This article was generated by TOKERObot 🤖.
As the crypto market faces challenges, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are emerging as a tool for building stronger relationships between brands, creators, and consumers. NFTs have gained popularity in loyalty programs, memberships, and ticketing opportunities, which present a clear path forward for onboarding new users into Web3. Brands such as GQ, Sports Illustrated, and Starbucks have already launched NFT-linked initiatives. Loyalty programs like Delta Airlines' Skymiles and Sephora's Beauty Insider are adopting NFTs to enhance customer engagement and digital identity. NFT ticketing is gaining traction as it provides solutions to issues plaguing the events industry, offering greater control over ticket distribution and improved fan experiences. Companies are working to simplify onboarding processes and terminology for new users, with some choosing to use terms like "digital collectibles" or "tokenized assets" instead of NFTs. Tokenized memberships can reward members for long-term participation and engagement, without overwhelming mainstream users with technical language. Overall, NFT loyalty programs, membership rewards, and token-gated ticketing offer a robust framework for easing brands and consumers into Web3 while fostering long-term engagement and community building.
NFL Rivals, a free-to-play NFT-based mobile game from Mythical Games, has surpassed one million downloads since its April 26 debut on Google Play and Apple Stores. Despite launching during the NFL off-season and in a challenging crypto environment, the game quickly rose to the top spot in the App Store. Mythical Games CEO John Linden highlights the game's positive reception, boasting a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the App Store with nearly 22,000 reviews. Players are averaging nearly two hours of gameplay per day, with around 15 million matches played and an average of six gaming sessions per day. The game utilizes NFT player cards for team building and competition, with various rarity levels and attributes. While most players are unaware that the cards are NFTs, Linden estimates that about 10% have interacted with the marketplace to trade collectibles. The NFL partnered with Mythical Games to launch its first Web3 game in May 2022, complementing other league Web3 initiatives like a ticketing collectible platform on Polygon and the NFL All Day collectible marketplace built by Dapper Labs. Mythical Games, which also developed Blankos Block Party and Nitro Nation, launched its Mythical Marketplace 2.0 in January 2023 and raised $150 million in funding in 2021 led by a16z.
Despite facing challenges, investment in Web3 remains high as institutions and consumers explore an emerging digital culture based on decentralization and blockchain technology. A recent Coinbase Institute report revealed a gap between people aware of Web3 and those actively adopting it, with many not engaging due to lack of technical knowledge or not knowing where to start. The entertainment industry presents a strong case for naturally implementing Web3 strategies and onboarding the masses. Independent Web3 creative network Atrium, in partnership with NounsDAO, is releasing an animated film based on popular NFT characters, funded by a $2.75 million budget from NounsDAO's treasury. Web3 is attracting talent from traditional media giants like Pixar, Marvel, and Netflix, offering creative freedom, community access, and unique tools. Integrating Web3 tools into visual media entertainment allows for richer, interactive experiences, and stealthy use of Web3 can help engage skeptical talent and make offerings more accessible. The global visual content market is expected to grow by $1.4 billion by 2026, and major players like Warner Bros., Netflix, Sony, Paramount, and Village Roadshow have started experimenting with Web3 tools to stay competitive.
Anichess, a subsidiary of blockchain gaming leader Animoca Brands, has successfully raised $1.5 million in a seed round to develop a decentralized chess game. The funding, provided by GameFi Ventures, The Operating Group, Koda Capital, Bing Ventures, 708 Capital, and Asymmetry Capital, will be utilized for team expansion and game development before the alpha launch in Q1 2024. The game is a partnership between Animoca Brands and Chess.com-owned Play Magnus Group (PMG) and its Champions Chess Tour. Anichess is a community-driven, free-to-play game, offering a blend of traditional chess rules with a "spell mechanic" that incorporates offensive, defensive, and counter tactics, as well as esports-like elements through challenges. Chess.com, which acquired PMG in December, currently boasts over 100 million registered users. Grant Lee, Chess.com's Chief Strategy Officer, expressed excitement about the partnership with Animoca Brands, stating that it aims to present chess in new ways to different audiences, growing the game by providing top players and influencers with a fun and unique chess experience.
In April 2023, a digital item in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sold for $400,000 in cryptocurrency, highlighting the appetite for in-game items and the potential for gaming to drive Web3 mass adoption. With over 3 billion people playing video games worldwide, the gaming industry provides a unique opportunity for the integration of blockchain technology and digital asset ownership. Experts believe that the true ownership of in-game assets, enabled by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will attract gamers to Web3. Additionally, the industry's digital-first nature, familiarity with virtual currencies, and user-generated content make it an ideal candidate for transitioning users from Web2 to Web3. However, challenges remain, such as improving infrastructure and security, reducing technological friction, and ensuring that Web3 games are enjoyable and engaging. The next 12 to 18 months are expected to bring innovative Web3 gaming products to the market, paving the way for mass adoption.