To #NFT or Not to #NFT — II

In my previous article, I talked about selling art as NFT. Now let’s talk about games. Particularly, the legend of “trans-game items” also known as, pardon my French, utter bullshit. I realize this is a pretty biased intro but you’ll see why.

I can use my bazooka in Elden Ring NFT edition? sick!

So the dream being sold is that you can buy an item as an NFT that you can then use in any game. For example, a sword called The Sword of NFT that looks like a rapier but has a glow that you picked the colour of, plus a logo is etched on the handle that you chose. No one else can have that combination of sword body, logo and colour. Sounds cool right? You go into Fortnite and you have it! You go to World of Warcraft and you have it there too! Assassin’s Creed? You got it, buddy! Because it’s on a decentralized block, you are no longer chained to whatever the pesky devs of Fn, WoW or AC series restrict you to!

As with all things too good to be true, this also is. Here is why, layer by layer:

See where this is going? NFTs, by design, can not accomplish what they promise. Some of the assumptions above are huge, almost impossible ones.

NFT-less Solutions

The fun fact is, that we do not even NEED the NFT/Block technology to do all that!

Any item in a game can be assigned to only a single person. Uniquely bought items are possible and I believe a few examples exist. The reason they aren’t common isn’t technical restrictions, it’s the return of investment not being worth it since regular items aren’t sold for 5 figures just because of a buzzword.

But Ekrem, they can’t be traded, you might say and you’d be wrong. Trading items is common in games. But players and publishers alike can’t make money off these, you might insist. Wrong. In fact, there is an infamous example of this: Diablo III Real Money Auction House. Before you argue, no, the system wasn’t flawed. It worked very well. The problem was with the game design. Game design and probably the chance to make more sales is what stops more companies from doing it since, again, items aren’t sold for crazy numbers because they are called something pretty.

If companies were OK with third party items, they could also have their systems talk with each other or the third party server for ownerships and accounts (similar to how you can unlock stuff by Prime Gaming).

As we mentioned, no item is going to just work in a different game, but if companies were so inclined, they could make an adjusted version (ie a sword that is remodelled for WoW and ESO but IG text has the same name and has powers similar to each other as much as possible) and even automatize some of this — but it would require a huge effort from each developer.

Once items are there, it’s easy to get two systems (like Steam and Battlenet) and get them to recognize that the person who owns item X in one system also owns it in the other.

So our technology allows us to make unique items, trade them and make money through transactions. And while items working in different games is a complicated matter, if companies wanted to do that, the solution would be way easier WITHOUT NFT and Block technology.

Why we don’t do all of this is either RoI and/or because some of these decisions can and have (DIII RMAH) hurt the game experience… And I guess also some attempts in the past created a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.


In summation, if a day comes where we magically create items in the same standards all over the industry, where magical codes adjust items to different functionality and somehow a certain style of graphics don’t stand out in a different style game and an item of certain technology and production works and doesn’t break immersion in a bunch of games… the “NFT item in all games” uto- sorry, the “NFT item in all games with a similar setting” utopia can come to life. Until then, it’s another one of the fraudulent NFTbro sells.

PS: Just a small reminder that I didn’t even go into all the issues NFT and block inherently has and how much effect these can have on a game that relies on the interconnectivity of people and systems, like an MMORPG.



Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD

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Ekrem Atamer

Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD