Recently, an article was published on Coindesk, one of the leading news sites in crypto. This article zooms in on the failure of the biggest titles in crypto gaming to attract and retain users. While it is surprising to see some of these big crypto gaming titles struggle to maintain their audience, it’s also clear why this happens. Let’s dive into my opinion on why this is happening and how crypto games can fix this.
Crypto gaming is a niche market within a niche called crypto. While many crypto investors believe they are too late, crypto is still in its early adopter phase. This makes crypto games even newer. The first generation of crypto games is set to release in a somewhat finished stage this year, where altcoins have emerged in vast amounts over the last four years. Why will the significant majority of these games fail?
”Just make games for yourself and try to have a critical eye to what you do. If you genuinely like the game, there will be other people who like it as well.”Markus Persson, creator of Minecraft
One of the biggest drivers of failure is that most games emerging with crypto integration are made with profit in mind first, not for the developer alone but also for the player. This takes away the most crucial reason people play video games: entertainment. While there are people who love some of the biggest names in crypto gaming right now, most of these games are made to provide for the player and their creators. What we would ask our users is simple: Are you having fun? And what if the token price drops? Would you still play this game? The hype of the Metaverse and most of its products overlook the essential thing in this industry: having fun using the end product.
To add to that, most games coming out (or playable already) this year in crypto gaming are unfinished. Some can even be called nothing more than a proof of concept demo of what could be. Investors’ pressure in releasing unfinished products and the vast amount of money invested by VCs are all reasons to show games early to audiences in a state that would be unacceptable in the traditional gaming industry. This disconnect is troublesome, as it will push the traditional gaming audience further away from the potential that crypto gaming has.
Lastly, a big issue is the distribution of crypto games. While the biggest PC gaming platforms are against accepting crypto-driven games in their stores or are producing their titles first, the same goes for the mobile gaming market. Revenue models in the Google Play and App Store are unfit for the revenue model of crypto games. While we know that they are working on solutions, it still makes it harder to release a game to a bigger audience without having to build a standalone launcher for the game.
All these factors combined make it so that even one of the biggest NFT and crypto gaming titles, The Sandbox, averages around five daily active users interacting with the Dapp smart contracts. (At the time of writing) How can we tackle this for our industry? What needs changing?
Imagine this; you are a veteran FIFA player who buys the game every year and spends hours customizing your team in FUT and destroying other players on the pitch. Wouldn’t you just love it if you could trade in the credits you have made selling some of your players back to fiat? That’s what crypto gaming needs. Games that are close to a finished state, where the player would want to play the game with or without crypto integration. Entertainment needs to be the most critical driver for crypto gaming developers if they wish to rival -indie- titles in the traditional space. While there is a place for games that are being developed with profit first, it can’t be our whole market as the numbers show.
The games emerging in the crypto gaming space need to take a breath and look at the traditional gaming industry. Bring entertainment back as the primary driver for success, and we shall see users convert to crypto gaming in the masses.