Blockchain Cuties: A case study in the success of multi-chain deployment

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Game supports Ethereum, TRON, EOS and NEO

Whatever anyone thinks about their underlying utility, more and more smart contract-based blockchains continue to launch.

One result is the growing consensus the future won’t be ‘One chain to rule them all’, but a more complex situation with a range of more-or-less successful blockchains in specific use cases.

Underpinning all this messy activity will be a number of meta-chains, which attempt to tie everything together.

This future is close. High profile projects such as Cosmos and Polkadot are building key elements, while existing players such as Loom Network are now positioning their infrastructure as “universal”.

But in the rush to such high concept solutions, it’s easy to forget some ambitious dapp developers are already testing the future today, supporting multiple blockchains within their software.

A snapshot of the daily activity on Blockchain Cuties

The best example of this is veteran Ethereum collectible RPG Blockchain Cuties, which now supports TRON, EOS and most recently NEO.

And given DappRadar — your most accurate source for dapp data — tracks these chains (and many more), it makes sense to use this game as a test case for the viability of a multi-chain philosophy.

Spreading the love

Looking at the data, what’s initially apparent is Ethereum continues to provide the main source of users and value for Blockchain Cuties.

That’s not a great surprise as the game launched during the post-CryptoKitties boom back in April 2018.

What’s more surprising is despite then launching on EOS (in November 2018), Blockchain Cuties has never found any additional audience. It’s never had more than 10 daily active unique wallets on EOS.

A snapshot of the daily activity on Blockchain Cuties

This is a surprise as three of the top five blockchain games by user numbers in 2019 run on EOS so it’s not that EOS wallet holders don’t play games.

One reason could be Blockchain Cuties is a browser game designed around NFT ownership. Successful EOS games tend to be more mobile- and currency-focused experiences.

But this hasn’t stopped the game being fairly successful on TRON.

Launched in December 2018, Blockchain Cuties’ audience on TRON continues to growth, although it’s not yet broken the 200-person count. There have also been some strong revenue peaks, particularly based around the sale of special TRON-themed cuties.

In contrast, Blockchain Cuties’ support on NEO has been similar to EOS. Launching in July 2019, it’s never had more than 13 daily users.

What’s to learn?

In conclusion, it’s clear that going multi-chain can be a successful way to scale a game.

If Blockchain Cuties had stuck with Ethereum, it would currently only have around 400 daily active players compared to 600.

And this would have dropped to less than 150 during the recent period of high Ethereum gas prices. In that regard, going multi-chain reduces business risk.

Blockchain Cuties’ daily wallet activity across the 4 blockchains it supports during 2019

Yet, it’s also apparent launching a game onto a new blockchain isn’t in-and-of-itself sufficient for success.

Blockchain Cuties’ TRON launch was heavily supported by key figures such as Justin Sun. It’s the case there are fewer games on TRON than EOS too.

Blockchain Cuties didn’t get the same support on either EOS, which already had a number of successful games, or NEO, which is yet to attract many users.

‘Build it and they will come’ is obviously not a coherent approach. Instead, launching the right product with the right support to the right audience will pay dividends.

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