Gaming world set to enter ‘most exciting decade’ with AI, NFTs, Immutable co-founder says

Immutable co-founder Robbie Ferguson

The gaming world is entering its most exciting decade ever thanks to AI technology, the popularisation of NFTs and new trends on the monetization and financing of items in Web3 games, said Robbie Ferguson, co-founder of Australia-based Web3 gaming company Immutable.

Recent advancements in AI would enable games to be developed in a faster and cheaper way than ever because they “democratise” the process, empowering everyday creators to create content, Ferguson said during a forum at NFT.NYC 2022 in New York. 

One example was an AI image generative network, in which the user could generate 3D models or images simply by typing in a line of description, he told the forum entitled “Gaming NFTs: Possibilities, limitations and inevitable future trends.”

“You can type in ‘I want to see a photo of a dragon wearing a wizard hat, casting a spell on Mars’ and it’ll generate it.”

“Very soon you can make cards or [do] trading. You can make 3D models for worlds. You can have assets dynamically generated by anyone who doesn’t even need anything other than a creative vision for what they’re building.”

Ferguson said this would unlock up to a billion people with no technical background to start creating game content that people want to play. Their inputs would become part of game design principles of the next generation in Web3 games. “You’re gonna face the most exciting decade of gaming that we’ve ever seen,” he said. 

Another boost to Web3 gaming would be the popularisation of NFTs. Despite appearing to be luxury or Veblen goods now, the digital assets would soon become items “with hundreds of millions of players and billions of transactions on a daily basis” to sustain gaming economies, Ferguson said.

“Because this is about how we allow people to earn items in game that they can trade for US$1 or US$2, that they can actually have real value from while still allowing people to be running an economy of the game or a guild if they want to,” he said. “And we now have the scale to do that.”

In the future, Ferguson expected that the liquidity and transaction volume of in-game assets would be so high that there would be financial products such as funds and futures linking to them, to be traded in secondary markets. 

“Pork knuckles has it as a futures market because there’s sufficient primary demand. And so when you look at [a] US$100-billion-a-year industry, it is very clear that, five or 10 years from now, there will literally be a trading desk at Goldman Sachs or other trading firms where they trade assets inside video games,” he said.

The emergence of the new economies, if it happens, would potentially change the landscape of the gaming world, with financial institutions betting on different types of game content which they think will become popular with users, Ferguson said.

“As soon as you have that, you suddenly have a predictive market,” he said. “We’re gonna have a financial market predicting what are the next trends and genres, what kind of content players want to play, everything from movies versus RPGs to inside those games.”