Web3 gaming still has its benefits when done right with more focus on game quality, veteran developer Simon Davis tells Axios.
Why it matters: The NFT/Web3/Blockchain part of the gaming industry has invested billions of dollars but is surrounded by skeptics.
- For some, a lack of hits – and players – is evidence the sector is a dead end, offering technology that doesn’t make games inherently better.
- For others, including Davis – whose company Mighty Bear just announced a $10 million investment to develop a Web3 game – it’s just proof that it’s still early days.
What you say: “If we have the first truly world-class experience in Web3 with a low enough barrier to entry and low enough friction levels, we’ll be there,” Davis says of Axios.
- Memory: Web3 gaming is another way of saying games tied to cryptocurrencies. These games often include the ability to buy and sell in-game items, characters, and lots in the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
Some key issues Hold back Web3 games, says Davis.
- Many of these games assume that everyone wants or cares about crypto, so signing up for wallets and purchasing tokens are required before playing. Davis’ team’s game, a battle royale called Mighty Action Heroes, will give people access as a free standard game, with the ability to play with NFT-based gear as an additional option.
- NFT-based games tend to focus on their marketplace and attract players who think investing first, Davis observed. “It’s not healthy for me,” Davis says, emphasizing the need for players to have fun playing them.
Davis is confident that Web3 could change the way games are financed and even improve the developer-player relationship.
- Teams making standard free-to-play games have to keep releasing new content that they then force players to buy, he says. That “basically puts the studio at odds with the players.” (Davis has been working in the free-to-play space for years).
- Davis believes that in a Web3 game like his, a team can forego this model and sustain itself by taking a portion of the in-game item sales that players sell to each other. For his game, these items could be cosmetics or rewards otherwise earned by playing the battle royale seasons.
- Given years of experimentation with in-game marketplaces in games like Diablo, could that happen without crypto? Davis argues that tracking transactions and splitting profits is ideally done using Web 3 technology. “I could send a postcard instead of sending an email,” he said. “But it’s not necessarily the best tool for it.”
What’s next: A playable build of Mighty Action Heroes should be out by the end of the year.
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