By closely examining the blockchain market and analyzing hundreds of blockchain statistics, I’ve identified key blockchain gaming trends for 2023.
Here’s what you need to know!
1. Blockchain Gaming Is Driving Crypto and NFT Adoption
Crypto still hasn’t reached mass adoption. The same goes for NFTs and web3 gaming. However, it’s safe to say they will move closer to that goal this year and we’ll probably see more and more people, as well as companies, accept it. Some even predict mass adoption will be reached by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.
What’s certain is that, throughout 2023, blockchain gaming will remain at the core of crypto and NFT adoption.
The fact that gaming is the gateway to the crypto space for most people is unsurprising. Gaming is the favorite pastime of millions of people and has historically been a good way to introduce new ideas, as gamers are always on the lookout for new and exciting games and concepts to try.
Currently, some of the most popular blockchain games include Alien Worlds, Splinterlands, Farmers World, Axie Infinity, and Upland. All of them are play-to-earn games that feature NFTs and teach players the basics of trading and how crypto works.
2. High-Quality AAA Games Are Coming to the Market
The number of blockchain games on the market is still very low, especially when compared to mobile or PC games. According to DappRadar, there are about 2,000 games using blockchain technology.
Furthermore, even some of the top play-to-earn games are not games in the traditional sense of that word, as they’re more focused on the earning aspect and lack any real playability. That’s primarily the result of non-gaming companies or teams without much gaming experience creating them.
However, that’s starting to change. Blockchain games that are fun to play and not just about earning have started to emerge and we expect to see more of them throughout 2023.
Not only that, but we see more AAA-type games introduced to the GameFi market. For example, games such as Illuvium, Guild of Guardians, Sidus Heroes, and Big Time, promise high-quality blockchain gaming experiences that can rival those of traditional PC, console, and mobile games.
These second-generation blockchain games are a sign that the blockchain gaming market is evolving and becoming more mature. Furthermore, high-quality games are essential for accelerating the growth of the blockchain gaming market by attracting more players and investors.
That makes AAA games one of the biggest blockchain gaming trends in 2023.
3. More Use Cases for NFTs in Blockchain Games
Skeptics deem NFTs nothing more than pretty pictures with no real utility. 2023 is set to be the year that proves them wrong, as it becomes clearer that NFTs can have use cases beyond art, both in virtual and real life.
Most importantly, NFTs have a major role in blockchain games and are an essential part of play-to-earn economies. Not to mention that many blockchain games start as an NFT project. So it’s no wonder blockchain games are often also called NFT games.
In such games, game characters and game items such as weapons and skins come in the form of NFTs players can trade on marketplaces. That provides a basis for the game’s economy and creates the potential for the game to become profitable to both the developers and players. Additionally, NFTs can be used to get players access to exclusive content, airdrops, and even real-life merch.
Beyond that, NFTs also have many use cases in decentralized autonomous organizations. This brings me to the next big blockchain gaming trend.
4. The Rise of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
Another one of the major blockchain gaming trends is the implementation of decentralized autonomous organizations in games. DAOs are not a new concept, but such organizations have experienced a resurgence during the blockchain gaming revolution and seem to be essential in the evolution of web3 games.
Put simply, a DAO is a type of structure without a central authority that makes all decisions. Furthermore, a DAO exists independently and can be built on blockchains. Its members, often referred to as token holders or investors, participate in the management and decision-making processes and have a common goal.
By implementing such organizations in play-to-earn games, players get empowered to contribute ideas, invest in projects they like, and possibly even take part in game development.
That creates a major shift.
It allows gamers to stop being mere consumers at the mercy of big game companies and become active members of the community who have the power to influence important decisions.
Many popular P2E games have already implemented this concept, more notably, Alien Worlds, and more will follow throughout 2023.
It’s important to remember that a strong community is at the core of each DAO. This brings me to the next significant blockchain gaming trend for 2023.
5. Communities Are at the Core of Blockchain Gaming
As we’ve closely followed the development of the blockchain gaming market, one major trend emerged in the last couple of years, and in 2023, it’s more important than ever.
I’m talking about communities, and more specifically, community-building in blockchain games.
By analyzing major blockchain games like Axie Infinity or Alien Worlds, it’s clear that the people who play, support, and invest in these projects are the key to their success. They’re the ones who help blockchain and NFT projects develop and become popular by spreading the word about the game and staying loyal throughout the journey.
Because of that, most blockchain game marketing revolves around community-building, i.e., utilizing various strategies to bring people together and work towards a shared goal.
Just like in the year before, blockchain games that come out on top in 2023 will be those with the strongest and most loyal communities.
6. Virtual Real Estate Is Booming
Here’s what’s cool about blockchain games.
Not only can players own game characters and various game items in the form of NFTs, but some games allow them to become land owners. That led to a virtual real estate boom in 2022 and created a high demand for land in blockchain and metaverse games.
Most importantly, virtual real estate challenged our notion of property ownership and value, as certain virtual land plots became so valuable they were sold for millions of US dollars.
According to Vantage Market Research, the virtual real estate market will continue to grow and reach a $5.95 billion valuation by 2028. Its growth will be supported by development in other areas such as metaverse games, VR, and AR technology.
It’s important to note that virtual land can have many use cases beyond just owning a piece of land one can sell for a profit or stake tokenized plots to earn a passive income. For example, to allow landowners to build on their land, gather resources, battle on it, decorate it, etc. In other words, to actually play on it, instead of it being just another token.
Axie Infinity has achieved that by launching Homeland – a long-awaited land gameplay experience. Players can build their Homeland by creating a settlement and gathering resources.
7. Marketing Will Be the Catalyst for Metaverse Development and Adoption
While we’re still not there in terms of the metaverse, a hypothetical immersive network of interoperable virtual reality worlds, there are many metaverse games and platforms out there. Most of them are based on blockchain technology.
Decentraland and The Sandbox were two of the most hyped-up metaverses during the last few years. However, their popularity waned and they currently sit at about 6k and 8k monthly UAW respectively. (Source: DappRadar) That shows they’ve been heavily influenced by various macroeconomic factors and the crypto winter.
However, there’s still hope for metaverse games as the market bounces back. The main driver of metaverse development will surely be marketing and advertising.
For brands, the metaverse is a new and important channel for marketing because it allows them to connect with more customers interactively as well as create an immersive representation of their brand.
Many major brands are already utilizing the metaverse advertising space. For example, giants like Nike, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Gucci, and Adidas have already embraced metaverse game marketing. We expect many more will follow.
Blockchain Gaming Trends: A Summary
The blockchain gaming market had many ups and downs. That’s normal, especially for a young market.
Despite skeptics calling it a fad or a scam, every aspect of it keeps evolving and maturing. New NFT use cases, DAOs, virtual real estate, and metaverse marketing will shape its future, which looks bright!
What do you think are the top blockchain gaming trends in 2023? Let me know in the comments!