Blockchain Gaming Resilience: $421M Investment Amid Meme Token Hype

Blockchain gaming report DappRadar x BGA April.
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DappRadar x BGA Games Report #14

Despite a recent downturn in on-chain activity for blockchain gaming, largely due to liquidity shifts towards PEPE and other meme tokens boasting a $1.7 billion market cap, the sector remains promising. With $421 million invested in web3 gaming and metaverse projects, and the latest gaming blockchain SUI experiencing a staggering 3,800% appreciation since its ICO, the future of blockchain gaming seems bright.

Key Takeaways 

  • In April, on-chain gaming activity saw a 10% decline with 672,000 daily UAW, yet games maintained a significant 38% share of tracked on-chain activity. 
  • Alien Worlds maintains its dominance in recent months, witnessing a 16% growth and reaching 245,653 dUAW, showcasing the game’s enduring popularity.
  • Genopets unveils Bitcoin Babies, a groundbreaking NFT mint on Bitcoin Ordinals, expanding cross-chain functionality and introducing game utility to Bitcoin NFTs for the first time.
  • Virtual worlds experience a sharp 74% decline in trading volume and sales count this month, plummeting to $41.4 million and 16,149 land sales, reflecting a significant downturn in the market.
  • Investments in blockchain games and metaverse projects totaled $421 million in April.

Table of Contents

  1. Blockchain Gaming Overview 
  2. Sui Blockchain: the new promising destination for Web3 game developers
  3. April’s blockchain gaming leaders
  4. Bitcoin Ordinals and Genopets: revolutionizing NFTs and gaming on the blockchain
  5. Virtual Worlds dapps struggle amid meme token craze, but some still thrive
  6. Epic Games Store capitalizes on blockchain gaming
  7. $421 million poured into Web3 gaming projects
  8. Conclusion

1. Blockchain Gaming Overview

calendar of events for April 2023 in blockchain gaming - DappRadar metrics

In April gaming on-chain activity experienced a decrease of 10%, with an average of 672,000 daily unique active wallets (UAW) recorded. Despite this drop, games still accounted for 38% of the on-chain activity tracked by DappRadar.

The decline in UAW numbers (22.4% since the beginning of the year) can be attributed to efforts by popular games like Splinterlands and Alien Worlds to eliminate bot activity. By purging bots from their platforms, these games aim to provide a more authentic and engaging experience for their users.

WAX remains the most popular gaming chain, boasting over 320,000 daily UAW in April. Polygon has recently emerged as the second-largest gaming chain by daily UAW, with more than 140,000 users in April. Hive has maintained a consistent gamer base of around 86,000 daily UAW thanks to Splinterlands, while BNB Chain follows closely, with 82,000 daily UAW.

Interestingly, new blockchains have been catching the attention of gamers. Although these emerging chains do not yet have a large player base, their growth rates are noteworthy. In April, Arbitrum experienced a staggering 118.36% increase in users, while Immutable X witnessed an 8.88% growth.

The emergence of new gaming chains such as Arbitrum and Immutable X reflects the ongoing evolution and expansion of the blockchain gaming ecosystem. As these platforms continue to grow and attract more gamers, the industry can anticipate further innovation and a wider range of blockchain gaming experiences in the future.

2. Sui: the new promising destination for Web3 game developers

The Sui blockchain network, despite being the newest player in the world of Web3 gaming, has already caught the eye of game developers and investors alike. Competing with established networks like Polygon, Immutable, Avalanche, and Solana, Sui’s mainnet launch on 3 May signaled a new era for the burgeoning gaming ecosystem.

After the latest ICO on Bybit exchange, the price of 1 SUI token started at $0.03 and has since skyrocketed to approximately $1.17, boasting an impressive 3,800% appreciation. With a market cap of $620 million and ranking at 68th place, Sui is proving that well-thought-out projects with potential can still garner significant interest amidst the meme coin hype.

Source: Coingecko

What sets the Sui blockchain apart is its unique approach to on-chain assets and technical specifications, which have made it an attractive alternative for Web3 game developers. The network’s ability to process transactions in parallel and scale horizontally by adding more nodes ensures that transaction fees remain low as more games and decentralized apps (dapps) are introduced.

Furthermore, Sui’s creator, Mysten Labs which has a $2B evaluation, claims that the dynamically-updated NFTs and “object-based” model will also appeal to game designers. While it may not be Ethereum-compatible via the Ethereum Virtual Machine like some other Web3 gaming networks, Mysten believes that the network’s inherent gaming advantages will draw in mainstream gamers.

In conclusion, the Sui blockchain demonstrates that despite the current meme coin craze, innovative projects with strong potential can still capture the interest of investors and the gaming community alike. As more Web3 game developers and users flock to Sui, its unique features and growing market presence signal a bright future for the network.

3. April’s blockchain gaming leaders

The blockchain gaming industry continued its upward trajectory as the top 10 games showcased outstanding performance and introduced innovative updates to attract even more players. 

Top 10 blockchain games by unique active wallets in April 2023 - DappRadar metrics

Alien Worlds maintained its position as the most played on-chain game, boasting over 240,000 daily unique active wallets (dUAW). With interesting gameplay, exciting tokenomics, and vast universe to explore, it’s no wonder Alien Worlds remains a fan favorite.

Despite removing thousands of botted accounts, Splinterlands secured its spot as the second most played Web3 game with 68,100 dUAW. The game is set to release a new promo card called Zyriel, a legendary dual-element card with Life and Death affinities. Zyriel is the first of its kind in Splinterlands, and players eagerly anticipate more dual-element cards in future updates.

Planet IX dominates the Polygon network as the most-played decentralized application (dapp), attracting over 30,000 dUAW in April. The game’s strategic gameplay and unique features make it a must-try for blockchain gamers.

Upland has proven its staying power as one of the top Web3 game options, with more than 20,000 daily unique active wallets. This virtual property trading game continues to captivate players with its expansive world and lucrative opportunities.

SecondLive leads the Binance gaming activity, boasting 20,139 dUAW. As a metaverse platform that combines social interaction, gaming, and digital asset ownership, SecondLive offers a unique experience for blockchain gamers.

Nine Chronicles has breathed new life into Planetarium, garnering more than 16,000 dUAW. This fully decentralized RPG features an expansive world, player-driven economy, and engaging combat system, making it a top choice for blockchain gaming enthusiasts.

In conclusion, for some of the games April 2023 has been an exceptional month, as they consistently deliver high-quality gameplay, intriguing updates, and thriving communities. 

4. Bitcoin Ordinals and Genopets: revolutionizing NFTs and gaming on the blockchain

Bitcoin Ordinals, backed by BRC-20 tokens, have recently captured the attention of the NFT ecosystem. Although similar in name to Ethereum’s ERC-20 tokens, BRC-20 tokens differ in their core function. Users can trade the proof of ownership certificates for the underlying mint NFTs using Ordinal theory to track them. As interest in BRC-20 tokens grows, the number of transactions has skyrocketed, yet the overall market cap remains small compared to its Ethereum counterpart.

Source: Twitter

Genopets, the popular move-to-earn app, has announced plans for their next NFT mint on Bitcoin Ordinals. The upcoming collection, called Gold Baby Genopet Bitcoin NFTs, will launch Genopets into cross-chain functionality and bring the first game utility to Bitcoin NFTs. Until now, Bitcoin Ordinals have primarily been used for non-game NFTs. With the introduction of Gold Baby Genopet Bitcoin NFTs, these tokens will become the first Bitcoin Ordinals to be playable in a game, creating a new frontier for blockchain-based gaming.

As Genopets integrates Bitcoin Ordinals into its platform, it demonstrates the growing potential for cross-chain applications in the blockchain ecosystem. Cross-chain functionality enables seamless interaction between different blockchains, allowing users to benefit from the unique features of each platform. The collaboration between Genopets and Bitcoin Ordinals showcases how NFTs and gaming can transcend the limitations of a single blockchain, opening new opportunities for innovation and growth.

The partnership between Bitcoin Ordinals and Genopets is a significant milestone in the evolution of NFTs and blockchain gaming. As Bitcoin Ordinals continue to gain traction, and Genopets brings game utility to the platform, the possibilities for cross-chain applications and innovations in the NFT space will only expand.

5. Virtual Worlds dapps struggle amid meme token craze, but some still thrive

April 2023 has been a challenging month for the virtual worlds dapps, with trading volume and sales count experiencing a sharp 74% decline, plummeting to $41.4 million and 16,149 land sales. This downturn in the market is mainly due to liquidity flowing to PEPE and other meme tokens, which reached new heights with a $1.7 billion USD market cap. The frenzy surrounding these tokens led NFT traders to sell large NFT holdings at a loss to join the meme bandwagon. The increased activity on the chain caused transaction costs to rise above $100, making low-value NFTs less attractive and further contributing to the decline in virtual dapps interest.

A significant contributor to the decrease in the virtual dapps market is the 65% decline in trading volume for Otherdeeds for Otherside, which dominates the market. This drop brought their trading volume down to $34.7 million. However, Otherside has not lost momentum, as they recently introduced a new feature allowing players to convert their Otherdeeds and mint special NFTs. This move has divided the plots into two collections: the original Otherdeeds and Otherdeeds Expanded. Otherside continues to champion mutable NFTs with their new project, Legends of the Mara. If you want to know more about the Yuga Labs metaverse ecosystem, read our latest report.

Despite the overall decline, a few metaverse projects have managed to thrive in April 2023. The Sandbox, for instance, witnessed an 18.83% increase in trading volume, reaching $1 million. This success can be attributed to the Mega City 3 Land Sale, which offered over 250 plots and special assets NFTs for premium plot purchases. The raffle event, running from April 26th to May 10th, 2023, required users to have completed the KYC process and have enough SAND tokens in their wallets.

Another notable metaverse project that has shown remarkable growth is NFT Worlds, which experienced a 129.68% increase in trading volume this month, reaching $2.7 million. NFT Worlds was once a prominent name in the web3 gaming scene, but faced a major setback when Minecraft announced that it would not allow NFT or blockchain integration with their game. This announcement forced NFT Worlds to temporarily close down and refocus their efforts on building a new and improved platform.

In April 2023, NFT Worlds re-emerged stronger than ever with a new identity: Topia. The rebranding signified a fresh start for the project, showcasing their dedication to creating an innovative and immersive virtual world. Topia’s team has been working tirelessly to rebuild the game from the ground up, incorporating new features and functionalities to enhance the user experience. With this rebranding and renewed focus on development, Topia has demonstrated its ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity.

The virtual worlds dapps market faced a significant decline in April 2023, with liquidity flowing towards meme tokens and rising transaction costs. However, some metaverse projects such as The Sandbox and Topia have managed to weather the storm and demonstrate growth. These projects serve as examples of how resilience and innovation can help virtual worlds dapps overcome the challenges and continue to thrive in an ever-changing market.

6. Epic Games Store capitalizes on blockchain gaming

Valve’s Steam platform has long been the go-to marketplace for PC gamers, but its recent decision not to approve blockchain games has left a significant gap in the market. Epic Games Store is seizing this opportunity to differentiate itself and capitalize on the burgeoning blockchain gaming sector.

In September 2022, Mythical Games became the first to launch a blockchain game on the Epic Games Store with Blankos Block Party. Since then, the platform’s selection of blockchain games has continued to grow, with 18 titles now listed, the majority of which are set to launch publicly in 2023. Among the recent additions is TCG Cards of Ethernity, while the Core platform supports NFT-enabled experiences like Mekaverse’s hub, hanger, and Meka-Solarys mini-game.

Interestingly, Epic Games Store’s pivot to blockchain gaming comes despite CEO Tim Sweeney’s initial reluctance to use the technology in its own titles. The company seems to have recognized the potential of blockchain technology and its applications in gaming, particularly for decentralized asset ownership and creating digital scarcity through non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

A number of blockchain games on the Epic Games Store have already started providing codes for early access to their communities. This move allows developers to gather valuable feedback and refine their games before the official release. Examples of such titles include Superior, MetalCore, World Eternal Online, and The Machines Arena.

Epic Games’ embrace of blockchain gaming could have significant implications for its revenue. Although exact figures are not available, the company’s foray into this new gaming sector is likely to attract a broader range of gamers and developers, potentially boosting its earnings. According to the 2022 report by DappRadar, the blockchain gaming industry had received over $7.6 billion in investments, indicating a promising future for companies willing to explore this space.

7.$421 million poured into Web3 gaming projects

April 2023 has proven to be another successful month for investments in the blockchain gaming and metaverse space. Despite the hype surrounding memecoins, investors have shown unwavering support for the gaming industry, with a total of $421 million raised.

investments in blockchain gaming and metaverse projects

The most notable investment in April 2023 is the $221 million raised by Bitkraft, a venture capital firm specializing in gaming. According to a recent SEC filing, the funds were raised for the company’s second token fund. Bitkraft’s interest in Web3 gaming stems from the team’s background as gamers, rather than the play-to-earn trend. With a history of funding esports organizations and game developers, Bitkraft aims to support Web3 games similarly.

Krafton and Naver Z have announced a $37 million investment into Migaloo, previously Krafton’s metaverse project. Now, it will become a joint venture based in North America. First announced in 2022, Migaloo—a working title—is a create-to-earn project that combines Krafton’s game expertise with Naver Z’s experience in the metaverse, social networks, and IP partnerships.

German blockchain tech investor Scytale Digital has announced a $20 million investment into Mythical Games, the developer behind Blankos Block Party, newly launched NFL Rivals, and the forthcoming title Nitro Nation: World Tour. As part of the deal, Mythical Games will migrate its Mythical Chain to Polkadot and establish a Mythos ecosystem on the Polkadot network.

In conclusion, April 2023 has been a strong month for investments in blockchain gaming and metaverse projects, demonstrating the industry’s continued growth and potential. As interest in these sectors shows no signs of slowing down, we can expect even more exciting developments, collaborations, and investments in the months to come.

8. Conclusion

The dapp industry experienced a slight dip in daily unique active wallets in April, with DeFi and gaming sectors witnessing fluctuations in market share. Despite these changes, Alien Worlds managed to retain its dominance, showcasing its continued appeal to gamers. 

The groundbreaking introduction of Bitcoin Babies by Genopets reflects the growing cross-chain functionality and the potential expansion of game utility within the realm of Bitcoin NFTs. 

The virtual worlds market faced a significant decline in trading volume and sales count, demonstrating the volatility of the industry. However, with a total of $421 million invested in blockchain games and metaverse projects during the month, the potential for growth and innovation remains strong. 

The dapp ecosystem continues to evolve, with new developments and trends offering exciting opportunities for both developers and users alike.

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