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.
Is it a genuine trend or just a set of local coincidences in my head?
Hard for me to judge but I’d like to think there’s a slow growing groundswell in the direction of fully onchain games.
But perhaps I’m being unduly influenced by my most recent podcast with Proof of Play’s CEO Amitt Mahajan, which recently announced a $33 million seed round for its vision of building onchain games and onchain game logic that will be accessible for everyone to play and build on.
Of course, Mahajan is not the first to venture down this rabbithole.
Star Atlas’ Sage Labs recently launched, hoovering up chain capacity on Solana.
Meanwhile Playmint’s David Amor has delved way beneath the seventh circle in the development of forthcoming game Downstream. I’ve also been working with onchain soccer management game Soccerverse since 2018.
In terms of timing, partly I think all this is an outworking of having blockchain infrastructure that can now handle the UX and throughput required to run these sorts of experiences at decent speed and cost.
Proof of Play’s Pirate Nation is live on the Arbitrum Nova L2 for example, while Dragginz will launch on the ICP blockchain.
More significantly, however, I believe the driving force for many of the creatives involved is that fully onchain games answer the oft-posed question “If blockchains are so good, why aren’t you making games that can only be made using a blockchain?”
Or as Amitt Mahajan — who was also a co-creator of FarmVille puts it “Obviously there are types of games we can’t build. We can’t build a FPS onchain. Doesn’t make sense. But there’s a type of game that works really well and we also get a whole bunch of features for free. All the economic trading stuff, the trustless environment, security and auditability.
This is the most interesting part. I’ve built games before. Why would I want to go and build another mobile gaming company and just replace the payment rails [with blockchain]? It’s not appealing to me personally or intellectually.
But this stuff is because it’s new.”