The State of the Blockchain Gaming Industry
The first quarter of 2021 is a time of construction and expansion for many of the live game projects in the market and those still in development. A variety of projects are focusing on sidechains and Layer2 solutions rather than ethereum, such as Polygon and Immutable X, while the WAX chain solidifies its position as a gaming platform for NFT applications. Game developers are clearly working to pave the way for a larger, more mainstream audience.
- Key Takeaways
- 148% growth in gamers
- tenfold increase in game activity
- 651% increase in game transactions
- most active games in Q1 2021
- fastest growing games in Q1 2021
- games, updates and user growth
- the rise of money-making games
- varying levels of player engagement
- Reasons why games are now starting to boom
- welcome to the world of metaverse games
- Constant breakthroughs
- Game activity increased by 148%, with 73,512 daily active wallets
- WAX, Polygon and BSC have increased their market share
- transaction volume increased tenfold to 51+ million in the last week of March
- total transaction volume increased by 651% to $1.1+ million per day
- Alien Worlds became the largest blockchain game on the market in terms of daily active wallets
- The money-making game genre continues to grow in size through the popularity of NFT and the increase in user categories
Gamer growth of 148%
The growth trend in blockchain gaming is inextricably linked to the hype around NFTs as game developers increasingly utilize DeFi mechanics to incentivize user & player rewards. However, in games, the value of user transactions is low. As a result, GAS fees of up to $20 for ethereum chains are not well suited for gaming.
Despite these unfavorable gaming conditions, the number of active wallets on the ethereum chain almost doubled, from 1,274 active wallets per day in the first week of the year to 2,398 active wallets per day in the last 7 days of March. In the last week of March, the gaming segment saw a huge increase with 73,512 daily active wallets. This is a 148% increase compared to the 29,563 daily active wallets in the first week of the year.
This hype around blockchain games suggests that blockchain solutions that offer free transactions are more advantageous. active wallets on EOS doubled, largely thanks to virtual property game Upland, while Hive, which showed a small increase, was attributed to its popular game Splinterlands. in addition, ultra-casual games on the Thundercore platform The number of users also doubled.
However, BSC (Coin Smartchain), Polygon and WAX showed real growth. games on BSC are still in their infancy, but the number of daily active wallets still grew from essentially nothing to 1,238. In contrast, it took Matic 9 months and a name change to make some impact on the blockchain gaming space. It is now known as Polygon.
Polygon’s active gaming dapp wallets increased by 734% to 2,294 daily active wallets, while WAX’s daily active gaming wallets increased by 502% to 23,095.
Polygon, WAX, as well as BSC and EOS have all benefited to some extent due to the high GAS fees of Ether. No player wants to pay the high GAS fees, so these four blockchain solutions have become the preferred choice.
Projects like F1 Delta Time, MegaCryptoPolis and Aavegotchi started on the ethereum chain, but now the ecological focus has shifted to Polygon. meanwhile, WAX is expanding its gaming portfolio and has supported ethereum cross-chains in order to enrich its DeFi ecosystem.
BSC’s strategy is the exact opposite. They started with a big push into DeFi and are now focusing on the gaming space, with projects like Gala Games, My Neighbor Alice and Alien Worlds already integrating BSC into their ecosystem.
Game developers who want to enter the ethereum ecosystem directly obviously need to wait for the right Layer2 solution. Immutable X and their zk-rollup could be a solution, and in recent weeks, many game and NFT project owners have announced the Immutable X set as their preferred scalability solution. Immutable X promises no casting or NFT transfer fees, and then all data remains on the ethereum chain.
Tenfold increase in game activity
There are many blockchain-powered games that work perfectly without having to interact with the blockchain all the time. Axie Infinity is a good example of this, as players need to have three Axies to join the game. From then on, users can only earn SLP rewards by interacting with the blockchain. On the other hand, every time a player makes a change or activates a mining activity, a game like Alien Worlds clicks in the blockchain. As a result, Alien Worlds records more on-chain activity.
Axie Infinity is now moving its ecosystem to a sidechain called Ronin to create a more user-friendly gaming environment for players. Meanwhile, other blockchain solutions such as EOS, WAX, BSC and Polygon have seen activity skyrocket due to their free-to-use nature.
The blockchain gaming market generated 5.1 million transactions in the first week. In the last week of March, that number increased tenfold to 51.01 million transactions.
Game transaction volume increased by 651%
As the number of active wallets and on-chain activity increases daily, it makes the increase in transaction volume more meaningful. Every game on the blockchain is driven by thriving economies, such as players competing for resources, trading items and earning rewards.
In the first week of the year, the blockchain gaming industry saw an average daily transaction volume of $147,327. And by the end of the first quarter, the average daily transaction volume had increased 651% to $1,107,674 per day.
Volume peaked at $3.7 million on March 12, bringing the total average transaction volume for March to $1.6 million, compared to just $360,000 in January.
The growth in value is closely tied to the growth in retail and investment interest in the blockchain space. Gaming tokens are combining with the DeFi ecosystem to bring more value and interest. xie Infinity (AXS), MegaCryptoPolis (MEGA), Gala Games (GALA), F1 Delta Time (REVV), The Sandbox (SAND) and Aavegotchi (GHST) all showed huge growth in their token prices in the first quarter.
Source: DappRadar / Coingecko
Most Active Games in Q1 2021
The most active games in Q1 are evaluated based on peak activity data from the last 7 days of March 2021. We only focus on independent active wallets, measuring on-chain activity such as bids, trades, or winning props. Some games support users playing games without any blockchain interaction, which means we do not monitor on-chain user activity.
The fastest growing games in Q1 2021
Another important measure in the gaming space is actual growth. When we compare the data from the first week of 2021 with the last week of March, we can see which games are growing fastest in terms of their independent wallet activity.
Games, updates and user growth
Aavegotchi is currently averaging 1,589 active daily unique wallets. For most of January and February, DeFi games were tied to the Ether GAS fee. But the moment the project launched on the Polygon sidechain, users were free from GAS fees. As a result, the project’s user base jumped to more than 3,000 and the number of daily stable active wallets was 1,500.
- Alien Worlds
Alien Worlds goes live on the WAX chain in the third week of December 2020. The game supports players to mine TLM tokens. In February 2021, growth plateaued until the game’s development team announced that landowners could issue NFTs as a mining reward, which piqued the interest of gamers seeking free rewards. Another wave of growth was shown when Alien Worlds announced in the last week of March that it had received a $2 million investment from Animoca Brands and expanded its ecosystem to include BSC.
Until mid-February, gamers could pledge their NFTs on the WAX chain for AETHER rewards, and on February 15, game application scenarios were added, allowing players to put their earned AETHERs to use, driving user activity to its peak. Players can now use their AETHERs to find materials, which in turn can be used to find rare materials and more. The development team introduced several new NFTs in March that can increase the speed of mining.
For each of the games mentioned above, there is a correlation between their ability to earn something and the number of players active in that game. When games optimize ways to earn new tokens or NFTs, there is an influx of new players. This underscores the importance of the ‘play for money’ business model as a motivator for user engagement.
The rise of money-making games
All of these games have one thing in common: players are able to create value through in-game activity. In Aavegotchi, players can win valuable prizes by taking care of their pixelated ghosts and then participating in rare agricultural contests; in Alien Worlds players need to mine TLM tokens; in the fantasy soccer game Sorare, players compete for money and NFT prizes. The products that are increasing the activity of gaming wallets are all products that utilize the “play for money” business model.
Since all games utilize blockchain technology, players can earn tokens or NFT rewards. The rewards have real value and players can exchange them for other things as they wish.
The games support players to freely swap, sell and trade game props, features that will resonate with modern gamers. Whereas before this, players may have spent billions of dollars on games, but never received any tangible return for the time spent.
The “play for money” business model is based on the concept that every gamer is a contributor to the emerging economy and they should be rewarded. In most cases, players need to make an initial investment to start earning money. For example, Sorare requires players to have some cards; Axies and Aavegotchi in Axie Infinity require a small ghost. programs such as Alien Worlds and R-Planet have a lower barrier to entry because at the lowest level, players therefore have the least chance of hitting the jackpot.
To upgrade to a profitable platform, players can start with a few NFTs. the cost to join Alien Worlds ranges from $10 to $20, and up to hundreds of dollars to join Sorare.
Differences in the level of game participation
Not everyone can afford to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the world of virtual games. Depending on the type of project, there will always be different levels of participants. Some will take risks, some will acquire resources on farms, and there are also landowners or traders. Eventually, landowners will need farmers, and when NFTs become farmers, new business options will emerge.
At Axie Infinity, we can find the rise of many new game projects that support players who do not own three Axies to join the game through what is called a scholarship. Currently, the cheapest Axie on the Axie Infinity marketplace sells for $168, and players need to have any three to start earning SLP tokens. The scholarships, however, guide new participants to understand “play for money” and allow them to start earning money through the game, while the scholarship provider generates passive income.
Source: Axie Infinity Marketplace (2021/4/7)
Yield Guild Games (YGG) is an NFT decentralized autonomous organization that promotes a “play games for money” business model and currently has over 2,500 users. Their efforts to target users to players in countries around the world have certainly proven successful as they raised $1.3 million for business expansion in early March. This clearly shows that the ‘play for money’ business model, which is closely related to DeFi and NFT, will fundamentally affect how people view games in general.
Reasons why games are now starting to boom
Currently, there is a clear market demand for blockchain games and virtual worlds. However, developing an economic game powered by blockchain takes time. It takes years, not months, to develop a game. On top of that, it becomes much easier to start playing blockchain-powered games.
Not every game requires users to have a wallet and private key, as these elements can be created in the background and users can simply log in using their email address. Most importantly, there are many alternative blockchain solution options available now compared to the more costly ethereum.
- lower barriers to entry for a better user experience for players
- improved user experience through lower cost blockchain alternatives
- games are getting higher quality
- it takes a long time to develop games
- alternative sources of revenue during the epidemic
The combination of these five trends has helped the blockchain gaming industry grow. While we often see traditional financial investments in DeFi and cryptocurrencies, traditional gaming industry participation in the blockchain gaming industry is still very low.
Capcom released some NFT collectibles on the WAX blockchain, Bandai Namco invested in Genies, and Ubisoft launched a fantasy soccer game called OneShot League. It may take a while before we see Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty join the blockchain industry.
First, the blockchain gaming industry needs to develop its own killer app, similar to the confidence in mobile gaming that Angry Birds ignited more than a decade ago. That killer app could cause a paradigm shift in gaming that will bring a wave of attention to metaverse gaming and drive it to the next frontier of gaming and commerce.
Welcome to the world of metaverse gaming
NFT enables us to collect and actually own, trade, sell or share digital assets. These assets can be anything from art to music, from game props to digital fashion. We can purchase these NFTs using cryptocurrencies, the ownership of which is stored on the blockchain. Gaming is just one of the platforms where we can use digital assets, as the true potential of the metaverse is slowly being unleashed.
The metaverse is a virtual environment where people can influence the world by socializing, conducting business, entertaining, or governing votes. Think of the metaverse not as a program or a virtual world, but as a virtual world of the Internet where users can connect their wallets and then interact with services. If you have read or seen Ready Player One, you may have some idea of the metaverse.
Technically speaking, we’re not there yet. But various organizations are working to create open standards for metaverse. cryptoAvatars is selling unique avatar characters that players can use as their virtual identity in the metaverse. Meanwhile, The Fabricant and Digitalax are working to create an open standard for digital fashion NFTs, and Crucible is working on an open standard for a metaverse. Crucible is creating an application layer for an open meta-world, providing tools for builders and creators, and portable digital identities for users.
The recent explosion of the NFT concept has also increased interest in the metaverse. According to Google Trends, the metaverse search term has recently hit an all-time high in popularity. This is despite the fact that search traffic is dwarfed by search terms such as NFT, crypto or blockchain.
Source: Google Trends (2021/4/7)
Among the several alternatives released in April, sidechain and Layer2 solutions are rapidly emerging. early April, Enjin launched JumpNet (a bridge network with interoperability), a sidechain solution for its entire ecosystem. Meanwhile, Reality Gaming Group is developing Doctor Who: Worlds Apart (the BBC series of Doctor Who NFT trading decks), also running on its own private ethereum sidechain. Similar to Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain, these solutions share the same characteristics: cheaper and faster transactions.
Immutable will launch their Immutable X layer-2 solution for Gods Unchained, an ethereum blockchain-based game trading card game. Later, the technology will be applied to more NFT projects and games. In the meantime, we can expect more moves from BSC in the gaming space, and Polygon to continue its strong growth.
The WAX blockchain already offers free and fast transactions, while they are connecting WAX to ethereum by leveraging their DeFi ecosystem. While WAX’s popular game Alien Worlds has its sights set on the BSC. in general, gaming projects are looking for solutions because the answers to their problems definitely don’t lie on the ethereum mainnet.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/blockchain-game-development-report-boom-growth/
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