In what is certainly a first-of-its-kind land grab, Peter Molyneux’s upcoming game Legacy began selling the game’s virtual land this past weekend to players eager to own a piece of property in the still-not-released business sim. The game, which was announced in 2017, is the first blockchain-based game to be announced from a big name like Molyneux, who is responsible for creating the “god game” genre along with such classics as Black & White, the Fable series, Dungeon Keeper, and more.
Though nobody has really heard much about this game in years, ourselves included, the game’s developer, 22 Cans, announced it would begin selling “land NFTs,” or non-fungible tokens in the game this previous weekend, starting in the Uk where they are based. Clicking through to the land sale, you can see there are still various plots for sale, but you need crypto coin to purchase them. As an example of what you can expect, we clicked on a random plot that was listed as “rare,” as opposed to the lesser “uncommon” but not quite as expensive as the purple “epic” rarity, and it was listed at 4.5 Ethereum, which is about $18k. The epic piece of land would set you back about 15 ethereum, or around $60k. According to one report, the most expensive plot sold was “ancient” rarity with only a single one available, which went for £670k. RockPaperShotgun estimates that so far all the plots of land sold equal about 14,000 ETH, which is around £40M.
If all this sounds a bit confusing, don’t worry — you are not alone. According to the game’s website, “owning a Land NFT allows you to start your own in-game blockchain business association in Legacy. You will be able to play Legacy, while earning and owning your gameplay.” This means essentially that not only do you own a small village, but you also get Legacy Keys with each piece of land. Each key you have “can be lent to other people who want to start an in-game business in Legacy, making them your in-game Business Partners. As part of your association, they will share a portion of their earned LegacyCoin with you.” This brings us to the “earning” portion of the game, which is done with LegacyCoin. You earn these coins through in-game competitions. Since it’s a business sim, it sounds like the competitions will be merit-based. Again, from the website, “Players will have to push their production capabilities to the limit, use their imagination and leverage their creative flair as they strive to design and make the best products and the most unique towns, pitting their skills against all others.”
Based on all this, it sounds like to get started in this game, which still isn’t released, you would need either a plot of land or have someone lend you a key they purchased (via a piece of land) so you could join their business association. From there, it seems like the sky is the limit, though we’re not sure at this time how you go about creating products, where the people who make them come from, and so on.
Regardless, this is just another instance of NFTs making headway into the gaming world, which is an entirely new phenomenon that has recently gained a bit of traction. Just last week Ubisoft announced it would start adding NFTs to its game via a new service called Quartz. However, the backlash was so strong the company had to delist its announcement video on YouTube, but still went ahead with the service’s launch a few days later. The first in-game NFT appeared in Ghost Recon Wildlands, and it was a helmet that was only available to people who had put in at least 600 hours of playtime. Also, in October Valve Software notified game developers that NFTs or any type of blockchain-based game would not be allowed on its Steam platform, though the developer didn’t explicitly state why. However, it’s not a big surprise that a company acting as a middle-man between gamers and game developers would get nervous when in-game items could involve real money, especially when the expectation is that they’ll increase in value over time. Valve obviously doesn’t want to be anywhere near a situation where a bunch of people buy NFT hats, for example, that plummet in value eventually. That’s why it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Legacy, as it will answer the question of whether people can earn profits via land NFTs over time just like with actual real estate.