F1 Delta Time, which launched in 2019 and was one of the first licensed NFT games, has been shut down. Animoca Brands announced the game’s closure on March 15, just a day before the game left the success track and entered the wall of oblivion.
For those unfamiliar with F1 Delta Time (which is probably most of you) the game was based on Ethereum currency, which players could convert to Animoca currency REVV Utility Token (opens in new tab) to let them buy and trade NFT-based in-game items like cars, drivers, and so on. While F1 Delta Time might be quite obscure to most people, it was significant in how it “legitimized” the idea of NFT and games to win. Most notably, he saw the highest value sale of an NFT in 2019 (opens in new tab)with a jewel-encrusted car called 1-1-1 worth over $100,000 in Ethereum.
The reason behind the shutdown is that this officially licensed Formula 1 game has lost its official license. This would be a huge blow to any game, but especially one where the license is involved in selling blockchain-based digital items. Animoca announced the shutdown via its REVV Motorsport Twitter account, stating. “It is with deep regret that we announce that F1 Delta Time will cease operations on March 16, 2022.”
As for what happened to all those precious NFTs, well, for all intents and purposes, they no longer exist. It’s worth noting that the developers are trying to compensate the owners of these now worthless NFTs with replacement tokens for one of the company’s other blockchain-based racing games. Affected players can be compensated in a number of ways, including replacement cars or a “Race Pass” or “Proxy Assets”, which “will be used in the future to obtain NFTs for products across the REVV Motorsport ecosystem”. In other words, you get a token for your token. A perfectly safe investment!
In fact, while Animoca’s gesture may seem like a company doing right for its customers, the main point of an NFT is that it must convey security and permanence to a digital object. It’s supposed to say “this thing exists with a uniquely assignable value”. So for Animoca to turn around and say to its customers “Oh no, these NFTs are fully replaceable” makes a mockery of the whole effort. It’s like a museum accidentally crushing its one Fabergé egg, only to immediately pull out a second Fabergé egg from a warehouse filled to the rafters with Fabergé eggs.
All in all, it’s a clear demonstration that NFTs are not as future-proof as their advocates claim, which has big implications for the perceived value of NFTs as a whole. Which would likely make it a bad time for the UK Government to decide go all-in (opens in new tab) across the NFT craze.