Lessons from Guild of Guardians

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.

Following on from last week’s missive about my first play session with Mythical’s Nitro Nation: World Tour comes a short dip into the closed pre-Alpha for Immutable’s Guild of Guardians.

Significantly, it’s 12 months since my first playtest with the game. The important factor linking these events is that in the meantime Immutable has totally rebooted the mobile game from an action RPG into a roguelite squad RPG.

Talking to game director Chris Clay, the reason given is the original iteration wasn’t hitting its retention metrics, which as well as the change of genre has resulted in a switch of co-development partner from Ukrainian outfit Stepico to Chinese outfit Mineloader.

Personally I like squad RPGs a lot more than action RPGs so I think this change makes total sense, although from an industry insight point of view — and in the context of what’s happening with Star Atlas, Axie Infinity et al — makes me think that in retrospect much of 2021 and 2022’s activity was inexperienced teams just getting onto a learning curve of making games.

Better good late than early bad.

But let’s not be bitter. The quality of the best of 2023’s fare is now topnotch and that’s definitely the case with Guild of Guardians and Nitro Nation: World Tour.

These are games people will play whether or not they have blockchain elements, and hopefully the fact that they do include such elements means people will also play them longer, spending more and either way gaining more enjoyment in the process.

As they say, no-one recalls whether a bad game is released on time or a great game is a year or more late. The only thing that’s remembered is the eventual quality and the financial success.

And I expect plenty of current in-dev blockchain games to be amongst that latter category … if eventually.

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