Web3 gaming execs on the next X factor moment
“Securing investment will probably continue to be a challenge until we find a new breakout use case, the new ‘Axie’ moment,” says George Isichos, core contributor at blockchain gaming collective Game7.
Speaking to Magazine, Isichos suggests that crafting a game with the mysterious X factor, one that resonates as widely as Axie Infinity did, is a challenging task. At its peak in 2021, Axie Infinity boasted over 2.8 million daily active users.
“Web3 games that gain traction seem to blend the best of traditional gaming with the novel perks of blockchain. It’s not just about the technology – it’s about how it enriches gameplay and empowers your community to play a bigger role.”
As a key player in a company that boosts the blockchain gaming industry through grants and education, Isichos needs to stay in the loop with all the latest releases.
So, who better to get some predictions on which games have a chance at being a contender for a new Axie moment?
He clarifies he’s not focusing on comparable gameplay but rather the level of excitement a title could generate in the gaming space.
“I don’t think we need a specific type of game; we need a comparable business and token model innovation that can bring more capital and gaming companies in the Web3 gaming space,” he explains.
One upcoming title that could have a shot at doing this is the highly anticipated futuristic space-themed strategy game Star Atlas, which Isichos says he’s eagerly awaiting.
Its in-game token, ATLAS, has a market cap of $63.1 million.
Using the Solana blockchain, the highly anticipated game will be released bit by bit over the next several years.
The blockchain-based social role-playing game Pirate Nation also makes it to Isichos’ list of potential contenders.
The game is backed by Proof of Play, the same team that built the mega-popular game FarmVille.In September 2023, the team raised $33 million for Pirate Nation from investment giants Andreessen Horowitz and Greenoaks Capital.
If Isichos can find some room for more contenders, he’s definitely considering the NFT MMORPG Otherside, backed by gaming industry heavyweights Yuga Labs.
Oh, and, of course, the top choice for every Web3 exec in 2024 is the first-person extraction shooter game, Shrapnel. Developed by Neon Machine, the studio boasts talent from major franchises like Halo, Call of Duty and Destiny.
Isichos is excited to see the big players from the traditional gaming industry jumping into blockchain gaming and believes it will open the door for more traditional gamers to join the fun.
“I’m equally keen to explore how the mainstream and crypto gaming communities react to new Web3 projects by established studios such as Ubisoft, CCP Games, and Wemade,” he states.
Aethir’s recipe for a hit game
Paul Thind, CRO at Aethir — which is working on decentralized cloud infrastructure for gaming and AI — tells Magazine the recipe for making a hit game boils down to four essential elements.
“Successful Web3 games often share key elements: robust product and tokenomic design, strong community engagement, and innovative game design. These factors seem to be the recipe for creating a favorite among gamers,” he says.
Like Isichos, Thind is optimistic that with traditional gaming giants continuing to throw money into Web3 gaming, we could be on the verge of discovering the next massive hit in the industry.
“The ongoing investment in blockchain games by industry heavyweights like Ubisoft, Zynga, and Square Enix keeps the future looking bright.”
Big names, bland game: Unstoppable Domains X The Sandbox
Web3 domain provider Unstoppable Domains has teamed up with The Sandbox on the personalisation of digital items in the metaverse and to introduce….. the “Unstoppable Experience.”
It claims to be the first live competition with a Web3 brand inside the metaverse. Tbh, the game doesn’t sound that riveting when you read the description:
“The experience features a live multiplayer game where up to four players compete to top the scoreboard by painting the most tiles in the MetaCube with their avatar.”
But the idea of taking digital identity to the next level in the blockchain gaming space is something worth getting behind.
A “gamertag” is essentially a blockchain digital identity for your wallet that holds your gaming achievements and digital assets that you can take across different platforms. It becomes a tradable asset in itself.
In the old days (also now), when you switched from Xbox to Playstation because your mates were on it, you’d find the gamertag that you’d been using for a decade on Xbox isn’t even up for grabs on Playstation. And you were back to square one with your achievements.
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More permanent and transferable digital identities have been a popular talking point for Web3 gamers in recent times.
Most recently, Sky Mavis dropped the news that gamers could create their own gamertags on the Ronin network by snagging a Ronin Name Service (RNS).
Hot Take: Nine Chronicles Mobile
If you want a game that doesn’t need you glued to the screen, something you can just casually play all day while leveling up, and don’t mind a bit of grind in the first 30 minutes to reach the fun stuff, then the new mobile version of Nine Chronicles could be your go-to.
Nine Chronicles is the OG of fully decentralized online RPGs. It launched on PC in October 2020, and released a mobile version toward the end of last year.
But, just a heads up, if you haven’t given the PC version a shot, it’s an idle RPG, which is a subgenre of RPG games crafted for a more hands-off and automatic gaming experience.
You get to decide your character’s armor and weapon, and from there, the computer handles all the battling on your behalf.
So don’t expect to spend a lot of time playing the game … within the game (sounds weird, I know).
Nine Chronicles is a bit of a slow burn. Being an idle RPG, the game moves forward with little input from you, the player.
It’s basically a game testing your strategy and management skills.
The initial half-hour playing this game is a bit of a slog, to be honest. You kick off on campaign mode, working your way up to Stage 15, which is when you finally get to jump into the Arena — where you can battle other players online.
The difficulty wasn’t an issue, it was more about trudging through 15 stages of the campaign before finally being able to see some action.
I didn’t even need to tweak my weapon or armor throughout the campaign’s first 15 stages; I just hit “next stage” and let my character do the rest.
Once you finally unlock the arena and start battling other players, you pick your weapon and armor … and the rest is pretty much still out of your hands.
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You’re just watching the computer do all the heavy lifting. It’s a bit like being a manager watching a boxer step into the ring. I had to resist the urge to keep tapping the screen.
It’s the kind of game you can sneak in during office hours, day in and day out. By the end of the year, you’ll have some impressive stats to brag about at the Christmas party with your gamer coworkers.
But, if you’ve been playing the PC version and assuming you can just transfer your assets to dominate the mobile game just because you’ve had a four-year head start, sorry, but that’s not the case.
The mobile game runs on its own mainnet Libplanet, and its own chain called Heimdall, which runs parallel to the existing chain Odin on the PC version.
Planetarium says this helps ensure a clean slate and a fair ground for all players on the mobile edition.
Since they’re aiming to bring in mobile players to Web3, they don’t want to discourage them right from the start by having them face off against players who’ve had years of experience.
As you can probably tell, idle games aren’t really my thing. While I enjoyed playing the football game Fifa on Xbox, the idle version of managing a team in Football Manager just didn’t click with me. I prefer being more involved in a game and don’t quite get the appeal of winding down with a hands-off one.
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However, if you’re into idle games like Hero Wars: Alliance or Girls Chronicle: Idle Heroine, or just Nine Chronicles on PC, this one might be your cup of tea.
The game seems to be a hit amongst the gaming community. DappRadar recently included it in their top 15 mobile blockchain games list. Meanwhile, the PC version holds the 14th spot on DappRadar’s list of top blockchain games by volume in the last 24 hours, with transactions totaling $53,966 during this period.
— Yuga Labs drops the follow-up to the mega-popular Dookey Dash Game, now with mobile support – Dookey Dash Unclogged.
—Sailwars announced its Beta Test for its upcoming release, where Sailors can compete in bet test events on the website for invitation codes.
— Nifty Island just kicked off an open beta, calling on players to join in quests and dive into their 3D world. They’re teasing a play-to-airdrop that’s supposed to be unlike anything we’ve seen before.
— StormWarfare announced a free mint of 1,000 Genesis Commander NFTs due to be drop at the end of this month.
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Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.