Metaverse and NFT games have been a growing topic of conversation amongst netizens for some time now.
And while a large part of the community is a bit apprehensive about the new trend, which is blockchain-based “play-to-earn” gaming, many industry leads feel that this truly is the next evolution for video games.
In an interaction with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Ajoy Das, founder of MetaMisfits, talks about the emergence of NFT games and how the “play-to-earn” model will be the future of the industry.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation
Ajoy Das, founder of MetaMisfits, opens up on the Metaverse and NFT games
Q. Ajoy, tell us a bit about your journey in the field of NFTs, Virtual Asset Management, and then eventually esports. Talk to us about the vision behind the formation of MetaMisfits, and how it’s looking to amalgamate NFT and competitive video games together.
Ajoy: A simple advertisement about trading virtual lands made me very curious about the field. Facebook’s metaverse initiative too began to spark my interest further, and before I knew it, I was absolutely immersed in the concept.
I played around with Axie and other NFT games for some time and stumbled upon some commendable prizes, which was when I had my ‘eureka moment’. I realized I could leverage platforms like Axie Infinity and my knowledge of the same to gift the Indian youth with the option of making a career out of gaming.
I immediately started working on this idea, and MetaMisfits was born.
MetaMisfits recently organized India’s first blockchain-based play-to-earn esports tournament, which was a huge success. It helped us aid the knowledge of the youth with regard to NFTs, Web3, Metaverse, and related concepts which are another one of our main aims.
Metamisfits also allows its users to invest in NFTs and help them to track their investments in a streamlined and seamless manner. We hope to break barriers to NFTs in India and help the Indian youth to make most of these new-age options.
Q. There has been an incredible surge in the number of individuals interested in the Metaverse and NFT over the last couple of years. Can you shed some light on why gaming companies have been betting big on this “new-age technology”? In which way do you feel NFT can transform the gaming experience?
Ajoy: The concept of Metaverse is not new, but its efficient application is something that is relatively fresh. Blockchain and NFTs have played a significant role in making Metaverse an exercisable option.
The introduction of these two and Web3 has made the video game economy a much more attractive offer than its real-life counterparts. With the inclusion of these technologies in gaming and their further advancements as expected in the future, Metaverse and NFTs are proving to be the ultimate bet for both big and small brand names.
Q. To the uninitiated, how would you describe the Metaverse and the role that NFT plays in Virtual Asset Management? What would you say are some of the biggest challenges these fields face today?
Ajoy: Metaverse, in layman terms, refers to a virtual world that is essentially a replication of the real one. In the Metaverse, each user gets their own avatar which they use to interact with their surroundings. They can buy virtual properties, pets, and other material things, just like in real life.
NFTs stands for Non-fungible Tokens, a form of digital currency that people can use to make transactions in these virtual spaces. These transactions are conducted through smart contracts, which facilitate hassle-free dealings and support true ownership.
The biggest challenge with Metaverse and NFTs is that 99% of our population still uses Web2 to conduct its operations. Lack of proper education and awareness about blockchain, play-to-earn games, NFTs, and Web3, is a standing issue.
The high-cost entry barrier to NFTs and projects too plays its part in hindering the accessibility of these technologies.
Q. Blockchain technology has been one of the fastest-growing trends in gaming. Talk to us about how NFTs and cryptocurrency are looking to revolutionize the industry by introducing the play-to-earn model and generating more job and career opportunities.
Ajoy: Blockchain gaming is distinguished in the sense that it records every game transaction in a publically accessible, decentralized ledger. This essentially means that Blockchain and NFTs allow the players ownership of their in-game assets. Decentralization gives users the power to decide the future of the game. The key trends for Blockchain gaming are NFT, Play to Earn games, Metaverse, DAO.
NFT and blockchain will revolutionize the gaming ecosystem because they will allow more games of Indian origin to become mainstream as they will now not have to struggle for funding.
NFT and blockchain allow community funding and facilitate true ownership, which is vital for growth in the present circumstance. Since we are still early, we are yet to see the true potential of NFT and Blockchain-based play to earn games.
We can expect to start witnessing its benefits when big companies indulge in adopting the concept.
Q. MetaMisfits recently partnered with PolygonStudios and FanClash to organize a one-of-a-kind Blockchain-based play-to-earn esports tournament called AxieUtsav in Kolkata this Christmas. Tell us a bit about some of the expectations that went behind this event and what led you to pick Axie Infinity over other play-to-earn games of its kind.
Ajoy: Yes, so as you know, AxieUtsav was India’s one-of-a-kind first Blockchain-based gaming event, and we are highly honored to get to be its organizers.
The successful execution of the event was a very happy occasion for us, and we have our collaborators, PolygonStudios, FanClash, AxieInfinity, and Community Gaming, to thank for this.
The main vision behind this event was to get the era of Blockchain-based gaming started in India. We received an overwhelming response, and we’re glad to see so many people interested in the concept.
Our art exhibition, Blockchain workshop, and other entertainment-based events were organized to further enhance the tournament experience and improve the knowledge of the masses concerning Blockchain, NFTs, Web3, etc.
Q. The lack of a solid framework and proper regulations makes many hesitate to invest entirely in NFTs. Can you tell us about some of the risk factors associated with this because of the lack of regulations?
Ajoy: We agree about the lack of regulations hindering the growth and acceptance of NFTs in India. The lack of rules mainly comes from the government’s skepticism of the idea at the present date. Still, we expect this situation to change as NFTs are growing globally and are thus critical to our country’s future development and growth scope.
We believe that increasing public knowledge about the possible risks and conceivably averting them is a good way forward.
Q. What, according to you, were some of the biggest challenges of Blockchain-based gaming in India? What would you say are some of the best solutions to counteract it?
Ajoy: We believe that the biggest challenge faced by Blockchain-based gaming in India is that we are still heavily dependent on the usage of Web2. It facilitates centralized games governed by a given centralized body.
The problem here is that the perks go to this centralized body instead of the players who have no actual ownership. Through our Web3 based services, this problem can be countered efficiently.
Another issue is that Indian society is still skeptical about exploring gaming as a mainstream career option. Our solution for this problem is in the form of our relentless efforts to raise awareness about NFTs, Blockchain, Web3, and related concepts that will help people understand that gaming too can be an excellent and exercisable career option.
Q. Major global companies like Facebook, Epic Games, and Ubisoft already have major stakes in Metaverse, NFT, and block-change gaming. Do you feel that it will provide serious challenges for smaller players who are new to the field?
Ajoy: I have a very optimistic view in this regard. I believe that since the big players are involved in this domain, their involvement helps in increasing public awareness about these topics. Also, since Web 3 is a decentralized concept, the ownership is not restricted to any single brand, giving us ample room to grow.
Also, one of the significant factors that determine the success of Web3 based ventures is community support. Having strong support from customers and the community can help a small name transform into a big name over time. We seek to leverage our dedicated services towards achieving complete customer satisfaction to make our venture a success.
Q. What’s next for MetaMisfits? What can fans expect from the organization in the coming years?
Ajoy: We are an ambitious bunch and wish to make the most of our first-mover advantage. We hope to make MetaMisfits a national brand for a Web3 guild/community. Our aim includes generating awareness and education amongst the Indian youth about NFTs, Blockchain, Web3, the Metaverse, and Cryptocurrency.
MetaMisfits hopes to establish a noticeable presence across states in the upcoming years. We also have plans to shift to a DAO model soon.
Releasing NFT projects and developing a Play to earn game is on our to-do list too. Overall, the sky is the limit, and we hope to grow extensively in the future.