Blockchain Gaming Industry Bounces Back with Emphasis on Quality and Transparency


In the electronically shimmering universe of blockchain gaming, evolution is the only constant. It was only three years ago that this new playground of digital delights exploded in popularity riding the wave of the crypto market’s strongest bull run ever. Driven by the upward surge of DeFi protocols and the revolutionary sparkle of new innovations like Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), blockchain games rapidly became the principal spur of growth in this period, managing to garner more than $4 billion in investment in 2021 alone.

Names like Axie Infinity were splashed across headlines worldwide, spinning tales of players raking in hundreds, even thousands of dollars each month. With NFTs, an essential game token, Axie saw values spiraling through the stratosphere – some even pushed the million-dollar mark! However, as enticing as it began, the mighty fall was equally swift. The once-roaring industry wobbled precariously as the crypto winter loomed large in early 2022 and an unfortunate hack into Axie Infinity’s servers sent a chilling shockwave through the space. A rapid downfall in NFT prices ensued, forcing players to retreat en masse from this potentially lucrative setup. It raised alarming questions about the long-term viability of “play-to-earn” gaming.

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Traditional gamers had always held reservations against blockchain games, and these issues fanned their negative sentiments. A survey conducted by Coda Labs among more than 7,000 traditional video game enthusiasts highlighted this purist’s scorn of this brave new world. Apart from the open hostility, the industry was grappling with internal challenges, the most notable being a glaring lack of quality gaming experiences. Developers seemed to prioritize the lure of monetization and token prices over the actual gaming experience they presented to the players. This approach threw up barriers for die-hard gamers who found the process of creating digital wallets and setting up a crypto exchange account to trade their tokens cumbersome.

To make matters worse, many of these games rolled out poorly structured token economic models, accusation of “Ponzinomics” gained ground. This form of gaming, heavily dependent on incoming new users pumping money into the game, resembled the infamous Ponzi schemes, a business model that is well known for its eventual collapse.

However, the beleaguered world of blockchain gaming saw a new light emerge from the ashes of these challenges. The concept of play-to-earn, bruised but not extinct, is quietly garnering renewed interest amongst potential players and investors, a testament to its resilience. The figures from DappRadar disclose that blockchain games managed to raise a combined $988 million within the initial three months of 2024, hinting at an industry resurgence.

While there still exists a sizeable gap in quality and appeal between the worlds of blockchain games and those of the traditional AAA titles such as Grand Theft Auto(GTA), Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, and Fortnite, indie developers in the blockchain gaming sphere are now focusing on producing higher quality games.

In their quest for improved estándar, developers are now emphasizing building more enjoyable games that resonate with specific niche audiences in the global gaming community. While they might not match the grandeur of renowned games like Starfield or The Legend of Zelda yet, these indie studios are relying more on the meritorious aspects of their games, such as the storyline, gameplay, graphics, and user interface, than on the tokenomics.

With almost 3.1 billion gamers worldwide to cater to, this shift in focus seems to be a wise one. By not making the ownership of NFTs compulsory for accessing the basic version of their games, these studios have ensured that game tokens get a backburner spot in their offerings. First, they are choosing to build loyal communities by making the gaming experience more fulfilling. The idea is to ensure that they have a strong player base before they dip their toes back into the in-game economy and tokenomics.

In a bid to regain its footing, the blockchain gaming industry has knit a shroud of transparency around its operations, curating business models that incorporate clarity and are dynámic. This new approach champions roadmaps, meticulously charted developmental journeys that act as solid proofs of a project’s viability and relevance. An eye on the future goals of the project creates reliability and reassures gamers and investors alike that they are betting on a worthy contender. In turn, the subsequent growth in player confidence aids in crafting a resilient, efficient model for the blockchain gaming industry.

Exemplifying this novel approach is the coveted space exploration and resource extraction blockchain game, LandRocker. The dynamic roadmap introduced by this game details all the initiatives in progress or planned by LandRocker’s game developers. Aligning with its roadmap, LandRocker updates each update, such as a new token listing or an improvement in the game’s visuals, enhancing the transparency of their operations. This transparency is steering LandRocker towards creating a strong, trust-built bond with its community, resulting in increased confidence amongst its varied stakeholders regarding the project’s long-term prospects.

Developers mapping their course through meticulously updated roadmaps ensure resource allocation, strategized and structured to achieve both their immediate and long-term goals. Also, there is a conscious move towards formulating sound tokenomics that put the game’s economy on a stable plinth and establish a mature in-game economy.

There is growing recognition that traditional gamers, the demographic that Web3 games need to impress, are less concerned with the blockchain aspect and more focused on the quality of gameplay, the storyline, the UX, and the general look and feel of the game. Following these observations, the blockchain gaming industry, already on a rising arc, is drawing more upon Web2 gaming talent. The resulting games are professional, cater to a proper focus, and offer better transparency, thus ensuring their relevance in an industry that will likely come to include in-game tokens and blockchain as afterthoughts.

With its increasing relevance and a steadfast drive towards evolution, the blockchain gaming industry is bouncing back from its initial hiccups, learning from its past and working on creating sustainable games that may eventually grow to become an integral part of the Web3 ecosystem.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.