Jenny Stanley, MD at Appetite Creative, looks at the games making waves in the metaverse right now.
Digital games are immersive interactive digital experiences that pair well with the metaverse. Consumers already spend vast amounts of time playing digital video games on mobile devices, as seen through the exponential growth of games like Candy Crush, a free-to-play match-three puzzle video game.
Hackernoon research shows an annual market growth of +7.8 per cent for the entire world, with the Asia-Pacific region leading the way with +9.2 per cent growth over the period (see graph below). Additionally, Pitchbook data indicates a 280 per cent rise in blockchain investments from 2017 to 2018 and investments in blockchain gaming is at an all-time high.
A new generation of play-to-earn (P2E) games are experiencing a boom on Web 3.0, allowing players to make money through buying and selling in-game assets, called non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Suddenly, it's not just about having fun, it's also about monetising a player's time while gaming.
Blockchain, a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency linked in a peer-to-peer network, has enabled gaming companies to generate $476 million in the first half of 2021. Since this is a new arena, P2E could ultimately have as much investment and growth potential as blockchain.
New P2E games that are already making an impact in the metaverse include:
Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game where players earn NFTs from cute monsters and then pit them against each other in battles. It features a player-owned economy, where players can buy, sell, and trade resources they earn in the game. According to a recent report by Cointelegraph, players of the monster-fighting game Axie Infinity transacted nearly $3.5 billion worth of NFTs in 2021. That's nearly two-thirds of all NFTs used in the blockchain gaming industry in 2021.
This platform is still under development but in its current state, it still offers opportunities both for brands and players. DeFi Kingdoms is the largest GameFi project on Harmony One (blockchain) with over $350 million in Total Value Locked (TVL) which is the overall value of crypto assets deposited in a decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol. The game environment is in the incredibly nostalgic form of fantasy pixel art (remember Super Mario?). It has spaces called ‘gardens’ which players and investors can ‘farm’ by adding currency to the game’s ecosystem and by collecting JEWEL (in-game tokens). To start farming, users simply click the ‘Seed Box’ button and wait for the rewards to accumulate.
The ‘marketplace’ allows you to trade tokens, change your profile picture, add liquidity to the game, and buy/sell in-game items (such as Heroes and Kingdoms).
One of the most popular games on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is Elfin Kingdom, an exciting new online multiplayer role-playing game. Players can choose their role in the game, explore maps, complete daily quests, mine and collect NFTs, connect with other players, form a community to battle, and share their experiences. Players can go on adventures to capture Elfins (characters in the game world) in the Elf Kingdom, earning tokens and in-game rewards.
Through a virtual business in a small town that includes farming, harvesting, banking, and factory processing functions, Elfin Kingdom seamlessly combines the best applications of decentralised finance (DeFi) which offers financial instruments without relying on intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks by using smart contracts on a blockchain.
The game works via a two-token model: Play-to-Earn and Free-to-Play. In the free version, players just need to get a wallet, login and start playing.
Galaxy Fight Club
Galaxy Fight Club (GFC) is not just an avatar project, but a real-time Player versus player (PvP) which is designed for gamers to compete against other gamers, rather than against the game's artificial intelligence (AI).
It’s a game that brings together various NFT collections on a single platform. This means that users can 'log in' with a previously purchased NFT and fight as that NFT character. It creates a cross-gaming platform that works across different Intellectual Properties (IP) in the metaverse where different NFT IPs from different collections can interact with each other in a meaningful way.
Anyone can participate in the Galaxy Fight Club. If a player does not have access to an avatar, they get a standard fighter with base stats and a standard base weapon. Alternatively, they can use an avatar from a partner project or a Genesis Galaxy Fighter. The only difference is that the rewards received when players win vary depending on the avatar or weapon used.
GFC is currently in beta and has suffered minor setbacks, but gamers can still find its name on the top game charts since it has raised $7m to Build the First Cross-IP PvP game for the NFT Metaverse. The roadmap for March 2022, indicates it will have an inaugural cross-IP charity tournament with partners and influencers.
All of these innovations are disrupting the digital gaming industry significantly. It's not an exaggeration to say that these changes will ultimately transform the world of digital and online games for both gamers and brands.