2022 was a very turbulent year for all of us. And if we look at the gaming industry in general, the whirlwind of 2022 almost completely swept us away. On Steam, an average of 25 new games were released EVERY DAY. And that’s just in web2.
What about web3?
According to DappRadar activity on the blockchain shot up +2,000% since the end of 2021. Half of that is gaming on blockchain. Let’s face it, thinking about blockchain, it’s the gaming sector that’s the most interesting to watch at the moment. And since we don’t want to wait for archeology research in 2145 to wrap up the year, we did it for you.
We’ve made a little compilation of what noteworthy happened in blockchain gaming in 2022. Without claiming to be complete though.
The biggest bones we picked
- Too few games are using blockchain technology so far.
- Big players such as Ubisoft are making their way into web3.
- Three categories of web3 game companies have emerged: big ambitions, low budget; AA-developer and AAA developer!
- NFT games are on the rise — with a turn towards utility based NFTs in the second half of the year.
- Ethereum currently #1 blockchain to build games on
- FTX disaster put a dumper on gamers trust
The current state of web3 gaming
When we take a look at the current DappRadar Report, we see one thing in particular. Compared to the large web2 gaming studios, blockchain gaming is still far behind. According to the report, fewer than 2,000 gaming applications are currently utilizing the blockchain. That leaves room for improvement. Just to show the comparison, that’s way way lower than the 2008 summary of the Apple app store games listed. We’re at the earliest beginning of a trend.
This takes a turn though by the end of this year and awakens hope for 2023. Why? Because the big dinosaurs are making their way into web3.
Blockchain tech can be a big part of future gaming business. That’s an open secret and a point of view shared by many game studios. They are now moving onto the market and bringing expertise and experience with them. And money.
Just as an example, two of the leading gaming studios, Ubisoft and Take-Two participated in a $40 million funding round for Horizon, a game developer known already for his several blockchain projects. In general, Ubisoft has drawn attention this year as a supporter (and funder) of web3 developers. They’ve already supported web3 gaming on several occasions and experimented with their own NFT and blockchain projects. 2022 marks therefore another highlight year on their funding path.
And with good reason keeps Ubisoft an eye on the emerging web3 gaming developers. Games are a very large part of the current dapps development. DappRadar states in their Q3 report, that about $1,3 billion was made available over all for web3 developers considering gaming and metaverse applications.
Many development studios took a ride on the wave. The next generation of blockchain game creators are on their way. Starting in 2022, three categories of gaming companies have emerged. The coinmarketcap and Naavik Report on web3 gaming covers them in-depth.
They have classified the following three categories:
- Small budget but very big ambitions. Games such as Genopets belong to that category, drawing media attention and building hype.
- AA developers — great things are awaited by them. Members to that club are Big Time Studios and the developers of games such as Upland or Illuvium.
- AAA developers — high hopes and already royalty. Even so, we’d rather consider them metaverses. Perhaps the most famous among them are Yuga Labs (known for the Bored Apes Yacht Club NFTs) and Animoca Brands (who brought us The Sandbox). The line between metaverse and game gets thinner.
The hunger for NFT games has risen
The flood of new game developers into the market is also changing because of new players in there. 2021 was the year of NFTs, which continued through 2022 and found its way to gaming. Interpret, a market research company, had surveyed 1,500 console and PC game players in early 2022. 56% of respondents were very interested in making money through NFTs.
The concept of play-to-earn divided the Web3 gaming community. However, the phenomenon of the concept as such has fallen massively after the hype at the beginning of the year. Games based on the concept have lost more than 90% of their market capitalization. The graph below is exemplary for this trend and shows the downfall of daily active users (DAU) of the NFT game Axie Infinity.
This heralds the era of future gamers who are looking for entertainment and not profit alone. The hunger for NFTs in gaming is reflected in the most played games on blockchain. Alien Worlds and Splinterlands (as the two most played games according to DappRadar Q3 Report) are both based on NFT game mechanics. They register over 160,000 wallets daily.
The pace at which communities in web3 gaming are emerging is outstanding. Teams are formed and entire ecosystems are blooming. It’s exhilarating.
Looking at current most loved game mechanics, collectible card games are most favored. Games like Gods Unchained or the fantasy sport game Sorare enjoy great popularity. Currently, they form a very sustainable and profitable model for game developers.
For players most interesting though is the free-to-play as a counter model to play-to-earn. Free-to-play games are, well, free to play. No entry fees or NFTs to be bought to start playing. There is a possibility to buy or win better playing cards along the gameplay though. However, to play a certain game at high level, you’ll have to invest money in “good” playing cards.
If we now look at the different blockchains that run games, Ethereum in particular stands out. With a market share of just over 60%, as measured for the Coinmarketcap report on NFT sales on secondary markets, the Ethereum blockchain is still the frontrunner. But chains like Polygon, Immutable, and Solana are following closely behind. Competing and striving to become the first choice for game developers.
Whereas Solana just received a damper in November 2022 with the bankruptcy of trading platform FTX. FTX and their venture companies have put a lot of money into web3 gaming. Alone $130 million went into gaming on the Solana chain itself. Prominent Yuga Labs were also affected.
This will not scare away the loyal fans of web3 gaming, but it has set us all back a few steps.
With the current and perhaps potentially growing volatility of crypto the road ahead is likely to be a bit rockier. Gamers will be more careful about who they trust in the future.
A Glimpse into the foreseeable future
In 2023, we expect to see a going forward of utility based NFTs. 2022 was already a strong year for them, and now, it’s all about integrating and establishing them in gaming.
There are four key areas in web3 game development, we want to keep a close look on:
- The infrastructure and thus tokenomics of the games
- The talents behind the curtain developing the games
- Of course the upcoming new games and innovations their backed with
- The regulations, that due to current events (thanks SBF), will certainly play a central role
Especially the regulations were a sleeping dragon which is now slowly waking up and wanting to play a part. We’ll see what the next year brings in that particular field since it’s going to influence further development of any kind of games.
User loyalty and user focused game development were and will remain a central core to web3 gaming.
We see the future of web3 gaming as very bright and promising. It’s on the way to become the front runner in web3, paving the way into the metaverse as well as enabling mainstream adaptation of blockchain technology. Mainstream acceptance is no coincidence and needs a lot of effort and hard work put into that. We cannot be sure that 2023 will bring this to us. It highly depends on the quality of games and the amount of players, their playing intensity and the experiences provided by the game development studios.
But recent news keeps us positive about the future. Yuga labs hit the headlines with the hiring of a new CEO. They appointed Activision Blizzards’ Daniel Alegre. A bullish sign for web3 gaming and defining the direction of web3 in general. Next bullrun loading.
We’ve already seen traditional game developers (e.g. Square Enix) break new ground and prepare for “the tomorrow”. This movement floods new talent, great potentials and a lot of experienced developers into our market.
Let’s be honest here — we are super excited about what 2023 will bring for us. We’ll learn from 2022 and move on better and brighter.
🦖 A dyno’s perspective … on 2022 and the year to come
We strongly believe that the combination of blockchain technology and gaming has the potential to fundamentally change the way we play and interact with and in games.
Web3 is changing the way we use the Internet, and games are a powerful example of how much things can change — indeed, revolutionize.
The Web3 space for games in particular has opened up in 2022. And yes, there aren’t enough games based on blockchain technology yet. But small and large Web2 game developers are on the rise. Studios like Ubisoft and Square Enix have put an emphasis on understanding and applying Web3 technology. There are also more and more Web3 gaming studios run by gaming veterans who are totally dedicated to creating fun and engaging Web3 games.
Personally, we find this very encouraging. The web3 gaming scene is too small to think of each other as competitors. The more game developers arriving in web3 and establishing a presence, the better. Big or small. Doesn’t matter. Keep building!
For us, this not only brings cool new games to market, but also much needed expertise. Many of the problems we currently face have already been solved in web2 games industry. We will all benefit massively from problem solving skills and the opportunity to get feedback and insight.
And that’s exactly what we need to grow further. It’s good and right that we’ve moved away from the very commercialized P2E stage. Web3 gaming is now focusing on games that are built around one thing: Player fun.
This is something that we at angry dynomites lab absolutely foster and take as core of our game development and way of working. Ultimately, we want to present you a game that you love to engage with and hopefully continue to play over and over again.
However, current state is, that web2 players have lost confidence in web3 gaming in 2022. Especially due to the very public circumstances surrounding FTX in November. With the bankruptcies of various crypto exchanges in 2022, the critics felt validated. We now have to make up for this loss of trust. The year 2023 marks a time when we will overcome this and emerge stronger than before!
We as ADL want to do our part to regain trust, strengthen it, and leverage web3 gaming as the enabler for mass adoption of web3. Besides gaming, the Angry Dynomites Lab is on its way to becoming a widely known web3 gaming hub. We aim to bring gamers together in an open, inclusive community with one goal: fun gaming and creating a sustainable future gaming economy.
We believe in mutual support, exchange and open communication. About current happenings, filling in information gaps, playing together. But also for feedback concerning us as ADL, our game and our behavior in the world. Close connections to our players and the community is crucial to our success and generally the success of web3 gaming.
🦕 A message directly from the lab
2022 was a year of our company’s first major milestones. First of all though, we want to say a big thank you to the team and our community — it wouldn’t have worked without you. Our community is a crucial part of our team and we appreciate all your engagement and commitment.
Therefore, we wanted to give back to the community and dropped a gift from Santa clause into all holder wallets! Just check your wallet and let’s meet in our Discord discord.gg/AngryDynomites to have a look together, how Santa’s presents look like!
This year, we have grown successfully with our first full-time employee as well as a new engineer and product lead, which we will introduce further in the beginning of next year. For 2023, we plan to hire one more team members, so keep in touch and on the lookout!
We would like to wrap up with our good intentions for the next year.
Stay tuned — the first beta tests will start early next year. We will be creating the first playable version of the game! With the Fire and the Water Dyno mints in 2022, we laid the foundation for our work in 2023. Furthermore, the Air and Earth Dyno collections will be launched to bring even more players to Angry Dynomites and grow the community in the next year.
We are also working hard on integrating the CyberKongz & BearsDeluxe tokens into our gameplay. As well as integrating our Dynos into other fantastic web3 projects, we cannot wait to share more details.
THE RISE, QUEST and Dyno Dungeon were great games to activate the community and to give something back to you — we will continue this in 2023! Both of these minigames will most likely return and become even cooler, funnier and with a lot more action. The QUEST ended with a grand finale and all participants who registered via premint within the communicated timeframe will receive a special QUEST present from Santa on top!
As you know, we encouraged as well everyone in our Discord and Twitter to participate in the chats, answer Dyno Quiz Questions, play poker with us, join our AMAs and so on. For every action you are earning XP and rise in levels. Every fifth level you get a new role which brings you a daily Fire token yield. The participants who earned the most XP and rose up to the top 5 ranks will enter the Hall of Fame — A landingpage on our website honoring our most active users! There are more surprises waiting for you, but we will stop spilling the beans now!
2023 — here we come. We are so excited to take the next steps together.