Licensed Formula 1 Ethereum NFT Game is Shutting Down


In brief

  • Licensed Ethereum-based game F1 Delta Time will shut down this week.
  • Animoca Brands will give NFT holders replacement NFTs for another racing game, alongside tokens and other benefits.

Formula 1 was one of the first sports leagues to enter the blockchain space, with the launch of Animoca Brands’ F1 Delta Time game in 2019. But after three years, the Ethereum-based game is ending.

Animoca announced the unexpected news today, revealing that the game will abruptly cease operations at the end of Wednesday. According to a blog post, the company had “not been able to renew our license” with the racing league. It’s unclear how many total players the game amassed—data from leading NFT marketplace OpenSea suggests that only about 1,800 unique wallets owned NFTs from the game.

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But F1 Delta Time’s sudden demise presents an interesting dilemma: What happens when a licensed crypto game or decentralized app (dapp)—which has sold user-owned assets as NFTs to its players—is shuttered because of an IP holder’s decision?

In this case, Animoca Brands hopes to appease NFT owners by offering replacement NFTs in another of its crypto racing games, REVV Racing, as well as other perks and rewards within the wider gaming ecosystem being built around its REVV token.

REVV Racing is an unlicensed driving game similarly built around NFT collectibles, and it runs on Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum. F1 Delta Time car owners will receive NFT cars in REVV Racing instead, for example, plus REVV Racing assets can be used to earn REVV token rewards in a new staking pool.

Beyond REVV Racing, other Animoca-developed games that use the REVV token include the licensed crypto games MotoGP Ignition and Formula E: High Voltage, as well as the unlicensed game Torque Drive from Grease Monkey Games.

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F1 Delta Time was one of the first notable crypto games on the market, and early NFT enthusiasts made what were—at the time—sizable bets on the game.

For example, the pseudonymous investor MetaKovan (a.k.a. Vignesh Sundaresan) purchased the game’s single-edition “1-1-1” car in May 2019 for nearly 416 WETH (Wrapped Ethereum), worth about $113,000 at the time. It was the largest gaming NFT sale of the year. MetaKovan would go on to buy Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for $69.3 million in March 2021.

In March 2021, Animoca also sold a “70th Anniversary Edition” car NFT for $265,000 worth of REVV tokens, and sold $1.8 million worth of in-game track segments for F1 Delta Time. Another NFT car in the game sold for $288,000 worth of REVV on the secondary market that month.

Ultimately, however, F1 Delta Time hasn’t generated nearly as much secondary trading action as other notable crypto games. CryptoSlam shows less than $7 million worth of total secondary market transactions for F1 Delta Time’s NFTs, with a dramatic drop in volume from a peak of over $1.5 million in March 2021 to just over $15,000 in January.

Compare that to over $4 billion in total NFT trading volume for the leading Ethereum game Axie Infinity, and $366 million for Animoca’s own The Sandbox, an upcoming metaverse game.

Along with developing and publishing crypto games, Animoca Brands is also a leading investor in NFT and metaverse startups, including OpenSea, NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs, and Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis. Animoca was valued above $5 billion with its latest funding round in January.

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