Everyday, more and more games and publishers are making their foray into Web3 and there’s no denying the potential it holds. The most recent example was Epic Games with its blockchain game launch the Grit, created by Gala games. The terms Web3 and Web3 gaming have been floating around the net for quite some time now, with some believing Web3 gaming to be a natural transition for traditional gaming to enter, but the criticism received doesn’t quite reflect that.
Web3 gaming (also known as blockchain gaming) entered the space in 2017 with titles such as Crypto Kitties and Axie Infinity making their mark in the new-age gaming space. But the question remains about the originality, the quality and the image that Web3 games hold within and beyond the industry across a number of stakeholders.
Video game marketplace Steam took a firm stance on no-NFT vision in 2021 and stuck to it, which made it further difficult for blockchain games to penetrate into the Web2 ecosystem. Web3 games, based on a decentralised concept, allow gamers to move from a pay-to-play model to a play-to-earn model, which seems like a no-brainer to some – but why the backlash? Former FVP of King Barcelona Studios, thinks the concerns surrounding Web3 games are similar.
“We understand the pain points within the ecosystem, and are tackling that by creating our latest game Elemental Raiders on the blockchain – with a free-to-play version and a play-to-earn version on Web3, offering gamers to choose the game before anything else.” states Manel Sort, CEO and Founder of G4AL, the Web3 Gaming Studio.
The latest play-to-earn model in the world of blockchain gaming seems to be creating quite the divide within the gaming community. Whether a traditional Web2 console game or a Web3 game – players have to dish out some cash to get involved. What happens now when players purchase a game that they don’t seem to be happy about? In most cases, these games do not offer any refund policies, which is why there seems to be a seismic shift, with some notable gaming transitions towards a free-to-play model, a “freemium economy”. The term originates from about 10 years ago with mobile gaming rising to its peak, with Candy Crush to Pubg. This served as a way for non-gamers to pick up their phones, download and play within seconds. With over 10 years and billions of dollars in revenue, Candy Crush has revolutionised the free-to-play gaming economy and over $1 billion in revenue in 2020 alone, states Business of Apps report.
“The beauty of a freemium gaming economy is what entices people, and expands the audience interested to try out games! We’re applying the same model within the Web3 ecosystem by releasing Elemental Raiders as a free-to-play game, allowing players not just to try out the game but also simplify entering the ever so complicated Web3 space,” says Manel Sort, CEO and Founder of G4AL, the Web3 Gaming Studio.
With the backlash received towards the economic model of Web3 games (requiring games to purchase NFTs in order to play) has seen a number of crypto-based games such as Gods Unchained and Splinterlands considering the free-to-play model as a way to help gamers and users alike enter the gated crypto gaming market, lowering the entry barriers for what is known as a play to earn model.
“One of the most important factors for us within the free-to-play model of blockchain gaming was to go mobile, and we’re aiming to capitalise on just that through Elemental Raiders’ mobile version launching in 2023,” says the ex-FVP of King Studios and CEO of G4AL, Manel Sort.
In addition to the criticism received surrounding the concept of having to own NFTs in order to play Web3 games, free-to-play Web3 games have not yet cracked the code of mass adoption as it means that many potential players will struggle to grasp the concept of Web3 and how to access it. Considering that 6,6 Billion people worldwide own a smartphone – having Web3 games follow in the steps of Elemental Raiders by releasing a mobile version of their game, is the true catalyst for mass adoption and a freemium gaming economy.
Looking at the free-to-play model proposed by Elemental Raiders, will ultimately lead to more people playing the game, adding up to the amount of paying players, resulting in more money spent on the game! Not only will these profits benefit the development of the game, but Elemental Raiders has set out to distribute 50% of net profits – aiming to increase the margin profit for the community. All this paired up with high quality gameplay.
Is There A Chance For Redemption?
As much criticism as the industry is getting – it doesn’t have to be this way. Most new technological advancements go through a trial and error period when entering a new, unexplored space, which is exactly where Web3 gaming finds itself now. A substantial amount of current Web3 games are built by developers with little to no gaming experience, which might add to the struggles that it is experiencing in its start-up phase.
Amidst the negativity that the Web3 gaming industry has seen up until now, projects such as hero battler game Elemental Raiders are looking to change the perception of the industry by switching things up and focusing on the community.
What Does the Future of Web3 Gaming Hold?
The world of Web3 gaming has seen, on numerous occasions, scrutiny for a number of different reasons including the poor gameplay and quality, high risk and exclusion of many potential groups – with the only positive being the earning model. By giving gamers the chance to “test run” games before committing to spending on them could potentially bring the gaming community closer together. Could games with freemium economies such as Elemental Raiders bring about the change that the gaming industry is yearning for? Only the future will tell.