The top games are thriving, and new rivals have entered the market.
The blockchain gaming landscape is growing at a dizzying pace, and GameFi is one of the hottest buzzwords, with more than 50% industry’s usage and $748 million raised. The top games are thriving, and new rivals have entered the market. Get the latest updates in the DappRadar x BGA Games Report.
More than simply a buzzword, web3 is meant to be a redesigned Internet that provides users with gaming, social networking, and financial services through decentralized apps, or dapps, operating on a blockchain and managed by a user’s own wallet.
Gaming-related firms, such as the Australian-based Immutable, believe gaming will be the leading area for blockchain-based Web3 services, citing the enthusiasm of venture capitalists and the money streaming into the sector as proof.
In August, on average, 847,000 daily Unique Active Wallets (UAW) interacted with blockchain games, an 11% decrease from last month but still more than 50% industry’s usage.
The average daily number of unique active wallets for the top protocol Wax decreased by 8% from the previous month. Still, 40% of the gaming activity occurs on Wax. Hive, the second biggest gaming blockchain and home to Splinterlands, saw its activity climb to an average of 169,043 daily UAWs, a 12% month-over-month increase (MoM).
Similarly, the average number of daily UAW transactions on the BNB Chain climbed by 8% month-over-month to exceed 92,000. Solana continues to grow, with a 21% rise month over month.
Another two bullish signals are the total trading volume of related NFT games, which increased by 13.25% from the previous month, and the number of sales that increased by 83.36%, with more than 1.3 million NFTs related to games being traded.
Regarding protocols, Ethereum decreased by 14.40%, reaching $11 million, but Solana had an increase of over 171% month-to-month, reaching $1.7 million. Ronin has also reached $8.2 million in total trading volume, translating into a 27.64% MoM increase.
This report will highlight the most significant recent developments that have made blockchain gaming the lead of the upcoming web3.
- Web3 games and metaverse projects have raised over $750 million since August 1st despite the challenging economic environment.
- Trickshot Blitz, the new Flow-based game, in its two weeks, has lured more than 400,000 unique active wallets (UAW) in just two weeks while processing 4.6 million transactions.
- Splinterlands recovers for the third straight month after revamping the game’s economy last June.
- Axie Infinity surpasses $4 billion in all-time NFT sales, while the game has attracted around 36,000 daily players on average during the last three months.
- Virtual World games NFTs generated a yearly-low $25 million in August; the Sandbox opens its Alpha Season 3
- Xterio raised $40 million in investments for mobile web3 games, as only 12% of blockchain games are available to play on mobile devices
- Top games are growing, despite the market situation
- Flow keeps flourishing with its new game Trickshot Blitz
- Splinterlands exceeds 3 billion battles and maintains remarkable growth
- Virtual Worlds see a decrease in volume but enjoy more sales
- Live look at The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 and its multiple celebrity partnerships
- STEPN registers over 3 million monthly users as move-to-earn continues to evolve
- $748M raised by blockchain games and metaverse projects
- Will blockchain mobile games bring web3 adoption?
Top games are growing, despite the market situation
In August, Alien Worlds was the most played blockchain game with 197,555 average daily UAW, a decrease of 4% from the previous month. They announced a partnership with Zilliqa, to integrate the Alien Worlds into their platform via Unity Software Development Kit. If you want to know more about this partnership and their future plans, watch our latest AMA made during our DappDays.
Gameta, a Solana-based game, on the 27th of August launched on the BNB chain, increasing its daily average unique active wallets by 33% since July, and became the second position among BNB Chain Decentralized Applications (dApps) in terms of the number of users and the top position among GameFi projects.
Axie Infinity has consolidated its on-chain player base around 36k level daily wallets. This month, the game’s NFT collection has seen $4.24 billion in sales, followed by CryptoPunks with $2.92 billion. On the 11th of August, they announced that they are starting the Origin Season 0, marking the transition into phase 3. With this new phase, the rewards system will be changed and the SLP removed.
Finally, Era7: Game of Truth and Play mining, have both consolidated their base player around 24,000 daily average unique active wallets, respectively a 4% and 2% from last month.
Flow keeps flourishing with its new game Trickshot Blitz
This month, Joyride Games Inc., the game publishing platform that launched the flow-based game Solitaire Blitz in July, also released on the 15th, Trickshot Blitz, a play-to-earn version of the traditional 8-ball pool game. The game acquired over 400,000 unique wallet addresses in its first two weeks and processed over 4.6 million transactions.
Another significant event was the partnership between Ticketmaster and Flow, which allows event organizers to issue NFTs attached to their tickets. The latter may provide these NFTs before, during, and after the event, enabling customized experiences such as loyalty incentives or celebrity meet-and-greets, or just selling mementos in an NFT format.
As the world quickly adopts decentralization, Flow has released a new Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) infrastructure, CAST. It is a voting system designed to facilitate communal decision-making. Proposals on CAST may be gated using any non-fungible token (NFT) on the Flow Blockchain or FLOW tokens.
Read our comprehensive guide on the Flow blockchain for more details.
Splinterlands exceeds 3 billion battles and maintains remarkable growth
August was also a significant month for Splinterlands, a play-to-win trading card game that runs on the Hive blockchain. The Splinterlands team has revealed that the game has reached three billion battles played. As seen in the graph below, this occurred only a few months after the game hit 2 billion users in March 2022, indicating steady growth in user engagement.
The daily average of unique active wallets in Spinterlands increased by 14% month-over-month, reaching 168,000, primarily due to the following announcements.
On August 5th, it was revealed that $SPS (Splinterlands) will be listed on the Huobi exchange in cooperation with EMP Money, an Ethereum-pegged token that players may use to conduct in-game transactions.
The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) announced on August 8 that it has partnered with Splinterlands to establish and develop a play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain soccer-based game that would enable MLSPA players to engage with their fans in new ways across desktop and mobile platforms.
These two announcements prompted a 38% surge in the price of the Splinterlands currency (SPS) during the first week of August, before the price began to decline. According to coingecko, the SPS price on August 31 was 0.052, a 13% decrease from the beginning of the month.
After conducting a test vote on the 23rd of August to ensure the system operated and gauge participation, the Splinterlands team proceeded ahead with the first vote that would impact Splinterlands gameplay. This specific vote concerns a reorganization of SPS prize distribution, which has already generated debate.
This idea specifically addresses the allocation of SPS prizes in ranking fights. Instead of one huge pool of SPS tokens that everyone shares, there are several smaller pools. The plan proposes transferring the majority of awards to the higher levels.
And although the idea is now passing with 85% of the vote in favor, there have been worries voiced that this reform would just benefit the wealthy. Already, achieving the Diamond and Champion rankings requires payment. You are not permitted to participate in Diamond League until your collecting power exceeds 250,000, which is equivalent to around $6400 worth of cards.
Now, they want to provide 30% of the total SPS awards to the top few hundred players, who occupy the highest positions. Already, higher levels get larger reward shares and greater bonuses for those incentives. But allocating one-third of the whole supply to a small set of people seems excessive.
The Splinterlands team has indicated that they are open to altering the numbers in the future; however, would a new proposal and vote be required to make this adjustment? We will attentively monitor these developments.
Virtual Worlds see a decrease in volume but enjoy more sales
Virtual world projects experienced a down month as the category’s trading volume decreased by 28.90% MoM to $22 million. However, the number of sales climbed by 38.62% MoM to 19,354 showing that the demand for this type of projects is still considerable.
Otherdeed for Otherside, this month, had a decrease of 27.41% compared to last month, but still represents 73.23% of the total trading volume of virtual worlds. On the 28th of August, Eminem and Snoop Dog performed in the Otherside Metaverse for the annual Music Video Awards, and they took along Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.
Similarly, Decentraland had a monthly decrease of 23.86%, below $1.5 million, the lowest we registered since January 2021. Also NFT Worlds had a decrease of 76.43%, the lowest amount of trading volume ever recorded.
On the other hand, Worldwide Webb Land, a 2d metaverse inspired by Steven Spielberg’s movie called Ready Player One, increased the total trading volume by 87.12% MoM, more than half a million. This growth is due to the latest announcement, where users are allowed to manually submit potential integrations to its metaverse.
So now instead of a project having to partner with Worldwide Webb Land to get its avatars in the Worldwide Webb metaverse, users can now manually submit an NFT that they wish to be integrated.
Somnium Space has also seen a 36% growth from last month, driven by the launch of a new social media platform powered by the platform. It is called Authencity and it will have a direct monetization model where fans can support creators without interference. They essentially obtain a share of every profile they support and will ride the wave of their success.
Furthemore, Arcade Land saw a 46.24% growth compared to last month, driven by the latest partnership with Ookeenga, the 3D NFT gaming project developed by CROS Game.
Live look at The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 and its multiple celebrity partnerships
After The Sandbox’s Alpha Season 1 last year and Alpha Season 2 earlier this year, players enthusiastically anticipated Season 3, which was released on August 24.
The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 is free to play and available to all players, however in order to gain SAND prizes from playing, you must have an alpha pass or other Sandbox NFT. In addition, the Sandbox provides a new KYC criterion for prize eligibility. This was the outcome of dishonest gamers establishing many accounts to boost their chances of winning rewards.
This Alpha Season contains over 90 experiences from numerous sources. These experiences come from partners including The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, and the Smurfs, the Sandbox team, the Game Maker Fund, twelve user-created experiences, and sixteen submissions from prior game jams.
Additionally, Alpha Season 3 allows players to use avatar NFTs from a variety of collections like Steve Aoki, Bored Apes, and Moonbirds inside the game.
There will be modifications to prizes in Season 3, including guaranteed awards for specific NFT holders. While Alpha pass holders continue to earn the most prizes, individuals with Sandbox lands, avatars, and “NFTs” may also earn by completing stages.
Please visit our most recent article for further information about the Sandbox Alpha Season 3.
In conjunction with the introduction of the new season, The Sandbox has teamed with Gordon Ramsay to bring his immensely successful Hell’s Kitchen into the virtual world, and with Paris Hilton, who will replicate her Malibu Mansion inside The Sandbox and hold rooftop parties with herself as the DJ.
With all of these celebrity partnerships and launch of the new season, the unique active wallets has grown by 40% from July, reaching a maximum of 1,680 on the day after the launch of the Alpha Season 3.
On the 1st of September, DappRadar spoke with Sebastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox and if you want to find out more about their vision and their roadmap, check this article.
STEPN registers over 3 million monthly users as move-to-earn continues to evolve
Move-to-earn applications are growing more popular, with gamers from every imaginable background. Thousands of individuals are enticed by the motivation of reward for physical exercise, and there are enormous communities of fitness app enthusiasts worldwide.
STEPN remains one of the most popular M2E (move-to-earn) dapps, with over 3 million accumulated monthly users and over 700,000 shoes mined, and is establishing its first physical office at Hong Kong’s government-run start-up accelerator Cyberport, making the city its first regional headquarters outside Australia.
The decision was made at a time when other cryptocurrency-related businesses have been leaving Hong Kong in preparation for a new licensing system for exchanges. The quarantine procedures associated to Covid-19 have also resulted in a business migration.
In addition, they announced a collaboration with Atlético de Madrid and cryptocurrency exchange WhaleFin to develop a new collection. This collection will contain 1,001 pairs of Atlético de Madrid sneakers that come with the possibility to win club-signed items and match tickets in person. Additionally, this collection will be compatible with the app’s run-to-earn game.
Apart from STEPN, a small number of dapps are climbing the M2E ranks, albeit most of them are still in their beginnings.
Genopets, another Solana Move-to-Earn dapp that utilizes augmented reality in a manner similar to Pokemon Go, allowing users to capture creatures that move around real-world locales, has now added Habitat Management for its gamers.
In Genopets, players construct Crystals, Habitats, and Terraform seeds. In the future, they will also provide extra functionality via crafting and crystal refinement. The owner selects a fee percentage and assigns a renter, who is then able to utilize the selected Habitat function.
With the deployment of Habitat management, the official start of the move-to-earn economy on Genopets occurs. Any Energy of levels accumulated during beta has been wiped off, and everyone must start again from the beginning.
Sweatcoin has just announced a cooperation with DAO Maker for the introduction of its own digital token, SWEAT. Its IDO is designed to facilitate the transfer of Sweat Economy to the global Web3 ecosystem.
In conjunction with the introduction of SWEAT, the fitness app’s development team will provide its own cryptocurrency wallet, Sweat Wallet. Sweat Wallet is an all-in-one endpoint to the crypto-centric version of the Sweat Economy, with attractive yields, unique NFTs, and a robust set of tools.
OliveX is an Animoca Brands-backed digital health and fitness firm with dapps such as Dustland, Zombies Run, and Lympo Squat. The business has now released Dustland Rider, a new game in which riding may be used to collect in-game prizes. Date of release has not yet been disclosed.
Keith Rumjahn, founder and chief executive officer of OliveX, will join Silentmode as a non-executive director as part of the planned strategic investment, providing advice and insight on currency pairings, marketing, and exchange connections, among other things.
The company also made a deal with game developer Parasol Corp Pty Ltd to work together on making three new games over the next three years. Each of these games will be supported by the DOSE utility token, which is a token for the whole ecosystem. The first game, tentatively titled “We Fight Monsters,” is designed for players who prefer bodyweight workouts.
Move-to-earn applications are used by everyone from walkers to Olympic athletes. One may argue that they are fundamentally altering how individuals interact with physical exercise and the crypto-world. Web3 and the metaverse were exclusively connected with crypto-enthusiasts and NFT traders prior to the previous five years. However, many individuals are increasingly participating in the move-to-earn trend.
$748M raised by blockchain games and metaverse projects
Following the trend witnessed throughout the year, partnerships and investments in blockchain gaming kept coming with another $748 million raised in August, a 135% increase from last month, but still a 16% decrease from June.
One noticeable investment of $200 million, 27% of the total investments, has been raised by Gabriel Leydon, the founder and former CEO of Machine Zone, the mobile gaming studio behind Game of War and Mobile Strike, for a new blockchain start-up called Limit Break. The project gained popularity after the successful launch of its DigiDaigaku free-mint NFT collection, which we analyzed in this report.
Temasek, Singapore’s state investment fund and the world’s largest investor, has invested $100 million via convertible bonds into Animoca Brands. Just last month, $75 million was raised by Animoca in a round that was led by existing investors Liberty City Ventures, 10T and Kingsway Capital.
Looking at the whole picture, we observed that 38% of the investments goes to infrastructure, 33% to games and metaverse projects, and 27% to investment firms.
During the previous quarter, investors pumped $3.1 billion into the blockchain gaming industry., Expectations around the total amount of investments for this year into this growing industry have been upped by 20% to $10.2 billion.
The amount of investments demonstrates that despite the challenging and uncertain conditions in the digital asset markets, major investment entities remain bullish on the GameFi industry.
Will blockchain mobile games bring web3 adoption?
Mobile gaming has advanced significantly during the last two decades. Beginning with Snake and Breakout on outdated Nokia phones, the mobile gaming business has since developed dramatically, garnering unprecedented popularity with titles such as Candy Crush, Bloons Tower Defense, and Angry Birds. In only the last few years, the mobile gaming sector has made a tremendous leap forward, with more technologically powerful phones and web3 technology enabling more immersive gaming experiences.
As of today, most of the leading blockchain games such as Axie Infinity, Upland, Gemeta, Splinterlands, etc. have a version of the game for mobiles. In fact, according to Mirror World, only around 12% of web3 live games are available to play on mobile devices.
This month, Coda Labs and Laguna Games have cooperated to release four new casual games for iOS and Android smartphones. The four minigames scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2022 are Unigatchi, Bumper Corns, Mob Run, and Rainbow Rumble.
Xterio, a cross-platform publisher and producer of high-quality mobile and Web3 games, secured $40 million in investment last month, which was another noteworthy occurrence. FunPlus, FTX Ventures, Makers Fund, and XPLA led the round, with Hashkey, Foresight Ventures, Headline, Matrix Partners, and Animoca Brands also participating.
The cash will be used to develop and distribute its own games as well as those of its partners, produce new world-class intellectual property, and continue work on the Xterio platform, which will include a marketplace, social community center, and other features.
Despite the economic downturn, the conflict in Ukraine, rising inflation, the cryptocurrency winter, and a fresh gaming slump, the financing indicates that game investors are beginning to get enthused about blockchain mobile games. And Web3 teams with a compelling proposal may still get a massive financing round.
Furthermore, as the adoption of web3 games grows into the mobile segment, one of the multiple
challenges ahead in the path to adoption is the existing friction with web3 technologies. This barrier is especially visible in mobile where changing a poor user experience leads to low levels of retention.
Spawning across multiple apps to perform typical actions of a web3 game such as logging in, completing blockchain transactions, or transacting in a NFT marketplace can lead to a low customer experience.
Platforms like X-terio and Mirror World will benefit the entire industry. Mirror World SDK helps developers integrate the blockchain layer in a smoother manner. According to Chris Zhu, Co-Founder and CEO at Mirror World, “developers don’t need to build their own stacks individually”.
Mirror World simultaneously strives to improve the user experience while interacting with blockchain-related goods. Chris mentioned that “users are typically required to leave the app to sign a transaction with Metamask or Phantom, forcing them to leave your mobile Dapp resulting in a 25% conversion loss with the current onboarding flow, a devastating number for any game hoping to generate revenue and expand its audience.”
Taking this into consideration, the platform has an all-in-one login and authentication, where users can interact with a game through social authentication (Google, Email, Twitter, and so on) and automatically a crypto wallet will be tied to them.
Users are usually asked to hop out of the app to sign a transaction with Metamask or Phantom, forcing them to leave your mobile Dapp, losing 25% conversion just with the existing onboarding flow, a devastating number for any game expecting to generate revenue & grow its audience.
On the same page, it has also a mobile marketplace where developers can easily build a built-in NFT Marketplace, enabling users to buy and sell game NFT assets directly from within the game.
On the importance of SDKs and similar tools as web3 prepares to onboard the big next wave of users, he affirms:
“Similar to how online payment adoption was minimal before PayPal and Stripe, we see an urgent need to provide low-code solutions with SDKs to enable developers to create an all-in-one user experience in any mobile application, from social login to self-custody wallets and marketplaces.”Chris Zhu, Co-Founder and CEO at Mirror World
Blockchain gaming, the newest addition to a still young sector, has not yet lost its mystery. Many are still unaware of its significance, and the ever-changing gaming ecosystem provides little assistance.
Those who are heavily engaged with blockchain gaming, however, feel that its promise of player-owned assets and circular token economies is the inevitable progression of entertainment, which will alter how the world views games.
We are still at an embryonic stage with vast growth potential. While there are still several areas for improvement, the sector is constantly developing and inventing.
GameFi’s future looks bright, and is on the route to becoming the lead towards web3.
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