Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million UAW in March 2022
Blockchain gaming is again in the spotlight as a recent DappRadar report shows user numbers are up by an impressive 2,000% year over year. Blockchain games are responsible for more than half of all blockchain application usage in Q1 2022.
- Blockchain games attracted 1.22 million UAW in March, accounting for 52% of the industry’s activity
- Sky Mavis undergoes a challenging period after suffering one of the most significant attacks in crypto history
- $2.5 billion in investments poured into blockchain games in Q1 2022
Amid a bear market scenario exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, blockchain games maintained a steady usage level with 1.17 million unique active wallets (UAW) connected on average per day during the first quarter. Furthermore, despite decreasing 2% from last year’s Q4 daily average, the March daily average surpassed 1.22 million daily UAW, showing a solid recovery.
Which network stands out?
While in most blockchain reports Ethereum dominates the headlines, the story is different regarding blockchain games and user numbers. In this space, Wax leads thanks to Alien Worlds and Farmers World, and Hive is in second place thanks to Splinterlands, followed by BNB Chain and Polygon.
Polygon continues to build on the momentum gained in 2021 as play-to-earn games like Crazy Defense Heroes, Pegaxy, Arc8, and Aavegotchi have increased Polygon’s gaming activity by 219% from the end of December.
BNB Chains Mobox NFT Farmer managed to keep its on-chain metrics positive, increasing activity 10% from the previous quarter thanks to a solid roadmap that moves around the Momoverse. Moreover, BNB Chain’s on-chain activity has decreased since the end of last year. Apart from Mobox and Bomb Crypto, the use of most game dapps on the Binance branded network has been volatile. Still, BNB Chain is the third-largest network in blockchain gaming activity. It attracted 165,000 daily UAW in Q1, 33% lower than December.
Wax’s Alien Worlds lost some ground after attracting more than 300,000 daily UAW in August last year. The space mining GameFi dapp is still drawing over 188,000 daily UAW, while its TLM token has been among the most popular game-based cryptocurrencies.
Activity on Hive is entirely led by Splinterlands which has increased its UAW by 11% when comparing February to March, and an incredible 5205% since Q1 2021. The OG trading card game has some big plans for 2022 and looks set to continue drawing crowds and keeping its dominant position in the game rankings.
While the top 10 blockchain games are now fairly established players that retain their positions month over month, look out for other games like Avalanche’s Crabada or Immutable X’s Gods Unchained to challenge these stalwarts in the coming weeks and months.
What about Ronin & Axie Infinity?
While the recent Ronin exploit forced Ronin’s native dapps to halt operations, the decline in Axie Infinity’s activity was not only the result of the attack. It was already in decline after peaking in January 2022 when the game registered over 55,000 daily UAW on average. It has since dropped down to around 22,000 daily UAW in March.
The number of UAW decreased further in mid-February due to changes implemented by Sky Mavis regarding SLP rewards in an attempt to make Axie’s in-game currency more sustainable. Still, Axie Infinity is among the top 10 most played games based on daily usage, and the game still attracts over 1.5 million daily active users measuring off-chain data.
While the Ronin bridge exploit represents a tough blow for Sky Mavis, the support from the Axie Infinity user base and Web3 communities has been substantial. Binance led a $150 million funding round with Animoca Brands, a16z, to help reimburse user funds alongside the launch of a $1 million bug bounty program to help cement and strengthen the core of its ecosystem,
Axie Infinity will probably remain a leading play-to-earn alternative for the foreseeable, even amid this challenging period. Moreover, according to Sky Mavis, Origin’s launch was successfully deployed in April, attracting over 220,000 testers for only the PC version of their game.
Investment pours in
Another strong growth signal for blockchain games is that $2.5 billion in investments poured into blockchain games in Q1, 2022. At this pace, play-to-earn and metaverse-related projects will add $10 billion this year to keep building the future of this industry.
Most notable is that Yuga Labs, the studio behind the renowned NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), received a $450 million investment led by Animoca Brands, with The Sandbox, FTX, and Coinbase involved in the deal. The investment further cements the status of Yuga Labs as one of the names to follow in the Web3 narrative. It also boosts the team’s metaverse plans as they prepare for the launch of Otherside. Otherside will become an interoperable metaverse platform involving play-to-earn games, fashion, and media.
What about the Metaverse?
Overall interest in the metaverse has cooled after the hype driven by Meta’s rebranding announcement in Q4 2021. Trading volume in virtual worlds decreased 12% from Q4 2021, reaching over $430 million in Q1 2022. The average price of lands in Decentraland and The Sandbox has plummeted 40%, while trading volume on both platforms decreased 20% and 60%, respectively.
Still, a general perspective on metaverse platforms signals a bullish scenario for this type of project. The potential of a blockchain-based metaverse looms larger than ever as leading organizations like Microsoft, Google, Disney, Sony, and more try to develop their brands within the metaverse.
To read the full DappRadar Games Report and get all the happenings from Q1 2022, click here. For non DappRadar Pro users, it will unlock at 12:00 pm UTC on Thursday 21st April.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds positions in various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, and RADAR.