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Paima Studios brings Stateful NFT to Cardano

Published 13.4.2023, updated 27.4.2023

Paima Studios designed a blockchain game engine called Paima Engine. One of the most exciting concepts the team has created is Stateful NFTs. Most people view non-fungible tokens as an image linked to a token on the blockchain. Stateful NFT is a revolutionary concept linking a token to a dynamically changing state. Stateful NFT can store time, in-game experience, earned items or in-game money, etc. It can be seen as an account or a saved game position. I personally believe that this concept has potential outside of the gaming industry.

TLDR

Scarcity itself is often meaningless without utility. The value of most current coins or tokens is based on artificially created scarcity. Stateful NFTs can store time, history, experience, luck, and similar things. This can be a game utility that players will really enjoy.

NFT 1.0 is not a good fit for the gaming industry

The first generation of NFTs, which can be denoted by the serial number 1.0, behave too static, inactive, and rigid. They can be minted and burned. The player can buy such a token or somehow acquire one in the game. In-game NFTs can be traded which gives them speculative value. However, from the perspective of players, the speculative value may be more of a barrier to the utility.

The value of first-generation NFTs is often based mainly on artificial scarcity. Scarcity can often be meaningless without utility. The utility should be inclusive. If using NFTs in a game leads to financial speculation, playing the game can be an exclusive affair. The creation of unsustainable economies is usually not the goal of the authors.

The current use of NFTs in games is not very innovative and this is mainly due to the rigid properties of tokens. If the only purpose of using NFTs for in-game items, money, or characters is secondary trading, it is almost certain that tokens are not fulfilling their purpose in terms of game experience. Of course, it may be tempting to acquire a unique item in the game in order to sell it, but it is questionable whether such a game can retain a large number of players in the long term.

Stateful NFTs are the new gaming primitive

Stateful NFTs are tokens that can change over time and maintain their state. Stateful NFTs can be said to live or breathe. They can represent experience gained, hold in-game money or items (which can be other static NFTs), or represent a level achieved. They can reflect on time spent playing the game, experience gained victories, etc.

You can think of Stateful NFT as an account that changes over time. Coins or tokens can come into it as well as go out of it. The account has a transaction history that may be important to someone.

If you are playing a game on the internet, what is most important to you specifically is the development of your character. When you come back to the game after a while, you don't want to play from the beginning, but pick up where you left off last time. You want to have the same items, the same status, etc.

Stateful NFTs are a universal concept and I certainly don't want to say it's a gaming account. Remember Tamagotchi? You can also think of Stateful NFTs as virtual pet that somehow evolves over time as the game progresses. If you feed the pet, it's happy. If you don't, it can die. It's possible that your pet may just turn out to be a rare piece. You can care for your pet for several months or years, and throughout this time its state will change. Stateful NFT can maintain this state.

The owner of Stateful NFTs can sell them just like a traditional NFT. Depending on the design of the game, the new owner may use only some of the items associated with the token or may continue the game where the previous owner left off.

The difference with NFT 1.0 is that the same token is not sold over and over again. Stateful NFTs change their properties over time. For example, it is possible to give each new player the same or similar Stateful NFT for the price of a mint. Each player changes his Stateful NFT in a unique way and thus also changes its value.

The value of Stateful NFTs is not artificially created by the authors of the game but is created by the players through their experience, time spent with the game, luck, etc. Stateful NFTs can have a high speculative value similar to traditional NFTs. The difference is that the value is dynamically created in the game, and even the game authors may not have control over future developments.

Conclusion

Paima Studios is a research-first-driven company. I believe that Stateful NFTs are a brand-new concept that will catch up. The first big success for the team is the partnership with Globant. Globant works with many clients such as Ubisoft, Google, EA, and many others. The possibilities for Stateful NFTs are endless and potentially significantly higher than the first generation. Imagine that your NFT is not always the same, but evolves over time, which can increase or decrease its value. You may be the one who can influence this.

There is currently the first proof-of-concept game using Stateful NFTs called Jungle Wars: NFT Rumble. NFTs preserve the owner's evolving game record. Try playing the game and experience the power of this new technology.

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