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Is Crypto Gaming for Real This Cycle? What Are the Most Exciting Projects?

By Jinia04/24/2024


In 2023, the hype around play-to-earn games died down as more than 400,000 people in the tech industry lost their jobs. 

Reports show roughly 30% of blockchain-based games were discontinued or canceled. Examples include Blankos Block Party, which was shut down in December 2023. 

Although a considerable portion of these terminated ventures were created by novice developers, thereby increasing their susceptibility to failure, the decline in crypto-gaming highlights a lack of sustainable funding for most crypto-gaming projects, 

Most startups in the Web3 gaming sphere frequently rely on one avenue for sustained revenue: the secondary trading market for their non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Despite this backdrop of challenges, several experts and onlookers still believe in a bullish resurgence of crypto gaming in 2024. Here is a look at the current state of crypto gaming and what to expect moving forward.

What is the Current State of Crypto Gaming?

Blockchain games have been on the scene for quite some time. However, projects such as Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Decentraland caught everyone’s attention, resulting in the 2021 crypto gaming bull run.

Since then, the crypto gaming space has suffered several setbacks as developers struggle to break the ice with traditional gamers by introducing DeFi. 

According to Sebastien Borget, president of the Blockchain Game Alliance and the co-founder of The Sandbox, “There are many promising Web3 games in development, with many projects due to launch in 2024.”

Borget further highlights an industry report showing that nearly 80% of respondents in a recent survey indicated they were willing to continue working in the industry.

Promising projects include games such as Honeyland, a Web3 strategy, and resource management games built on Solana. The game prompts players to complete quests, activities such as hunting and harvesting, not to mention PvP (player vs player) raids for rewards. Built to run on its proprietary token (HXD), Honeyland allows players to stake HXD tokens for additional bonuses and incentives. 

According to expert onlookers, the success of crypto games, such as Honeyland, hinges on the project’s ability to showcase its features to a global audience.

NFTs Could Drive the Future of Crypto Gaming

The adoption of NFTs among traditional gaming outfits has been a long time coming, with many industry experts predicting that it could pave the way for the mass adoption of crypto gaming. 

Integrating NFTs into traditional gaming gives players actual ownership of in-game assets and opens up new avenues for monetization and player engagement.

In an interview, Robbie Young, who is the CEO of Animoca Brands, explained that “once you discover the benefits of tokenization in games, it’s hard to go back to the way you made things before.”

By leveraging NFTs, traditional gaming companies can tap into the growing interest in digital collectibles and decentralized ownership, thereby attracting a broader audience to the crypto gaming space. NFTs offer unique opportunities for players to trade, sell, and showcase their virtual assets both within and outside the game environment.

However, the implementation of NFTs into traditional gaming comes with challenges, as seen in Ubisoft Quartz’s failure to integrate NFTs in 2021. At the time, most gamers protested the move, citing it as another way to “nickel and dime players with cosmetics rather than focusing on making quality products with depth.” 

Despite the previous pushback from gamers, Ubisoft continues to push for the integration of NFTs into its ecosystem with a recent partnership with Immutable that is set to create a new gaming experience that will further unlock the potential of Web3.

What Are the Most Exciting Crypto Gaming Projects?

Given the sophisticated nature of blockchains and crypto gaming, more developers are likely to move away from talking about complicated blockchain terminologies in their games and focus on the fun narrative. 

Apart from Honeyland, other emerging crypto games that are changing the narrative in 2024 include Deadrop – a free-to-play NFT shooter game. 

Created by Dr. Disrespect, a popular steamer, the game has received good reviews so far. While the game is NFT-based, players can play it for free, and NFTs enable players to contribute to the development of the game as founders. Deadrop offers a series of NFT access passes for its early adopters, who get the ability to not only play but also vote on key design decisions that will shape the future of the game. 

Heroes of Mavia (a mobile strategy game on the Ethereum blockchain) is another example of a game that has had a hot start in 2024, boasting one of the biggest launches in the crypto gaming space. 

Built as a clone of the successful Clash of Clans, Heroes of Mavia has attracted millions of downloads on both Android and iOS devices with an airdrop that was released to 100,000 early adopters. Apart from implementing a native token called MAVIA, Heroes of Mavia also sold NFTs representing plots of land set to be integrated into the game.

There are also Pixels, an interoperable Web3 farming game that allows users to build virtual homes in a world of unlimited adventure. Touted as crypto’s hottest game, Pixels introduces crypto-native elements in a fun and exciting way, leading to its native token generating over $1 billion in trading volume in less than a day. Pixels gained thousands of daily users, especially after it had migrated from Polygon to Ronin.

Conclusion: The Future of Crypto Gaming

Despite the challenges faced by crypto gaming, 2024 holds promise for its resurgence. 

The integration of NFTs into traditional gaming is a crucial step towards mass adoption, but developers are required to focus more on the fun narrative than on the technical aspects of blockchain gaming. 

And while there have been challenges, industry leaders like Ubisoft are pushing forward with NFT integration, signaling a continued effort to unlock the potential of Web3 gaming. 

Exciting projects such as Honeyland, Deadrop, Heroes of Mavia, and Pixels demonstrate the evolving landscape of crypto gaming, focusing on fun gameplay experiences while leveraging blockchain technology.

Moving forward, the success of crypto gaming will depend on its ability to appeal to a broader audience, simplify complex blockchain concepts, and deliver engaging gameplay experiences.

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Jinia is a fintech writer focused on the cryptocurrency market and passionate about blockchain technology. With years of experience, she contributes to some of the most renowned crypto publications such as Cointelegraph, Coinmarketcap and others. She also has experience writing about the iGaming industry.

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