In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and gaming, Web3 and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have emerged as groundbreaking innovations, reshaping the way players interact with digital assets and own in-game items. Curious to explore the endless possibilities and address the scepticism surrounding these cutting-edge technologies, we had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Kin Meng Chan, an esteemed expert in the field. Kin Meng is the founder and CEO of iCandy’s Hashcode Studio, a team that specializes in blockchain technology, smart contract development, NFT branding, metaverse experience design, and more.
In this insightful interview, we delve into the fundamentals of Web3 and NFT gaming, providing an overview for those unfamiliar with the topic. Of course, concerns and scepticism are inevitable when it comes to revolutionary changes, thus we take this opportunity mainly to address some of the fundamental concerns gamers have regarding Web3 and NFT gaming.
1) For those unfamiliar with the topic, could you provide a brief overview of what Web3 and NFT are, and how are they currently incorporated into the gaming industry?
Before diving into Web3, let’s quickly walk through Web1 and Web2.
Web 1 is read-only; users mainly consume information from a static website and it has almost 0 interaction amongst users.
Web2 is read and write, where users can now read content and share content at the same time via social media.
Web3 is about read, write, and own. With the help of decentralisation and Blockchain technology, it gives a new way of how digital ownership can be verified without centralised third party intermediaries. Imagine you have created a picture. In Web2, it can be easily copied and shared to a point that no one really recognises that you are the creator. In Web3, the creator and owner can be verified easily without the centralised intermediaries.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are unique and non-divisive digital assets that are residing in the blockchain and its ownership can be cryptographically verified without centralised intermediaries. They will be assigned with a unique identifier and metadata that differentiate them from the other tokens.
The most common use case in the gaming industry is the use of fungible tokens as in-game currencies and NFTs as game items. This being said, there are also many creative ways of using them in the games. Some NFTs are being used as game pass which grant players certain benefits, some games use NFTs as entry pass to certain levels or the game as a whole while some NFTs allow you to have early access.
2) One of the main concerns among gamers is the potential for fraud and scams in the NFT space. How can the gaming industry work to build trust and security for players when dealing with digital assets? On the other hand, do you have any tips for gamers to identify the legitimacy of NFT-related games?
We hear your concerns about scams and frauds and it’s totally understandable.
First off, Web3 games are all about community and ownership. Unlike traditional games, where everything is set by the developers, Web3 games involve players right from the beginning. It's like a journey we embark on together. So, to build trust, game projects should show they're committed by developing at least the core gameplay before selling any NFTs. This way, you can see some real progress and get a feel for the game before getting fully invested.
Once a community starts forming around a project, constant engagement is key. Developers should keep you in the loop with regular updates and even let you try smaller experiences along the way. Your feedback matters, and they want you to feel like you're part of the game's success because you've invested your time and support in it.
Now, about frauds and scams - they can happen anywhere, not just in Web3 gaming. But you can protect yourself by being informed and cautious. First, take your wallet security seriously. Make sure you understand how to keep it safe from potential threats. Second, be aware of the transactions you're making. Double-check everything before hitting that "Confirm" button. Lastly, do your research on any project you're interested in. Join the community, hang out, and observe. Seeing how they operate can give you a good sense of whether they're legit or not.
Remember, knowledge is power, and being an informed gamer will keep you one step ahead of any potential scams.
3) Traditional gaming often provides a level playing field for all players, regardless of financial means. With the rise of NFTs, there might be concerns that money may bring significant advantage for wealthier players. Do you view this as a legitimate concern? If yes, how do you see this challenge being addressed to maintain fair gameplay?
You know how some traditional games have that annoying "pay to win" problem? Well, it's a reality we can't ignore. Game developers gotta make money to keep the game running and pay their teams, which makes sense, right? But that often means they cater to players who spend a lot, which can be a bummer for those who don't want to break the bank.
Now, here's the thing - NFTs won't magically solve this issue. In fact, some NFT games might have a high barrier of entry because they want to keep things special for their community.
But it's not all gloom and doom! What matters most is the target audience of a game and how skilled the game designers are. They have the power to make a game fair and enjoyable for everyone. Even if some players have more resources, the game can be designed in a way that gives beginners or less experienced players a fighting chance without messing up the experience for those early investors and dedicated players.
It's all about finding that sweet spot where the game remains exciting, challenging, and most importantly, fair for all players, regardless of their financial means. So, don't lose hope! Game developers are aware of these concerns, and the best ones are working hard to strike that balance and create an awesome gaming experience for everyone. Let's keep our fingers crossed and support those who get it right!
4) In the traditional gaming world, ownership of in-game items and assets is often controlled by the game developer. With NFT gaming, players have true ownership, but there may be concerns about losing access to assets if a game shuts down or if there are compatibility issues. How can these issues be mitigated?
The cool part and magic of Web3 and blockchain comes into play - the NFT and its ownership exists as long as the blockchain exists! Your NFT and its ownership are connected to the blockchain. So, as long as the blockchain exists, your NFT ownership remains intact.
Now, let's say a game does shut down. Other projects or games can tap into the community by offering them utility for their NFT. Maybe giving them cosmetic benefits or game play benefits in another title, allowing them entitlement for another NFT collection, and these are just some of the many examples. This truly demonstrates the power and possibilities of NFT and blockchain technology.
5) Some players have expressed concern about the potential for speculative bubbles in NFT gaming, leading to inflated asset prices and market volatility. How can the industry ensure a healthy and sustainable market for NFTs?
It’s actually all about supply and demand. When demand is high, then the price is going to be high too. For example, a game or experience for an NFT collection has just launched and many players want to be part of it, naturally the price for the NFT will go up. That’s also the power of ownership, because the players really own it, they can do anything about it including selling them at a high price when there’s demand. So I wouldn’t say that this is unhealthy, this is just how things work in Web3 and if we enforce control on the NFT price, then it defeats the purpose of decentralization.
Now, it's essential for the industry to ensure fairness and sustainability in the market. How can we do that? Well, first and foremost, it's about transparency and clear information. Players should have access to all the details they need about NFTs, their value, and potential risks. Educating gamers about the market will empower them to make informed decisions.
Game developers and platforms also play a crucial role. By creating engaging and valuable gaming experiences, they can make sure that NFTs hold genuine worth and aren't just driven by speculation. When players see real value in the assets they own, it creates a healthier ecosystem for everyone.
6) With the increasing number of Web3 games being launched recently, such as Archeworld, which was adapted from the classic MMORPG ArcheAge, and the recently released Ragnarok Landverse based on RO Online, what elements do you believe a good Web3/NFT game should possess?
To begin with, the game needs to be fun to play. With Web3 elements coming into play, it is also extremely hard to maintain a healthy economy system within the game. This is because the NFT or cryptocurrencies can now be purchased and sold freely on the market. We all have seen the rise and fall of play-to-earn or play-and-earn, I am also keeping my eyes on the next groundbreaking business model in the gaming scene soon and how this can push the advancement of Web3 further.
7) Lastly, can you recommend any specific resources, communities, or platforms for those interested in learning more about Web3 and NFT gaming? Also, are there any upcoming Web3 projects that you could share with us?
I’ll encourage anyone who wants to learn more about this space to actually participate by purchasing cryptocurrency, buying an NFT, joining a community and treating the whole thing as learning instead of investment. It is normal that there will be a lot of perceptions when you look at something from the outside, and you’ll see a different scenery when you have a chance to look at it from the inside.
We are now working on an NFT+AI project, will be happy to reveal more when it is closer to launch. :)
And that is all for our interview with Kin Meng. In closing, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Kin Meng for sharing his expertise and invaluable insights in this interview. His passion for Web3 and NFT gaming, along with his dedication to creating innovative experiences, has undoubtedly enriched our understanding of this transformative industry. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn from a visionary like him and look forward to witnessing the continued growth and success of Hashcode Studio, as well as the world of Web3 and NFT gaming.
If you would like to learn more about iCandy and Hashcode Studio, do check out their official sites linked below:
This interview is compiled and translated by Gamicsoft's Lluvia.