Hello all, it’s been a while. Back at you with another web3 gaming article and this time I’ll focus on gaming NFTs and how they’re too expensive at this time for regular mainstream adoption. We’ll also talk about a few other problems as well. Let’s discuss the current state of web3 gaming and where we might go in the future for adoption.
Web 3 games are too expensive and cater to investors
While not every game is like this (some encourage free to play and then signing up); the majority of web3 games follow a similar pattern
- Mint at a cost
- Example, mint at .08 eth + gas ($4500 * .08 = ~$360). Even at $1500 eth this is still a significant amount of money at $120 or so. Steam games for example can be anywhere from free to $80 if they are AAA.
- Token (dual token system)
- Adding fuel to there fire is the token system. Not only we do we have NFTs that individuals could’ve put hundreds to thousands of dollars in. You now have to balance an economy which has not gone well so far in NFT gaming.
- Bad economy = bad NFT prices
- Expensive secondary
- Sometimes secondary goes up a high amount and restricts average users from entering the game. Gamers don’t want to pay expensive secondary costs especially when a regular game can be free OR cost around $80 if it’s AAA
- The above may not be true with the bear as quite a few floors have dropped significantly
- Roadmap and wait
- Very few games release any sort of product at all or if they do it takes TIME. Games are hard and technical to make. You cannot expect a team to make a game via a sprint.
- Roadmaps very rarely get done and are based on future speculation. You are buying a promise that may or may not get done
The problem with the above is that while it’s beneficial to teams to generate that upfront capital, you’re now stuck answering to investors. Investors are a completely different class of user not seen necessarily in traditional gaming. You have also alienated your desired playerbase (gamers) because they won’t be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for speculation nor will they have the patience to deal with wallet systems (more below).
Playing web3 games at the moment where there is a lot of interaction with your wallet is awful. It’s even worse with a hardware wallet. Here’s an example, I am playing a click to earn game (if you want to call it a game) and I have to confirm multiple screens and gas in order to to play. While this is OK once in a while, doing it every single time and at scale really defeats the purpose of smooth gameplay. I understand there are technical limitations, but it definitely gets frustrating especially if you factor in potential chain problems as well on top.
Traditional gamers aren’t playing these games (yet)
Players don’t need to know they’re playing an NFT game. Gamers want to play a game that’s good. In comparison to traditional web2 games, web3 games for the most part fall flat. While there are some promising games coming out in the future, they are still in development and will take time.
At the moment you have hardcore enthusiasts (who are interested in tech and principles) and the investor class who are looking for profit. This leaves you with a very small player base to monetize and popularize your game off of.
So what could be the future state of web3 games? Here’s a guess of where I think things may go.
NFT Games should appeal to multiple use cases
Gamers, investors, whales, speculators all will play a key role. Will DAOs be formed for decision making in games? Potentially, do investors have the same interests as whales or gamers? Not necessarily so it will be a difficult balance. Gamers may not care token emissions are being halved for a staking proposal whereas investors / whales will definitely care as it impacts their APR.
Balancing a game is hard enough, when you factor in the economy + proposals it gets even trickier.
Onboarding should be easy
Gamers shouldn’t have to worry about wallets, gas and blockchains. They should worry about min maxing the game and what’s best for them. Gamers will look to see if the game is fun, are others playing it and what’s the cost?
For example, pretend in an RPG you had to make someone sign up for a wallet, help them understand gas fees, security best practices and then make them pay gas each time they slay a monster. EHHHH this is gonna be a bad experience for them and they’ll more than likely never play the game again.
Wallets can be handled on the backend and when user is ready and engrained in ecosystem not upfront when they don’t even know if the game is any good.
Costs should be low
Floor NFTs shouldn’t be $1000. Floor NFTs should be cheap or free in most cases. There should be rarer NFTs that are priced for speculators, whales and collectors but in order to get adoption; the game should either be free or very low cost (<$40). Verticality and upgrades are another story. Ie, pretend you rolled an MMO character, the base character is almost worthless. However, if you played a lot and you had a ton of rare mounts, gear and pets then the NFTs you collect would be worth wayyyy more. That is where the value should lie and not necessarily just the floor.
Gamers will not pay a large amount of money to play your game.
Gamers shouldn’t know it’s an NFT until later
In the future, gamers may not necessarily realize or think it’s an NFT game until afterwards. If the game is good, they can play and there is no wallet or NFT interaction until later. The term web3 gaming or nft gaming will more than likely go away in the future. It will be blended in with regular gaming with NFTs more than likely. If a user / gamer wants to do research and understand the game then transparency is key. However, good gameplay should be priority and not necessarily the NFT messaging.
Wallets shouldn’t matter initially
Gamers shouldn’t have to sign up for wallets and understand seed phrases and gas to onboard onto games. Not until they’re deep into the ecosystem and have understood roughly what they’re getting into. Gamefying the experience or giving tutorials on how to do this will be good AFTER there are incentives to do so. Doing so upfront will more than likely not be the best user experience for new users.
Games are hard
Most of the current games will vanish or die out. Few will survive but they will continue to evolve and face challenges. Games are technical and very hard to create. Physics engines, graphics, compatibility, art, 3d modeling, good gameplay, netcode etc. All tough things. Throw in the complexities of the blockchain on top and you got a double whammy.
Bigger entrants with bigger pocketbooks will enter the space either doing M&A deals or hiring / poaching players for their expertise.
Well, there’s my take on the current and potential future state of web3 gaming. What do you think? Disagree? Agree? Leave a comment below and let’s chat. Let’s see how this ages in a few years!