Welcome to our weekly roundup where we highlight some of the recent news in blockchain games.
One of this week’s features, Jon’s interview with ATMTA CEO Michael Wagner, was headlined The reignition of Star Atlas. Although it certainly feels like more than just the Solana-based space game has caught fire lately. Web3 gaming is buzzing with announcements, new titles and investments – and competing PC distribution platforms are more eager than ever to claim exclusivity and promote their blockchain game catalogues.
On that note, this week F2P battle royale shooter My Pet Hooligan launched early access via PC Epic Games Store. Its developer AMGI Studios also announced a 12-month deal with Amazon Prime Gaming, offering Prime members free monthly drops of My Pet Hooligan in-game assets.
Distribution platforms is also a hot topic in our interview with Mythical Games CEO John Linden. Its mobile title NFL Rivals launched on app stores earlier in 2023, and Linden enthusiastically shares numbers of its success to date, and how the game is driving synergetic IAP monetization through its NFT sales. He also shares what’s behind PC-based Blankos’ switch to mobile, and much more.
PC game distribution store Ultra is making waves by not only promoting web3 PC titles, but also turns them into NFTs, making them tradeable on secondary marketplaces. Games which have recently been tokenized include Mars4, R3v3nge, and Cards of Etherenity.
The largest investment since December 2022 was announced this week, with US developer Proof of Play securing $33 million in seed funding for fully onchain action RPG Pirate Nation. Co-led by a16z and Greenoaks, the investment round also included Anchorage Digital, Mercury, Firebase, Zynga, Alchemy plus angels such as Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasian and the founders of Twitch. Former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear also joins the board.
Although small in comparison, but nonetheless significant, game startup Spectarium has raised $5 million in a seed round. The team is working on cross-platform RPG Myths. The round was led by Bitkraft, with other investors including Delphi Digital and Framework Ventures.
In additional news:
- Krafton and Naver Z reveal their joint NFT-centric UGC metaverse Overdare, previously known as Project Migaloo, which is set to deploy on new blockchain Settlus.
- Aavegotchi launches its Gotchi-themed Game Center.
- Leading Japanese exchange Coincheck now supports ApeCoin, IMX and AXS.
- Mantle and Rarible launch joint marketplace Mintle.
Somewhat telling of the gently turning tide we’re seeing, this week 2023’s blockchain gaming investments broke $1 billion. Although nowhere near the $8.2 billion invested during 2022, it’s nonetheless encouraging for an industry that’s still largely trudging uphill.
Three major investments contributed to this, including $20 million for Animoca Brands’ membership NFT collection Mocaverse. The other two were $8 million in seed funding for GamePhilos’ mobile and PC strategy game Age of Dino and $6.5 million seed funding for Mythic Protocol’s action-shooter RPG Riftstorm, its creator platform Dumb, and DeFi product Legacy.
Two games announced they’re switching blockchains. The first one being farming game Pixels, which leaves Polygon behind for Sky Mavis’ Ronin. The other is Darewise’s sci-fi metaverse Life Beyond, which with its assets currently on Polygon announced plans to build a new Bitcoin economy.
Because of the growing number of web3 games and projects now migrating between blockchains, we’ve created a new feature called Chain Switchers. Yes, we do like lists and keeping things tidy.
Zynga’s Sugartown sold out its Ora collection mint, with NFTs now priced at $300. Less in demand were nWay’s Wreck League which also launched this week, and only saw around 8% of the possible 10,000-odd NFT mechs created on launch day. In terms of the game itself, well, Jon’s got a few things yet to get the hang of.
In additional headlines:
- Extraction shooter Shrapnel won’t let US-players cash out from the game, thanks to SEC’s securities regulations.
- Gaming blockchain Oasys has launched web3 wallet Oasys Passport – and joins forces with fully on-chain ecosystem Lootverse and its AGLD DAO.
- Sony and Startale Labs form new blockchain company to create “killer web3 use cases”.
- NFL Rivals becomes the first web3 game to be featured on the App Store.
Finally, don’t miss our interview this week with Tiny Rebel CEO Susan Cummings who talks about its social pet game Petaverse, and why the industry needs to scrap the web3 vocabulary and focus on fun and engaging games instead.
First full week of September gone, and despite a late summer heat-wave (in the UK), judging from the amount of industry news, there’s certainly a sense of a new season approaching. This week we talk a lot, about lots of games.
- To start off, we look at which blockchain games were the most popular during August, and what metric is used to rank them. What’s behind Alien Worlds‘ drop in active wallets, what are the new blockchain games breaking into the top and why is NFL Rivals, which recently broke $1 million in trading volume, not among them? Jon explains it all.
- Without dwelling on it, we couldn’t not mention the lawsuit surrounding Gala Games and the (now) obvious reason behind its token fork and burn. Of course Gala hopes this won’t affect its business, but what impact it has remains to be seen. Although painful for the wider industry in the short term, sorting the wheat from the chaff is probably better in the long run.
- Further, we dive into the pre-beta release of Axie Infinity: Homeland which is accompanied by a new rewards system, the removal of seasons and a significant change in staking structure. With 20% of staking rewards being diverted into game rewards, Sky Mavis is looking to encourage more gameplay. Good news for active Homeland players.
- Due to nWay Games’ upcoming launch of anticipated mech-battler Wreck League on Thursday September 14th, Jon has had an in-depth conversation with nWay’s CEO Taehoon Kim about its web2/web3 strategy, how the company is bridging F2P gamers and its focus on esport.
- We’ve been playtesting Shardbound from Bazooka Tango this week. Check out our Game of the Week for more details.
- Zynga’s mini-game platform Sugartown‘s first Ora collection mint begins 13th September, but why is it restricted to US, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam?
- Plenty of web3 gaming news are released in light of Korea Blockchain Week, and no doubt more is to come, but the most prominent so far is that Nine Chronicles developer and web3 game publisher Planetarium is working on two new RPGs, Verse8 and Immortal Rising 2.
- On top of this Krafton has partnered with Circle and AngelHack to announce new Cosmos-based blockchain Settlus. Described as a “transparent settlement system for the creator economy”, Settlus will settle transactions using the USDC stablecoin. The first project to adopt the system is Krafton’s own Migaloo metaverse.
Listen to the podcast version here.
- 39 new games were added to the Big List this month, and in light of the announcements surrounding a bunch of big blockchain titles recently, including Ubisoft’s Champions Tactics, Zynga’s Sugartown and nWay’s Wreck League, we discuss the current state of blockchain gaming. We’d argue that these games, and the remarkable fact that so many developers are still building despite recent market conditions are an encouraging sign for the industry.
- To further emphasise our point, we’ve compiled a list of our most anticipated blockchain games in 2023.
- Since the launch of its in-app marketplace, Jon has been tracking NFL Rivals, comparing the prices of NFTs in its marketplace vs. in-app.
- Mojo Melee launched its second free NFT with Amazon Prime Gaming, also launching its web marketplace using Sequence’s tech.
- Animoca Brands announced its 2022 financials. Bookings were up 32% to $402 million.
- Apart from NFL Rivals, we’ve been playing Com2uS’ casual mobile game Minigame Party, which is also our game of the week.
- Don’t miss this week’s opinion piece by Ultra CEO Nicolas Gilot on how web3 can thaw the esports winter.
Listen to the podcast version here.
As Gamescom 2023 is drawing to a close, the BlockchainGamer.biz team returns to native soil. However full service won’t commence until next week. This mean that our roundup lacks a video and audio this week, but we’ll still highlight some of our favourite topics from the week, including:
- Our list of the top 10 most anticipated blockchain games has gone live. While this has been in development for some time, we’ve had to remove some games that went live along the way, as well as make room for more recently announced titles, the list is dynamic and includes 10 really exciting titles we can’t wait to play.
- Following its soft launch in June, NFL Rivals has quickly climbed the ranks and become one of the biggest mobile titles in web3 with nearly 2 million downloads. Mythical Games has now launched the proper season, Kickoff, and alongside the launch also introduced an in-app NFT marketplace. After a few weeks of holiday from the game, Jenny is excited to be back on the pitch, with the added bonus of smoother gameplay and an easier-to-navigate dashboard.
- In other news, Mighty Action Heroes has enabled social logins using Sequence integration and Sky Mavis’ Ronin ecosystem welcomes thirdparty developer Zillion Whales and its mobile-based RTS Wild Forest.
- Don’t miss this week’s opinion piece by Playmint UK CEO David Amor on building fully onchain autonomous world Downstream, and why decentralization is the way forward in games.
This week we go all in on Zynga’s announcement of its first web3 title Sugartown, which was announced on Monday.
- The game will launch its first 10,000 NFTs on Ethereum via the Forte platform as a free mint later in 2023. These will be required to access Sugartown – users will stake the NFTs to generate energy – which is described as a platform consisting of mini-games. More NFTs will be made available as the game scales up.
- A few weeks on from the news that Star Atlas dev ATMTA is cutting back significantly on staff and visionary strategy, our blockchain gaming Mavens shared their varying in-depth knowledge on how this might impact the perception of the blockchain game sector as being both inexperienced in terms of development skills and financial management.
- In our interview this week we speak to head of game design at Parallel, Kohji Nagata, who gives us a look behind the scenes of this exciting sci-fi TCG and why the studio is focusing on building best, not wide.
Starting off with a look at three different blockchain mobile games:
- An early mode of one of our most anticipated blockchain games, Nitro Nation: World Tour, released through the app stores this week. Season 0, called Head Start, offers players a glimpse of this mobile-based racing car and collection game, and its NFT Club feature. Despite our excitement tapering off somewhat due to the underwhelming experience of incomplete menus, and more, we look forward to the full release of what has the potential to be a great game appealing to F2P mobile gamers and web3 gamers alike.
- We talk about game developer Com2uS and its high-profile Summoners War: Chronicles. Jon recently had a chat to Com2uS US president Kyu Lee about how the company’s XPLA blockchain was born in light of the Terra collapse, Com2uS’ radical move to deploy all of its games on blockchain, and how this wasn’t well received by everyone, and more.
- This week BlockchainGamer.biz also had an interview with Moonlit Games’ co-founder Patrick McGrath, who deep-dives into the studio’s F2P rougelike RPG Rogue Nation, talks about his love for games and explains how web3 adds much more value than just asset ownership. Rogue Nation is another title adapted for mobile, which launches its new chapter Proteus Thursday 17th August, available on Google Play and Apple App Store.
In other news this week:
- Sky Mavis extended its Axie Builders Program by launching Mavis Hub Greenlight.
- Ultra’s esports platform Ultra Arena is now live.
- Don’t miss our Game of the Week: Nitro Nation.
In this week’s episode we dive into:
- New mech combat game Wreck League was announced by Animoca Brands’ nWay studio. While players are incentivised to construct, and deconstruct their mechs using 10 various parts which are NFTs, the game also includes PVP battles. Notably, season one incorporates Yuga Labs’ renown collections Bored Ape Yacht Club, Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Bored Ape Kennel Club, and Otherside Kodas. Significantly, Wreck League will be adapted for both for web2 and web3 players, with NFT rewards as well as the ability to sell NFTs mechs as non-NFT assets.
- Following in the footsteps of Mythical’s Blankos Block Party, Mystic Moose announced this week that its autochess battler Mojo Melee is coming to Amazon Prime’s games promotion. While still early days, will this strategy work for web3 games looking to go mainstream?
- Elaborating on the theme of blockchain games blurring the line between web2 and web3, we also look at the highly anticipated Nitro Nation: World Tour and Guild of Guardians.
Gm and happy Friday yet again. This week:
- We look into the news that one of the most ambitious web3 games in the sector, Solana-powered Star Atlas from ATMTA, announced it’s going through a major restructuring, which includes cutting back 73% of its staff and downsizing its vision. Are more projects still suffering in the wake of FTX, and is this just a sign of more to come?
- Solana-based Aurory revealed its cross-chain expansion plans will start by adopting Ethereum scaling tech Arbitrum.
- 3,000 of CyberKongz’s Genkai NFTs have launched on Sky Mavis’ Ronin blockchain (and Ethereum), selling out in an hour and generating $1.4 million. As part of the news, CyberKongz and Sky Mavis also revealed plans to release a Genkai-themed game together.
- South Korean game dev Delabs announced a $4.7 million seed round this week. Jon has been chatting to Delabs’ head of web3 strategy, Quinn Kwon, about its passion for web3, the studio’s kart-rider game Rumble Racing Star and forthcoming titles Space Frontier and Meta Bolts.
- In closing we take a brief look at our Game of the Week, MetalCore, which kicks off its live playtests today, Friday 28th July.
While the BlockchainGamer.biz team is on mini holiday there’s no video or podcast roundup. Still, some noticeable blockchain gaming news broke this week, so let’s do a quick recap.
- The Sandbox reached a core milestone in its vision to become a truly open metaverse by enabling its Landowners to create and submit their user generated content for early approval. The big launch is scheduled for later in 2023.
- Jon has been chatting to Bright Star CEO Mark Laursen about MMORPG Ember Sword, his vision of the game and about its onboarding strategy.
- In light of Ubisoft recently announcing its first web3 title, our blockchain mavens discussed its impact for future adoption of blockchain technology in the gaming sector.
- In investment news, Pangu Software announced the closing of a $5 million seed round for its MMORPG MetaCene. This brings total investments into blockchain games during 2023 to $894 million.
- As part of its PlayGG event in San Diego, Solana Labs announced new web3 game technology GameShift. In collaboration with real-time engine MetaGravity, Solana-powered Star Atlas also used the event to stress test its space metaverse, with 5,000 users interacting in a single non-instanced environment within Unreal Engine 5.
- Finally, our Game of the Week, BoomLand’s Hunters On-Chain, successfully launched on Polygon mainnet for its Genesis Hunter holders.
- Following on from Mystic Moose’s launch of Mojo Melee last week, we share our early impressions of the game so far. One of us is winning, one’s not.
- Mighty Bear Games announced earlier this week that its battle royale Mighty Action Heroes is switching from Polygon to Arbitrum and the TreasureDAO ecosystem. Arbitrum seems to be gaining momentum as an increasingly popular blockchain for games, something Jon also wrote a short opinion piece about this week.
- Some play it up as highly significant, and it’s certainly welcomed by the industry, but what does Google Play’s new policy on NFTs actually mean and what are the practical implications for blockchain games?
- We look into the three titles NFT collection Cool Cats announced it’s working on this week.
- Finally, we discuss Binance Labs’ $15 million investment into Xterio, the titles it’s working on, token launch, and more.
Also check out our
- Game of the Week, Mighty Action Heroes, which launches open beta Friday 14th July.
- Jon’s in-depth chat with Moonstream’s co-founder and CEO Neeraj Kashyap about how to build strong blockchain game economies and stop them from blowing up.
- We’ve mentioned it many times, but this week we take an in-depth look at the Big Blockchain Game List. As we’ve crossed the half year mark we elaborate further on H1 2023 data on discontinued blockchain games as well as new games by chain. We talk about metrics, multichain projects and why Polygon has overtaken BNB as the top blockchain for gaming.
- Mojo Melee has launched season 1 on Polygon and is working towards a full mobile release later in 2023, but how can blockchain technology enhance this autochess battler?
- Similarly, we ask the question regarding Eyeball Pool in light of Eyeball Games announcing this week the game is coming to Immutable. How can blockchain be successfully integrated in a pool game? And is there room for another top pool game such as Miniclips’s 8 Ball Pool?
- In closing we look at our Game of the Week, multiplayer browser FPS Mini Royale: Nations. Running on Solana, the game has recently launched season 5, Pirate booty. We continue on the topic of blockchain integration, and how this game has embraced interoperability and user created content since its launch in late 2021.
- We’re excited about it, but why is everyone else so quiet about the announcement of Ubisoft developing its first blockchain game?
- And additional news breaking from Oasys’ special event this week.
- Of course we dive into Jon’s favourite topic: Mythical Games, and the recent series C1 round of $37 million.
- Pixion Games also announced that it’s raised $5.5 million for Fableborne, and Jon’s been talking to CEO Kam Punia.
- We briefly touch on Heroes of Mavia‘s open beta launch as well as the global launch of Anipang Blast, our Game of the Week.
- Our starting point this week is Gala Games, and the company’s approach to blockchain game development and publishing as we understand it. We talk about Gala’s game catalogue and focus particularly on our Game of the Week: Eternal Paradox, currently on a three week playtest.
- We briefly touch on the upcoming playtests of Synergy Land and Legendary: Heroes Unchained, which leads us onto a discussion about the range of blockchain integration in games, the spectrum of mobile-first games just using NFTs to hardcore fully on-chain games.
- Our Mavens this week also joined in the discussion about mobile blockchain games, and more specifically shared their outlook on mobile app stores as a key distribution channel for web3 games in 2023.
- With all that’s going on with the SEC, its crypto resistance and security labelling of The Sandbox’s SAND token, Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu has shared his bright vision on the future of blockchain in other parts of the world. Here we also refer to a great interview Jon did with Siu earlier in 2023.
- And don’t miss our interview this week with Ultra’s co-CEO Nicolas Gilot on building ‘blockchain Steam on steriods’.
* We regularly refer to the Big List, but obviously not everyone’s familiar with what we mean. So, just to make sure we’re on the same page, this is the Big Blockchain Game List.
Does the web3 gaming sector need another game launcher?
- This and more is up for discussion this week in light of game store launcher and aggregator HyperPlay’s recent announcement of $12 million series A funding.
- Is CM Games and Mythical’s Nitro Nation: World Tour car sales, which went live this week, worth being bullish about? At least one of us is.
- Jon has had a great in-depth conversation with Laguna Games’ CEO Aron Beierschmitt about Crypto Unicorns and the recent launch of Unicorn Party, its IP extension including “funnel” games Bumpercorns and Mob Run.
- We mention this week’s interview with The Sandbox COO and co-founder Sebastien Borget, and
- Lastly, do you have to be a full time gamer to enjoy Crypto Unicorns? Check out why it’s our Game of the Week.
June 2nd 2023
It seems we’re not the only ones who have had a few days in the sun this week. The whole blockchain games industry is a bit thin on news. Nonetheless, accompanied by a very special celebrity guest, we managed to round up some of the most relevant topics from the week as follows:
- The Big Blockchain Game List’s data on new games added in May and a few reflections on the number of new l2 blockchains emerging.
Three interviews we’ve published this week;
- Neon Machine’s Aaron Nonis about building triple-A shooter Shrapnel,
- Mighty Bear’s Simon Davis on “building a blockchain game fighting for your right not to eat Hawaiian pizza”, and
- Cross The Ages’ CEO Sami Chlagou on building a narrative-driven TCG with deep strategy elements and NFTs. For more on Cross The Ages, check out our Game of the Week.
In closing, we look at some of the new projects we’re hopeful about for 2023 (and 2025).
May 26th 2023
- We started off looking at this week’s investments, notably Loot Labs’ $1.5 million pre-seed and BoomLand’s $1 million pre-seed and its exciting milestone of reaching 10,000 Hunters On-Chain players on the testnet.
- We looked at the total of $741 million investments into blockchain games so far in 2023, comparing it to previous year’s very different market conditions. In regards to other investment news, we discuss the reasons why some companies do not disclose exact numbers.
- In launch news we mention SkyVu’s top-down shooter Battle Bears Heroes, which is the first of Sky Mavis’ thirdparty games to launch on the Ronin network. The game has soft launched on Google Play and App Store, which takes us into…
- The ever continuing complicated relationship of web3 mobile games and app stores. Jon shares the process of buying STEPN NFTs using Apple Pay, and why it’s not so straight-sailing. Is Solana’s Saga phone and similar solutions a better way forward for blockchain mobile games?
- Finally, make sure you check out our Game of the Week: GRIT, and don’t miss this week’s prominent interviews with Cronos Lab’s Ken Timsit and Venly’s Stefan Colins on the future of blockchain gaming and Metaking Studios’ David Johansson on building Blocklords.
May 19th 2023
- This week we dig into Gala Games and its unexpected move to burn 15 billion Gala tokens to “counter the dump and exit scenario”. How does this actually work, and is it a good strategy?
- Next we look into Sky Mavis’ announcement that Axie Infinity Origins (which is also our Game of the Week) has gone live on Apple App Store in parts of South America and southeast Asia. What does this mean in terms of it being a blockchain game? Has Apple changed its initial rejection of blockchain games and assets on its store?
- Looking closer at a selelction of launches from this week, particularly Aurory’s Prologue to Adventures, and the Sui games launch #1.
- Lastly, we talk briefly about our first Mavens feature that was published this week.
May 12th 2023
- Starting off with sad news this week of US developer Irreverent Labs announcing that the development of MechaFightClub has been paused indefinitely.
- We move on to some better news of a selection of this week’s launches – Gala Games Grit, the community beta of Metaking Studio’s Blocklords as well as Affyn’s announcement of new web3 mobile title Buddy Arena.
- We close by talking about the recent updates and blockchain integration of the games we’re currently enjoying, among them are NFL Rivals, Hunters On-Chain and not to forget our Game of the Week, Blocklords.
May 5th 2023
- Sui mainnet has gone live this week, which was followed by the news that 13 games would launch on its network. We take a closer look at the selection of the games, and more.
- We also look at Com2uS’ recent announcement of two new blockchain titles; Ace Fishing: Crew and Minigame Party: Pocket Edition.
- Jon wrote an article about Epic Games Store and its 18 listed blockchain games. This sparks the larger question whether the web2 market is starting to realise and adopt to the inevitable power of web3 gaming.
- Further we take a brief look at this month’s data on the most popular blockchain games and the apparent status quo in the order of current top blockchain games.
- As usual, we close with a highlight of our Game of the Week: Xeno Dragon.
April 28th 2023
This week we talk a lot about
- securing an investment of $20 million from Scytale Digital
- migrating to Polkadot
- did its DAO have a say on the move?
- and its launch of American football mobile game NFL Rivals
- Other news we talk about is the launch of Ultra Games, and the different way games and platforms adapt to and launch their products in web3.
- We also highlight Jon’s interview with Alex Paley from Faraway and Lior from Mutant Cartel and their forthcoming city builder Serum City.
- Last we look at Game of the Week: NFL Rivals.
April 21st 2023
Among this week’s topics we discuss:
- Two noticable investments; Swedish game developer Goals series A of $20 million and Krafton and Naver Z’s joint investment of $37 million into the Migaloo project.
- We try to make sense of Gala Games’ upcoming airdrop of GALA v2 tokens. What’s the purpose of it? (Hint: we still don’t know…)
- We talk about Merit Circle’s web3 gaming subnet Beam, on Avalanche, as part of a wider context of layer 2 solutions.
- Last of all, we elaborate on why InfiniMerge is our Game of the Week.
April 14th 2023
- This week we talk about the launch of Solana’s web3 phone Saga. What more exactly is exciting about its launch? Will this be a ground breaking point where we see other operators adopt to the web3 mobile era and follow suit?
- We elaborate on the Indian blockchain gaming market, in light of the investment announcement of $20 million from game developer Mayhem Studios.
- We also touch on StarkWare’s investment in Unstoppable Games’ space MMO Influence.
- Among other releases we look at the latest games coming to Ultra, Tuesday 25th April.
- Lastly, we look closer at our Game of the Week: Mojo Melee.
April 7th 2023 – (This week’s format is a little different as we are together, in a holiday flat, with the children slightly interrupting in the background. We hope you can still make sense of our conversation about the hottest topics of the week in blockchain gaming…)
- We talk about Ultra’s forthcoming global launch 25th of April.
- Gunzillas announcement of web3 games platform Gunz.
- Some noticeable mints/announcements from the past week.
- As ever, we finished with a look at our Game of the Week, CryptoCrusades, and the reasons why we picked it.
March 31st 2023
- This week we covered the Sky Mavis announcement about the first games from external developers launching on its Ronin blockchain, including Directive Game’s The Machines Arena and Bowled.io’s crickets games.
- We talked about Blocklords, among other games, and the slight confusion about what chain the game is actually running.
- Jon interviewed Immutable’s Robbie Ferguson this week. What did he take away from their conversation?
- Arc8 and its biggest updates to-date was on the agenda, as well as some of this weeks game releases and mints.
- As ever, we finished with a look at our game of the week, Blast Royale, and the reasons we picked it.
March 24th 2023
- This week we covered the news about an upcoming web3 game in the EVE Online universe. We also looked at Immutable’s plans to reboot PC game Shardbound.
- We discussed the announcement about Immutable’s zkEVM being powered by Polygon.
- Although not covered on our site, we discussed the SEC warning Coinbase about securities charges and what impact it might indirectly have on the blockchain industry.
- To round off, we explained further why Hunters On-Chain is our Game of the Week.