What it takes for NFT Games to go mainstream in 2023 

By Joe Pan

The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the gaming industry has created new opportunities for players to own and control their in-game assets, but for blockchain games to truly compete with traditional web2 games, there are several key steps that need to be taken. 

2023 is shaping up to be a big year for blockchain gaming, but for it to become mainstream, the industry needs to focus on game improvements, major traditional gaming studio adoption, major gaming franchise adoption, ease of use and improved user experience, play-to-earn mechanics, player ownership of assets, a variety of game releases, reduced NFT costs for players, education for players and improved onboarding and accessibility for scholars. 

Based on the latest survey by Blockchain Gaming Alliance (BGA), there are 10 key steps that the blockchain gaming industry needs to take in order to truly compete with web2 games and become mainstream.

  1. Game Improvements: Developers need to continue to improve the gameplay and overall experience of blockchain games to make them more engaging and immersive.
  2. Major Traditional Gaming Studio Adoption: More traditional gaming studios need to explore blockchain technology and integrate it into their games.
  3. Major Gaming Franchise Adoption: More major gaming franchises need to adopt blockchain technology to bring well-known characters and worlds to the blockchain gaming space.
  4. Ease of Use or Improved UX: Developers need to make blockchain games more user-friendly and accessible to a wider audience.
  5. Play-To-Earn: Players need to be able to earn cryptocurrency and other rewards by playing blockchain games, creating a new revenue stream for gamers.
  6. Player Ownership of Assets: NFTs allow players to truly own and control their in-game assets, creating new opportunities for players to monetize their gaming experience.
  7. Variety of Game Releases: Developers need to create a wide variety of games, from collectible card games to first-person shooters, to offer something for every type of gamer.
  8. Reduced NFT Costs To Start Playing: The cost of buying and owning NFTs needs to decrease to make it more accessible for players to start playing and collecting NFTs.
  9. Education For Players: More resources and educational materials need to be made available to help players understand and navigate the blockchain gaming space.
  10. Improved Onboarding and Accessibility for Scholars

Here is what the experts say:

Eric Hansel of soon-to-be-launched Scubaverse.xyz, says: ”I mostly agree I would add that play to earn will need another action component to work for the long term. The Scubaverse focuses on education around Life Below Water. Our game will be freemium to reduce the barrier of entry and players will be able to use the NFTs that they won as a source of recurring revenue through a rental component.”

From Boyd Cohen, Ph.D.  CEO Iomob, producer of WheelCoin and Move2Earn, said that first of all we need to recognize we are in a deep bear market in crypto and beyond. This has several repercussions for NFT-based games. 

“To onboard normies in 2023, toning down the crypto language even NFT versus digital collectibles or other terminology for in-game assets may be useful. As discussed in the survey, clearly improved UX/UI for onboarding users and for storing digital assets from the game are critical especially for normies,” he said.

He further says that “Moving forward, more NFT games would benefit by finding IRL (in real life) benefits of the in-game assets like utility for the NFTs or reward tokens earned in the game.

“In the case of WheelCoin, a Move2Earn app that rewards users with WHL for choosing green mobility in their daily life activity, IRL utility is a priority. We just launched the ability for WheelCoin users to burn their WHL inside the game environment to obtain discounts on green mobility services such as on-demand scooters, EV taxis, subscriptions to e-bikes and EV cars, etc, he added.

According to Cohen, the crypto market conditions make relying on “up only” tokens and NFT values to drive user retention and growth very risky in 2023. Thus providing this IRL utility to in-game assets helps mitigate the speculative bubbles from NFT games that can lead to Ponzi hype cycles and subsequent crashes

He also believes that we have to make it social.  “I believe we will see growing use of tools to help gamers swap in-game assets, compete with each other, create their own sub leader boards amongst communities (e.g. by city, by sports fandom, etc.),” he said.

Joe Pan is contributing editor at NFTMetta.com.

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