The role of NFTs in video game interoperability

On October 9, 2022, Sony filed a patent titled “An NFT framework for transferring and using digital assets between gaming platforms. This patent represents a potential step forward for a unique NFT use case that people have been discussing for years.

NFTs can allow players to transfer items from one game to another. For example, you can earn an outfit in Fortnite and use it in Call of Duty. However, there are many hurdles that publishers and developers must overcome to make this idea a reality.

Sony patent

According to the patent, Sony aims to create a system where players are awarded NFTs when they earn an in-game item. “Digital assets, via NFT, can be used across multiple computer simulations and/or across different computer simulation platforms. Ownership of the NFT may also subsequently be transferred to other end-user entities for their own use via different simulations and/or platforms.”

There is no information on how Sony plans to use this technology and whether users will have to pay a fee to participate. It’s too early to tell if it will be isolated from specific games, but its language suggests that it is intended as a cross-platform.

How do NFTs enable video game interoperability?

NFTs are one of the easiest ways for developers to achieve video game interoperability. When a player logs into their account, they can connect their crypto wallet. The game will read the contents of the player’s wallet and identify the items in the game based on the games’ NFTs.

When a player switches from one game to another, the new game reads the contents of her wallet again and gives her in-game items according to the contents of her wallet.

Benefits of video game interoperability

  • In-game item ownership: Many games, such as “Fortnite” and “Pokemon Go,” prevent players from selling their accounts or in-game items, meaning they don’t really own them. Using NFTs in traditional video games would give players the advantage of owning the things they earn.
  • Enhanced gaming experience: Gamers often spend many hours on a single video game because their hard work and achievements cannot be transferred to a new game. Interoperability will give them the advantage of using their rewards across different titles.
  • New income opportunities for developers: Developers and publishers can add revenue to their gaming NFTs, giving them a new income stream.

The essential role of NFTs in video game interoperability

Barriers to video game interoperability

Licensing issues are sure to be a barrier to video game interoperability. Developers will likely want to keep their items and intellectual property rights away from competing titles.

Exchanging items across different titles will create new development burdens for video game creators. Porting an element from one game to another would be relatively easy if they used the same engine and had similar art styles. On the other hand, creating a similar “Minecraft” item in a game like “Halo” will be difficult.

Although it is difficult to create comparable items for different titles, developers can use a system similar to Nintendo Amiibos. For example, a player who has a “Zelda” Amiibo may unlock a sword if they scan it while playing “Zelda: Breath of the Wild”. However, scanning the same Amiibo while playing “Super Smash Bros” could earn them a new costume.

NFTs can be used to unlock items of similar value in different games, even if they are not exactly the same.

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*All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFT Plazas are derived from the personal research and experience of our site managers and are intended as educational materials only. Individuals are required to fully research any product before making any type of investment.

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