NFT avatars are digital portraits or images representing a character usually depicted as illustrations or pixel based images. Many of the early NFT avatars featured pixel based images of characters from the shoulders up but have since expanded to complete bodies. The latest wave of NFT avatars are 3d images depicted in collections such as Hape Beast and Mutants of the Metaverse. Blockchain enabled platforms are being built in Unreal Engine to create environments for these NFT avatars to explore.
NFT Avatars are considered to be the onramp to the metaverse or web 3 with tools like Ready Player Me making it easy to create your own avatar. The same way we ‘type’ and ‘click’ our way around web 2 with generating searches and browsing social media, with NFT avatars we can ‘walk’ our way through different virtual worlds.
Fashion has been the first mover in this space with brands including Nike and Dolce Gabana outfitting these NFT avatars with virtual blockchain based clothing. Owners of these brand enabled NFT avatars will give owners access to special events, early product releases and other exclusive (programmable) benefits.
Avatars are usually sold on NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea. Software applications use algorithms to give each NFT unique identifiable traits such as different facial features, hairstyles or accessories. Rarity is integrated into NFT avatar collections as a factor in determining value relative to the remainder of the collection.
Of the top ten NFT collections in February of 2022, nine of them were NFT avatars. NFT avatar projects are often announced and launched on Twitter and then communities are built around them in discord channels. The most successful NFT avatar projects usually have a robust community, large twitter following, substantial marketing budget and high perceived value prior to launch.
Most of the growth in the web 3 space in 2021 was generated with Avatars.