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Industry Issues and Solutions
According to the 2021 annual report by the Blockchain Game Alliance, the crypto game industry generated $2.3 billion in its 3rd quarter revenue. However, that is only a fraction of the $180+ billion generated by the overall gaming market that year.
So the question that begs to be answered is:
Why are players not jumping at the chance to earn money while playing a game?
The answer is that game developers creating blockchain games, by and large, do not understand that developers are not typical gamers. Put another way, highly technical people creating games do so under the assumption that everyone is as technically proficient as they are. The reality is different. This brings us to our first barrier, complexity.
Imagine for a moment that you are a typical player. You heard about a game where you can earn money just by playing, and you want to give it a try. Your friend directs you to the website, where you eagerly download and launch the game. As soon as you register, you are asked to download and set up your Metamask - or other - wallet. For your average gamer, it is where questions start being asked, such as:
- What on earth is a crypto wallet?
- Should I go through the effort to download and install Metamask?
- Is Metamask safe to put on my device?
- What if I don’t like the game and it is all just a waste of time?
As any game developer knows, the biggest game industry struggle is our churn rate. Just getting a player to install a game is a challenge, but now you have just created new challenges which will further erode your possible player base.
Games in our ecosystem will never ask a player to install Metamask up front. A player will need to install Metamask if they wish to convert in-game currency into GMG or vice versa, but that does not happen when they first start playing, so why disrupt the initial experience?
Instead, we will secure their account through traditional means and walk them through a wallet integration when they are looking to bring money in or take money out. It is at that point that they have motivation to do so and are eager to learn (after all, real money is now involved).
Finding a game to play is not a big challenge for gamers. Simply open up the Apple App Store or Google Play and search for the type of game you are looking for. Desktop gamers can go to Steam or one of their favorite download services to likewise easily find a new game.
Blockchain based games have been blocked by Steam and primarily evolved as web based games. It has only been recently that a few have started to move to more traditional distribution.
Games in our ecosystem will be available ubiquitously. The first game, Darklin Wars, will be initially available on iOS, Android, and as a downloadable desktop application. All versions will be available from standard, well known services such as the Apple App Store and Google Play.
A major challenge to adoption of blockchain based games is the requirement that the majority of them have - to make an initial purchase or investment in order to start playing. The most well known game in the space, Axie Infinity, requires that you first purchase a team of three “Axies”, which cost around $100 as of this writing for ‘floor’ (or very basic) Axies.
So players are immediately confronted with a decision.
Do they want to put money into a game that they have not yet played simply to determine if it is one that they will enjoy? Some will decide to do so, as evidenced by Axie’s 8+ million player base. However, the majority will not. It remains a significant barrier to entry.
Games in our ecosystem are free to play, allowing players to download, install, and play without a financial risk. The games are monetized in a variety of ways inside the games, but without making spending a requirement.
Over the last twenty years gaming has evolved dramatically in terms of quality and player experience. Likewise the expectations of gamers have increased exponentially as well. From graphics to game design, players expect a level of sophistication in their experience.
Many of the current blockchain based games fall very flat in this regard with many of the games focusing more on the prospect of making money and less on the actual gameplay itself. This creates a gambling aspect to the gaming which is at odds with a truly fun, immersive experience.
At PLAYN we are first and foremost seeking to create games that are fun and contain fresh, innovative gameplay. If a game is not great, the P2E dynamics within it are pointless as players will not continue to play.
We want a reputation as an ecosystem of fun to play games that just happen to be play to earn with players coming back repeatedly to see what is new and staying within our ecosystem for their gameplay experiences.