Mavens: How to leverage the positive web3 gaming sentiment?

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Crypto, and web3 gaming in particular, is on a steady upward trajectory. But how are developers looking to leverage the current positive sentiment? We asked our blockchain gaming industry experts.

Christina Macedo Co-Founder and COO, READYgg

This current buzz around crypto, and web3 in particular, is a great opportunity to deepen engagement with the gaming community because we now have a more engaged audience that’s receptive to exploring how blockchain is enabling better gaming experiences. We can show that player ownership of in-game items and achievements – something that’s been largely theoretical until now – is real, which highlights the tangible benefits of web3 gaming. We can build a community that values transparency, fairness, and shared successes, and recognise each and every player as a stakeholder that contributes to shaping the future of gaming. 

By focusing on making game development more accessible, we are not just expanding the market, we’re driving further interest in blockchain-enabled gaming. This creates a feedback loop that drives the web3 gaming space forward. What we’re telling everyone is: creating games isn’t just for the big players — it’s for anyone who loves gaming.

Sam Barberie – Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Horizon Blockchain Games

There are a number of positive signs in the web3 world, but also a long way to go. It’s nice that crypto prices are rallying, but I only get excited if that means the industry receives something of enduring value or momentum, such as: 

1 – unlocked capital for content and cash-strapped studios; 

2 – renewed interest from traditional IP and game developers to explore this space (which a much more sophisticated playbook than 2020; 

3 – clearer regulatory guidance; or 

4 – giving hope to downtrodden developers to keep working. 

I caution developers, and all of us as an industry, to not conflate crypto prices with the fundamental value of web3 as a beneficial technology for developers and gamers. Even gaming tokens have yet to prove that their prices and movement reflect the underlying utility or value of the game or company rather than working as mirror images of Bitcoin and Eth prices, which all have done so far. The beginning of this bull market has not coincided with a killer app or game. The beginning of this bull has not onboarded hundreds of millions of everyday consumers.

For me, this is a time for us to double down on what we know is working and avoid distractions that serve no long-term vision. Great games are coming, and some of them are launching incredibly soon. If they’re able to ride a wave of positive sentiment, macro market winds, and survive when, invariably, things cool again, we’ve got it made in the shade. 

Quinn Kwon – Head of web3 strategy, Delabs

Ideally, the excitement for cryptocurrencies would emerge from general gamers; however, the current upswing is predominantly driven by institutional investors, as indicated by the significant increase in investments in crypto funds reported by CoinShares. 

Despite the institutional origin of this surge, I believe it presents a crucial opportunity to capture broader interest from the gaming community at large. This growing interest is anticipated to naturally shift focus towards web3 games, offering a platform to delve into the diverse utilities of cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, the positive sentiment prevailing in the crypto market is poised to support web3 game development studios, aiding them in securing comprehensive funding for their projects.

As a result, the surge in significant investments is poised to play a crucial role in propelling the development of top-tier A titles within the gaming industry and fostering robust communities for web3 games.

Robby Yung – CEO, Animoca Brands

I think that the positive sentiment in web3 at the moment provides for a strong macroeconomic tailwind for the whole sector, and this is really a great opportunity for us to accelerate existing projects’ development. As we have seen, the market reception to new token launches has been largely positive this quarter, which means that projects planning launches should move quickly to take advantage of this market opportunity. 

At the same time, the overall positive sentiment also means that investors are getting off the fence and starting to fund projects that were struggling to close last year, and players are also enthusiastically jumping in and trying out new projects. So I think it’s really good news all around as the bullish sentiment has made people generally less risk-averse and unlocked capital and opportunities. 

Josh Jones Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Cornucopias

Currently, we’re at an inflection point in web3 gaming. We continued to build and innovate through the bear market and have emerged on the other side ready to add something really unique to the gaming market. Today the industry is experiencing some incredible highs as projects that survived the winter are gaining traction. Our team is feeling reinvigorated, and we’re looking to leverage what we learned about how to make a successful web3 game that can outlive market conditions.

Our foremost priority is delivering a gaming experience that is both fun for gamers and provides our players with all the unique benefits web3 has to offer. By placing gameplay at the core of our development efforts, we’re building something that not only harnesses the transformative potential of blockchain technology but also challenges the norms of the web3 gaming industry. Our goal is not only to capitalize on the current momentum in the space but to redefine the standards of web3 gaming by delivering a captivating experience that is market-resilient and sets a new standard for the industry.”

Jacobc.eth Co-Founder, HyperPlay

The web3 gaming ecosystem is seeing major breakthroughs. The positive sentiment in crypto and web3 has renewed innovative spirits for building in web3-native ways, opening the door for investment to more projects, enhanced product development, and expanded partnership opportunities.

At HyperPlay, we see this as a time to launch many new features around wallet interoperability, and player reputation, and to improve user experience. We aim to develop impactful products that support our ongoing mission to strengthen player freedom and empower developers. We also hope to leverage this momentum to attract more web2 players into the space, highlighting how our platform seamlessly blends the two worlds.

Additionally, we are witnessing renewed interest in web3 projects from major web2 gaming players. I’m confident we’ll see this trend continue, which will lead to the space ultimately winning over web3 skeptics.

Ben Cousens – Chief Strategy Officer, ZBD

You’d think it would be a tide that lifts all boats, but hype towards crypto is a more complex beast. It can make some B2B conversations a bit easier, as well as bring a small uptick in inbound B2B requests and a noticeable uptick in B2C organic users coming to our mobile app, which is both a game rewards platform and Bitcoin lightning wallet. On the other hand, it also makes B2C user acquisition more difficult, as everyone starts to compete for traffic related to crypto/bitcoin, massively increasing paid CPAs.

So on the one hand, it brings users organically, on the other hand, it makes performance marketing unprofitable. We are not really in the web3 gaming space as such, as ZBD is closer to a FinTech/payments company that serves gaming and builds on Bitcoin. So those trends don’t impact us that much and we’ve actually seen steady growth regardless of what the current (quickly shifting) sentiment towards that space tends to be.

Canaan Linder – Founder and CEO, Stardust

Blockchain trends are repetitive, and it’s all too common to be swept up in the excitement of endless game launches with seemingly sky-high valuations. At Stardust, we view each cycle as a chance to deepen our grasp of the economic principles that can secure a crypto game’s success over the long haul. The blockchain gaming sector has seen numerous games make a splash, enjoy a year of success, and then vanish into obscurity. Although creating an engaging game is crucial, cultivating an active community and player base is fundamental to developing a game that stands the test of time, spanning multiple years, rather than just surviving the blockchain cycle in which it was introduced. We believe that web3 gaming is the future and at Stardust we are working with the biggest games in web3 to make this future a reality.

Alexander Goldybin – Founder and Chairman, iLogos

The burgeoning interest in the crypto market presents a golden opportunity, particularly for web3 gaming, which cannot be overlooked. The surge in positive sentiment allows us to tap into a broader audience, re-engaging with previous users while attracting new ones across various segments of the crypto sphere, including web3 games. This heightened interest also eases the process of bringing on board crucial stakeholders such as key personnel and investors. Furthermore, the current wave of enthusiasm brings us closer to the pivotal goal of amassing the first billion users in web3 applications and games. Achieving a mass market is essential, for without it, the substantial capitalization of this sector will remain just a niche phenomenon.

Mike Levine – Founder, Mystic Moose

By leveraging our position as a thought leader and innovator in web3 gaming, Planet Mojo is leaning into the power of web3 gaming and expanding our portfolio beyond our autochess game, Mojo Melee, launching GoGo Mojo, a new endless runner game set on Planet Mojo. Premiering initially on desktop browsers, GoGo Mojo features interoperability for players’ owning customized NFT Mojos, created with our on-chain avatar system the Mojo Maker.

Now players will experience a suite of Planet Mojo games bound together by web3 assets, fulfilling our vision of an interoperable web3 gaming ecosystem, empowering players through asset ownership. These easy to understand and very visible benefits to gamers are some of the first steps to onboarding them into web3 gaming. 

Carlos Roldán – CEO, Elixir Games

Every response to this question inevitably begins with a discussion of Bitcoin, which has recently reached an all-time high price exceeding $72,000. This serves as another indication of the prevailing positive sentiment that permeates this year, fuelling optimistic expectations for the upcoming months of April and May. Additionally, gaming takes center stage in the market, with Elixir Games strategically positioning itself to contribute to this dynamic landscape.

Elixir Games, recognized for its Launcher platform hosting 130+ games and 500 thousand users, is pleased to unveil its pivotal Launchpad & Incubation Program.

With notable interest from major investors and brands, including Square Enix and GameStop, this initiative is created to apply the experience of the company and its employees to help other video games and projects. The recent acquisition of LitLab Games reinforces the team, aiming to incubate innovative projects and enhance the gaming experience.

David Bolger Senior Partnerships Manager of Gaming, Offchain Labs

It has certainly been great to see the increased sentiment and interest in web3 gaming this year. Gaming products take on average 2 to 3 years to bring to market (depending on the platform), and therefore a lot of amazing game studios that have been leveraging blockchain technology have some extra wind in their sails this year!

The commitment to supporting games building on Arbitrum is very much a long term view that spans multiple cycles and so our plans have not changed much as a result of the market conditions. So far in 2024, Arbitrum has onboarded major gaming projects such as Ape Chain, Hytopia, Apex chain by Proof of Play, Infinity Chains by TreasureDAO and more.

Marketing and financial support are two key areas where the Arbitrum ecosystem is doubling down on it’s support for web3 gaming this year, and it’s going to be exciting to see the new games come online into a strong market.

Anthony Palma Gaming Partnerships and Investments, Mysten Labs

2024 was already set to be one of the most critical years in web3-powered gaming’s history given how many high-profile games from veteran studios are launching this year. With the significant influx of retail and consumer interest into the space, coupled with the seemingly widespread thesis that gaming will power the most movement in this bull cycle, we’re seeing a perfect storm of supply and demand being created which will catalyze web3’s breakout moment in gaming.

We at Mysten Labs are therefore leaning in even more heavily on gaming – not just because Sui’s unique data model and performance are very well suited for gaming, but because we genuinely believe Sui can and will play a pivotal role in the future of gaming.

Chris Clay VP and Game Director, Immutable

The excitement of a bull market is infectious. We are looking to capitalize on the current energy surrounding web3 gaming to onboard as many new players into the Immutable ecosystem as possible, by combining tightly integrated web3 features with best-in-class games, and launching across multiple platforms.
The global launch of Guild of Guardians on iOS and Android later this quarter is an example of how we plan to win over mainstream players, by bringing a fun-to-play game with rich narrative and strategic gameplay.

Alexander GoldybinAnimoca BrandsBen CousensCanaan LinderChristina MacedoCornucopiasDelabs GamesHyperPlayiLogosJacobc.ethJosh JonesMavensQuinn KwonREADYggRobby YungSam BarberieStardustZBD