In 2022, blockchain gaming, the metaverse, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gained significant attention for their innovations in the gaming industry. The value of digital asset ownership has been recognized and many blockchain games have maintained a strong user base. In 2021, NFT popularity and sales gained attention, but in 2022, in-game assets also gained attention. Some notable games that have demonstrated long-term value to their communities include Alien Worlds, Splinterlands, Upland, and Benji Bananas. It is a good time to consider the key trends in blockchain gaming for 2023.
Some general trends and developments in the blockchain gaming industry that were occurring around 2021 are:
- Increased adoption of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming: NFTs are a type of digital asset that represents ownership of a unique item or piece of content. They have been increasingly used in the gaming industry to represent in-game items such as weapons, characters, and other virtual goods.
- Emergence of decentralized finance (DeFi) in gaming: DeFi refers to financial applications that are built on blockchain technology and operate in a decentralized manner, meaning they are not controlled by any single entity. DeFi has been gaining traction in the gaming industry as a way to facilitate in-game item trading and other financial transactions.
- Growth of blockchain-based gaming marketplaces: Marketplaces that allow players to buy, sell, and trade in-game items using blockchain technology have become increasingly popular. These marketplaces offer players greater security and transparency compared to traditional methods of trading virtual goods.
- Development of blockchain-based gaming platforms: Some companies are working on creating gaming platforms that are built entirely on blockchain technology which also enables users for blockchain betting. These platforms could potentially offer players more control over their in-game items and facilitate more seamless cross-game item trading.
Let us now talk about some new trends that can be seen in the market right now
Increased support from game developers for blockchain gaming
In November, Game7 launched a grant program for $100 to support the development of Web3 games and released details about a new Web3.Unreal Engine Github Plugin. The plugin, which is set to be released in 2023, will enable developers to use Unreal Engine’s 3D creation tools and features in blockchain games, leading to enhanced visuals and immersive environments. Game7’s mission is to accelerate the development of open source Web3 games. Additionally, Animoca Brands, an NFT and gaming investor, announced plans to launch a $2 billion fund focused on investing in metaverse businesses, which are likely to have gaming components. In 2023, there will be numerous opportunities for game developers interested in the Web3 space to receive support.
The possibility of in-game economies based on decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
Alien Worlds, a popular blockchain game, has introduced decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) mechanics in their metaverse, which has opened up new possibilities for in-game economies. Until now, DAOs have mostly been used in decentralized finance protocols and large organizations. However, the introduction of syndicates in Alien Worlds has shown the potential for DAOs to be used in gaming. This not only provides a new way to engage with the community, but also allows for decentralization through onchain voting mechanisms and elections.
Creating Gaming Environment using virtual Real estate
Sandbox and Upland are known for their virtual real estate offerings, allowing users to buy, use, and develop land in a virtual world. Sandbox is a pixelated world with various quests to keep users engaged, while Upland is a metaverse based on the real world where users can own a piece of a city or neighborhood they like. The trend in these virtual environments is that landlords will develop more immersive experiences for their tenants, who may also have access to exclusive NFTs, games, and other interactive experiences.
Creative collaborations in Gaming Industry
The influx of creative talent into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has contributed to the development of innovative games. In 2022, there have been numerous partnerships to bring brands into blockchain gaming and the metaverse, such as Mythical Games partnering with the NFL, Upland partnering with FIFA, and Sandbox partnering with various household brands. As more games attract mainstream users, the vision for Web3 gaming is expanding. NFT artists and celebrities are beginning to recognize the benefits of transparency, ownership, and interoperability offered by NFTs, and established NFT creators and collections are seeing the value of gamification. It is uncertain how these developments will impact the gaming industry, but it is clear that blockchain games are evolving rapidly and are competing for user retention. As players realize they can earn and trade in-game assets, it is likely that this trend will continue. Gaming is becoming a lifestyle choice, and blockchain games incorporating Web3 features are at the beginning of a shift towards a user-centric model of game development that will allow for ongoing innovation across all gaming platforms.