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Twitch cofounder Justin Kan‘s new startup Fractal is launching its marketplace for gaming nonfungible tokens (NFTs) today.
Kan said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company want to make the ideal marketplace for selling game NFTs, which use the transparency and security of the digital ledger of blockchain to authenticate unique digital items.
[Update: Someone hacked Fractal’s Discord server verification bot and sent out a link to a fake drop. Victims sent $150,000 in SOL before the hack was discovered. Kan said he paid the users back with his own funds].
The company is launching goods from partners among blockchain game companies, including Aurory, Caveworld, Genopets, Mini Royale, Nyan Heroes, Panzerdogs, Portals, Photo Finish, Solchicks, Syn City, The Sandbox, and more.
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Players on Fractal will be able to buy gaming NFTs for partner games directly from studio drops or in the resale market from other players. Since first announcing the marketplace 10 days ago, Fractal’s Discord channel has grown to more than 107,000 followers, said Kan, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“It blew my mind that we got a lot of traction and people are pretty excited,” Kan said. “So we decided to set an aggressive goal and launch on Christmas Eve.”
NFTs have taken off this year as a new way to monetize games, and we have seen a boom in fundraising for the opportunity with startups like Mythical Games, Dapper Labs, Sky Mavis, Animoca Brands, and others.
If you look at Google Trends, you’ll see that NFTs started picking up in February and skyrocketed after related NFT sales like digital art and NBA Top Shot took off. Dapper Labs has now seen sales and resales of those NFTs top $780 million. In March, an NFT digital collage by the artist Beeple sold at Christie’s for $69.3 million. NFT sales hit $1.2 billion in the first quarter, $1.3 billion in the second quarter, and a whopping $10.7 billion in the third quarter as games such as Axie Infinity took off.
NFT game challenges
But the road to riches won’t be easy. Big companies have hesitated on the sidelines as they await rulings from regulators. Ubisoft launched its Quartz NFT platform last week with a giveaway of NFT items for longtime players of Ghost Recon Breakpoint. But Ubisoft got scathing replies, as did GSC Game World after it announced NFTs for Stalker 2. (GSC rescinded its NFTs after that). But other big companies like Com2Us, Zynga, and Jam City have said they are forging ahead with NFTs in a quest to find the fun.