by R.A. Rowell
The developers at Immutable have watched their trading card game Gods Unchained explode in popularity. Certainly the PR gained from supporting Hearthstone players vocal about the Hong Kong protests was a major boost. But, the game has blown up mostly on its own merits. The Hearthstone like card game is fairly easy for TCG experts to learn and offers a relatively easy learning curve for newcomers.
The real draw beyond its free to play options - which big name online TCGs like Magic the Gathering Arena and Hearthstone already have - is the chance to earn actual assets on the blockchain. Gods Unchained promised an in-game marketplace, which has since launched, where players have true ownership of their cards and can trade them freely. MTG Arena and Hearthstone don't do that.
Yes, Magic the Gathering Online has long allowed you to freely trade assets within its platform. There are then workarounds to turn those assets - through the use of cleverly programmed chatbots - that allow you to turn them into PayPal cash. But those assets only exist on MTGO. Gods Unchained cards are true ERC-721 non-fungible token assets that exist on the Ethereum Blockchain - true crypto collectibles. These non-fungible tokens can be bought and sold separate of Gods Unchained on non fungible token marketplaces like OpenSea.
To say the Gods Unchained Marketplace has succeeded is an understatement. The marketplace generated over 500 ETH in transactions in its first few hours. Now, Gods Unchained has greatly surpassed former ETH transaction leader MyCryptoHeroes on OpenSea. Of course, seeing this sort of activity from a GAME with literally millions of assets being deployed and so much Ethereum and so many tokens changing hands, you wonder how sustainable it will be.
Unfortunately, sustainability may have nothing to do with the game itself, but the very blockchain it has committed to.
Is the success of Gods Unchained sustainable on the Ethereum Blockchain?
Unfortunately, the success of the in-game marketplace may be tempered by a larger problem with the Ethereum network. The problem emerges from high congestion days on the network which lead to high transaction fees, known as "gas" fees which have spiked as high as $30 per transaction. For their part, the Gods Unchained team does its best to lump transactions into as few actual Ethereum transactions, as possible. But it should be noted that many of the congestion issues come from other ERC-721 NFT transactions and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) movements. In particular, a recent drop in the price of ETH triggered many automatic liquidation requests.
Of course, you can't have a trading card game like Gods Unchained (or any popular Decentralized App, really) with the threat of such outrageous transaction costs. It will be interesting to see how the network evolves to counteract these congestion times. Gods Unchained itself may not be the reason, but if Immutable has to eat fees like that to operate, there's going to be problems.
Trading card games on other blockchain networks such as Steem and TRON haven't experienced these issues. Of course, those games haven't reached the popularity of Gods Unchained, but those networks are known for their superior scalability. It makes you wonder how sustainable massively popular games can be on Ethereum, which has been a worry for quite sometime. It's certainly now becoming a legitimate concern.
Do you think Gods Unchained will inevitably succeed on Ethereum? The game has already committed to the network. But will it eventually outgrow Ethereum and have to migrate elsewhere? Time will tell. But, for now, Gods Unchained is succeeding in what it was meant to do - become a massively popular trading card game. Let's hope the evolution of the Ethereum network can catch up.
An In-Game Gun from Dissolution Sells for $2,400 - What's Next for Blockchain Gaming Digital Collectibles & Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs)?
by R.A. Rowell
In 2019 alone, the blockchain gaming world has been a news maker, especially thanks to the high-dollar sales of various NFT's (Non-Fungible Tokens) usable in actual gameplay. The Digital Collectibles Journal has commented on thousands of dollars worth of Ethereum changing hands for playable digital items in Crypto Space Commander and F1 Delta Racing. Now, another notable sale as been made, a $2,400 gun - a "God Tier" called the MAR-4 "Wrath of Seth." It comes from the Enjin-backed Steam shooter game Dissolution, as chronicled by the excellent blockchain gaming blog Nederob.
What's particularly interesting about this sale is who bought it. While the buyer has remained anonymous, the blockchain has identified some interesting aspects about the purchasing party. According to Nederob, the buyer was a Binance cryptocurrency trader who made a point of transferring 20 ETH to a new Ethereum wallet which was used to bid on the Dissolution item. The bidding ended at 13.3 ETH, but clearly, the bidder was willing to spend more on this unique item.
Why is a Cryptocurrency Trader Buying In-Game Digital Collectibles Interesting?
Cryptocurrency traders have been buying Non-Fungible digital collectibles for awhile. That's because they are useful as storehouses of value. Just like traditional collectibles are often treated as part of an investors portfolio, so can Non-Fungible Tokens. What's interesting about this transaction is less the number - which is significant - but the reason for which it was purchased. Because in-game digital collectibles have actual utility, they have value beyond the simple value of the cryptocurrency used to purchase them.
Very early on in the development of the Digital Collectibles Journal, I foresaw not just gamers getting in on digital collectibles. Of course, the cryptocurrency trader may have intentions of using the item as intended. But, clearly the purchase was made as an investment, banking on the growth of the Steam shooter Dissolution.
But the item was part of a "God Tier" auction. So, it represents more than simply a piece of in-game gear. It gives the owner custom animations, particle effects, and sound effects forever imprinted into that gun. It's a unique In-Game status symbol, not just a gun.
The original auction page has since disappeared on OpenSea. It appears So, it will take some digging to learn more. But, Dissolution is certainly a game of interest to us when it comes to digital collectibles. More to come on the fate of this "God Tier" item and other high priced Dissolution collectibles.
by R.A. Rowell
For digital collectibles enthusiasts like myself, Mintable.app is a godsend. It allows you not only the ability to display and interact with crypto collectibles you already own, but also an easy way to mint your own! Previously, you had to know how to code NFTs (non fungible tokens) along with smart contracts and deploy them yourself. Mintable gives you a way to do all that easily without you having to code anything. You can even create your own Non-Fungible Tokens in bulk, drastically cutting down on the transaction fees (know on Ethereum as gas) usually related to minting. The fee is only $1 a piece, and currently you can bulk up to 40 tokens at a time.
The Digital Collectibles Journal became aware of Mintable through a news feature involving their Mintable's new partnership with Jetcoin Institute. Jetcoin is working on tokenizing up-and-coming talent in the sports and entertainment business. They already have a "Jetcoin Champion" by the name of May Myat Noe, a supermodel superstar on the rise. Using their platform, Jetcoin is working to serve as a launchpad for the careers of many up and coming sports and entertainment stars.
These blockchain-powered digital collectibles are different from your traditional collectibles in that they are tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain. These tokens use the ERC-721 smart contract protocol which has become a standard for blockchain collectibles. It's the sort of token used for CryptoKitties, Gods Unchained trading cards, and more.
While NFTs are still a tiny percentage of the collectibles market overall, they are quickly on the rise. They may not have the appeal among traditional collectors that say autographed sports cards and vintage baseball cards do. But, to many young forward-thinking investors, due to their immutability and provable authenticity, they are the future of collecting. The market cap of NFTs as collectibles is expected to grow into the billions within the next decade or so.
Many people are aware of the volatility of cryptocurrency and how one crypto coin can go from zero to a lot of money and back to zero in a hurry. But, with NFTs on established blockchain networks like Ethereum, EOS, TRON, and Steem, you can invest in crypto without taking on the risks of the native crypto coins. Now, with Mintable, you can essentially create your own crypto collectibles at will for a very small fee with zero programming knowledge. Of course, being on the massively popular Ethereum blockchain, you can freely trade them as you wish. This includes selling them on popular blockchain collectibles marketplaces such as OpenSea.
The Jetcoin partnership is just one high-profile example of what Mintable is setting out to do with their token creation platform. Now, any content creator can create their own tokens, either as a way to raise funds, create unique collectibles, or both. Of course, digital artists can use this platform to easily deploy their crypto art. Game developers can now more easily mint and deploy in-game items, too.
Mintable is going to be a revolutionary force in crypto collectibles, making it easier than ever to create NFTs for the world to enjoy. Certainly, we will see many more partnerships with Mintable to help bring the platform more exposure. With a growing, bullish market for blockchain collectibles, there’s going to be plenty of demand for what this platform offers. Imagine memorabilia for sports and entertainment being bought and sold from your phone, which is what teams, bands, and media companies are now able to do for a fairly low cost. At the end of the day, Mintable is a platform that will change the landscape of digital marketing forever.
How would you use the Mintable.app platform?
R.A. Rowell is a collectibles enthusiast who comes from a long history of collecting trading cards in both sports and in Trading Card Games. He is passionate about educating the world about the future promise and benefits of digital collectibles, both on the blockchain and off.