The Future of Virtual Gaming: From Metaverses to Open Metaverses

Hey, I don’t want to plow your land or feed your animals! With those sentiments, Facebook’s most popular game Farmville closed down this year. Fewer Facebookers were accepting invitations to help their peers farm their virtual land in the social network game. Gamers were bored of being stuck on the farm.

Online gamers have moved to virtual worlds on the blockchain. These gaming metaverses provide many games to play and ways to monetize the gaming experience. But why lord over a metaverse when you can play across open metaverses? The future of online gaming is interconnected metaverses. Gamers will soon develop games, play games, and trade game assets across these interoperable metaverses. Sure beats the farm!

Interconnected Metaverses 

In the virtual world — a place in cyberspace players access through a network of computing devices — gamers truly own their gaming experience. A metaverse divides the virtual world into 3D virtual spaces. These spaces are commonly sold as land. Like the real world, the virtual world has property rights. You own your land where you can build, play, and sell games and game assets. 

Game developers are moving their massively multiplayer online games to metaverses. Outfitted with the latest augmented reality gear, players are  immersing themselves more deeply in these new gaming worlds. The Sandbox (SAND) is the first dedicated gaming metaverse. Virtual lands like SecondLife and Decentraland (MANA) offer gaming, as well as other virtual social experiences. But in metaverses with limited land allocation, gamers could find their monetization opportunities limited too. 

Gaming on the Blockchain 

The same blockchain technology that hosts your peer-to-peer transactions is offering the possibility of unlimited gaming. Blockchains interoperate through virtual bridges, providing a way to teleport your games and game assets, data, and tokens across chains. Gaming metaverses Decentraland, The Sandbox, Somnium Space and Cryptovox are already running on the blockchain. This year, gamers will be gaming across open metaverses in an ever-expanding gaming marketplace.

Cross-chain gaming is ready for the mainstream. Gaming giant Ubisoft spearheaded the creation of the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) in 2018 to promote blockchain interoperability and standards in gaming. 

Many gamers are already investing their gaming winnings (tokens and NFTs) in decentralized finance (DeFi) services and benefitting from blockchain interoperability. DeFi DApps can talk to one another. On Zapper, for example, you could stake your Decentraland DCL tokens — a way of earning interest by freezing the tokens in your wallet to provide liquidity to a token pool. If $SAND tokens are paying a higher yield, you could sell DCL, and buy and stake SAND on the SAND blockchain platform. If your savings account is paying low fees, moving to another banking world is more complicated.  

Welcome to the Open Metaverse

In an open metaverse, gaming blockchains can talk to one another. What does gaming look like in an open metaverse? Imagine developing digital assets and wearables for a war game on The Game platform. After a year, sales dwindle. Gamers have moved to a hot new war game on the Ubisoft platform. In the old world of isolated metaverses, you would have to open an account on Ubisoft to sell your digital assets there. 

But your non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may not be accepted on the Ubisoft metaverse. NFTs (ECR721 tokens) are the main currency of land and digital goods in the virtual world. Unlike fungible ERC20 tokens, NFTs have unique identifiers. They can be used to tokenize different parcels of land and gaming assets. So you would have to create new NFTs for the Ubisoft platform. Your old NFTs would be worthless in other virtual gaming worlds.  

That’s ashame because the value of gaming NFTs is rising. The LANDS NFTs of The Sandbox metaverse are the most highly traded NFTs. NFTs of virtual worlds Decentraland and Cryptovoxels are in the top 50. Not only games and game assets need the ability to port to new worlds. Native tokens, digital assets and avatars need to be portable. 

You Are Now Entering the Open Metaverse

In the current gaming world, cross-chain gaming is inhibited by centralized gaming technology. 

Centralized games like Farmville and Minecraft cannot play in the open metaverse. “What you create on centralized gaming systems is not yours. You cannot copyright and sell or transfer your digital goods. You cannot take it to wherever you like. You cannot trade or monetize it. They belong to the companies that own the closed ecosystem,” explains Sébastian Borget, Founder/COO of The Sandbox and CEO of the Blockchain Gaming Alliance. Borget is behind the movement to make NFTs truly fungible across games.

Numerous large gaming houses have joined Ultra (UOS) to make the universal distribution of games and gaming assets across metaverses a reality. In this blockchain metaverse, gamers can resell games and distribute gaming assets across platforms. Ubisoft, Atari, AMD and The Sandbox are partners. Ultra has bought an estate in the The Sandbox to host various gaming communities. Meanwhile, Ultra and The Sandbox are cooperating on facilitating cross-chain NFTs exchange. 

NFTs can unleash the interoperability of game items across many chains, items and games, says Borget. The content becomes the platform. The value is no longer in the game and game play, but the game assets represented by NFTs. 

When gaming on the blockchain, your gaming tokens do not have to sit idle in your wallet. Wallet apps like NFTBank and MOBOX’s MWallet consolidate NFTs and provide gateways to DeFi apps to invest your tokens. 

In open metaverses, your gaming experience is only limited by your ambition. If you’re a game developer and your peers do not like your new game or digital goods, you no longer have to sell your land, pack up and move to another metaverse. Instead, you can teleport across the open metaverse and find new markets for your gaming experiences and assets. 

Virtual Land Token Sales

Blockchain platforms do not sell stock in initial public offerings but tokens in token offerings. Tokens are used to activate game action, buy and sell digital goods, and vote on governance issues of the metaverse.  Two virtual world token offerings are currently underway. 

Social virtual world Somnium Space sold 20 percent of its land in an Initial Land Offering (ILO) in March 2019, and another 250 land parcels this spring. The Secondary Land Offering is taking place from November 1 to December 18. The amount of land you receive depends on the token you buy: Small (S) WORLD — 75 MB, Medium (M) WORLD — 200 MB or Extra Large (XL) WORLD — 500 MB. Buy land in the SLO through the Somnium Space Wallet

The SandBox LAND Pre-sale 4.3 is starting on December 11. Land is selling at a 10 percent discount — the last opportunity to buy land at a discount before the main token generation event. Premium Smurf lands and exclusive Smurf digital assets are also on sale. LAND NFTs can be bought with $SAND. To participate in the presale, link your wallet to The Sandbox. 

Article written by Trine Katelle

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