Trading cards, especially rare and old ones, have always been particularly valuable. Just last month, a T206 Honus Wagner baseball card from 1909 sold for USD $6.6 million, beating the previous record set by a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card by more than a million dollars. But what happens when you combine the latest trends in modernity with something so quaintly archaic? The answer, as it turns out, is an explosively successful NFT-based trading card game: Splinterlands.
Splinterlands, with its daily active user rate of almost 500,000, has handily overtaken other NFT stars like Axie Infinity and Alien Worlds. Splinterlands’ premise is simple enough. Players spontaneously build a deck of up to seven cards, comprising one summoner and between one to six monsters. Players battle one-on-one and winners are rewarded with Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), the in-game currency. On top of that, securing a good rank in the season may net you a reward chest. Reward chests that might contain additional resources such as potions, additional DEC, or even rare cards are awarded for ranked play.
For context, a gold foil Alpha Serpent of the Flame is listed at a whopping USD 1 million on the Splinterlands Market as of the time of writing. With a low initial investment of USD $10 to purchase a starter deck and a bit of luck, this might sound like an incredible opportunity to make a quick buck.
However, as anyone who’s ever played an online trading card game knows, your odds of making such incredible finds in booster pack purchases are infinitesimally small. Additionally, there is no guarantee that these cards will sell at their listed prices. In other words, Splinterlands’ return on investment might be a lot slower than the hype would have you believe.
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