Venture capital and retail investors are pouring money into start-up crypto gaming projects, hoping the “GameFi” movement will spark a boom similar to the historic growth of decentralized finance (DeFi).
So far, however, the results have been mixed, with the top minds in the gaming industry still divided on the prospects of “Web 3 Gaming”. “Web 3 Games” refers to games with built-in blockchain capabilities, such as NFTs or in-game currency.
Investors have poured more than $3.6 billion into crypto gaming startups over the past year, according to investment firm Drake Star Partners, with reports that GameFi has attracted top talent from major gaming industry players.
For example, Polygon Studios — the NFT and gaming arm of the Polygon blockchain protocol — recently made headlines for hiring Ryan Wyatt, head of YouTube Gaming. The project also poached executives from Mythical Games, Riot Games and Amazon’s cloud gaming division.
However, GameFi’s hiring and funding spree is not without its critics, especially from gamers, who believe the emergence of NFTs and the “play to earn” model in games is nothing more than a cash grab. In November 2021, EA CEO Andrew Wilson described NFTs as “at the heart of the future of our industry moving forward,” but changed his tune after backlash from fans and employees.
Research shows that this caution extends to the developer community as well. In January, a survey of more than 2,700 game developers conducted by the Game Developers Conference found that 72% of developers felt that their companies were not at all interested in adding NFTs to their games. Additionally, the vast majority of developers object to possible scams, monetization issues and environmental impact.
But multiple crypto gaming founders say the tide may be heading in a positive direction for the industry.
Immutable founder Robbie Ferguson said, “In the past month alone, I’ve seen a lot of talent move from Web 2 gaming to Web 3”.
Speaking at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Soban “Soby” Saqib, co-founder of NFT gaming platform Ex Populus, said the emergence of GameFi is just one of many macro trends the gaming industry needs to consider.
He said, “Think about the movie studios: there is no new [intellectual property] coming out. The same thing is happening in games, there is no new IP. The gaming industry is going through a ‘great consolidation’, talent is being bought out, talent is is losing.”
In fact, the trend of major studio acquisitions may give GameFi an opportunity to offer ambitious game developers a better life and more freedom.
There may also be some trying to catch up with emerging trends early. Immutable CEO James Ferguson pointed out in an interview that most of the brain drain is happening at the top, and people are thinking strategically about where the game is going.
Immutable currently has 190 full-time employees and aims to grow to 400 by the end of this year. High-level talent mobility is a trend, Ferguson added.
According to Ferguson, Immutable “doubled” their referral fee to over $20,000 for a successful hire.
He added, “In general, Web 3 games will significantly outnumber Web 2 games”.
When did GameFi break out?
The executive-level brain drain has yet to seep through to ordinary creative talent, but Ferguson sees it as just a classic example of how the industry is slowly changing.
“Developer reluctance is definitely slowing adoption, but it’s just a normal part of the paradigm shift in games,” he said. “We’re seeing adoption in mobile games, we’re seeing adoption in free-to-play games — a large percentage of gamers hate free-to-play games,” he said. idea, but now it’s everywhere. We’re going to see the same thing, there’s a lot of enthusiasm about how these games can drive better economics for players.”
Loopify, the founder of blockchain game development studio Endless Clouds, said that releasing a hit game is easier said than done because it requires comprehensive capabilities.
He said: “I believe that the addition of traditional developers will create a good game. The blockchain games currently being built either do not have a strong team with previous experience in the game, or do not have a clear vision.”
“What we need is a really good NFT game, or even a team that actually uses NFTs to support independent creators,” Saqib said.
At the end of the day, the process of involving developers can mean investors need to be patient. For those expecting GameFi to emulate DeFi’s phenomenal rise, this is a hard truth to swallow.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/funds-keep-pouring-into-gamefi-will-developers-follow/
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