A newly published patent shows Sony Interactive Entertainment has been exploring ways that it could use NFTs and blockchain technology in games.
Filed last year and published on Thursday, Sony’s patent (via Segment Next) is titled ‘NFT Framework For Transferring And Using Digital Assets Between Game Platforms’.
“As recognized herein, in some applications such as computer/video games, an NFT might represent the artwork or an asset in the game (such as a character or weapon or other game asset), but current systems are technologically inadequate for the owner to use the asset across different games and platforms,” reads a summary.
“Accordingly, as further recognized herein, the functionality of the game may be enhanced by enabling gamers and/or spectators to exclusively use the asset and possibly transfer its rights to others via NFT”.
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One example given is players obtaining a unique skin in a game that can then be used in other titles and even on different gaming platforms.
Such NFTs could also “be transferred to others (e.g., sold to others for value or exchanged)”, Sony said.
Another example describes rewarding the first person to beat a boss in a game the “right to use hunter-damage weapons in other games per your new NFT”.
“As yet another example, an NFT representing reaching a certain level, score, and/or points accumulation in a particular video game may be minted,” the patent reads.
“The NFT may then be transferred to someone else, who may then resume the game where the transferor left off according to the NFT so that the transferee begins gameplay at the same level, with the same score, and/or with the same points accumulation as the transferor.”
A Sony patent filed in May 2021 and published last November first revealed the company had been actively exploring the potential use of NFTs and blockchain technology in games.
Last September, the platform holder launched a loyalty scheme called PlayStation Stars, which enables players to earn digital rewards by completing various activities. However, it was quick to distance the programme from NFTs, which have attracted criticism in some quarters due to the format’s high carbon footprint and what many perceive to be cynical implementation.
“It’s definitely not NFTs,” Grace Chen, PlayStation’s vice president of network advertising, loyalty and licensed merchandise, told The Washington Post. “Definitely not. You can’t trade them or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs.”
Gaming companies that have launched NFT projects or are considering doing so include Square Enix, Ubisoft, Konami and Sega.