Animoca brands subsidiary nWay has launched a play-to-earn game inspired by the Olympic games. The Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 was officially licensed by the International Olympic Committee to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and was launched a day before last Saturday’s Beijing opening ceremony.
The game’s structure is a multiplayer format where players can compete in digital winter sports to earn Olympic digital pins minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which differ in rarity from Common to Legendary. Users can also personalize their avatars on the platform.
Gameplay requires “tickets”, which are “attached” to the NFT pins, which each have a finite number of tickets. Owning a pin at the start accelerates gameplay. However, without a pin, users can participate in Free Matches to work their way towards earning a pin and from there start participating in the competition. Besides winning digital events, collectors can also directly purchase digital pins through assorted boxes on nWay’s website or on the platform’s secondary marketplace.
Despite only acquiring licensing rights in June, nWay has managed to develop and launch the app in just over six months, and it is not planning to discontinue it after the Winter Olympics come to an end. The game’s features will continue to be updated to include new events and keep users engaged.
The Olympic pins are an iconic aspect of the event. They started as a way to identify athletes and Officials at the games but have evolved to become a collection-like feature where journalists, athletes, trainers, and other people involved in putting the event together can participate. A digital version of it enables sports fans who could not be physically present at the event to have a chance to engage. China is being particularly strict on visitors and even athletes’ companions. Therefore, engaging with the Olympics beyond watching it on TV will likely be welcomed by many.
“The Olympic Games are the world’s largest sporting celebration. We can’t think of a better genre than party games to get everyone across different gaming skills involved for this global celebration in a massive way,” said Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay. “nWay has a track record of creating high-quality multiplayer games, and making Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022 a play-to-earn title is going to let gamers and NFT collectors alike to not only engage with the Olympic Games, but also own a piece of Olympic history.”
Ironically, China will not allow nWay’s game to operate in its region. China prohibits cryptocurrencies and has some complicated laws about NFTs.
Meanwhile, Chinese conglomerate Alibaba launched its own Olympic branded NFT collection. These can’t be used for any commercial purposes (so no re-selling) and are referred to as ‘digital collectibles’ instead of NFTs. Still, they can operate in Mainland China, which alone has a significant market.