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F1 Delta Time blockchain game shuts down

Play-to-earn game used NFTs that sold for six-figure sums.

5 April 2022 Steve McCaskill
F1 Delta Time blockchain game shuts down

Animoca Brands

  • F1 Delta Time launched in 2019
  • Most expensive virtual car sold for US$288,000
  • Animoca Brands promises players will receive NFTs or rewards of equivalent value

Blockchain-based game F1 Delta Time has been shut down after its creators were unable to renew its licence with Formula One, leaving players with potentially expensive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that are now essentially worthless. 

Expired licences are not uncommon in the video games sector, leading to titles being withdrawn from sale or online components being shut down. However, most of these games do not involve significant financial investments.

The game saw players collect and trade unique NFTs representing cars, drivers and other components and use them in various game modes to win utility tokens that could contribute to the cost of other items.

Each NFT had different statistics that determined their in-game performance, while several rare items were minted during the game’s lifespan that sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Last year, a ‘70th Anniversary’ car sold for US$265,000 making it both the most expensive licenced Formula One NFT and most expensive virtual car ever sold. Just one day later, this record was broken by another virtual car to raise funds for the Australian bushfires which sold for US$288,000.

A large part of the value of the NFTs sold was derived from their utility in F1 Delta Time, meaning the end of the game renders them largely cosmetic.

In a statement confirming that F1 Delta Time was to close after just three years, Animoca Brands celebrated these sale records while also detailing how players could exchange their vastly depreciated virtual assets for other rewards, including NFTs in its other motorsport-themed games. These include virtual cars of equivalent value and power, vouchers and virtual currency.

‘It is with deep regret that we announce that F1 Delta Time will cease operations,’ it said. ‘Whilst we have not been able to renew our license, we will ensure that current owners of F1 Delta Time assets are rewarded for their loyalty and support. We are taking measures to offer players and asset holders ways in which they can participate in the wider REVV Motorsport ecosystem, which includes MotoGP Ignition, Formula E: High Voltage, REVV Racing, and Torque Drift.”

Animoca Brands, which is valued at more than US$5 billion, attempted to renew its agreement on several occasions but Formula One opted against an extension. The company has stressed that any replacement NFT will allow players to earn REVV utility tokens in an active game and that owners of Delta Time assets will still own the first ever Formula One NFTs, meaning they still maintain some value.

Formula One did not respond to SportsPro’s request for comment.

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