Presented by AppsFlyer
Web3 games offer brand new opportunities for developers, and unique challenges. In this VB On-Demand event, get an insider look at the Web3 gaming world, from what Web3 actually means and how it works, to growth opportunities, potential hurdles and more.
With blockchain and the idea of asset ownership baked into its DNA, Web3 is opening up a profound new layer of player engagement and developer opportunity. Play-to-earn becomes another gaming style, when users factor in the potential profitability of their playing time. Purchasable assets, like a more powerful weapon or clothing for an avatar, become so much more important to the player, when they actually belong to them instead of the developer. And all of that becomes another revenue stream for the game developers themselves, says Alex Yip, senior solutions architect at AppsFlyer.
However, there’s a learning curve — the complexity of the technology itself, the new ownership paradigm and the impact on the player-developer relationship all pose challenges for developers starting to tackle this Web3 space.
“The growth opportunities make Web3 an enticing new market,” Yip says. “Developers solving these challenges are now becoming leaders in the space, positioning themselves at the head of the pack.”
Opportunities for developers now
One of the most interesting parts of Web3 is the additional layer of ownership and identity, Yip says — the players who are seizing the chance to design how they present themselves in the world. For example, the enormous number of players in web2 games who are designing their weapons and dressing up their avatars to signal their identity.
“That level of ownership, with users being able to buy and sell, is going to introduce a compelling collectible side of the business,” Yip says. “And it’s a brand new revenue stream for developers, because every single time these NFTs change hands, the developers are getting a cut.”
Instead of selling assets and getting a flat fee, suddenly these assets become an ongoing source of royalties. Investors see this as an opportunity for them to completely transform the monetization model, Yip says. There’s a lot of opportunity to rethink how these revenue streams and NFTs can change how developers turn a profit.
The other aspect is the transparency that decentralized blockchain brings, making transactions visible. Players can monitor the economy, watch how the community is engaging and see how the game is developing through its transactions.
“People within the community get the sense that they own a portion of the game, and that level of engagement is totally unique,” he says.
The challenges behind Web3 experiences
Web3 technology is new enough that best practices are still being formulated, as developers leap into the breach, learning new coding languages and a whole new economic model, as well as looking for ways to bridge the gap between web2 and Web3 projects.
Some developers are going down the app and web browser route, experimenting with how and where to incorporate tokenomics. It is an entirely new and complex facet of game development, both in terms of managing players and player behavior, and wrestling with the technology side.
In play-to-earn games where users are looking for ways to profit, it’s inevitable that some users will be looking for ways to game the game. The mechanisms behind the game are crucial to managing this factor, and are also incredibly challenging. If you generate coins, are they inflationary or deflationary, and how does generating new coins impact the market? Are your NFTs and coins interoperable across different games and different protocols?
“There are so many layers to factor in, and it’s a whole new world of finance and commerce that has to be taken into consideration,” Yip says.
User acquisition in Web3
Community building has become an essential initial step in user acquisition for Web3 games, drumming up interest sometimes far before a single line of code has been committed on the developer side.
“Some of the new Web3 projects that have really taken off have started off on social media,” he says. “And then your users have many different tactics to grow these communities without you spending a dollar to start.”
But it’s not just chats between excited players. Many of these potential players come in with the expectation that they’ll have a voice in the development of the project. Giving your audience a sense of ownership right out of the gate is a powerful way to turn first adopters into evangelists, who go out into the world and promote the new opportunity.
These users will do ‘raids,’ or a group blasting game information across social media platforms. They’ll help design new memes and new GIFs to build awareness. They’ll offer up their skills, such as translation of promotional material in order to grow international awareness, and more.
There are also tactics like air drops, or finding the wallet addresses of potential players and dropping in free assets to get them to check out your game, and celebrity influencers who are excited about the project and build awareness.
Getting Web3 games right
Digging into the nitty gritty of Web3 — the tokenomics and the blockchain of it all — is essential for success in this brand new world, but some things never change: you need to build a good game.
“Ultimately we’re talking about games here,” Yip says. “Focus on the gaming and user experience. You want users to come in because they want to play this game, not because they’re just accruing tokens. A token dispenser has a much shorter shelf life than a truly engaging game.”
- What Web3 is, and how Web3 games work
- How to tap into new growth opportunities and solutions
- Best practices for connecting with and onboarding users
- Navigating the fragmented platform landscape
- Why measurement and attribution are critical right from the start
- Philip Devine, CEO, CryptoBlades
- Justin Vogel, Co-founder, Safary
- John Liu, Head of Product, AWS Web3 / Blockchain
- Alex Yip, Senior Solutions Architect, AppsFlyer
- Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat (moderator)