Despite the fact that they’ve been outed mostly as a scam in the gaming industry, it seems like alongside Square Enix, Sony itself isn’t willing to give up on NFTs just yet. According to a recently-published patent, the company is coming up with an NFT reward system to be used at some point in the future.
…the functionality of the game may be enhanced by enabling gamers and/or spectators to exclusively use the asset and possibly transfer its rights to others via NFT as further described below.
If you aren’t aware yet, NFT stands for “non-fungible token”, a supposed piece of artwork or other item that is accompanied by a digital receipt that supposedly shows ownership. The fact that it’s actually owned is supposedly intended to increase value, providing a sort of in-game player-based economy, according to the patent.
While anyone can view the digital asset, only the person identified in the NFT can sell the ownership of the asset, which is then recorded in the blockchain. Thus, digital assets can be bought and sold like physical collectables through NFT transactions.
While it’s a novel idea for an economy, the fact remains that various real-world attempts at doing so have all, without fail, met with disaster. Ubisoft attempted to sell NFTs in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which failed dismally. Many games that attempted to use NFTs as a central mechanic have also been cancelled or very quickly shut down. However, the patent doesn’t appear to be concerned about something like theft, either.
An NFT is a digital file in a block chain that proves who owns the underlying digital asset, much as a sales receipt proves ownership of a physical painting, although forging NFT proof-of-ownership is nearly impossible owing to the use of block chain technology.
There have been numerous high-profile “thefts” of NFT databases since the medium first began to gain prominence, causing the loss of “millions” of “dollars”. Yet at the same time, Sony’s patent, along with Square Enix announcing a game based on NFTs and the blockchain, proves that the lesson hasn’t sunk in yet, so we can only see what sort of result this system has in the future.