For the past year, NFTs have been a consistent point of contention among gamers and the finance sector as a whole. From game publishers such as Ubisoft and Square Enix expressing interest in bringing NFTs to their games to Steam banning sales of blockchain-based games on its storefront, it’s clear that the gaming industry is at a crossroads with blockchain technology. However, recent news indicates that NFT sales have hit a sharp decline, and public interest in the technology is beginning to wane.
For the unaware, non-fungible tokens, frequently referred to as NFTs, are blockchain-based tokens that tie assets such as images, music, and various digital media to their blockchain signature. Blockchain enthusiasts across the internet claim that NFTs are the way forward for ownership in the digital era where almost anything can be more or less right-clicked and saved. NFTs have made many crypto speculators quite wealthy in recent years as the Ethereum-based images have frequently traded for high prices throughout the crypto boom of 2020 and 2021.
A recent report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that the once-lucrative NFT market is “flatlining” as non-fungible token sales have dropped from a daily average of 225,000 in September to a measly 19,000 this past week. At the time of writing, sales have spiked to an average of 24,000 but are still far from reaching their six-digit peaks only months ago. Active wallets in the NFT market fell from 119,000 in November to 14,000 last week. Outside of the investment sphere, the public’s interest in NFTs is also plummeting as Google Trends ranks the term “NFT” at a ratio in the mid-20s for April compared to January’s peak of 100.
Those still holding NFTs in their crypto wallets have surely felt the hit in the market. Early last year, an NFT of former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet was minted and then sold for $2.9 million to Bride Oracle CEO Sina Estavi. The NFT failed to receive a bid higher than $14,000 when Estavi put it on auction in April of this year. Additionally, an NFT of the rapper Snoop Dogg recently sold for $32,000 and currently doesn’t have a bid higher than $210. Crypto proponent Elon Musk has also taken to Twitter to mock NFTs stating, “I dunno … seems kinda fungible.”
NFTs have faced significant backlash in the world of gaming as many believe that the play-to-earn monetizing scheme proposed by Ubisoft and various blockchain game developers have no place in the medium. With the recent news of Square Enix selling off its western division to focus efforts on “blockchain” and “AI” technologies, it remains to be seen how various game developers and publishers will handle NFT adoption. It seems that the financial viability of the technology could be in its death throes.
Source: The Wall Street Journal