After nearly 18 months of crypto hype, the bear market that followed lasted for many months. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) dominated the boom, and during this period, Web3 gaming was a popular narrative. Web3 gaming, which was inspired by early successes like CryptoKitties, became the Holy Grail of gaming that could combine cryptocurrency incentives, NFT scarcity, and metaverse utilisation.
Although there has been a lot of activity in Web3gaming, a year and a half after one of the greatest cryptocurrency bull markets in history, Web3 gaming has not been widely adopted. Gaming companies have not taken over the industry, and there are no shining examples of Web3 games currently operating in the market.
To realise the future of Web3 gaming, it is important to understand where the industry went wrong during this most recent cycle. Particularly, companies were pushing substandard products onto an industry that did not need them or gamers who did not desire them.
The traditional gaming industry is on a tear. Its 2022 market cap is $222 billion, and it is forecasted to grow by almost 50%in the next four years alone. None of this growth is projected to include Web3 games are being developed at breakneck speeds using technology like Unreal, AR software, VR hardware, and more. The infrastructure hasn’t been able to scale to the computing power required to support today’s AAA games because of the rapid innovation in Web3.
It’s not surprising, nor does it mean that Web3 won’t scale as much as it needs to in the future. The crypto industry is trying to offer a technology that doesn’t line up with the infrastructure demands of the existing industry. The gaming industry had hoped that Web3 gaming would be huge, but the reality is that the gaming industry doesn’t need blockchain technology at this point in time.
The argument in favour of Web3 gaming that is most often raised isn’t focused on the infrastructure’s capabilities, as mentioned before. Because of this, Web3 gaming is generally supported by providing players with a richer, more comprehensive gaming experience. This argument goes as follows: Games built on blockchain technology can give gamers true asset ownership, financial opportunity, and creative feedback loops with studios, among other things, in addition to providing them with a more rewarding experience.
The history of gaming is rife with instances of gamers being cheated or deceived by the industry they love, as well as narrative. Web3 principles of self-governance and collaboration may give gamers a richer experience by integrating their games. Despite the narrative, the most outspoken opponents of Web3 gaming since the start of the recent bull market haven’t been gaming studios or publishers, but gamers themselves. Abjectvitriol was directed at Web3 gaming advocates, claiming every from poor gameplay to outright fraud, everything damaged the relationship between gamers and Web3in the last bull market. Why was the relationship so strained?
A lot of people would respond that the most successful Web3 games are Axie Infinity, DeFi Kingdoms, and Wolf Game. During the bull market, these apps gained a lot of attention and money (and were regarded as the first wave of “proven” Web3 games). Despite their appearance and gamification, these apps were really just decentralised finance (DeFi)programmes. Even players who love the fidelity, narratives, and design of games such as Stardew Valley would be dismayed if they learned that DeFi Kingdoms would be the future of gaming. The gamers have made their stance on this subject very clear in the past. Diablo III included an in-game auction house with a percentage of each sale going to Blizzard in 2012, and gamers were so outraged that Blizzard removed it a year later.
Web3 gaming was a popular narrative during this period
Gamers hate the fact that monetisation takes priority over gameplay. Almost all of the in-market Web3 “games” during the last bull market were primarily financial applications that were immediately sniffed out by gamers. Those games were an exception: NFT trading card games that were Web3 versions of traditional card games. Gamers liked those games because traditional card games also have a financial element in addition to trading, selling, buying, and rarity.
Gamers haven’t been negatively impacted by the latest round of innovation. Web3 hasn’t altered their day-to-day lives, and they haven’t had to adapt to the changing priorities in their favourite games or game studios. Despite this, both the gaming and Web3 ecosystems will continue innovating. As Web3 infrastructure catches up with Web2 capabilities, blockchain-based games will be reintroduced to the market.
These games will need to attract gamers, and they should learn from the lessons of this latest bull market, how not to communicate. Gamers want to lose themselves in the story and enjoy the aesthetics. The continual reminder of financial undertones has a negative effect on the experience. It is simple to say, but we in crypto have a lot to learn.