Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Dec. 23, 2021]
GameFi

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Dec. 23, 2021]

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CoinMarketCap takes a look at some of the most prominent play-to-earn and NFT events — from backlash over NFTs from the gaming community, to Bored Ape Yacht Club flipping CryptoPunks.

Weekly Roundup: What Happened in Play2Earn Games and NFTs This Week? [Dec. 23, 2021]

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It appears many gamers are not in support of gaming companies incorporating non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into gameplay. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has been forced to quell its NFT plans following a backlash from its gaming community. Meanwhile, Adidas Originals’ NFT launch was a huge success as the collection sold out in a few hours, raking in $23 million.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting news in the NFT and play-to-earn (P2E) space over the past week.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.2 Game Backtracks on NFT Plans Following Backlash

The team behind the award-winning first-person-shooter games series S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has abandoned its early NFT plans for its upcoming sequel — S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl. Apparently, many gamers are not keen on the idea of gaming companies dabbling into the NFT space.

Earlier this month, one of the world’s biggest developers Ubisoft had a first-hand experience of the wrath of the gaming community when it announced its first three in-game NFTs for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. The NFT drop can be best described as a huge flop.
Looking at the project’s U.S. Rarible marketplace page, there have been just thirteen resales since the NFTs were launched earlier this month. And despite being a big name in the gaming industry, Ubisoft’s NFTs are nowhere to be found on Rarible’s top 100 collections of the month.
Similarly, in November, chat app Discord abandoned its Metamask Ethereum wallet integration plans after it came under immediate fire from its core users.
As for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, its developer GSC Game World announced on Dec. 15, 2021, that NFTs would be included in the sequel. The initial plan was to unveil three non-playable characters, aka “metahumans.” Players would have their alias linked to the in-game character.
Although some gamers bought into the idea, many expressed their frustration by creating memes. For many, the company was simply trying to jump on the NFT fad since it did not provide enough details on its decision. However, the Ukrainian company later tweeted some clarifications, noting that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is not a blockchain game and the NFTs are optional buy-ins that would not affect gameplay. The game developers also explained that it needed funds to make the sequel better. In the end, GSC chose to dump the idea. An update on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 NFT site says:
“Based on the feedback we received, we’ve made a decision to cancel anything NFT-related in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.”

Exodus Mobile Wallet Integrates NFT Marketplace Into its Mobile App

Cryptocurrency wallet Exodus is integrating an NFT marketplace into its mobile app following a deal with Magic Eden.
The new feature utilizes the Solana blockchain and will allow collectors to transfer their NFTs directly from their browser-based wallets or any Solana NFT marketplace to their Exodus wallets. Users will also be able to search for Solana-based NFT collections, share their favorite NFTs on social media, or transfer their tokens to other wallets while in the Exodus mobile app.
“Exodus is now the largest Solana NFT marketplace on mobile with the Exodus x MagicEden NFT app integration!”
Magic Eden is currently the second-largest NFT marketplace on Solana by all-time volume. Over the past 30 days, the platform has processed over $411 million in transaction volume, according to DappRadar data. Comparing it to Ethereum’s leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, which recorded $1.94 billion in transaction volume over the past 30 days, it might not seem a lot — but the Solana NFT ecosystem has started to grow rapidly.
Commenting on its choice of Solana, Exodus CEO and co-founder JP Richardson told crypto news site Decrypt that gas fees played a huge role. He said:
"And so to think that on OpenSea, people are going to see a price of $40, $50, $60 in gas for maybe a $5 NFT. They're going to freak out. So we chose Solana because of the transaction cost and speed. It just made sense to us."

There are plans to extend the functionality to the desktop version of Exodus. But for now, the primary focus is on enhancing the mobile experience for users, Richardson said.

Adidas Originals Nets $60 Million From its First NFT Drop

While gaming brands like Ubisoft have not had much success with their NFT drops, sportswear giant Adidas is swimming in millions from its debut “Into the Metaverse” NFT drop.
Adidas did not just generate over $60 million from its NFT sales. The phenomenal sales volume within 24 hours pushed the collection to the top of the leaderboard, according to CryptoSlam. However, it has now dropped to the 10th position on the leaderboard.

The launch remains the top collection on OpenSea's leaderboard for the past 7 days.

Into the Metaverse was a collaboration between Adidas, Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney and the creator of PUNKS Comic NFT. The sportswear giant first hinted at its NFT plans at the beginning of the month when it purchased a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT and changed its Twitter profile picture to BAYC #8774.

The drop featured 30,000 Adidas Originals NFTs. 20,000 of the items were first offered to holders of Bored Ape or Mutant Ape NFTs, Pixel Vault NFTs, gmoney holders and Adidas Originals POAPs. In a few hours, all 20,000 early access tokens were already purchased.

As for the remaining 10,000 tokens, “Adidas and partners” reserved 380 for “future events” and the remaining 9,620 was released to the public at a cap of two per customer. These sold out in less than a second. Surprisingly, one customer was able to grab 330 NFTs by deploying a custom smart contract.

Instagram Is “Actively Exploring” NFTs, CEO Adam Mosseri Says

With Facebook recently rebranding to Meta Platforms Inc, it does not come as a surprise that the company’s photo and video-sharing social networking service Instagram is setting its sight on NFTs.
The CEO of the company Adam Mosseri has revealed that Instagram is “actively exploring” NFTs. Speaking via his personal Instagram account last week, Mosseri said:
“Nothing to announce yet but we are definitely actively exploring NFTs and how we can make them more accessible to a wider audience […] I think it’s an interesting place that we can play […] and also a way to hopefully help creators.”

To set the records straight, Instagram had already begun dabbling into the NFT space since the beginning of the year. In May, the social media giant hosted a panel for NFT creators as part of its inaugural “Creator Week.”

At that time, Charles Porch, Instagram’s VP of global partnerships, said “they have told us they need more information on how to do that [monetize their platforms and grow their following], not just from us, but from other creators.

More recently, in December, former executives from Instagram, Stripe and Tinder launched a $50 million crypto fund dubbed “Chapter One” focused on designing and providing practical guidance to founders.

The Weeknd Launches NFTs to Celebrate New Music Record

Canadian musician the Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, has launched a series of limited-edition NFTs on OpenSea and Tom Brady’s Autograph platform to celebrate his new music milestone.

His hit single “Blinding Lights” scored an all-time record on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart having marked 90 weeks. What better way to celebrate the new record than by dropping some NFTs?
The seven NFTs in the collection were a collaboration between the Weeknd, Autograph, collectible cards startup The Infinite, and the Billboard. Meanwhile, the artist has also released physical trading cards on his official website to celebrate the milestone.
The collection is currently listed on OpenSea. Auctions ended on Thursday. Six of the NFTs are footage from the “Blinding Lights” music video, while the remaining one shows the artist on the cover of Billboard.
The NFTs will also be available on Autograph. The move was quite expected seeing that the Weeknd joined Autographs’ board of directors in October. The musician is there to help the company expand its music collectibles vertical as it expands into the entertainment niche. Autograph CEO Dillon Rosenblatt earlier explained:
“The same way that we had Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, and our other athletes lead the sports vertical into the world. We see The Weeknd leading our music vertical and pulling in people that are close to him ... and then building out a similar group of true thought leaders in the space, led by Abel.”

China’s Official State-run Media Agency Xinhua to Issue NFTs

In a rather surprising turn of events, China’s state-run press agency Xinhua is set to release some NFTs on Friday despite the government’s anti-crypto stance.

The media agency announced on Wednesday that it intends to issue a set of NFTs for free via its news app on Christmas Eve at 12 pm UTC. The NFT drop will feature 11 different collections of photojournalism, as well as a “special edition” collection. The special edition collection records “many precious historical moments of 2021.”

Some of the historic moments being celebrated by the NFT series include the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary celebration in Tiananmen Square and the county’s milestone of administering over 2.7 billion vaccine doses. Meanwhile, Xinhua will be using Zxchain, the blockchain of social media giant Tencent to mint the tokens.

Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Flip CryptoPunks For the First Time

The floor price of a Bored Ape is now higher than that of a CryptoPunk.

In terms of entry-level price, it is now cheaper to own a CryptoPunk than an NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) collection. This is the first time that the latter has overthrown the highly-coveted CryptoPunks.

As of 10 am ET on Wednesday, the lowest prized CryptoPunk was 52.69 ETH or just over 210,000. On the flip side, the cheapest Bore Ape on OpenSea was priced at 53.9 ETH or $217,000.

While it is arguably every collector’s dream to own a CryptoPunk, the “flippening” points to a shift in sentiment between the two leading profile picture collectibles. The move does not, however, come as a surprise.

Since its launch in April, Bored Apes have gained momentum, thanks to a number of splashy events, such as the launch of a related Mutant Ape Yacht Club series, which was freely given to owners of Bored Apes. This was capped with a star-studded exclusive concert in New York City in November.

Countless celebrities have thronged to the Bored Ape Yacht Club, from Stephen Curry to Jimmy Fallon, and Post Malone, among several others.

An even more important aspect of the BAYC collection is the commercial rights and utility that owners have over their images. Ape owners have access to initiatives such as virtual bands backed by Universal Music and Timbaland. There are also plans to develop a play-to-earn game in 2022.
CryptoPunks, on the other hand, has had a relatively silent year. For one, there is a lot of discontent in the community as creators have failed to engage their community. The rules for commercializing NFTs are also very unclear. As reported by CoinMarketCap Alexandria last week, one well-known collector offloaded his CryptoPunk for around $10 million last week, citing growing uncertainty over the project’s future.

The pseudonym collector named Punk4156 said:

“Over that time, it became clear to me that there was probably no chance that I would ever own the rights to the thing that I was building,” he said. “It's just kind of an illogical position to continue building your brand around something over which you don't have the strongest claim.”
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