NFT might be the Collins English Dictionary’s word of the year, but for blockchain gaming, I’d say it’s “land”. This time last year, I had barely seen the word land in a blockchain gaming context, yet now it’s right up there with staking.
This week has taken us on a wild ride, however, with two landmark sales, one in Axie Infinity and one in Decentraland. The latter strikes me as more of a corporate, marketing play, but the former appears to be just a wealthy player making an investment.
What Is a Land Plot in Axie Infinity?
As blockchain technology bridges the gap between the physical and the digital, we are beginning to see exclusively physical concepts recreated in digital terms. Now that we can own digital items, which is the driving force of the NFT movement, there was inevitably going to be a move towards virtual property and land ownership. Within any gaming world, the space can be divided up into plots and then sold, just as you would with real-life real estate.
Axie Infinity, the blockchain monster battling and breeding game that ignited interest this year, is based in the world, Lunacia. This game world is divided into a 301-by-301 grid, with each square representing a tokenized, and thus ownable, plot of land called Terra. These plots come in varying rarities and offer some benefits.
At a basic level, the plots can be bought, sold, and rented out. However, they are also customizable, can host shops, house NPCs, summon monsters, access dungeons, and offer content creators a number of opportunities. Therefore, they are seen as an investment above and beyond owning a scarce NFT in a highly popular blockchain game.
NFTs: Confusing Ageing Accountants Since 2017
As the title of this article suggests, there has been a sizeable purchase made for a plot of land in Axie Infinity. The land was sold for 550 Ethereum, which at the time of sale, is somewhere in the region of $2,300,000. The land is the rarest form, Genesis.
✨A Genesis Land Plot just sold for 550 ETH!— Axie Infinity | #AxieOrigins, #AxieHomeland (@AxieInfinity) November 24, 2021
That's over 2.3 M USD!
Our player-owned Digital nation continues to shock the world 🙌🔥 pic.twitter.com/SVvAtFNYUF
As I mentioned, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen digital land sell for Bugatti prices… this week. We have also just seen Metaverse Group buy a desirable and large plot of land in Decentraland for 616,000 $MANA, which was $2,430,000 at the time of purchase.
I find it difficult to square the price with the purchase at the moment. While getting land in a major and lasting blockchain game could prove a wise investment, many of the games we see now will likely be replaced unless they continue to build and innovate relentlessly. It makes more sense to me for a company like Metaverse Group to make a purchase of this caliber on the grounds of it being glorious PR as you bamboozle and irritate mainstream media.
It has been a wild week and it’s not even Friday yet. By Sunday I fully expect Zuckerberg to have bought a planet in Alien Worlds for $1.2 billion.