In recent years, Web3 gaming has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity, with projections indicating a rise from $4.6 billion in 2022 to an impressive $65.7 billion by 2027. Initially, play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity captured global attention, but it’s essential to recognize that gamers worldwide aren’t solely driven by the prospect of passive income. Despite play-to-earn having significantly impacted the blockchain industry and facilitated numerous users’ entry into the Web3 realm, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Web3 games need to evolve beyond this model. To truly thrive, these games must adopt a ‘play and earn’ ethos that prioritizes user experience.
Web3 gaming has, unfortunately, alienated many traditional gamers and developers due to subpar user experiences and a perceived lack of in-game creativity. The common perception is that Web3 games lack the fun factor, with challenging payment systems and additional gas fees on top of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or in-game assets prices. Therefore, to attract traditional gamers to the Web3 platform, games must transition from the play-to-earn model towards a more holistic approach that prioritizes the core gaming ethos: enjoyment.
Before Web3 games can truly offer players ownership of in-game assets, game developers need to concentrate on the elements that initially attract players: captivating worlds, compelling storytelling, seamless gameplay experience, a sense of community, and the opportunity to develop in-game skills. If these games prioritize fun, it opens up avenues for unique experiences like ownership of in-game assets, which sets Web3 games apart from their Web2 counterparts.
The gaming industry has a rich history of in-game assets, with games like “World of Warcraft” and “Eve Online” introducing tokens and in-game currencies as early as 2008. The unique opportunity within Web3 lies in offering in-game assets that possess value both inside and outside the game world. This is one of the original applications for NFTs: transforming in-game skins and weapons into digital assets that can be traded on secondary platforms, potentially rewarding asset creators with royalties from each sale.
Another potential draw for traditional gamers is the opportunity for players to have a more significant influence on the development process through governance. Players can provide crucial feedback about a game’s tools or weapons, enhancing the overall gaming experience. By elevating discussion forums and granting players decision-making power through decentralized governance participation, Web3 games could attract a more extensive player base.
Creating an engaging and dynamic community outside the game itself can also be a valuable asset, appealing to traditional gamers, developers, and newcomers to the space. Encouragingly, a shift towards user experience is already visible with Zynga’s launch of “Sugartown,” a mobile game featuring a vibrant world inhabited by three animals who discover a wormhole to another dimension, introducing an element of fun game lore.
The objective for Web3 games shouldn’t be to replace traditional gaming with decentralized gaming. After all, traditional games continue to enjoy a loyal fanbase and generate $281.77 billion worldwide. Instead, the goal should be to establish a unique and thrilling space, characterized by user asset ownership and active participation in the ecosystems they engage with. This user-centric approach is essential to the future of Web3 gaming and can be facilitated by utilizing resources such as a Crypto education platform or a Crypto Exchange service in the United States. By making it easier for players to download digital wallets or access a Crypto app in the USA, we can ensure that Web3 gaming continues to grow and evolve in a way that truly benefits its users.