Mobile gaming apps step into the Web3 realm
Despite fresh crypto downfalls, such as that of FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange or crypto lending platform Celcius, investment and development of Web3 technology is still going strong—partly because this technology goes well beyond crypto, as we’ll dive into below. Investors have put over US$3.4 billion into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain gaming companies this year alone. Ignoring pressure from the crypto winter, the blockchain gaming sector is soaring, earning 40% of all financing rounds of private gaming companies.
Although the complexity of Web3 remains high and development is still relatively uncharted, the technology is gaining traction, particularly in the gaming industry. As mobile gaming apps will account for 53% of the global gaming market’s revenue by the end of 2022, some are venturing into the Web3 ecosystem. We investigate why Web3 sparks interest in the gaming industry and the latest technological developments related to mobile gaming apps.
Web3 piques game developers’ interest
Web3 technologies such as blockchain and NFT are suddenly receiving more attention from developers, who appear to be using the crypto bear market as an opportunity to develop the Web3 infrastructure. A recent report from the Web3 developer platform Alchemy revealed that developer activity has increased in the space based on the growing number of decentralized apps (dApps) on the market, more smart contracts being stored on blockchains, and an increase in the downloads of crypto software developer (SDK) libraries.
Often, developers are intrigued by the technological features Web3 offers, which are either non-existent or opaque at best in the current Web 2.0 ecosystem. Some of these features include blockchains, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cryptocurrencies, NFTs, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). Developers know that these features can deliver more immersive and customized gaming experiences.
What will Web3 bring to the table for gaming?
The increased activity of developers in Web3 likely revolves around the following capabilities that the technology will add to the world of digital gaming:
Decentralization: Web3 removes dependence on centralized services, which are currently needed on Web 2.0 to create or integrate a vast number of services. Being freed from the large businesses that provide these services will save gaming app developers time and money.
Historical transparency: As Web3 brings decentralization, games can be hosted on-chain. This means the game’s history cannot be deleted or switched off, and everything is recorded on blockchains, providing complete transparency of a game’s history. Consequently, players can see how their data is used and by whom, providing greater transparency.
Player ownership: Player centricity is a fundamental aspect of Web3 gaming, with the goal of rewarding players according to the value they’ve brought to the game. In Web3 gaming, players own their digital assets and can monetize them via smart contracts without intermediaries like Google or Apple. Note: Smart contracts are programs dictated by a set of encoded rules that are automatically employed when pinged by a user on the blockchain. Once a smart contract is deployed, it cannot be modified and is, therefore, protected from bad actors.
DAO governance: Blockchain games let players dictate a game’s roadmap, vote on investments, and more. This is because gaming decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) act as gaming platforms built on open-source code, giving ownership of a game to game developers, traders and investors, and players rather than a single gaming operator or an administrator.
Interoperability: Blockchain interoperability allows value and data to be transferred across different networks, letting blockchains communicate with other blockchains. For all industries, interoperability is predicted to enable multi-token wallet systems and multi-token transactions in apps. More specific to gaming, this capability will empower players to have transferable avatars, which they can take with them across metaverses, also known as virtual worlds, and games.
Recent Web3 advances in mobile app gaming
Currently, only 12% of Web3 live games are available as mobile gaming apps. However, most of the leading blockchain games have released versions for mobile phones, and we anticipate many more brands will launch mobile versions of their games. Additionally, based on trends like those listed below, we believe that the Web3 gaming sector will continue to expand.
Xiro App strives to lower Web3 barrier to entry
Earlier this month, the Web3 and metaverse gaming platform Xiroverse announced the launch of its Xiro App, which had an early access waitlist of over 250,000 users. The London-based company aims to make Web3 more accessible to users, removing initial upfront costs and complexities. Users of the Xiro App will not need to learn new technology or have previous knowledge of Web3. Xiroverse is currently working with developers and gaming studios to share blockchain technology to further its Web3 platform. It hopes to enroll millions of players into Web3 and the metaverse with its Xiro App.
Decentralized gaming IDs become a reality in this partnership
Harnessing the power of interoperability, Web3 game development and R&D studio Laguna Games is collaborating with Lens Protocol, a Web3 social graph, to give gamers a new, decentralized gaming ID that they can use across multiple games. Laguna Games owns Crypto Unicorns, a digital farming and pet-collecting web and mobile game built on the Polygon blockchain. Lens Protocol offers integration with the Crypto Unicorns avatar system, allowing players to move securely and easily between platforms with a single digital identity.
Xternity pushes for Web3 adoption among game developers
The Israeli startup Xternity shared this month it had raised US$4.5 million in pre-seed funding to launch the beta version of its no-code platform. Xternity operates as a meta layer that can be added to any game, enabling traditional game developers to add embedded crypto wallets, NFT, and other blockchain-related integrations to their games. Xternity has a vision to empower developers to onboard their Web 2.0 games to Web3 with secure and scalable infrastructure.
Web3 investment continues worldwide
Web3 is slowly but surely becoming a worldwide reality. According to a report by DappRadar, Web3-based games and metaverse projects across the globe have raised US$748 million since August 1, 2022. Similarly, Japanese firms have established a Web3 consortium to promote Web3 education and adoption, and Indian venture capital firms have pledged US$150 million over the next three years to support Indian Web3 startups.
Team Web3 or not, stay up-to-date
Amidst the ups and downs of the crypto market, some are hesitant to embrace Web3 technology due to its inherent connection to blockchain. Proponents of Web3 believe it will eventually break up the concentration of power from today’s tech giants and empower individuals to profit from their hard work. Critics say the technology is at risk of failure and still quite difficult to use. The path forward for Web3 is not written in stone, but given the increased movement in the industry this year, we expect to hear a great deal more on Web3 and gaming in 2023.
Whether or not your gaming app has Web3 on its product roadmap, it’s vital to pay attention to industry trends, particularly those on a more granular level. We recommend downloading our Mobile app trends 2022 report for insights on gaming apps, covering install growth, session trends, user patterns, and key retention metrics. If you’d like to learn how Adjust can help you measure attribution for Web3 mobile gaming apps, schedule a demo with one of our experts now.