Blockchain gaming, crypto games, NFT games — one of the buzziest occurrences in the gaming landscape. While the Web3 community believes gaming may be the biggest driving force in onboarding the mainstream into Web3, gamers themselves have long resisted the idea.
Blockchain games don’t receive the highest respect in the wider gaming community. The issue could be that there aren’t any blockchain games truly capable of capturing the mainstream gaming market right at this moment.
The triple-A problem
Blockchain games are not inherently bad. They just can’t compete with the mainstream gaming industry’s capacity to capture the attention of most gamers. At least, not yet. Blockchain game developers don’t have issues with funding for AAA tittles – moreover, it is the least problem.
Gamers looking to kick back and have a good time just want one thing: an excellent gaming experience. And they look for new games on online game marketplaces for the platform of their choice.
Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — the three biggest players in console gaming — have in-house marketplaces. On the other hand, PC gamers have options like Steam or the Epic Games Store. But all these digital storefronts have in common: the games they feature on their front pages are big-budget triple-A game experiences built by some of the most experienced and talented developers in the industry.
Investing in gaming culture
Crypto veteran and budding blockchain game developer Roy Blackstone believes that many blockchain game developers hoping to launch the next big play-to-earn (P2E) game don’t.
The problem is the games industry. Now it’s so big that there’s hundreds of billions of dollars to be made essentially. All this money’s up for grabs, and that isn’t encouraging gamers to come in and build games. It’s attracting people who see the dollar signs. These types of new entrants into the blockchain gaming space are people who have never played a video game in their life.
Even in Web2, game developers have resorted to increasingly predatory monetization tactics in hopes that players spend as much time and money on their games as possible.
Mighty Bear Games CEO Simon Davis has a different perspective:
There’s nothing inherently wrong with live-service, free-to-play games with the microtransaction model — it lowers the barrier to entry and allows players who would otherwise not be able to afford a fully priced game to be able to start playing and have fun.
In Web2 and Web3, game development is no joke. Regardless of a developer’s intention, creating a game — let alone a full-fledged triple-A title — is a long, arduous process. Projects like NFT Worlds seemed acutely aware of this, building their stake in the virtual land craze on what are essentially just Minecraft mods. Following Minecraft’s outright ban of all blockchain integration, NFT Worlds has to redo everything on its own.
Regardless of how fun or polished a blockchain game may be, how it integrates blockchain technology into the overall experience might play an equal role in the next big blockchain game’s success. Play and earn is just the start — blockchain’s most thoughtful and frictionless integration into a game may yet be discovered.
Side note: gaming vets promise sustainable blockchain games.