In one sense, the game of CryptoKitties is run by traits. Sure, the obvious goal is breeding the cutest kitties you can. But the way of making cute kitties? Traits. A constant cycle of new traits keeps existing players excited and encourages new players to check out what’s happening. Each new trait alters the overall pool of what’s rare, desired, ignored, and so on. So what happens to older traits as the game gets older? Some people are making an interesting speculation: some old traits are being discontinued.
Are Traits Being Discontinued?
The real question is whether or not it’s actually happening. Certain traits no longer seem to be available. Some of the dominant Gen 0 traits that have been discontinued include: Googly, Chocolate, Orangesoda, Kittencream, and Saycheese. No more new Gen 0 kitties have had these traits. That much is observable. But the real question is whether or not someone has had a hand in that.
Natural or By Design?
This is the key question. Are these traits discontinued by design, or is this just a natural occurrence of the game? The short answer is, we don’t know. On the one hand, the developers altering the availability of some traits could ultimately help sustain interest in the game. More interest in the game means a longer lifespan for CryptoKitties. That’s something anyone involved in the game, developer or player, would love. But that amount of manipulation could leave a sour taste in some players’ mouths. Developer meddling would send ripples through the market aspect of the game, potentially harming the game experience.
On the other end of speculation, this could simply be a natural happening. The breeding volume at the beginning of the game was much higher. All of the discontinued traits may have just been bred out of the cattribute pool. Selective focus on certain traits may have killed off others.
Where to Invest?
Given that CryptoKitties is an extension of the Ethereum blockchain with a cute kitty façade, the idea of investment is in a lot of players’ heads as they play. Yes, you can make a profit off your time in CryptoKitties. That’s no guarantee, of course. New traits are usually a safe investment if you have the speed to breed kitties with the trait before the bubble bursts. The initial excitement of any new trait is followed by many players buying and breeding kitties with that trait. After a few days, perhaps a week, that excitement slows down as more people have the trait and its rareness drops. So does the price.
Discontinued traits are a slower, but perhaps safer investment. The idea is that as the game progresses, the discontinued traits will grow steadily in value. They are the low risk/modest return compared to the high risk/high reward of new traits. And while low risk, the discontinued traits do carry their own amount of risk as well. If the developers do have any control of the traits as some speculate, they could reintroduce these traits in some of the continuously released Gen 0 kitties. If they did that, the prices of these discontinued traits would plummet. Their rarity would be gone.
Ultimately, the style of investment is your individual choice. Both playstyles have their merits and risks. But assuming the developers don’t rerelease these discontinued traits, it would be a fantastic way of retaining value in old cats. As CryptoKitties reaches the inevitable point where no new Gen 0s are being constantly released, retention of value will become more and more relevant. Until that happens at the end of this year, all we can do is keep collecting kitties.