F1 Delta Time and useless tokens – What could be done differently?

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F1 delta time was officially shot down two weeks ago. The developers have lost their license for F1 and an official game will no longer be possible. F1 Delta Time was one of the earliest games to truly embrace NFTs and build an entire play-to-earn ecosystem.

For a normal game, this is a disappointment for players. For a game that entices players to spend money on tokens and NFTs on the basis that they could “earn” it, it’s a much bigger deal. Animoca Brands explained:

“It is with great regret that we announce that F1® Delta Time will cease operations on March 16, 2022. While we were unable to renew our license, we will ensure that current owners of F1® Delta Time assets are rewarded for their loyalty and support.”

Having a game entirely dependent on a single license seems to be the culprit, but what does that mean for all the people who have put time and money into it?

F1 delta time

F1 Delta Time game concept explained

F1 Delta Time was one of the first games to include NFTs long before they became the well-known part of the crypto ecosystem they are today. It was launched in 2019 and officially licensed by Formula 1. Attaching a fairly big name to the project has probably inspired trust and legitimacy among potential players.

The game used Ethereum and a token called REVV for transactions. With this currency they can buy NFT items with in-game mechanics like cars or drivers for the car. The title garnered a decent player base but failed to really make it into the mainstream. However, it came a long way ahead of the general boom in NFTs and had some impressive results, such as the most valuable NFT sale of 2019 with a $100,000 sale.

As a play-to-earn game, F1 Delta Time encouraged players to earn NFTs and tokens. You could then sell these NFTs for more money in the future. Many players have a significant investment in this game, which is why the shutdown is quite notable. With a standard game, the player base will be disappointed that it will be shut down, but they lose nothing. With this closure, players may lose actual investments.

Shutdown and what happens next

The shutdown of the F1 Delta Time NFT game means that the gameplay portions of these NFTs and tokens will no longer be available. Essentially, the NFTs and tokens are now worthless, and with them the time players have sunk into “gambling for money”.

This is definitely one of the worst-case scenarios for NFT gaming, and this news doesn’t exactly bode well for players who are currently heavily playing a game with a dwindling player base. The game announced its closure just a day before, barely giving any notification to players.

The game’s players get something for what they did in the game. Since the tokens are pretty much useless outside of the game, they offer this replacement:

  • car owner – Receive replacement REVV racing game cards on Polygon or a Race Pass for access to future Mints and Airdrops.
  • event segments – These owners will receive 6 months of “Rewards” or a “Track Voucher” that can be exchanged for a track in the REVV game in the future.
  • boxes and keys – They can be bridged to another platform for staking on polygon.
  • All Other Assets – These can be exchanged directly for Polygon for use in REVV Motorsport.

This definitely leaves the players in a bad position. They basically get compensated for another game or just lose what they had in the game. This shows the fragility of NFT gaming ecosystems and sheds light on just how valuable assets really are. Many of the best NFT games have built a stronger player base. But shutdowns like this can definitely wreak havoc on players of these games and are a cause for concern.

What can you learn and do differently?

Not much in the specific case of F1 Delta Time. The game depended on good faith between Animoca and Formula 1. The moment the publisher failed to renew the license, the game was doomed. We’re not sure which side is at fault here and why the license couldn’t be renewed, but we can learn a lesson here.

Any NFT or play-to-earn project that depends on a license agreement can suddenly be shut down. This applies to sports, esports as well as entertainment. Ideally, if you’re looking to invest in a project that a big brand is behind, make sure it’s developed by the brand itself and not by a third party.

It is good that at least an attempt is being made to compensate investors in some form. Ultimately, all projects in this space that depend on independent parties developing something for a big brand can suffer the same fate. We have to keep in mind that it’s not the technology that’s bad, it’s bad actors who ruin it for everyone.

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