One of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, FTX, is preparing to launch its gaming sub-unit in an attempt to lure game publishers towards integrating cryptocurrencies, NFT’s and blockchain networks into video games.
“Operating via FTX’s U.S. affiliate, FTX Gaming will debut with a “crypto-as-a-service” platform through which gaming companies can launch tokens and offer support for NFTs” Bloomberg reported.
An FTX spokesperson told Bloomberg,
“We are launching FTX Gaming because we see games as an exciting use case for crypto…There are 2 billion+ gamers in the world who have played with and collected digital items, and can now also own them.”
FTX has boosted its presence in the gaming sector either through new partnerships or investments. The exchange made headlines after its parent firms, FTX Trading Limited and West Realm Shires Services Inc bagged a 10-year naming rights deal with the American E-Sports organization Team SoloMid (TSM), valued at $210 Million.
Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder and CEO of both FTX.com and FTX.US said at the time “We’re really excited to work with TSM…we think that TSM will be able to help massively expand the presence of digital assets outside the traditional landscape”.
More recently, FTX, along with two other partners, vowed to invest $100 Million to integrate the Solana blockchain into video games.
Cryptocurrency integration with video games is at a relatively early stage. By combining the two, players get a better sense of ownership when it comes to skins, bundles, and other in-game purchases. Axie Infinity is an ideal example of how gamers can experience a little of both worlds. Players can earn money through selling in-game items or their “Axies”. One can also buy virtual land and other in-game assets as NFTs.
Conversely, play-to-win models, much as Axie Infinity, have received their fair share of negativity in the past. Critics say that such models encourage ‘gambling’, while others suggest that the primary motive becomes financial gain rather than enjoying a game as a form of leisure or entertainment.
As the gaming industry pushes forward, demand for skins and other add-ons is increasing as well. U.K. Juniper Research suggested that money poured into skin gambling and loot-boxes will collectively hit $50 Billion by 2022-end. With that said, opportunities for profits are plenty, especially once cryptocurrencies enter the foray. However, developers are yet to find a more symbiotic relationship between video games and cryptocurrencies for the moment.