In the latest sign that the inter-related technologies of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain are here to stay, electronics giant Sony has filed a patent application for tracking in-game assets.
The application was filed in July 2021 and is titled “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger”. For the non-initiated, this refers to a means of tracking ownership, visual appearance, or metadata of digital assets within a video game.
In game terms, these assets could range from in-game items, playable characters, or exclusive gameplay moments and cut-scenes. Certain items could be passed from player to player in a trade or gained and lost in battle, depending on the game context.
Although NFTs are already widespread in the worlds of art and music, it is interesting to see big gaming players like Sony getting involved. The video game industry generates more revenue than Hollywood and the music industry combined, so it’s perhaps unsurprising to see companies wanting to capitalise on the burgeoning gaming market for collectible NFTs.
The exclusivity of NFTs lends itself to video games, where unlocking achievements and collecting rare items provide much appeal to seasoned gamers looking to stand out from the hordes of players. With speculation regarding the inclusion of NFTs in video games rampant throughout 2022, this latest development could indicate the start of the next big trend in Web 3.0.
However, not everyone is eager for NFTs to make an appearance in their virtual worlds anytime soon. Game developer Electronic Arts is treading with caution and is not affording NFTS the same levels of investment as 3D, AR, and VR technology. Minecraft has gone even further, pledging to avoid NFTs and blockchain technology to preserve a community where every player has access to the same content.