Web3 Game Adoption Hinges on Free-to-Play Approach, Says YGG Co-Founder
To increase adoption, in 2024, most successful Web3 games will move away from the play-to-earn (P2E) model to free-to-play, according to Gabby Dizon, the co-founder of Yield Guild Games.
Now we see games like Axie Infinity Classic, where players must buy a minimum of three non-fungible token (NFT) Axies to play. The new games will want to do away with technical and financial entry barriers.
The point is, Dizon argued, that in order for mass adoption to happen, games need to be free to play first.
He said that,
“There’s an evolution of the business model where the games are free to play, and then at some point along the way while you’re playing, then you’re able to mint an NFT or start earning tokens, but a lot of new games aren’t really starting with requiring NFT ownership at the start.”
And it’s not an unexpected pivot, it seems.
Dizon said that there is a wider effort among Web3 game developers to put gameplay first and tokenomics second.
Additionally, there is an issue of speculative Web3 gaming bubbles – and this pivot will be a part of the solution. Per Dizon, developers are focusing more on making games that players will continue playing, reinvesting money in the game, thus preventing “the in-game economy from becoming a cash-generating machine.”
‘It’s Going To Get Really Interesting’
There are plenty more developments on the horizon, Dizon said – adding that things are “going to get really interesting.”
The last two years have been unfavorable to blockchain gaming. The crypto market was in a freezing winter for quite a while. Meanwhile, values associated with Axie Infinity dropped in 2021.
In 2022, gamers continued leaving the space, citing the above-mentioned issues: too much financialization, too complicated crypto technology, and not enough fun.
However, the success of Axie Infinity made plenty of developers work on making their own games. They got funding in late 2021, Dizon said, so it wasn’t realistic to see them make anything for another two or three years.
Arguably, these teams will make better games by fixing the glaring issues.
“Expect to see lots of really high-quality games, with high-quality teams behind them, as well as new experiments in tokenomics and earning models.”
And that’s not all. Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to games.
Developers will use the ERC-6551 token standard to introduce AI into blockchain-based gaming, Dizons said.
This, he argued, will allow gamers to delegate certain tasks to the AI while they enjoy the entertaining side of the game, adding:
“I think it’s going to be the start of a new game genre of you interacting with AI and not having to play the game all day. You set parameters for the AI and just let it do things in the game world.”