As the crypto world reels from massive volatility, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are still shaking up the collectibles marketplace. They’re growing in popularity with artists as well as with gaming companies and massive intellectual property (IP) giants like Marvel.
Some experts believe that these developments, along with the growing trend of creating NFTs through gaming tokenization, could be the digital stew the market needs to deliver NFTs to a new level.
In the world of global IP, Marvel announced that Spider-Man was coming to the world of NFTs, with a series of uniquely posed NFT statues, priced everywhere from $40 to $400 back in 2021.
Competitor DC Comics launched the domain https://nft.dcuniverse.com/splash in 2022. That means that two of the largest IP companies in the world – Disney (which owns Marvel) and Warner Bros. (which owns DC Comics) – have landed in the NFT world with both feet.
The connection of popular IP to NFTs is one of the elements that will buoy NFTs as digital collectibles, regardless of fluctuations in the crypto world, according to David Sterling, chief operating officer of Good Gaming, Inc. (OTCQB: GMER), one of the emerging digital collectible companies moving into the Metaverse space. Prior to joining Good Gaming, Sterling guided SONY’s incursions into the digital space over 16 years.
“One of the disconnects for potential NFT buyers is the idea that someone can make a digital art file collectible simply by turning it into an NFT,” Sterling said. “If I’m not an artist of any note, and I don’t use any recognizable IP, the NFT is still one of one, making it instantly rare. But that isn’t enough for some collectors, because rarity is not the only property they want in digital collectibles. Now that NFTs are being crafted from globally popular IP, some initial naysayers have been getting into the market.”
And that market is growing.
According to a report by Market Decipher, a market research and consultancy firm, the current collectibles market size was estimated at $412 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $628 billion by 2031.
“Digital NFT Market Collectibles is the fastest growing segment with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 14.2% during the forecast period. The NFT industry is witnessing enormous growth, with some product segments acquiring as high as a 1,400% growth in a quarter (i.e. around 14 times the market),” the report revealed.
One of the new drivers of that market is the use of NFTs as tokens inside digital games, according to a piece in NFT News Today. One game platform may be in the catbird seat to drive NFTs to a whole new level.
“Although there has been a lack of enthusiasm from game developers relating to NFTs and Play To Earn (P2E) games, we can only see more adoption ahead. Gaming tokenization is one of the major NFT market dynamics of 2022,” writes NFT Today’s James Neeson.
“Gamers may use NFTs to purchase assets such as imaginary lands, avatars, access to exclusive communities, and weaponry for avatars in the new digital world powered by Blockchain,” Neeson says. “We anticipate an increase in the number of gaming initiatives using NFTs to market their brands, attract new users, and boost user engagement this year.”
Sterling is on top of that trend, as well, with Good Gaming’s announcement last week of the expansion of its digital game MicroBuddies™ – which has built NFTs into the tokenization of the Microbuddies game – to the gaming platform run by Roblox (NYSE: RBLX).
Roblox is one of the world's most popular platforms for shared immersive experiences with over 50 million daily active users globally and 10.5 million active creators and developers spanning 180 countries. Roblox can be played virtually anywhere, from an Xbox to a phone, laptop, or PC. Users can dip in and out of different virtual worlds as they share experiences with their friends. Roblox is a free user-generated content platform that spans a myriad of genres and titles, all created by its community. All of this positions Roblox as potentially one of the most important platforms for NFTs on earth.
"Our development team has been working nonstop to bring this project to fruition," said David Sterling, COO of Good Gaming. “We are building a robust MicroBuddies ecosystem featuring unique worlds for each of the species of MicroBuddies that will provide multiple avenues for revenue generation and drive player interest in the MicroBuddies intellectual property. That said, the marketplace for digital collectibles is still relatively new, and our goal is to use our IP and NFT game tokens not to follow trends, but rather, to set them.”
Roblox is big enough and available enough to be the next giant step for the “mainstreamization” of NFTs.
Michael Busler is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics. He has written op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years.
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