Opinion: Sui’s launch games come fast but weak

BlockchainGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan has been writing about the games industry since 1999. He predicts blockchain is the next great disruption and in our weekly column he shares his views on everything web3 games. You can read more in his Substack and contact him via jon@blockchaingamer.biz.

It may have raised $300 million from VCs, successfully launched its mainnet this week, and boast a genuinely interesting approach to operating a new L1 blockchain, but when it comes to the announcement of launch games, Mysten Labs’ Sui blockchain leaves a lot to be desired.

To some extent that comes with the territory. It’s taken years for the likes of Polygon and Immutable to build out a solid development ecosystem — something Solana is still struggling with — so Sui was never going to hit the ground at a sprint.

Equally, having been personally loosely involved in some discussions around getting games to commit to a new blockchain, I know the process is incredibly tortuous and fragmented.

But that stated, the rundown of the first games that will launch on Sui is pretty disappointing.

The vast majority of the titles are unknowns and from developers of unknown pedigree. And the known titles are already live on other blockchains. For example TCG Cards of Ethernity is currently live through the Epic Games Store and Ultra store on ImmutableX, while Project Eluune and Panzerdogs are existing Solana projects.

As an aside, Solana and Sui (and Aptos) all use the same Rust-based Move programming language for smart contracts, making code more portable between them. None of these Move-based blockchains are EVM-compatible, however, meaning it’s much harder for games in the Ethereum ecosystem, which use the Solidity programming language, to be ported.

The full Sui launch line-up is:

I guess one interesting aspect of the reveal — part of a long and rather rambling article from Dean Takahasi — is that all of these titles will have something playable in the coming months. Indeed, the first games will go live on Sui starting 15th May.

And in total, over 30 developers are said to have commited to Sui, with Netmarble’s RPG Grand Cross: Metaworld likely the highest profile title promised, but it’s not coming within this accelerated timeframe.

So while I don’t have high hopes for these particular games, there’s still plenty of opportunity for Sui to find and attract the small number of genuinely high class projects it requires to scale user numbers over the coming six months or so.

If nothing else, I can think of some distressed-but-good Solana games that could be acquired and refined for low millions of dollars.

As is ever the case — but especially in blockchain — ‘fewer, better, slower’ will always beat out ‘more, weaker, faster’.

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