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Despite a drop in activity, blockchain gaming projects bring in $233 billion by 2023 - Technext

Gaming in the blockchain space, also known as GameFi has reportedly taken a thorough beating in 2023 due to a lack of interest and traction on the part of enthusiasts.

However, a new DappRadar report has shown that despite this decline in popularity, $2.3 billion has been invested in blockchain gaming projects in 2023.

Blockchain games, also known as play-to-earn games, leverage blockchain infrastructure and crypto tokens to enable new gaming dynamics where users have a real incentive to play. Blockchain games aim to create a more player-centric gaming ecosystem where players own their in-game assets and can earn incentives for spending time playing games.  

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Specifically, in-game tokens and assets are stored on the blockchain as NFTs, meaning players fully control these assets within the game and outside of it and these assets can even be traded on NFT marketplaces. 

Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity are some of the most successful play-to-earn and NFT games that have enabled players to generate income.

More on the DappRadar report on blockchain gaming

The report says blockchain gaming projects have seen $2.3 billion in investments in 2023. According to the data, the first quarter of 2023 netted $739 million in investments, while the second and third quarters saw $973 million and $600 million, respectively. 

This shows that the blockchain gaming sector attracted a total of $2.3 billion in investments in the first three quarters of 2023 despite crypto market prices seemingly being in a bearish mood all year. 

Despite sentiments that the Metaverse space is dead, $213 million went to the development of metaverse-related games and technology in the third quarter of 2023. Per DappRadar, rest of the investments seen in the quarter went to Web3 gaming infrastructure and investment firms. 

To the specifics, blockchain gaming activity in Q3 2023 had an average of 786,766 daily Unique Active Wallets, an increase of 12% from the previous quarter. Alien Worlds sustains its position as Q3 2023’s most-played Web3 game in terms of wallets interacting with the blockchain, commanding over 60% of WAX’s activity. 

Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained lead in Web3 gaming transaction volume, with a volume of $90 million and $55 million, respectively. Virtual worlds dapps hit an all-time trading volume this quarter totaling $13 million with 28,000 land sales.

DappRader report on blockchain gaming

On the flip side. Although substantial investments were made into the sector this year, the amount invested into Web3 gaming this year is much lower than in 2022.  The DappRadar report highlights that the amount invested this year is only “30% of last year’s fundraising activity.”

Comparatively, the third quarter of 2022 drew $1.2 billion in investments in blockchain gaming, but the third quarter of 2023 recorded about 50% less, marking a significant decline in investment in the space..

What could be learned from this?

Investments in the space show that stakeholders still recognize the potential in the blockchain gaming industry. With investments flowing into the sector reaching $600 million this quarter and cumulatively $2.3 billion for the year, it’s evident that stakeholders see substantial potential in the space. 

According to Ukeme Okuku, CEO of Gamic Guild, a Nigerian gaming and Web3 community, despite the fact that the GameFi ecosystem has experienced challenges this year, it’s essential to understand that every nascent industry undergoes cycles of growth, consolidation, and maturation.

The decline in investment can be attributed to a myriad of factors, including the FTX debacle, regulatory uncertainties, Macro and perhaps overhyped expectations. The continued investment, even at a reduced rate, underscores our industry’s potential.”

According to Ukeme, stakeholders understand that blockchain gaming is not just a trend but a transformative shift in how gaming, ownership, and digital assets are perceived. And with the rise of SocialFi, blockchain games would have to emphasize community and user experience.

Focusing on community building has helped us onboard a new wave of gamers from Africa to Web3.I believe that challenges are present, but the future of blockchain gaming remains optimistic.”

Ukeme Okuku, Cofounder & CEO of Gamic Guild

For instance, the Metaverse (Virtual World) might have experienced a dip in trading volume, but with projects receiving significant investment, it has been demonstrated that the concept still has hope.

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However, the fact that there is a 50% decline in investment shows how external market forces have taken a toll on the blockchain gaming ecosystem.

Going forward, there are now other emerging markets like social decentralized apps (Friend.tech, Tipcoin.eth and others) that are gaining momentum. What this means is that the gaming community might face challenges in user engagement and customer retention.

With this, it is important that blockchain gaming projects consider these factors while coming up with adaptability strategies in the ever-dynamic market.


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