This is a guest post by G4AL:
Jason’s been a gamer all his life. From Minecraft to now the Elden Ring, he’s done it all. An overpowered CPU that runs the electricity bills down the river and walls full of Skyrim posters and merch, Jason is now 23 and he has loved video games for what they are since he was 13. One of the main reasons he’s now always on his computer is he’s discovered Axie Infinity, which lets him earn from it too! Pretty awesome, right?
We all raised an eyebrow with that last sentence.
Without having to continue to read further, we all know what the problem here is. There’s a lot of capital going into the future of the so-called Web3 gaming. Just last year Immutable also launched a $500M Venture Fund for Web3 games, showing us millions of dollars being spent behind it. But there’s just one major problem: GAMERS HATE IT. They’re just not interested.
A recent survey floating on the internet says 89% of “normal” gamers are aware of cryptocurrency and bitcoin, and 51% are aware of NFTs – but the majority of them associate those terms with a lot of negative feelings. What’s even not-so surprising is that out of the total surveyed participants, about 12% have tried playing Web3 games. Tried, that’s where it ended unfortunately.
Why is that? Let’s look at it a little bit closer.
One of the main reasons for gamers to stray away from Web3 games are the start-up costs, concerns over scams and the lack of familiarity with how Web3 games might work. One of the most famous examples (yes, don’t we just love criticising big name publishers) is Ubisoft. The multi-million dollar company and its attempts to reinforce NFTs within a game failed miserably when it got massive backlash from its players. Hours and hours of grinding for something that no one even cared about. But at least the gameplay was good? One of the major problems within today’s Web3 gaming industry is the quality of games which can be directly related to the dissatisfaction from the gamers. From Axie Infinity to even The Sandbox, it’s almost impossible to find the console-quality gaming experience that everyone is used to.
“The gaming industry we all love has seen wave 1 from Web3, an initial jump at what Web3 games could be. Phase one was to raise awareness but now it’s time to redefine business models that will help set industry standards within Web3 gaming – something to get closer to what we’re used to from console quality gaming. Our roles not just as G4AL or Elemental Raiders but as Web3 pioneers is to keep educating actors on the possibilities and the potential the technology offers, something we all can innovate and experiment more with,” says Adria Mir; a Web3 blockchain expert at G4AL, a layer 1 blockchain and game development studio.
Do NFTs stand a chance in the near future?
The survey highlights a path out of the NFT and Web3 hate, albeit a small one – for crypto and NFT to become part of the gaming industry, are studios interested in taking risk on this new gaming paradigm when the first foray into it resulted in a high-profile failure?
There are several emerging Web3 gaming studios with profiles from established and proven Web2 backgrounds such as Manel Sort and his G4AL, who are trying to develop building blocks in their ambitious vision for a truly playable, enjoyable and developing Web3 game experience.
“We tested out several performance marketing models and surveys during our time at Digital Chocolate, King Studios and Electronic Arts, trying to understand the consumer mentality of gamers. We’ve taken all of that knowledge, information and learnings and are trying to adapt towards Web3, by creating games such as Elemental Raiders who aim to focus on the needs of the gamers rather than forcing them to move into the realm of play-to-earn”, says Manel Sort, CEO and co-founder of G4AL blockchain, game development studio and its upcoming game Elemental Raiders.
So the question is will the Web3 gaming market adapt to the existing needs of gamers and make them better by solutions such as NFTs with utilities in-game, better experience and gameplay, or try and force a need to move gamers from Web2 to Web3? As of now the data from Coda Labs suggests it’s going to struggle to be an anything but a niche segment of the gaming market.