DappRadar x BGA Games Report #16
In this report, we navigate the dynamic world of blockchain gaming, where traditional Web2 gaming giants embrace Web3, and more Web3 games are making it to mainstream platforms. Dive in for a concise overview of industry trends, game performances, and the crucial intersections shaping the gaming landscape.
- Dipping to its lowest market dominance since July 2021, blockchain gaming still holds a strong position in the dapp industry, driving 36% of total industry engagement with 716,127 daily unique active wallets (dUAW).
- DeFi Kingdoms’ recently launched subnet propels a 612% rise in monthly UAW (mUAW), reaching 150,000+, with 14.2 million transactions, worth $3.7 million.
- NFL Rivals exceeded a million mobile downloads and maintains high player engagement with a 4.8 App Store rating and average playtime of two hours per day.
- The HV-MTL Forge showcases a >60% D3 player retention rate and maintains an average of 11,000 DAU.
- Despite the 12,466 land sales averaging $594 each in June 2023, virtual worlds hit a year-low performance with trading volumes falling to $7.4 million.
- Investments in web3 gaming projects reached a year-low with $68.2 million raised in June.
Table of Contents
- Blockchain Gaming Overview
- June’s gaming leaders
- Yuga Labs launches 1st season of HV-MTL Forge Web3 crafting game
- Year-low trading volume hit in virtual worlds
- Web3 gaming investments plunge to year-low $68.2M
- From Assassin’s Creed to blockchain: Ubisoft’s blockchain debut
- Mainstream success for Web3: NFL Rivals hits one million downloads
1. Blockchain Gaming Overview
In June blockchain gaming maintained a steady presence despite the surge of interest in DeFi, particularly L2 airdrops.
Despite reaching its lowest market dominance since July 2021, blockchain gaming remains a driving force in the dapp industry. As of now, it accounts for 716,127 daily unique active wallets (dUAW), representing 36% of total industry engagement. This reflects a 1% growth from May 2023.
On a blockchain-specific level, WAX continues to be the gaming industry’s front-runner when considering UAW. With 316,967 dUAW this month, it’s clear that WAX, the home of popular web3 game Alien Worlds, isn’t only known for one game. It also hosts other notable games like Wombat Dungeon Master and Taco.
In second place stands Klaytn, having hosted popular games like Iskra, Super Walk, and DeFi Kingdoms in recent months. Its impressive 26% growth to reach 88,445 dUAW is a testament to the popularity of these games.
Despite slight decreases for some top blockchains this month, emerging blockchains are making their mark, as visualized below:
Skale, which hosts games such as CryptoBlades and Untitled Platformer, experienced a 3% growth this month, reaching 11,044 dUAW. DeFi Kingdoms, the blockchain hosting the game of the same name, has seen the most growth this month with an impressive 118% increase to reach 10,680 dUAW. Also noteworthy is Arbitrum, which experienced a significant 90% increase this month due to the popularity of Treasure DAO.
For a real-time, detailed overview of these metrics and to explore these gaming blockchains further, you can visit DappRadar’s gaming rankings.
2. June’s gaming leaders
Examining the leading blockchain games in terms of Unique Active Wallets (UAW), we notice that the landscape in the past months has remained quite consistent. Alien Worlds, despite a 9.7% dip in UAW, retains its position as the leading blockchain game this month. Not far behind are Iskra and Hippo Dash by Gameta, who have enjoyed substantial growth over the past month.
An intriguing aspect of these games is the close correlation between their transactions and UAW — almost a 1:1 ratio. This suggests that their gameplay is structured in a way that each transaction triggers the creation of a wallet. For a deeper understanding of this phenomenon, check out our recently published educational piece on this subject.
Two noteworthy titles this month include DeFi Kingdoms and the well-known Axie Infinity. DeFi Kingdoms experienced a significant surge as they rolled out on Klaytn riding the wave of enthusiasm for hero questing and mini-games. Impressively, the game hit over 150,000 monthly UAW (mUAW), marking a whopping 612% jump from last month. It also clocked in at 14.2 million transactions, accumulating a total volume of $3.7 million.
In contrast, Axie Infinity, occupying the tenth spot, saw a decrease in mUAW by 11%, reaching just over 64,000 this month. However, it’s not all gloomy for Axie Infinity. The Sky Mavis game introduced a new feature called Atia’s Blessing. Players can activate Atia’s Blessing with a simple transaction via the Atia Shrine on the App.axie dashboard.
This blessing boosts the amount of Moonshards, a reward currency, received from Ranked Battles in the Origins game mode. The longer players maintain a streak of visiting the shrine daily, the more substantial the Moonshard rewards. The highest boost achievable is a 15% increase after a 15-day streak. If a day is missed, the streak resets. The Atia Shrine is projected to offer blessings for various Axie experiences in the future. Long-standing players may recall Bean’s blessing from 2018 and 2019, making this both a nostalgic nod and a future-unlocking feature.
From established favorites to rising stars, these blockchain games continue to reshape the gaming industry, one player at a time.
3. Yuga Labs launches 1st season of HV-MTL Forge Web3 crafting game
Yuga Labs announced the “HV-MTL Forge” event on June 20, which was slated to commence on June 29. The creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) have since revealed more about this significant addition to their metaverse gaming universe.
The HV-MTL Forge is intrinsically tied to HV-MTL, a distinct gaming project that Yuga Labs launched in March 2023. It separates itself from Otherside, a MMORPG associated with the BAYC ecosystem, by employing a storyline that involves 30,000 sentient mech NFTs.
Following this announcement, there was an 11.47% increase in the trading volume over the past 30 days, reaching $8.84 million. Moreover, the number of traders rose to 3,173, a 75.69% increase from the previous month.
The Floor Price has remained relatively steady at 0.71 ETH, reflecting a 25% increase from the previous month. However, it’s important to note that the floor price briefly hit a peak of 0.99 ETH on June 28, due to anticipation surrounding the launch date, before returning to 0.71 ETH.
According to a tweet from Spencer Tucker, the Chief Gaming Officer of Yuga Labs, the game has a player retention of >60% D3, with on average 11,000 daily active users (DAU).
The Yuga Labs ecosystem has faced some controversy lately, with critics pointing towards ApeCoin DAO’s high remuneration practices. This issue appears to have affected the collections floor price, which is currently at a 20-month low for Yuga Labs’ NFTs.
Despite these challenges, Yuga Labs is moving forward with its expansion plans. They are preparing to release the HV-MTL Forge game as well as the first season of Legends of Mara, a land-based game revolving around resource collection. More technical details about the game should be released in an upcoming litepaper on their website.
4. Year-low trading volume hit in virtual worlds
June 2023 marked a year-low in the performance of virtual worlds, with trading volumes plummeting to $7.4 million, despite the execution of 12,466 land sales averaging $594 each.
This depicts a 24% decrease in trading volume, but interestingly, an 11% uptick in sales count from May. This can be attributed to the SEC lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase, which adversely impacted the value of tokens related to leading metaverse projects like Sandbox and Decentraland. After being classified as securities, these tokens were delisted by some major US exchanges. Find out more in this detailed report.
However, this downtrend does not signify the end of the industry. Our recent Q2 Metaverse report, analyzing the latest industry performance and updates, paints an optimistic picture of the future. Key developments such as Apple’s launch of the Apple Vision Pro could potentially propel the metaverse in the months and years ahead.
Furthermore, an exciting development took place this month. The Open Metaverse Alliance for Web3 (OMA3) revealed a project to construct standards facilitating metaversal travel. Comprising top metaverse companies, OMA3’s mission is to establish user-owned and controlled metaverse standards and infrastructure. Their Inter-World Portal System (IWPS) project aims to allow users to traverse metaverse platforms like Alien Worlds, My Neighbor Alice, Sandbox, Space, Superworld, and Upland with ease, enhancing user engagement and accessibility.
In conclusion, this recent development heralds the long-awaited interoperability within the metaverse, potentially accelerating its mainstream adoption.
5. Web3 gaming investments plunge to year-low $68.2M
In June 2023, investment towards web3 gaming and metaverse projects registered a year-low, closing in at $68.2 million. However, this shouldn’t dampen our outlook on the robust potential of the web3 gaming sphere. Despite the lower investment numbers, notable occurrences such as the migration of Web2 giants to Web3 and the listing of Web3 games on the App Store have underscored the industry’s vitality.
It’s important to remember that the wider market conditions currently present challenges, and June has been particularly harsh for several prominent Web3 gaming projects. This is in part due to the legal troubles faced by Binance and Coinbase, instigated by the SEC. We delve into this matter in detail within this report.
That said, $68.2 million is still a respectable figure. When we break it down, Game/Metaverse projects scooped up $48 million or 70% of the investments, while Infrastructure projects accounted for the remaining $20.2 million or 30%.
There were two standout investments in June. The first was in Mythical Games, a Web3 gaming studio, which received funding led by Scytale Digital, with contributions from major investors like ARK Invest, Andreessen Horowitz, and Animoca Brands.
The second significant investment was in Decentralised Gaming Ventures, a Web3 game venture builder committed to nurturing top-notch young game developers. The exact amount of this seven-figure investment remains undisclosed, but we do know that the round was led by the Korean venture fund, Hashed.
Decentralised Gaming Ventures is driven by a mission to transform Southeast Asia into a hub for game development talent, and to stimulate the proliferation of web3 games throughout the region. To date, the venture builder has welcomed 32 emerging game developers, divided among 8 teams, at its Singapore studio. This serves as an incubator, providing a supportive environment for these teams to design, refine, and introduce new game titles. In the last year alone, Decentralised Gaming Ventures has facilitated the launch of 15 games.
In conclusion, June 2023 saw a dip in the level of investment into web3 gaming projects, yet there’s still a strong forward momentum in the industry.
6. From Assassin’s Creed to blockchain: Ubisoft’s blockchain debut
While things may have appeared quiet in recent months into the Web3 gaming landscape, substantial progress has been made behind the scenes. Remember the investments and partnerships we discussed last year? Well, 2023 is finally showing us the fruits of those efforts!
A notable trend that’s emerging is the entry of well-established Web2 gaming companies into the Web3 gaming sphere. They’re bringing their unique games to this industry, which is significant. Why? Because these companies have more resources and funding compared to their Web3 counterparts. This means they’re capable of producing high-quality Web3 games, potentially encouraging more widespread adoption of blockchain gaming.
Ubisoft, the heavyweight behind popular franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, made its debut in the Web3 gaming space this month. They unveiled Champions Tactics: Grimoria Chronicles, a player-vs-player game built on the Oasys blockchain.
Ubisoft is also considering engaging players through free token airdrops and exploring the metaverse. In fact, their Rabbid characters have already made their appearance in The Sandbox.
On the flip side, gaming giant SEGA has decided to take a more cautious approach. This month, they announced a temporary halt on their blockchain game development and a pause on allowing their major franchises to be used by third-party blockchain gaming projects. For the time being, SEGA is playing safely with its popular IPs including Sonic, only experimenting with other characters, like those from ‘Three Kingdoms’ and ‘Virtua Fighter.’
In all, SEGA isn’t stepping away from blockchain completely. The gaming studio plans to collaborate with various blockchain games later this year, involving their lesser-known franchises. They’re still investing heavily in these projects, recognizing the value that this technology can bring.
In wrapping up, the developments we’ve discussed are just a sampling of the past month’s activity. There are more Web2 gaming studios making their mark in the Web3 industry, and we’ll explore them further in this article.
7. Mainstream success for Web3: NFL Rivals hits one million downloads
In the previous section, we spotlighted how Web2 gaming studios are venturing into the Web3 domain, presenting their unique titles. Another fascinating trend we’re observing is the integration of well-known Web3 games into mainstream Web2 platforms like the AppStore or Epic Games Store.
Significant developments have unfolded this month. For starters, NFL Rivals, a free-to-play game by Mythical Games, achieved over a million downloads despite launching during a challenging crypto climate and the NFL’s off-season. Its release date was April 26th.
In a Coindesk interview, the CEO of Mythical Games highlighted that while milestones like one million downloads are exhilarating, the game’s positive reception interests him more. The game currently enjoys a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the App Store from nearly 22,000 reviews. Moreover, players are averaging two hours of gameplay per day, indicating strong engagement.
CoinDesk also reported that NFL Rivals has witnessed approximately 15 million matches, with players averaging six gaming sessions per day. This demonstrates the captivating nature of the experience. This comes at an opportune time, as Mythical Games also announced a $37 million funding round this month.
Although the Epic Games Store is discerning about the Web3 games it hosts, an increase in listings has been evident in recent months. This month, two Web3 games joined the Epic Games Store roster.
Gods Unchained‘s release on the Epic Games Store is a significant step as they aim to position themselves among digital Trading Card Games (TCGs) like Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, Yu Gi Oh, and Legends Of Runeterra.
The second game, My Pet Hooligan, defies simple categorization. Like numerous Web3 games, it’s working to cultivate a diverse ecosystem rather than a single-genre game. Although not officially branding itself as a metaverse project, it shares features with such initiatives, including a social hub, player identity, and a range of games to engage with.
These games’ launch on the Epic Games Store will enhance their accessibility and visibility among its 230 million PC users worldwide. It’s an exciting time to watch these Web3 games reach more mainstream audiences.
The blockchain gaming industry is navigating an exciting transformation, as evidenced by the trends and metrics covered in this month’s report. Despite blockchain gaming witnessing its lowest market dominance since July 2021, it remains a significant player in the dapp industry, accounting for 36% of its total engagement with over 716,000 daily unique active wallets (dUAW).
Web2 gaming giants have stepped onto the Web3 gaming scene, with their entry likely to energize the industry. Both Ubisoft and SEGA, traditional gaming powerhouses, are actively exploring and somehow embracing the web3 gaming world. This entrance, marked by the successful announcement of Ubisoft’s Champions Tactics: Grimoria Chronicles on the Oasys blockchain, signals a promising intersection of expertise, resources, and innovation.
Moreover, Web3 games are finding their way into mainstream platforms. Popular Web3 games are now accessible on established Web2 platforms such as the App Store and Epic Games Store, showcasing the growing integration and acceptance of Web3 games in the broader gaming community.
On the game performance front, DeFi Kingdoms’ subnet launch led to a noteworthy 612% rise in monthly UAW, reaching over 150,000 and generating $3.7 million from 14.2 million transactions. NFL Rivals also performed well, exceeding a million downloads and demonstrating strong player engagement.
Conversely, the virtual worlds segment experienced a year-low performance, with trading volumes falling to $7.4 million in June, despite conducting 12,466 land sales. Investments in web3 gaming projects also reached a year-low, at $68.2 million.
As traditional gaming entities enter the Web3 domain and Web3 games gain mainstream acceptance, the blockchain gaming industry’s growth potential is only set to increase.