What are Virtual Worlds & Virtual Land in Blockchain Gaming?
The term virtual world describes games in the blockchain space that are split into so-called virtual lands. Virtual lands are parts of the game map that can be owned by players through NFTs (non fungible tokens). In most cases those NFTs are on the ethereum blockchain these days.
Players that own virtual land can create their own buildings on their land or even give access to build on their land to other people. Most virtual worlds have custom builder to create buildings on their land as well as the possibility to place NFTs on their land from other creator sources.
It is also possible to create individual characters in those virtual worlds with digital assets mostly just called wearables. In most of the blockchain metaverse games, players are able to own a personal in-game name through a NFT which is tradeable.
In many cases virtual worlds support virtual reality, which is an optional feature but could bring many attention from socialVR communities.
Virtual worlds focus on social communities interacting in those worlds. It makes it possible to play in user-generated worlds and experience mini-games, which can be monetized by the land owner or builder to earn themself cryptocurrencies and reward the players that interact with their mini-games (play2earn).
With more than 250.000$ trading volume within the last week, Cryptovoxels is one of the most popular virtual worlds these days. It is already playable with and without virtual reality. Cryptovoxels is one of the virtual worlds that are most comparable to minecraft in terms of design, they are mostly based on block building similar to minecraft.
Cryptovoxels community is mainly focused on cryptoart these days. Many people have showrooms of NFT artworks & assets that mostly come from SuperRare, MakersPlace & Known Origin digital artworks marketplaces. The Cryptovoxels world can easily be visited through any browser without software downloads required.
Decentraland was the first virtual world to bring this game genre to blockchain gaming masses in terms of attention. Same as Cryptovoxels, Decentraland is breaking records in terms of trading volume with more than 600.000$ within the last 7 days. Decentraland also offers optional virtual reality support.
Today, Decentraland is mostly known for their user-built monetized content. Players create mini-games on their virtual land, which can be played for free or an entry fee of their own cryptocurrency called mana. Players that enter the game have the chance to win NFTs or cryptocurrency, if they win the game or be the top of the leaderboard.
Decentraland will open their world for everyone on february 20, 2020.
Somnium Space is the virtual world with the biggest focus on virtual reality gameplay. Their game design reminds a lot on socialVR games. Somnium Space is listed in the Steam games shop, which gives them a lot of attention to the average VR player that never heard of blockchain.
Like in other virtual worlds, people can own virtual land, use their digital assets in the game as well as create their own user content and monetize it.
Same as Decentraland, Somnium Space will open up their world for everyone on february 20, 2020.
Unlike the three previous virtual worlds, the Sandbox doesn’t plan to offer virtual reality support. But that doesn’t seem to be any problem for their success. The Sandbox just finished their second wave of land presale with a 90% land sale within 24 hours, worth ~200.000$. With their second wave of presale land, they also announced partnerships with a total of ~40 mostly blockchain related companies. This shows their support from the blockchain gaming industry.
Right now it’s already possible to create own digital assets with their software called VoxEdit. Soon they will launch their Game-Builder to make it possible to build on players owned land.
The Sandbox plans to launch their full game access between mid and end of the year 2020.
Coming Virtual Worlds & Virtual Land
Next to 100% virtual world focused blockchain games, there are also other blockchain games that try to integrate virtual worlds & virtual land into their games.
An upcoming virtual world that works in a different way than the 4 metaverse games mentioned in this article is AlterVerse. AlterVerse plans 17 prototyped gaming worlds that have different themes and are connected with each other. Players can build worlds based themes. Instead of land, players can buy their own theme server and with that they own a theme based similarity to a land. The first theme of the AlterVerse is the space world and with that comes an owned spaceship. In the spaceship, which is comparable to land in other virtual worlds, players are able to design and create rooms in an upcoming custom builder. AlterVerse plans other themes like Vikings, Sparta, Maya, Pirates and more. Virtual reality is compatible with the AlterVerse. Other than most virtual worlds, AlterVerse is using Enjin instead of Ethereum.
AlterVerse will be available in the Steam games shop in Q1 2020.
Axie Infinity started their virtual land presale with the focus to integrate their land to the main turn based battle game. Land will help Axies with their attributes in PVE as well as the possibility to do raids and more. Axie Infinity plans to open up their virtual world and land for user generated content in the future. At the moment there is not enough clarification about those features to call it a virtual world yet. This can change in the future.
With the extension “War of Cutieland“, Blockchaincuties started a presale of their own land. Land in Blockchaincuties is a NFT same as in virtual worlds. The difference is it’s not an user generated content world that everyone can join into. The land in Blockchaincuties will be part of their gameplay to fight between “Blockchaincuties” and should not be compared to virtual worlds.