Top 50 blockchain game companies of 2024
It’s been over three years since we last crunched the data, solicited advice and fired up the ranking abacus to arrive at our official listing of the top blockchain game companies.
Quite a lot has happened in the sector since then!
So, with the market out of the 2022-2023 bear and looking set for more positive conditions, we thought it perfect timing to highlight the companies we think will dominate the news cycle and most played charts.
50. CM Games
Estonian developer CM Games has been experimenting with crypto since its 2018 debut Glitch Goons but only with the soft launch of Nitro Nation: World Tour in late 2023 has it combined its decade-long experience making mobile drag racing games with blockchain. Published by Mythical Games and part of its Mythos chain and ecosystem, Nitro Nation: World Tour will also be able to take advantage of the learning of Mythical’s NFL Rivals as it gains more marketing support during 2024. As a point of comparison, the Nitro Nation franchise has generated more than 100 million lifetime downloads.
Founded by gaming veterans, UK-based Playmint is a studio trailblazing the concept of fully onchain games; that is autonomous worlds, which once they are set live can’t be switched off, at least as long as their underlying blockchains continue to function. Employing a from-first-principles approach, Playmint is working on Downstream, a hex-based persistent strategy game on browser, which is designed to be fully extensible by anyone who wants to add enemies, quests, features, marketplaces or anything else that is compatible with the game’s underlying smart contracts. It’s currently in pre-alpha and regularly opening up for playtesting sessions.
48. CCP Games
Best known for its long-running space MMOG EVE Online, CCP Games’ announcement of a blockchain game within the EVE universe wasn’t a total surprise thanks to CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson’s obvious fascination with the concept. Indeed, it has been argued that EVE Online is the closest experience you could get to running a blockchain game without actually integrating the tech. Nevertheless, the news that the company, which is owned by South Korean outfit Pearl Abyss, had raised $40 million from VCs was a significant marker of the level of ambition envisioned. More details about what’s currently known as Project Awakening are expected later in 2024.
47. Faraway Games
Founded by veterans from Glu Mobile and EA, US developer Faraway Games was one of the first to release on Solana, with browser-based PVP shooter Mini Royale: Nations released in late 2021. Two years on and currently in season six, the game has expanded greatly, particularly in terms of its creator mode, which enables users to create maps and skins. And Faraway has expanded its horizons too. As well as working with Yuga Labs to build out its Otherside metaverse and Dookey Dash Unclogged game, it’s also soft launched Serum City, a city-building strategy game that’s being developed in collaboration with the NFT cooperative Mutant Cartel.
46. Mighty Bear Games
Following the success of its web2 mobile games such as Apple Arcade shooters Butter Royale and Disney Melee Mania, Singapore-based Mighty Bear Games has doubled down on its battle royale expertise with web3 shooter Mighty Action Heroes, which is now part of the TreasureDAO ecosystem. The 20-player PVP game is available via browser and Google Play Store and in open beta, currently season two. Players can collect heroes, which have different stats and rarities as well as trophies and chests. Aside from all that shooting, the game leverages the ability to craft and trade items too.
One of the signature Solana games, 2023 was a building year for Aurory, which saw the launch of its SyncSpace tech, extending the project to Arbritum and allowing users to easily create accounts and move their assets between games and blockchains. However, highlighting the dangers of blockchain, SyncSpace was hacked in mid-December for more than $1 million of AURY token from the team’s wallet, although this hasn’t impacted the token’s price. In terms of playable experiences, in 2024 the company’s focus will be further deploying its turn-based PVP Aurory Tactics game, which is now in open alpha, as well as the main turn-based action adventure Seekers of Tokane, currently limited to NFT holders only.
44. Mystic Moose
US developer Mystic Moose has been building out its autochess battler Mojo Melee since early 2023, launching new characters and items, notably through its battle pass seasons and using free airdrops via Amazon Prime Gaming giveaways. Players can now also level up their champions and mint them out as NFTs. Its latest move has been to refocus the project on the value of its signature Mojo heroes. The release of Mod-able Mojos provides players with the ability to customize – and mint – their hero Mojos characters with various forms of apparel to further personalize the experience.
43. Laguna Games
Best known for Crypto Unicorns, which kicked off gaming on Polygon in early 2022, US studio Laguna Games has been operating at pace during 2023 despite the bear market, both building additional features to the core experience, as well as taking advantage of other platforms and experiences to expand the brand. Within Crypto Unicorns came Jousting gameplay as well as the arrival of Shadowcorns, evil unicorns which steal players’ resources from the farming part of the game. However, real focus has been external where the release of Rainbow Rumble and mobile game Unicorn Party, which contains Unicorn Trivia, Bumpercorns and Mob Run mini-games, look to engage with non-crypto audiences.
42. Kingdom Studios
As the developer of DeFi Kingdoms, Kingdom Studios has experienced a particularly difficult crypto boom-bust-recovery cycle. The game launched successfully on the Harmony blockchain in 2021, rising to a peak of 50,000 players in early 2022 before declining, in part hit as North Koreans hacked Harmony’s bridge for $100 million, effectively disrupting the entire chain. Luckily DeFi Kingdoms had already launched a version of the game on its own Avalanche-based DFK Chain and has since also added Klaytn. But alongside the impact of the crypto winter, the process was a brutal one. Nevertheless, US-based Kingdom Studios has kept on building, including tools to allow users to migrate their assets to the new chains. It will be hoping for better luck as crypto sentiments improves.
41. Joyride Games
Founded by mobile gaming veterans, US studio Joyride has been focused in squaring the circle that is building out mobile blockchain games which are also available through app stores. Its casual seven-strong Blitz series – Solitaire Blitz, Trickshot Blitz, Carrom Blitz etc – were among some of the most popular blockchain games of 2023, in particularly dominating activity on the Flow blockchain. The developer is now looking towards more complex experiences, however, such as Super Champs collection which currently consists of two mobile games – tennis RPG Racket Rampage and battle royale Bullet League – as well as physical collectibles, comics and anime.
While South Korean publisher Com2uS is totally committed to blockchain, it’s happy to take its time in terms of integrating complex features. In this manner, it’s notable that all Com2uS’ new games now include some element of blockchain using its own XPLA infrastructure. Currently 11 titles are live including Summoners War: Chronicles and The Walking Dead: All-Stars. However, in most cases, such elements are tightly focused and only accessible for the most engaged players. It will be fascinating to see whether this pace changes significantly during the most positive crypto environment that’s expected in 2024.
In the vanguard of blockchain games since its 2020 launch, Upland continues to evolve from its original mobile Monopoly-style land collection game into a full global metaverse, with its own UGC options for players and third party developers. Recent features include avatar wearables, mini-games including car racing, as well as new cities opening including Miami and Tokyo. Licensing deals include those with the FIFA Women’s World Cup and NFLPA. And at a lower level, Upland is also becoming more decentralized, notably in terms of expanding its custom EOS-based infrastructure to Ethereum, including support for Metamask and new token Sparklet, which is pegged to its original Spark token.
Oft characterized as “Steam-on-the-blockchain”, Ultra’s progress in recent months has demonstrated that its vision is more ambitious. That said, a core component is enabling game developers to distribute their PC games via the Ultra platform, also providing the optionality for them to allow owners to resell those games, albeit within preset conditions. In addition, however, Ultra has plenty more features, including its own NFT marketplace, an esports arena and its own first party games in development. It’s also worth noting that while web3 games are the focus, the platform happily integrates with web2 games, both in terms of sales and esports. And that will be key as Ultra looks to scale its audience in 2024.
A startup out of Polish developer BoomBit, Boomland provided the perfect example of “building through the bear” in 2023 as it launched NFTs and tokens for its classic action RPG Hunters On-Chain, the web3 version of mobile game Hunt Royale. Taking a player-first approach, the game rewarded its user base for their activity, both in terms of gameplay and character levelling, introducing options such as NFT rental for whale holders. Boomland has also been generous in terms of airdropping NFTs that are unlocked through gameplay to new users. Future updates include clan gameplay as well as further audience expansion, already seen with the addition of support for Coinbase’s Base Ethereum L2.
Acquired by Animoca in 2019, US developer nWay rose to prominence during 2023 with the announcement of Wreck League. Building on its decade-long experience with multiplayer fighting games such as Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, Wreck League combines PVP combat with tactical expertise, also adding the ability for players to craft their own NFT mechs from a portfolio of components pieces to create their perfect warrior. Neatly, they can also deconstruct their mechs and swap out components to further hone their style. Currently limited to NFT holders, the plan for 2024 is to release a F2P mobile version with synergistic web3 hooks to rapidly boost the playerbase.
34. Studio 369
One of the key titles on gaming blockchain Immutable, Studio 369’s F2P PC shooter MetalCore is one of the most anticipated games of Q1 2024. Mixing up third person action in everything from wheeled vehicles and giant mechs to jetbikes and gunships, the developer’s previous experience with titles such as Oculus Quest VR title World of Mechs is plain to see. But as well as plenty of action, Metalcore has a strong crafting element, with players collecting assets and blueprints to build out their set of vehicles or to trade with other players. The three faction backstory also provides another overarching meta in which players can compete.
Created out of the work of early Japanese blockchain game developer Double Jump.Tokyo, the Oasys blockchain has made steady progress to-date. It’s secured the support of many Japanese game companies, including Bandai Namco, Mixi, Sega, Gumi and Square Enix, not to forget other key players such as Wemix, Mythical Games, Ubisoft and Netmarble, all of whom are validators. Games are arranged in hubs that are called Verses and share blockchain infrastructure to create high performance, interoperable ecosystems. So far, five Verses have been created covering genres such as RGPs and TCGs, while Ubisoft’s Champions Tactics is the chain’s most anticipated title and due for launch in early 2024.
32. Skale Network
Not one of the most high profile Ethereum-centric networks, nevertheless, thanks to zero gas fees for users and very fast throughput thanks to its appchain design, Skale Network had a great 2023, onboarding millions of wallets. It also hosted some of the most popular blockchain games as ranked in terms of onchain activity, notably MotoDEX, Untitled Platformer, 5Stars and Gamifly. Most of these are fairly lightweight experiences but more significant titles such as shooters StrayShot, EtherStrike, FF4 and Haven’s Compass are due in 2024.
Hardcore Ethereum-focused Paris-based developer Lattice continues to leverage its history of fully onchain game experiments with activity across infrastructure, tools and games. One key element of its work is MUD, a fully onchain game engine, which is being used by multiple teams to build their own titles. But Lattice is also eating its own dog food by developing strategy game Sky Strife using MUD, while also building out Redstone, its own L2 blockchain based on the Optimism OP Stack and which uses offchain data availability to reduce costs. Described as a “super cost-effective chain for onchain games, worlds and other ambitious apps”, it’s characteristic of Lattice’s philosophy of pushing the technical envelope to extremes.
Five years on from its founding and over two years from its mammoth $680 million SoftBank-led funding round, sports game developer Sorare hasn’t been making headlines but it has been steadily improving its platform. As well as its signature soccer game, it now also operates fantasy management games in basketball and baseball thanks to deals with the NBA and MLB, which has seen trading of the company’s various NFT collections surpass $700 million in total trading volume. But Sorare’s ongoing focus has been to improve the game, the blockchain performance, and the social aspects of its games, allowing players to better highlight their success in new and exciting ways.
29. Gunzilla Games
Formed out of some fragments from the Crytek empire, Frankfurt-headquartered Gunzilla Games is working on highly anticipated gun-based shooter Off The Grid. For, not only is the company building out its own Gunz infrastructure – for itself and other developers to use – based on its own Avalanche subnet, but the F2P 150 player battle royale game is also scheduled for release on consoles, which would make it one of the first blockchain titles to get such a wide distribution. And to further heighten the excitement, film director Neill Blomkamp (District9, Gran Turismo) is building out the lore, backed by acclaimed sci-fi writer Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon).
Unlike many of its fellow South Korea game publishers, Nexon has taken a very measured approach to the adoption of blockchain. But that’s not to say it’s any less ambitious, given that its first announced title is MapleStory Universe, MapleStory being its 20-year signature MMOG. Bringing such a lauded IP into web3 is, of course, not without risks, but Nexon is committed, announcing PC game MapleStory N, mobile version MapleStory M, as well as MapleStory N Worlds, which is a sandbox experience allowing players to create their own UGC including their own games. The final piece of the puzzle is MapleStory N SDK, a set of tools that professional game devs can use to create their own apps and experiences leveraging all the game assets and data.
27. Yuga Labs
Despite the conclusion from its new CEO that “Yuga Labs isn’t a games company per se”, the outfit behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection has been making a lot of very game-like experiences. From Dookey Dash to Legends of the Mara and ongoing metaverse Otherside, Yuga’s activity is very much part of gaming culture, even if the games themselves are more of a means to an end, notably to create new NFT collections and new economic primitives. That could all change, however, with the imminent launch of Dookey Dash Unclogged, a F2P mobile game, which looks to take Yuga’s IP to the mass market. Maybe Yuga is more of a games company after all.
The first of the big traditional game publishers to commit itself to blockchain, Ubisoft’s various experiments over the past five years have perhaps generated more heat than light but this should change with the release of its first proper NFT-enabled game. Champions Tactics: Grimoria Chronicles successfully minted out its The Warlords collection, which will be used to generate the first set of in-game characters that will populate the action within the PC turn-based RPG. Each will be unique and players will have to build up their collection to master the meta and outwit their opponents.
25. Azra Games
Effectively the team which developed EA’s billion-dollar-grossing Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, US studio Azra Games’ debut Project Legends is one of the most anticipated blockchain games for obvious reasons. Significantly, however, it ditches Galaxy of Heroes’ turn-based gameplay for real-time action, although it will continue the character collection meta, which has proven so successful in terms of long term retention and monetization. Hence players will be able to seamlessly switch between four heroes as they make their way through the sci-fi fantasy-themed action. Currently in pre-alpha testing, Project Legends may not be released until late in 2024; nevertheless it will provide a very high standard many other blockchain games will be measured against.
24. Line Next
The blockchain arm of everything app Line, Line Next’s DOSI platform is designed to combine the best of web2 brands and web3 experiences in a global ecosystem. It runs on the Finschia blockchain and over the past year has onboarded over five million users to its mix of entertainment, avatar socials and gaming. At present, the latter are mainly casual experiences but titles such as Sweet Monster Guardians and Frame Arms Girl: Dream Stadium demonstrate how more complex games will be delivered via browser and downloads. And that’s something the recent announcement of a $140 million funding round to scale the platform, in particular to juice its release through app stores, looks certain to accelerate.
23. Plai Labs
Spun out of mobile developer Jam City by its founders Chris DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb, Plai City has been working on its fantasy F2P PC-based PVP game Champions Ascension since early 2022. Currently in alpha testing, as well as strong focus on real-time combat, the game has built strong foundations with deep Roman-inspired lore explaining the land of Karkadon and the fearsome clans and warriors it contains. And leveraging blockchain primitives, the game also has plenty still to reveal about its economic system, which includes land NFTs and resource crafting. Expect the hype to rise as the game approaches its first open playable release during 2024.
22. Blowfish Studios
Animoca-owned Blowfish marked a significant event with the launch of its Phantom Galaxies shooter into early access in late 2023. The gameplay focuses on giant mechas, which can be customized with weapons and gear. They can also transform into spaceships for galactic combat, while you switch into mech-mode for planetary action. NFTs include mechs and their pilots, as well as asteroids and planets. Of course, there’s still plenty of development before the game is formally released but the PC title is now available through the likes of Epic Games Store and Ultra for the full blockchain build and Steam for the web2 version, racking up 50,000 downloads during its first week.
Leading the charge of South Korean game companies into blockchain, Wemade first launched crypto within its MIR4 MMORPG in late 2021. But, demonstrating the company’s commitment to this new technology, its EVM-compatible Wemix blockchain has been live since 2020. Since then, it has launched dozens of mobile and PC games. Indeed, its stated aim is to have over 100 Wemix-enabled titles, something that was demonstrated as Wemix added the most games of any blockchain during 2023. Most attention in 2024, is focused on the launch of blockchain in Unreal Engine 5 mobile RPG Night Crows, which is set to launch in March.
Swiss-based Dacoco has a strong pedigree in blockchain tech, especially DAOs, and that’s something fully reflected in its popular fully onchain game Aliens World. It contains six planets, each of which is its own DAO, with players voting for leaders and proposals to use each planets’ underlying crypto assets. This has resulted in a strong community and plenty of UGC, ranging from new tools and utilities to new experiences and narrative. This is something reinforced by the game’s ongoing grants program, while a deeper focus on lore is being further explored with a new AI-led storytelling initiative in collaboration with noted sci-fi author Kevin J Anderson.
Labelling itself “the world’s first interoperable blockchain game”, Illuvium is in fact a collection of three different experiences, with each one offering a different way of interacting with the overall Illuvium universe. First announced was autochess battler Illuvium Arena, which launched its playable version on Epic Games Store in late 2023. Illuvium Overworld offers open-world gameplay and is currently available as a private PC beta. Meanwhile, mobile game Illuvium Zero is a resource collection game, in which players harvest elements, extract fuel and research blueprints. If nothing else, the ambition of the Illuvium team has never been questioned.
18. Playful Studios
From some of the creative minds behind Age of Empires and Words With Friends comes Wildcard; a blockchain-enabled esports-first deck-building 1V1 MOBA, which is designed to incentivize both players and spectators. Its first event, called Melee on the Meteor, introduced players to key characters and tactics, as well as Wildcard’s tongue-in-cheek tone. Playful also geared up during 2023, releasing various NFT collections, including its Wildpass ticket and its Wildfile ID system, which tracks NFT ownership, gaming activity and social interactions to provide a foundation to everything that happens in the Wildcard universe. As demonstrated by this thoughtful bridging of web2 and web3 technology, it’s clearly a game with strong breakout potential.
While some expected mobile gaming giant Zynga’s $12.7 billion acquisition by Take-Two to curtail the company’s nascent blockchain experiment, its Sugartown platform launched its genesis collection of Ora NFTs in June 2023 and has been building out its ecosystem ever since. To-date, only Ora holders have been able to access Sugartown’s revolving collection of browser-based mini-games. Oras are staked to provide the energy to play games. Over time, these restrictions will be loosened with more Oras available as the platform unlocks opportunities for third party developers of web3 and web2 games to plug in. It’s further expected Sugartown will eventually be released through app stores, leveraging Zynga’s expertise and maximizing its audience.
16. MetaKing Studios
First announced in 2019, PC strategy game Blocklords’ gestation has been a long and protracted one, mainly because developer MetaKing realized it first had to build the infrastructure required to support its vision. But now launched into early access via Epic Games Store, the pieces are coming together, with players starting out controlling a simple village and collecting the resources required to rise up the ranks. For, at the highest level, Blocklords will see the top players controlling regions, setting taxes, raising armies and fighting for control. And underpinning this activity will be an economic system in which the resources being created by the humble farmers and required by the greatest lords are being traded and valued by a fully onchain ecosystem.
Few projects have experienced the depth of travails that Star Atlas has suffered over the past 18 months. The collapse of FTX and the impact on the whole Solana ecosystem saw the ambitious space trading and combat game reduce its headcount from over 250 down to 60 as the value of its treasury collapsed and investment sentiment turned cold. Developer ATMTA never lost the faith, however, sticking to Solana while other projects transitioned to new chains. It’s also continued to ship product with the launch of fully onchain 2D economic sim Sage Labs demonstrating the passion of its core audience. Improving market conditions should enable the project to accelerate in 2024.
14. Proof of Play
Announcing itself to the world with a $33 million funding round, US developer Proof of Play is best known for fully onchain combat and crafting browser game Pirate Nation, which is live and being updated weekly. However, its raison d’etre isn’t making games per se, but developing the tools and technology that will enable other developers to make their own games. In this way, the studio is in the vanguard of the growing FOC movement, which hopes to leverage blockchain technology to make the sort of innovative experiments and experiences that can’t be created without decentralized technology.
Inspired by the vision of integrating open source masterpiece Minecraft with blockchain, Hytopia (originally called NFT Worlds) could have folded when the Microsoft-owned game banned the integration of blockchain in its IP. Instead, it doubled-down, committing to build out its own platform on which it and its users could do whatever they wanted. Indeed, over time, this commitment has expanded, resulting in Hytopia splitting its activity into a game development studio and an infrastructure outfit, which will run the customized Hychain on which Hytopia will eventually deploy.
12. Neon Machine
When it came to product, US developer Neon Machine knocked it out the park in 2023, with its PC-based extraction shooter Shrapnel unanimously hailed as one of the top blockchain games in terms of graphics and gameplay. This was also reflected in the successful launch of the game’s SHRAP token, up over 200% since launch. However, on a corporate level things were more complex with the majority of the studio’s co-founders locked in a lawsuit against its majority shareholder. It’s a messy situation for sure, but one a game of Shrapnel‘s quality hopefully should force resolution before it impacts the game’s highly anticipated first playable release.
11. Find Satoshi Lab
Well known for its highly successful move-to-earn mobile game STEPN, which was the final hit of the 2022 bull run, Find Satoshi Lab has since proved to be one of the most significant web3 builders on Solana, also thanks to its NFT marketplace Mooar and its token DEX Dooar. More recently, however, it’s embraced the multichain future, extending support to Ethereum, Polygon and BNB. Notably, its most recent release Gas Hero, a social mobile-designed strategy game, launched on Polygon, quickly generated the highest volume for NFT trading on that chain thanks to the game’s various collections and FSL’s strong community presence.
10. Horizon Blockchain Games
First defined as the developer of browser-based TCG Skyweaver, Canadian developer Horizon Blockchain Games has since come into focus as a tools and tech provider. It’s built out its social sign-on Sequence wallet into Sequence Builder, which it describes as a complete web3 development platform, supporting multiple EVM chains as well as integrating with the likes of Unreal and Unity. This enables developers to focus on their games, while dealing with issues such as spinning up marketplaces, minting NFTs, handling gas fees, payment rail and fiat onboarding with ease. Companies already using the tech include Ubisoft, Boomland and Mystic Moose.
South Korean developer Planetarium has always taken its own path when it comes to blockchain games, notably in terms of deploying debut game PC idle RPG Nine Chronicles on its own custom blockchain, called Odin. No doubt, this generated plenty of technical headaches in the early days, but four years on, its independent approach has enabled Planetarium to have control over its own destiny. This was particularly demonstrated in the launch of Nine Chronicle M, a reimagined mobile-first version of the game running on its own Heimdall blockchain, which has also been released through app stores with a fully integrated IAP economy, including battle pass. And the early signs are positive. It generated more than 250,000 downloads in Q4 2023, making the franchise a top 5 game in terms of onchain activity.
8. Big Time Studios
Given that PC MMORPG Big Time has been in closed beta since 2022, the big news in 2023 was the release of its token. Sensibly, this wasn’t sold but was only made available to the early NFT passholders who were playing the game. The same approach was taken for the game’s various NFTs, including the main character-based cosmetics, which players have been collecting and crafting for the past year. Yet despite not having the big hyped token launch of many competitors, Big Time’s strategy seems to be working with the token’s price up 200% since launch. It’s also worth noting that Big Time runs on its own Open Loot infrastructure, which is also gaining support with third party games including Worldshards, Shatterpoint and The Desolation.
7. The Sandbox
One of blockchain gaming’s signature projects since its 2018 reveal, The Sandbox’s slow and steady progression into what it hopes will be Roblox for the web3 era just goes to underscore the complexity of its ambition. Of course, this is partly to do with the blockchain itself but more important has been the process of building out a strong community of brands and developers to create the content to attract players. Combined with this comes the long term mission to enable a new generation of creators to make both in-game assets as well as interactive experiences that are available to all. The good news, however, is the vast majority of this activity is now complete, with 2024 expected to be the year The Sandbox can start to fulfil its real potential.
6. Merit Circle
Initially an Axie Infinity guild, then an investment DAO, also becoming a game developer and now finally a blockchain gaming platform too, the transformation of Merit Circle has been one of the remarkable in the entire sector. Crucial in this process was the early realization of the limitations of the P2E model, which resulted in Merit Circle’s first pivot into investing in other blockchain games. The launch of its Edenhorde NFTs and its interactive narrative game got Merit Circle deeper into the tech stack, with the eventual result being its Beam infrastructure, which enables developers to operate their games on either its Avalanche subnet or the Immutable zkEVM. The timing of all this activity has been perfect too, with Merit Circle’s MC token – now called BEAM – being the top performing game asset of 2023, up over 1,000%.
Social RPG Pixels has been around for a couple of years, running on the Polygon blockchain, but it was its decision to relaunch on Sky Mavis’ Ronin chain in late 2023 that catapulted it into the forefront of blockchain gaming. The move both reengaged Pixels’ existing audience as well as making it accessible to the thousands of one-time Ronin users who had stopped playing Axie Infinity. The result propelled Pixels to its current status of the most popular blockchain game; something only reinforced by the play-to-airdrop campaign which kickstarted the launch of its PIXEL token. Of course, with this event now complete, the key future metric will be how well the game manages to maintain its current 170,000 daily active unique wallets in the coming months and years.
Initially positioning itself as the place where games could go to easily mint their NFTs via its Ethereum-centric Immutable X infrastructure, Immutable’s 2023 partnership with Polygon to launch its new Immutable zkEVM stack on Polygon’s underlying zero knowledge technology has seen it repositioned as a fully-fledged blockchain gaming platform. Combined with its Immutable Passport onboarding system and services such as integrated marketplaces, the result has seen plenty of customers sign up including Bazooka Tango, Studio 369 and Endless Clouds. And this isn’t to forget Immutable’s own self-developed titles TCG Gods Unchained and anticipated mobile RPG Guild of Guardians.
3. Animoca Brands
F2P mobile publisher Animoca Brands originally dipped its fingers into blockchain gaming, gaining the license to launch CryptoKitties in China in 2018. From these humble beginnings, the Hong Kong-based outfit has grown into a global giant, raising over $850 million and making over 400 investments in web3 entertainment and game companies, including ownership of Blowfish, Darewise, Gamee, Grease Monkey and The Sandbox. It’s also heavily involved in the Apecoin ecosystem through the activities of chairman Yat Siu. However, perhaps its most significant project is now Mocaverse. What started out as a simple NFT collection, which was launched in March 2023 to help build a network between its diverse portfolio, has gained real traction, becoming its own separate organization and launching its .moca blockchain ID system, which has gained over 200,000 users.
2. Sky Mavis
The studio that launched Axie Infinity to viral success in 2021 but then had to deal with its rapid decline, subsequent cultural backlash and a $625 million hack by the North Koreans in 2022 demonstrated tremendous tenacity in 2023 to build its way back to growth. Part of this was doubling down on Axie Infinity, which is slowly inching its way back to relevance through aggressive redesign as experienced in new release Axie Infinity: Origins, as well as the continuation of support for the original Axie Classic. The franchise is also expanding with land gameplay title Axie Infinity: Homeland, plant discovery game Axie Infinity: Raylights and social experience Project T. However, the key focus and success for Sky Mavis has been the ecosystem surrounding its Ronin blockchain. Following the successful relaunch of Pixels, which is currently the most popular blockchain game, Ronin is now positioned as one of most attractive blockchains for ambitious developers to partner with. No doubt, there will be plenty more high profile titles, both new and old, attempting to mirror Pixels’ trajectory in the coming months. And this momentum is also reflected in the blockchain’s RON token, which is up 1,000% from its November 2022 all-time-low.
1. Mythical Games
In many ways, Mythical Games comes across as an outlier in the blockchain gaming space. For one thing, it doesn’t talk about blockchain, tokens, smart contracts or wallets, despite running its own tech stack, which has created hundreds of thousands of wallets, hosted millions of transactions and handled hundreds of millions of dollars of trading volume. Instead, its focus is very much on the games themselves and the features enabled by blockchain integration. As its mission statement makes clear, “We believe ownership of digital assets is the future of games”.
Unlike many other blockchain game companies, then, Mythical’s ethos is that mass market adoption won’t be driven by the underlying technology but by the experiences it creates.
Of course, this isn’t to say Mythical has avoided all the challenges that have beset the sector. It’s had to rethink its strategy several times. Founded in 2018, it’s moved from its original EOS-focused infrastructure towards Ethereum but now committing its future to building the Mythos Chain on Polkadot. Similarly, while debut game PC mini-game and UGC platform Blankos Block Party attracted more than 1 million players, the company has decided to reinvent the experience and is in the process of transiting players and assets to the all-new Blankos Mobile due later in 2024.
For mobile is where Mythical is now finding its feet. It launched NFL Rivals through the app stores in mid-2023 and over the months since has progressively added more blockchain elements. One key piece will be the ability of players to trade their NFTs via an in-app marketplace, which is expected soon. During this process, Mythical is also proving out its thesis that players who own their in-game assets are more committed to those games, improving retention and monetization, even of non-blockchain items; something Apple and Google are particularly interested in.
And it’s this combination of engaging with key industry entities such as platform holders as well as gamers – NFL Rivals has generated four million downloads and counting – that positions Mythical Games at the head of the pack looking to change the face of gaming.
Not only is it making high quality experiences that gamers want to play but it’s also moving the entire industry forward.