As the NFT market continues to mature, in spite of bubbles, crypto crashes, get-rich-quick participants and woefull collectors, the convergence of the traditional art world with corporate companies like the Blizzard is almost an inevitability. Whether corporations start by experimenting with Non-Fungible Tokens, like Disney, or they go all in, like the NBA, it’s only logical to begin looking at all the opportunities for the future of collectables and how NFTs may make sense. This is the second in a series of blogs that will dissect the feasibility and likelihood of major enterprises embracing the NFT space. In fact, we recently used Pokemon as a key example of a Intellectual Property asset that is teeming with possibility.
Blizzard: A Hungry History
Blizzard is a famous game developer, best known for its online megafranchise World of Warcraft but also well known for many other video game properties. Blizzard describes themselves as both a video game developer and a publisher, and was founded in 1991. Blizzard was purchased by Vivendi and later Activision in 2008. Activision is well known for shrewd business tactics in order to stave off bankruptcy, and is very likely to push its subsidiary to monetize its brand in any way possible.
Blizzard: A Hungry Fanbase
As far back as December 30, 2020, a fan on the Blizzard US forums wrote:
“NFT = Non-Fungible Token. This is the new craze in the world of decentralized finance, and I think it’s going to revolutionize gaming. Basically it’s a token made on the blockchain in which you can trade for real currency or buy other in-game items. You earn them by playing the game. I know I might sound crazy, but all you crypto-heads know what I’m talking about. This could really be the catalyst that makes blizzard top dog again.” -Trenhard
Fans like new content, they like it to be tradable, and most of all, they like for it to be able to be monetized. Imagine being able to re-sale weapons from Diablo, or being able to buy new fan-created skins for Overwatch.
A subsequent post in March of 2021 continued the speculation:
“I’ve been kinda blindsided by how many content creators across all of youtube are creating NFT[s] (non fungible tokens) however, recently a multi billion dollar company got involved. Taco bell created 25 NFT’s attached with something extra… when those tokens are sold… .001% goes to taco bells charity.
Overall this is very new and exciting, almost reminds me of the first days of bitcoin.
Do you think wow will have NFT’s?” – Plaguedemon
We feel that the fans are sensing something that they feel would go great inside of Blizzard’s properties. NFTs are collectable. They have built in rarity. The exist cross-platform. They are already embraced by digital natives comfortable with digital and micro-transactions.
Blizzard: NFT Challenges
Everyone who has been involved with WoW for a long time will know that monetization of game assets has been a long, controversial road. Many marketplaces have been born and died in an attempt to make monetization a reality. Additionally, Diablo 3 fans all remember the horror that was the real-money auction house and it’s hugely negative impact on the game mechanics. So, whatever system Blizzard decides to employ has to be very well thought out and implemented in such a way as to not negatively impact the game.
In any case, NFT Culture staff is very much intrigued by watching Blizzard and Activision to see what they do. If either company decides to enter the NFT market, they will surely be one of the largest players and the amount of volume will be massive. We are very excited to continue watching this space.