Since its inception, the Internet has evolved remarkably, from making information available where users own and exchange digital goods.
During this transition, web3 gaming has opened up new possibilities for game developers and gamers who are adopting Web3 and creating new blockchain-based games for their portfolios using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
More web3 games are appearing on the market, but are game developers utilising their full potential concerning game revenues?
How web3 gaming evolved
Web3 is built on blockchain technology, with NFTs and cryptocurrencies. It is designed to give governance and control back to users by facilitating direct ownership in the shape of digital assets such as NFTs.
Web3 gaming introduced the possibility of breaking free from centralised gaming platforms and finally owning one's resources directly - offering considerable opportunities to various sectors and paving the way for newer technologies to flourish.
The fundamental elements underlying web3 are decentralisation, ownership, resistance to censorship and native payments.
With ownership and control thus decentralised, game players can own their own identities within games and profit from their in-play gaming and the items they accrue.
The Web3 gaming industry
The gaming world has undergone massive development over the last decade, not least the staggering growth in user numbers and the turnover of gaming companies.
Globally, gaming is worth more than $222 billion this year and grows by more than 10% annually.
Game creation is highly active at the moment. For example, in 2022, an average of 25 new games have been published on Steam daily.
Research from 1,500 gamers found that 56% were interested in earning NFTs through gaming, demonstrating that traditional gamers have a substantial appetite for web3 gaming.
Other research forecasts that the P2E market will reach $2845.1 million by 2028.
Web3 gaming is only going to grow.
Web3 gaming: Play-and-Earn games
NFT games, also known as play-and-earn (PAE) games or GameFi, exist within the web3 gaming ecosystem.
Web3-based games reward players with tokens or NFTs for their time spent playing, either once they have finished the game or levelled up, or they will sell their characters and earn profits.
Token rewards are typically the primary focus. In addition, players can purchase NFTs from others and hold them until their value increases before reselling them.
One of the primary incentives for players to actively participate in these games is the possibility of earning money. Undoubtedly why P2E games have exploded in popularity in recent years.
Game studios and white label web3 gaming
Game studios are global companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, Tencent, Sony, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive.
The game studios do not necessarily create every game themselves, as these are done by smaller, independent and boutique companies. In the USA alone, there are more than 2,500 game studios.
Game developers thus finance gaming NFT startups to market new web3-based games or integrate web3 features into existing games.
For instance, game company WOF Labs has been experimenting with NFTs and blockchain technology for years, offering the concept of NFT renting to a community that wants it and actually implements it themselves if the game developer does not provide it.
Game developers utilise companies like this because otherwise, they will miss out on the renting marketplace revenue, potentially opening up the community to the risks of either side not fulfilling their promises.
In addition, WOF Labs can even take on the NFT renting methods:
- Let the community handle it themselves.
- Use third-party marketplace (and share revenues with them)
- Implement your own in-game NFT rental (and keep the revenues and provide security)
Moreover, they can show how big the market is with all the guilds and scholarships within other games.
Web3 gaming trends
Blockchain games already make up the lion's share of blockchain activity. Nevertheless, DappRadar found that blockchain games increased their share by 3% in the second quarter of 2022.
In the same period, gaming activity accounted for 52% of all unique active wallets (UAWs), with almost 1.1 million UAWs.
Additionally, DappRadar documented 398 active blockchain games (an increase of 92% in one year). These are defined as having at least one functional wallet in the last 24 hours of the game. The total number of blockchain games, including inactive ones, has risen 71% over the past year to 1,179.
Building new web3 games
Web3 games are now more sophisticated regarding their narrative, graphics and opportunities. Increasingly game developers are using the integration of game mechanics from smaller, boutique gaming studios to make games an area where gaming stakeholders can accumulate profit.
Much like how our thriving World of Freight game is now set up to offer white-label in-game rentals for game developers, and we are developing more.