card games?
Well, when you acquire a non-fungible token through your gameplay, it is one hundred percent unique – and verifiably. You can also prove that you are the sole owner of this digital asset, creating scarcity for digital products, subsequently generating an inherent value within them. So when you collect a powerful card that is also an NFT, that card is now yours. You have the only copy of that specific card in the world because it’s an NFT – and you are free to hold or sell it if you wish.
Blockchains and NFTs solve a big problem that online TCG players face. And that is the fact you don’t own the cards you acquire in-game. You can play with them and build cool decks with them, but you are not allowed to trade them or sell them the same way you could in the original version of TCGs.
That poses a lot of obvious limitations on players’ ability to truly interact with a game and players in the community. One of the most enticing features of NFTs is that once you have one, it’s yours. So if you earn one in a game, you can sell it or trade it at your leisure, and the decks you build are your decks. It’s like real-world deck building in the online universe.
Suppose an online TCG game developer goes bankrupt and the game goes offline. Normally, we’d say tough luck! But if your digital goods are in the form of NFTs, then they exist outside of the game. The only thing it needs is the existence of a blockchain that it is stored on.
The benefits here bleed into the appeal of a metaverse. You can gain digital goods from different games and store them in your wallet that exists outside of any game. Then, you can potentially use that same item in a completely different game. It’s like an interconnected web of games and items.
The only thing right now standing in the way of blockchain gaming becoming widely adopted is the lack of infrastructure, but that is changing by the day as money continues to pour into the industry.
With NFTs solving many of the problems that players face in the current online TCG ecosystem, it isn’t a big stretch to think that the future remains very bright for the industry. As times change and the future begins to take shape, now is the perfect time to get involved in blockchain gaming and get ahead of the trend.