Digital Art, P2E Games are Main Drivers for NFT Adoption in PH – TZ APAC Exec

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  • According to TZ APAC’s Head of Growth, David Tng, NFT art and play-to-earn (P2E) games are expected to be the primary drivers for NFT adoption in the Philippines.
  • Tng believes that blockchain games will remain popular in the Philippines, and traditional gaming firms and studios are slowly entering the web3 gaming industry.
  • The TZ APAC executive also shared how he is witnessing a growing number of Filipino artists using NFTs to showcase their artworks in international exhibitions. Bjorn Calleja is one of the known NFT artists in the Philippines who has been showcasing his works abroad.

“The Philippines, being one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economies, has shown great promise in blockchain and NFT adoption. NFTs bring a lot of value in terms of IP. NFTs store transaction data on the blockchain, keeping a recontrol corded history of all transactions involving the art.” 

Thus stressed by David Tng, the head of growth of TZ APAC, the Asian adoption entity for the Tezos Blockchain, when asked about the potential of the country in adopting the blockchain technology, which includes the crypto, non-fungible token (NFT), and web3 industries. 

In an interview with Inquirer, Tng said there are two main drivers that are expected to lead to the mass adoption of the NFT industry in the country, ‌blockchain games and NFT artworks.

Blockchain Games as the Forerunner

As per Tng, blockchain games will remain popular in the Philippines for the next couple of years, even though some players have already exited the play-to-earn gaming industry due to the ongoing crypto winter:

“NFT gaming will be the harbinger of more mass adoption. Over the next year and a half, we should expect to see millions of users entering this space.”

Blockchain games are primarily ‌games based on ‌blockchain technology. To be able to play, most games require NFTs that represent items, the main character, and other parts of the game. Some NFTs are given away for free, but most need to be purchased first. 

In return, players earn in-game tokens upon finishing a certain task or objective of the game. But these in-game tokens are cryptocurrencies, which are volatile in nature. So players should expect that the value of each token depends on the performance of the market. 

Moreover, Tng also emphasized that more traditional gaming firms and studios are now slowly adopting and entering the web3 gaming industry. 

One of which is ‌gaming giant Square Enix, best known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Star Ocean, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises.

Square Enix in the Web3 Space

  • 2019 – Square Enix also participated in a $2.01 million investment round for the Sandbox.
  • 2020  – the company brought its Dungeon Siege franchise into the metaverse game world of The Sandbox—the venture includes an interactive experience on Square Enix’s owned LAND in the shared online world.
  • 2022:
    • March – it became a strategic advisor for the Blockchain-based collectible card game Cross the Ages.
    • May – it signed a share transfer agreement with Sweden-based Embracer Group AB, and sold some of its overseas studios and Intellectual Properties (IPs) to “launch new businesses by moving forward with investments in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud.”
    • July – Square Enix partnered with Enjin to launch a physical and digital collection of Final Fantasy VII–the digital collectibles will be available this year. In the same month, the company invested in the Bitcoin gaming startup Zebedee where it helped the startup raise $35 million in a Series B funding round.
    • September – Square Enix announced its partnership with blockchain company Oasys to “explore the possibility of harnessing user contributions in the development of new games.”
    • November – they launched their first web3 game, an Ethereum (non-fungible token) NFT-driven game called Symbiogenesis. The NFT game allows players to buy and sell virtual goods in the metaverse and features “a wide cast of characters’ symbiosis, all of which can be collected as digital art.” 
    • December – Square Enix had invested 7 billion yen of common stock into Gumi, a Japanese video game developer, and publisher, to create games that incorporate blockchain technology and NFTs.
  • 2023 – Square Enix is set to launch its first web3 game Symbiogenesis in Polygon Network.

Tng’s idea is supported by the recently published Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) annual survey of practitioners in the blockchain gaming industry, which suggested that the public see “traditional gaming studios” and “existing gaming franchises moving into web3” as a top driver to move the industry forward in 2023.

“Gaming is very likely to be the next area where innovation moves forward,” he added.

NFT Arts as Primary Ingredients

Meanwhile, the TZ APAC executive also shared how he is currently witnessing a growing number of Filipino artists using NFTs as a way to showcase their artworks in exhibitions abroad.

One of the known NFT artists in the country who brings the Philippine flag to the international stage is Bjorn Calleja. So far, there are three international events that BitPinas has covered in which Calleja has been involved:

  • A panel discussion with the theme “Tezos Presents: Come Together – Building Communities in the NFT Art Space,” during an S.E.A. Focus event during Singapore Art Week. Calleja was able to display his paintings, digital arts, and even sculptures during the event. (January 2023)
  • An art exhibit entitled “NFTs + The Ever-Evolving World of Art” at Art Basel Hong Kong. (May 2022)
  • A panel discussion entitled “Asian Artists in the World of NFTs” during the first day of “GeckoCon: The Decentralized Future” conference. (July 2022)

On the other hand, in line with the celebration of National Arts Month 2023 with this year’s theme “Ani ng Sining, Bunga ng Galing,” Tezos Filipinos was launched on February 11, where the event highlighted the works of Filipino artists in the web3 space.

Tezos Filipinos is a community initiative of Filipino NFT artists on the Tezos blockchain. It is a different entity from Tezos Philippines, the Philippine community arm of TZ APAC. 

Also, the recently concluded Art Fair Philippines 2023, which also included NFT arts as part of the fair for the first time, had two art workshops focusing on digital art, aiming to educate more about the crypto art scene in the country. The two workshops were initiated by Tezos, the education partner of the event. 

“Just like physical art, value is driven by a combination of scarcity, provenance, and the artist’s vision. NFTs facilitate this scarcity and provenance by minting the token on the blockchain, recording the author of the piece, and also ensuring no further copies can be created,” Tng concluded. 

This article is published on BitPinas: Digital Art, P2E Games are Main Drivers for NFT Adoption in PH – TZ APAC Exec

Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.

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Nath Cajuday

BitPinas is the oldest blockchain and cryptocurrency news outlet that covers the Philippine blockchain and crypto scene. We are also writing general and international blockchain topics that are relevant to our audience.