Last year we saw the Gamefi industry taking severe hits and entering a pretty rough patch. Its flagship and super popular games like Axie Infinity and Crypto Blades were floored badly. Their NFTs values went down the drain and came back all the way to floor prices. We also saw big Web2 gaming companies trying to dip their toes in the Web3 waters but had to deal with massive fan backlash. Nonetheless, the Gamefi ecosystem is moving forward making strides despite the crypto winter. However, the important thing evident is that blockchain game developers have learned from their mistakes. Companies are now abandoning the speculative elements and working hard to make games more fun to play. Nonetheless, the gamefi industry has still managed to capture investors’ attention.
Teknos Associates has identified lucrative opportunities in the blockchain gaming market and predicts an exciting time for the GameFi market in the next 18-24 months. They shared insights into opportunities and trends to watch for in the coming year.
Web3 Indie Games will Follow Specific Trends
Web3 game studios will create games that match popular genres in the Web2 world, with a focus on immersive gameplay. Top genres like Soulslike and MMO games are expected to make their mark on the Web3 gaming scene this year.
We might see a trend following Soulslike games. A "Soulslike" is an action RPG subgenre that draws inspiration from the Demon Souls game and its successor, the Dark Souls series, both developed by FromSoftware. This type of game is popular for its tough difficulty, combat system based on skills, and environmental storytelling, often in a dark fantasy world.
Soulslike games, such as Elden Ring, are popular with gamers due to their high level of difficulty, skill-based combat systems, and dark fantasy setting. The new Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and The Lords of The Fallen also feature Soulslike gameplay. After its release in February 2022, Elden Ring reached a peak of nearly one million concurrent players. Moreover, it sold over 17.5 million copies, making it the top-selling Soulslike title. So, we may see developers hopping onto the bandwagon and developing games like it.
MMO Games Trend
The "last-man-standing" genre of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, as seen in Fortnite, continues to lead popularity charts. It has an estimated 2 million to 4 million daily players, so a lot of gamers prefer it. But what about promising MMO games in Web3?
Web3 gaming studios are making significant progress in the MMO space, with Illuvium as a promising example. Self-styled as an "Interoperable Blockchain Game," Illuvium has a multifaceted approach to gameplay, including an auto battler component. Its immersive world and the battle arena will push the boundaries of the genre, and the $72 million raise from selling virtual land highlights public interest ahead of a full release in 2023.
Blockchain gaming is advancing with the emergence of MMO games such as Dark Forest. This space-conquest game implements fully on-chain gameplay and cutting-edge technologies. It uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs), setting the standard for the blockchain gaming industry.
Need for a True Metaverse and Social Layering
The GameFi industry requires a strong metaverse and social layer for its communities. Ubisoft's lackluster NFT integration highlighted the necessity of such systems. Ubisoft's in-game assets were primarily valued for their secondary NFT sales, which is typical of most GameFi 1.0 projects.
The upcoming Web3 games will benefit from incorporating social layers and immersive environments to provide in-game NFTs with more value beyond the marketplace. Decentraland and Sandbox, as first-generation metaverse games, have already established strong secondary economies through their social and immersive features. Recent data shows that user growth in Decentraland is less tied to price. It suggests that users are increasingly attracted to the inherent value of gameplay and open-source development.
GameFi's missing piece is the introduction of innovative independent games that can compete with mainstream AAA titles and appeal to a broader audience. This milestone will occur in the upcoming year, with many of the major blockchain games, such as Big Time and Guild of Guardians, currently in the final stages of development.
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