Sony Interactive Entertainment has been constantly investigating the usage of NFTs and blockchain technology in video games, according to a recently disclosed patent. NFTs are distinct, non-exchangeable data bits that are maintained on a blockchain (a sort of digital ledger), allowing users to efficiently purchase and sell digital assets such as in-game goods or artworks. The Sony patent (via Gamesual) is called “Tracking Unique In-Game Digital Assets Using Tokens on a Distributed Ledger” and was submitted in 2021 and released last month.
It describes a system that might be used to monitor the production, usage, modification, and transfer of digital assets made inside a video game and/or assets developed depending on gameplay.
The history part of the document indicates that “individuals frequently deem it significant to acquire or employ distinctive physical goods associated with famous personalities or hobbies.” “For instance, admirers of the talented baseball player Babe Ruth, or of baseball overall, sometimes desire to acquire and possess baseballs signed by Ruth, baseballs smashed by Ruth in a notable baseball game, playing cards representing Ruth, and similar items.”
Sony says that this approach could be employed to authenticate digital content utilized by expert gamers or popular content producers, which many other players may choose to purchase, sell, or lease.
“Talented players of multiplayer computer games earn notoriety in games or competitions that are frequently relayed live or otherwise aired to a large audience,” the source stated. Similarly, well-known gamers frequently live-stream or otherwise telecast gameplay of only one or multiplayer computer games, including speed-runs, in-game competitions, multiplayer clashes, and other gaming events. Certain players with exceptional talent or personality may amass significant numbers of loyal admirers, similar to the fan bases of renowned sports, musicians, actresses, and other stars. A player may utilize digital content during gameplay in several video games. Instances of these digital assets comprise unique characters, outfits, and accessories. Numerous versions of the identical in-game object occur inside the same duplicate of the computer game and/or within various editions of the video game in conventional computer games.“
These distinct occurrences of the exact same in-game object are interchangeable because they cannot be distinguished from each other. Even if a specific in-game object is difficult to get in the computer game, it is defined as a chain of code that is similar to depictions of other occurrences of the identical in-game item within the same computer game and/or in other replicas of the exact computer game. Consequently, in conventional video games, no virtual asset is distinct from rest of the instances of the identical in-game object.
“Therefore, it is impossible to determine, monitor, or validate the past of a specific circumstance of an in-game object in conventional online games. In conventional computer games, for example, there is no method for distinguishing a specific case of an in-game product that a renowned player utilized to win a notable tournament from every other illustration of the object.”
Sony claimed that the methods and technologies disclosed in its patent filing could be employed to monitor the lifespan of digital products across several hardware platforms, including all those “of a distinct, although inferior supplier,” as well as spanning games from multiple authors. “The methodologies and techniques disclosed herein increase the possibilities of digital products linked to video games and of platforms that create and administer such digital content by changing the fungibility of digital content linked to video games to non-fungibility.” “Tracking the past of the digital content can also include, for instance, monitoring when, how, and by whom the digital content was created, utilised, altered, leased to, leased by, sold to, bought by, licensed to, licensed by, swapped to and swapped by.”
Sony has just introduced PlayStation Stars, a unique loyalty program that allows gamers to collect digital prizes for performing certain tasks. Nevertheless, it was fast to differentiate the initiative from NFTs, which have been criticized by some owing to the game’s huge carbon impact and what several believe to be its disingenuous execution.
Grace Chen, vice president of network marketing, loyalty, and authorized products for PlayStation, stated to The Washington Post that it’s not NFTs. “Absolutely not. They cannot be traded or sold. It does not use any blockchain technology, nor any NFTs.”
Square Enix, Ubisoft, Konami, and Sega are among the gaming firms that have rolled or are contemplating NFT initiatives.