As a preface, I suggest you read one of my previous articles which highlights the meteoric rise of video game consumption on smartphones: Video games on smartphones are disgusting
Web3? What is this?
Now, let’s recall in broad outline what this famous Web3 aims at. It’s all about ownership. Web3 is the concept of a new third-generation Internet, decentralized and powered by blockchain technology and an economy revolving around cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens). It opposes the World Wide Web 2, which is based on centralized platforms.
In other words, Web 3 is an Internet without a GAFAM-type corporation and where users interact in decentralized databases, such as Ethereum for example. If I have piqued your curiosity, I leave you to discover the Zonebourse guide which covers this topic in depth: WEB 3.0: The Internet in the age of blockchain and bitcoin.
What do video games look like on Web 3?
While traditional games mainly involve centralized authorities, Web3 games focus more on the concept of decentralization. Therefore, each player is able to have full control of their in-game digital assets, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well as exchangeable tokens (cryptocurrencies), and freely trade them with other players without getting confused. worry about interference from game development studios or other centralized institutions. This means that no one other than the player has access to his digital assets obtained in web games 3. This, in short, ensures online gamers a way to monetize their experience. To discover a concrete example of a Web 3-based game, I suggest you read or re-read this article: Investing in Play-to-Earn: the essential metrics to master
But are players really interested in this new economic model?
A more than timid enthusiasm of users
Although Web3 games bring some benefits, traditional gamers are still reluctant to try games from this new Web. We relied on the latter report EEMobile gaming company Coda Labs has partnered with WALR, a data mining company and member organization of the Market Research Society. The survey was conducted in five countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa and Japan. A total of 6,921 respondents were interviewed.
Participants were initially divided into three groups based on their gaming activity and interests. 81% of respondents qualified as “generalist” gamers, meaning they played video games at least twice a month.
The next category is “cryptocurrency non-gamers”. These are people who regularly use cryptocurrencies, but whose gaming activity is negligible compared to that of general players (the first category). Their crypto business mainly involves buying and selling tokens. This category is active on decentralized exchanges (DEX) and buys NFT on a monthly basis.
The last category, labeled crypto players, includes people who meet the requirements of the previous two categories. Therefore, this represents players who play games at least twice a month and regularly interact with decentralized exchanges (DEX) and NFTs. This category represents only 16% of respondents.
As for the intent of playing a Web3 game, the numbers are grim. The report states that 52% of gamers don’t even know the term “Web3 Game”. At the same time, only 15% of Web3 users are interested in playing these games in the future, as they see these projects mainly as investment/speculation opportunities. Few have heard of “Play-to-Win” and in fact, it’s just a familiar term for crypto holders.
Those who had not played a Web3 game were asked if they would be interested in playing these games. Overall, 19% were interested. Moreover, the potential financial income generated by the crypto-nft ecosystem was the most pronounced advantage in a Web3 game, regardless of the group studied.
Finally, the main obstacle to Web3 gaming is the players’ lack of awareness of how it works. Most of the non-crypto players surveyed do not know how to buy and trade cryptocurrencies. They also don’t know how to get NFT. Players cited practical challenges such as a lack of familiarity with how Web3 games work as a reason for not getting involved. Among players familiar with Web3, they cited concerns about cheating and startup costs as reasons not to play these games. Indeed, most Play-to-Earn games require users to receive an NFT (often representing a virtual character) to begin playing. The character is sometimes sold by another user which can cost anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars depending on demand.
To end on a positive note, the data also shows that there is a conversion funnel for players. Players who end up trying a Web3 game tend to love it, with popularity ratings reaching 7.1/10.
“When regular gamers try Web3 games, they tend to feel more positive”said Şekip Can Gökalp, CEO of Coda Labs, which commissioned the survey.
Investments lower than expected
Expectations for the total amount of investment for this year in this growing industry fell 8.8% to $9.25 billion, compared to forecasts last quarter. This still represents a much larger sum than that raised in 2021 at $4 billion.
Quarterly investments in the “blockchain – video games” sector.
Web3 games are still in an embryonic stage of development. The poor gaming experience these games offer attracts, at the moment, mostly speculators hungry for fresh cash. Gamers who put the user experience first remain drawn to the offerings of historic video game companies.
In order for the adoption of Web3 games with crypto-nft sauce to be realized, it will first be necessary to put in place a suitable regulation for the protection of players. The NFT ecosystem is still a kind of Wild West 3.0 where scams and scams abound. Mass adoption is not possible under these conditions. During 2022, the value and number of NFTs stolen increased significantly, making it a record year, especially with the month of May showing $23.9 million defrauded. In July, the number of stolen NFTs increased to 4,647, but although the figure was relatively high, its value was only $3.9 million, partly due to the decline in NFT prices as the prices of most digital assets also fell. During this period.
Finally, it will be necessary for the games offered to have a graphical quality and a user experience comparable to what we can have in the last generation consoles or in certain mobile games today. This means asking us if compatibility between a decentralized Web3 and quality games that limit cheating is possible. If a decentralized GoldenEye 007 with these features is on the horizon, count on me to share its promises and dangers with you. For now, I prefer to reconnect my wired controller.