Zynga: The new game in town

Zynga just put the bear market in a headlock while showing the gaming industry possibly the best way to launch an NFT collection in these brutal conditions.

If you’re not familiar with Sugartown Oras, this was Zynga’s first-ever NFT mint for their upcoming Web3 game. The major game studio of course turned heads with their entrance into NFTs, but what really blew the community away was that their NFTs were completely free. Collectors didn’t need to worry about selling their last remaining prized NFT to afford this drop, which cannibalized other collections’ floors. Technically, that’s how many collectors will have to get in because Sugartown is sitting at a 0.32 ETH (US$528) floor price, at the time of writing. Collectors who didn’t get a whitelist for the free mint will need to pony up to hitch their wagon on this horse. 

The Zynga mint highlights the struggle of projects when it comes to pricing their primary sale. Trying to find the perfect price that collectors are willing to buy in while maximizing the amount of funds they can raise is like walking on a tightrope, but it seems no matter what price they settle on, collectors want little to do with it. Remember Wreck League failed to mint out their NFTs priced at 0.19 ETH, and more recently Nakamigos were FUDed to oblivion with their announcement of a 0.05 ETH mint. Maybe there’s no price collectors are willing to mint at today, so making them free is key.

The real question about Zynga’s mint is what makes them so special that collectors are chasing them at this price on secondary, with 4,000 NFTs from the collection still remaining to be minted. Mystery, untold potential, and the opportunity for endless speculation are the secret ingredients of NFT prices. Always were, and maybe always will be.

Zynga is teasing that Sugartown isn’t just an NFT for one game, but instead the key to their broader NFT gaming ecosystem. Without a clear roadmap, there’s plenty to speculate on, so collectors can let their imaginations run wild with what the NFTs will do, and are driving up the prices on secondary. I’ve been telling my pals this secret for years, but this year it has become part of the collective understanding, that as soon as collectors learn what your product is, speculation ends and prices tumble.

Are other game studios paying attention? I certainly hope so since we have some huge NFT games coming from more major devs. Konami announced last week a new NFT game called Project Ziron, and Krafton, the devs behind PUBG, also announced a new game called Overdare. I hope both were taking notes on Zynga’s entrance into NFTs.

Free NFTs in this market will win over both hardcore NFT degens but also opens the door for the NFT and crypto-curious in traditional gaming. Let’s hope these two embrace a more sustainable way to offer NFTs, and help drive the space forward at this critical time for NFT gaming.

Peep the charts

NFT global stats table

Only in NFTs could you call the changes in numbers this week stable, yet here we are. In a space that used to show us wild double or triple-digit swings on a daily basis, last week felt rather even. I’m watching for long periods of stabilizing numbers to tell us we’re nearing a floor, or at least more realistic trading action.

Global sales, buyers, sellers, and total transactions still are on par with May or June 2021, and it will take a significant fall from here to reach the next level. I’m talking about Feb 2021 when we saw around US$36 million to US$54 million in weekly sales.

NFT collection by sales volume
  • DMarketDraftKingsGods Unchained, and Sorare (The Four) just dominating the top 5 collections this week. You know the story: huge supply, low cost, high volume collections with mass appeal (gaming skins, fantasy sports, and gaming assets). This is the winning formula for NFTs.
  • The CryptoPunks saw some big sales this week including a Zombie Punk #3609 which sold for US$682,000 this week.
  • The Nouns fork is complete and over 50% of holders decided to leave the old collection and move on to the new iteration of the Nouns. Along the way they took their share of the treasury, totaling over US$27 million.
  • Sugartown Oras free mint from Zynga had a red-hot secondary market, and we saw the floor price rocket up to over 0.42 ETH. 
  • $SATS BRC-20 collection helped Bitcoin reach as high as the number two spot on the collection rankings this week, with huge sales on bundles of the hot BRC-20s.
Blockchains by NFT sales volume
  • Ethereum sales were up ever so slightly this week, mostly driven by large BAYC, CryptoPunks, and plenty of Nouns sales.
  • Mythos Chain’s volume is yet again 99% composed of DMarket sales. People just love those CS:GO gaming skins.
  • Polygon action is still largely driven by DraftKings, with 67% of its total sales coming from the sports collectibles.
  • Solana’s sales volume is down 13.01% but the value of their NFTs has actually increased, reflected by the Solana NFT Composite’s +0.30% gain in the past seven days.

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