State of the Blockchain Game Sector | November 2020

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As 2020 comes to a close, the key trends for the blockchain gaming sector are becoming further apparent.

Welcome to DappRadar’s regular monthly report – in conjunction with the Blockchain Game Alliance –  on the state of the blockchain game sector. 

The Blockchain Game Alliance is a non-profit organization counting over 150 members and committed to promoting and spreading awareness about the advantages of blockchain technology within the game industry, and DappRadar is providing its industry-leading data to assist in this goal.

Key Trends

As 2020 comes to a close, the key trends for the blockchain gaming sector are becoming further apparent.

Across all blockchains, daily gaming activity has seen a steady increase since its nadir of sub-20,000 daily active unique wallets in late July, which was mainly due to the high Ethereum gas prices created by the DeFi yield farming boom. 

The relatively strong performance of the sector in November – consistently over 26,000 daily active unique wallets – was driven by more than just this rebound, however. 

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Source: DappRadar

Looking at the data in terms of the main five blockchains on which games are operating, EOS, Hive, and Ethereum all experienced some level of growth in November.

In all these cases, the growth came from an existing product on each blockchain; respectively Upland, Splinterlands, and Axie Infinity

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Source: DappRadar

ThunderCore and WAX operated at broadly the same level as of October, with no significant growth from their games. 

Splinterlands recovers and goes again

In terms of the most popular blockchain game, that remains the trading card game Splinterlands, which runs on the Hive blockchain.

Following the introduction of a new feature in late September that gated access to tournament rewards in terms of the number and quality of a player’s cards, daily activity dropped in October. 

It recovered in November, however, with the characteristic two-week spike created by the ending of each tournament once again surpassing the 6,5000 daily active unique wallet level. 

Source: DappRadar

More generally, interest in Splinterlands is rising as a result of its Land sales, the first two of which immediately sold out. 

A third sale will occur later in December, with the developer expecting to generate around $1 million across all three as it prepares to build out its roadmap for land in 2021. 

Heading up with Upland

EOS mobile Monopoly-style Upland has experienced steady month-on-month growth in recent months, but this accelerated in November, breaking the 4,000 daily active unique wallet total for the first time. 

This makes Upland the second most popular blockchain game.  

blockchain game
Source: DappRadar

To some extent, this is the result of delivering on its long-term roadmap, with more locations becoming available in its new New York setting as well as more complex in-game activities. 

More exciting for some players however is the ability to sell their in-game assets directly for fiat currency. 

Currently, in beta testing, this integration with TiliaPay has resulted in three buildings selling for $500 each, underling Upland’s potential as a play-to-earn experience

The rise and rise of Axie Infinity

Another blockchain game on an upwards curve is Axie Infinity, which also hit all-time highs in terms of on-chain activity during November. 

Mainly a measure of activity on the game’s marketplace, the trailing 30 day average breached 2,000 daily active unique wallets for the first time, while there was also a one-day spike of more than 6,000 active wallets. 

Source: DappRadar

The key driver of this continues to be the widening interest in the game’s NFTs as investment assets, particularly at the top-end. 

Back in late September, the most expensive Axie NFTs sold for 150 ETH. This rose to 200 ETH in October and then 300 ETH in November.

In this manner, the price of the rarest Mystic Axies has doubled in less than two months, and this despite the crypto bull market. Indeed, in terms of the US dollar, the price rose from $54,000 to $125,000. 

More valuable NFTs

And more generally in the blockchain sector, the increasing value of high-end NFTs is a growing trend. 

Aside from Splinterlands’ land and Axie Infinity’s Axies, during November, fantasy soccer game Sorare sold a Kylian Mbappe trading card for $65,000, while F1 Delta Time sold its first track NFT for $223,000 and a rare F1 car for $77,000. 

Source: DappRadar

Collectible dapp CryptoPunks also saw its most expensive sale ever with an Ape punk selling for $72,000 while several crypto art pieces also broke the $100,000 barrier. 

So, despite the hit taken earlier in the summer, it now seems like the profits some crypto traders made earlier in 2020 are flowing into new projects, including games, hopefully priming the sector to maintain its momentum in 2021. 

For real-time daily activity and revenue data from the blockchain games sector, go to DappRadar’s Games category

Developers should also check out DappRadar’s new Developer Area, which provides details about how to onboard with new blockchains, information about development tools, and everything you need to ensure your dapp is making the most of DappRadar’s audience. 

For more information on the Blockchain Games Alliance, including its activities, check out the BGA website

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