If a collection already exists out there and it’s smart contract has been deployed and everything, could one later then develop a game for that NFT collection and integrate the NFTs as a utility in the game?

Am curious because there exists a few collections in which i would potentially offer a partnership for building a game based on the blockchain and NFTs.

I am curious though is assuming I partner with an already existing collection, could that collection be integrated and the NFTs utility be upgraded/updated for the game?

Or because smart contracts are immutable the collection released cannot be integrated for something else?

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It depends exactly what interactions you want. If it requires the NFT contract to be updated, it may be possible but will need the authors to do it (if contract is updatable, search about proxy contracts)

However, if your interactions are only based on the ownership of the nft and the nft characteristics, that's exactly what NFTs are created for!

You will simply have to refer to the collection contract address and query infos like owner and get the meta data from the Uri and you're done. Don't forget to make sure your players really own the address that owns the NFT by at least making them connect their wallet.

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