DeFi infused gaming grows in popularity
A battle is raging in the blockchain gaming category between EOS-based property trading game Upland and space mining game Alien Worlds. The two titles have been fighting it out in regards to active users over the last few weeks as each jockey for position.
At the time of writing based on the last 24-hour data, Upland is leading with over 15,000 unique active wallets compared to Alien Worlds 13,000. Interestingly, Alien Worlds has seen a 10% spike in the last 24-hours but the battle has been closely fought so far with Alien Worlds averaging just over 11,000 UAW to Uplands 12,600 UAW per day.
Moreover, these two crypto games have left behind previous top 3 regulars Splinterlands and Prospectors with 6.4 and 1.4k UAW respectively in the last 24-hours.
Interestingly, after an evaluation of several blockchain technologies, WAX chose to build a variant of the EOS blockchain with custom features to support their requirements around digital collectibles and NFTs. Arguably, other than Upland no dapps of real interest are operating on EOS in 2021 so the fact Alien Worlds is catching up so fast may spur a reaction by Upland to go cross-chain.
Upland launched its closed beta in June 2019 whilst Alien Worlds arrived on the scene in December 2020 so it is interesting to observe how a relative newcomer has caught up with the arguable leader in the blockchain gaming space Upland.
What is Alien Worlds?
Boosted by an initial airdrop to 6,000 wallets that had previously played games like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Gods Unchained (check your eligibility here), Alien Worlds rise to attract over 11,000 wallets a day is a byproduct of some key features.
Running on the WAX blockchain makes it highly accessible as anyone can easily play by creating a WAX Cloud Wallet using social media logins such as Facebook, Google, or Steam.
The game is also free-to-play, with every player receiving an avatar and a shovel so they can start mining the TLM token, which the idle gameplay is built around. Interestingly, TLM is a cross-blockchain token, existing both on the Ethereum and WAX blockchains. Players choose a planet on which to start mining TLM which can then be staked into a planet in order to enable players to become part of that planet’s governance body. Alien Worlds records more than 2.5 million transactions per day, according to data from DappRadar.
More advanced players can also invest and own land parcels on the planets, gaining a daily allocation of the TLM tokens generated by the planet and a commission from all the TLM players mine from their land.
What is Upland?
Upland’s momentum has been consistent and growing since launching in 2019. Momentum accelerated as it started to roll out its marketing campaigns, as well as adding features such as new locations and fiat cash-out options on top of the already smooth gameplay and UX.
Upland is a first-of-its-kind, blockchain metaverse mapped to the real world that merges social interactions and gaming with monetization opportunities. Players can buy, sell and exchange properties tied to real-world locations in cities such as San Francisco and New York, and until recently players were able to transact via the in-game cryptocurrency UPX. With the introduction of Tilia Pay players can now start earning real money by flipping properties and in the future by selling NFTs via their own virtual businesses.
Another great feature of Upland is that users are not asked to set up a cryptocurrency wallet. Which, to date, is still a sticky point for many dapps. Instead, the game takes care of that process and of course, users still hold their private keys.
Both games offer a use case of the play-to-earn model and examples of how DeFi has infiltrated the gaming category to great success. Users are invited to join gamified investment and mining opportunities in order to earn an income and both are seeing increased popularity as the trend toward financial independence and passive income grows in 2021.