Blockchain Wars: Gaming Edition

Ecosystem Reviews
May 18, 2024
Gaming

If you’ve been keeping track of the gaming ecosystem, you’d know that several projects have been switching boats. The migration trend fast-tracked in 2023, and around 65 blockchain games shifted networks in just the first three quarters last year. In contrast, in the whole of 2022, the number registered was only 48.

Most games continue to use non-gaming centric L1 mainnets, but of late, projects have been moving towards scaling networks and side chains. 60% of the games that bid adieu to a L1 network shifted to a L2 scaling network. Polygon, Immutable, Arbitrum and Avalanche were the top networks where projects migrated.

Polygon

Scalable, Fast, Cheap, and Ethereum-compatibility would probably be a few phrases that echo in your head as soon as you hear Polygon and all these factors call the shots when it comes to gaming. Polygon seemed to be quite pumped about gaming during the last bull run. In 2021, it put to sea Polygon Studios - an exclusive arm from blockchain gaming and the NFT ecosystem. However, during the macro shakedown and industry-wide layoffs, Polygon abandoned the studio under the pretense of corporate restructuring.

Blocmates Ape Logo
Meal Deal

Professional degens only!

Meal Deal Memberships are available now. Join us to get access.

Get Digesting

If you’ve been keeping track of the gaming ecosystem, you’d know that several projects have been switching boats. The migration trend fast-tracked in 2023, and around 65 blockchain games shifted networks in just the first three quarters last year. In contrast, in the whole of 2022, the number registered was only 48.

Most games continue to use non-gaming centric L1 mainnets, but of late, projects have been moving towards scaling networks and side chains. 60% of the games that bid adieu to a L1 network shifted to a L2 scaling network. Polygon, Immutable, Arbitrum and Avalanche were the top networks where projects migrated.

Polygon

Scalable, Fast, Cheap, and Ethereum-compatibility would probably be a few phrases that echo in your head as soon as you hear Polygon and all these factors call the shots when it comes to gaming. Polygon seemed to be quite pumped about gaming during the last bull run. In 2021, it put to sea Polygon Studios - an exclusive arm from blockchain gaming and the NFT ecosystem. However, during the macro shakedown and industry-wide layoffs, Polygon abandoned the studio under the pretense of corporate restructuring.

Games on the ecosystem, however, weren’t significantly impacted, and the blockchain continues to host several prominent titles from the space even today. Polygon has a set of in-house tools for users and devs:

  • Polygon ID is a private ID that helps with on-chain dApp and game verifications
  • Polygon Edge is a modular framework that assists devs in creating side chains for new games

Alright, but what’s their significance? In the gaming arena, bots frequently engage with games, especially the P2E (Play-to-Earn) ones. In fact, an analysis by Jugger - a Web3 bot prevention company - pointed out that 40% of Web3 players are bots, blurring the spirit of being fair and square. Bots disturb the playing field for casual players and strip them of their rewards. So, to make the Web3 gaming field leveled for all, on-chain account verification is necessary and that’s where Polygon ID plays its part.

Based on ZK (Zero-Knowledge) proofs, the Polygon ID makes users reveal their identity privately => No single user can operate multiple accounts or take part in illegal activities in a game environment.

Every game’s life and soul is different from the other and they are all built in different ways. So, to support customization, Polygon’s Edge allows builders to create EVM-compatible blockchains dedicated to single applications within its ecosystem.

Polygon has been around in the space for quite some time and has forged partnerships with names like DraftKings, Facebook and Stripe from the Web 2.0 space. It has also worked with devs from Animoca, Decentraland, The Sandbox, MetaMask, OpenSea and Forte from the Web3 arena. Polygon’s experience surely comes in handy, and despite the winding up of studios, the hype seems to be bubbling. Butttt…

Polygon was cool when it launched. It brought along with it so many solutions to problems that the industry - especially the Ethereum blockchain - was facing. Now, the innovation spark seems to have dimmed and execs have been critical about other tech solutions that have the potential to be groundbreaking. Mark Boiron, for instance, recently claimed that L3 are doing nothing but stealing away the thunder and value from Ethereum and L2s and are being inconsistent with the scaling mission.

L3 networks are quite convenient when it comes to gaming {as we will see in subsequent sections}. Right from offering low costs on native bridging, to enhancing transactional throughput, helping games scale and customize per their whims and fancies, L3s seem to be solidifying the right gaps, despite still being in their nascent stage.

Polygon games

Find Satoshi Labs’ Gas Hero is a game that’s been on my radar since its launch in January this year - ‘twas pretty well received by the community. In the first month alone, the aggregate NFT trading volume helped Gas Hero generate more than $90 million, with its top collection - Gas Hero Common Hero - single-handedly scooping in more than $40.5 million. There are 6 different NFT collections at the moment associated with this game. The gameplay focuses on the battle for name, fame and wealth. Its storyline is pretty immersive and you can play the game via the web version on PCs and on mobile phones.

Gas Hero Common Hero NFT stats | Source: CryptoSlam

Feb and March’s numbers were fairly fizzled out, with only $4 million and $1 million coming in via Common Hero sales. At the same time, even the active owners of this collection slashed down by more than half from 10.9k to 5.3k during the same period.

The bang-on start of the game does show that users within the Polygon ecosystem have the appetite for blockchain gaming, but what games - in general - need to really work on is the retention aspect because of late, we have new top games doing the rounds every week.

Sunflower Land, PlanetIX, and Anichess are a few other gripping games on Polygon. Their gameplay revolves around gathering resources to farm, bringing back life into a fallen planet in a sci-fi themed metaverse, and playing chess with the help of “magic spells” respectively.  

Immutable

The Immutable ecosystem revolves around the 2 chain architecture: Immutable X and Immutable zkEVM - both of which are L2s and support gaming mechanics, but the only difference lies in their smart contract supporting architecture. While the zkEVM chain does foster custom smart contracts, X doesn’t.

Fortes:

  • Unlike Polygon, Immutable is an inch wide, mile deep - it focuses purely on Web3 gaming
  • From the architecture front, it scales via batching & zk proofs
  • It offers zero gas fee for users => Eliminates unnecessary friction in on-boarding; Courtesy of StarkWare’s zk rollup tech
  • REST API endpoints => transactions are synonymous to API calls => less time to engage with a protocol vs. a smart contract => games & NFT marketplaces could be launched quicker
  • Immutable zkEVM offers native compatibility to EVMs => easy for devs to port from other EVM chains
  • NFTrade, Rarible, OKX, Mintable have already set up shop on Immutable
  • IMX token is already the most valuable gaming token - A testament to the conviction of the gaming community
  • It offers an orderbook and liquidity convergence => creators and marketplaces can share their orders across all marketplaces associated to Immutable
  • Passport: This serves as your digital identity + wallet solution => enhanced accessibility
Putting the scaling scenario to perspective

Avenues that can still be tapped on:

  • Video Game giant GameStop added support for NFTs minted on Immutable to its marketplace in 2022, but announced earlier this year that it’s going to shut it down owing to regulatory concerns. This high-profile exit leaves a dent within the ecosystem, but also opens the doors for others to establish their presence on Immutable
  • Why port to Immutable? Several gaming ecosystems are multi-chain based. That increases complexity and adds to user friction - Bridging gaming assets from one chain to the other is a task + managing assets and ensuring security also becomes tedious; The Immutable ecosystem is vast enough for you to not step out and lurk anywhere else, shielding you from potential hacks + patching costs are nullified
  • For new marketplaces that establish a base on Immutable, it’s easier to be self-reliant on the revenue front and bootstrap, thanks to the flourishing economy and super-wide distribution scale

Stress points:

Being so advanced, Immutable does bear the technical burden of living up to user expectations and notching up the bar higher + It faces competition from other chains that are fine-tuning their gaming edge

Immutable has already secured a unicorn tag and is backed by names like King River Capital, GameStop Digital Ventures, Tencent, and Animoca Brands among others. Its recent collabs with Ubisoft and Amazon Web Services are other feathers in its hat.

Immutable games

Illuvium can’t be missed while talking about Immutable. This Fantasy Battle and Role Playing Gaming has found its appeal amongst both Web3 enthusiasts and casual gamers alike. It comprises multiple titles including Illuvium OverWorld, Illuvium Zero, and Illuvium Arena. All the games are essentially independent from each other, but they do offer gamers cross-game rewards and decent interoperability.

The ecosystem leverages Immutable’s ecosystem for a handful of reasons: you don’t need IMX to transact, the ecosystem supports off-chain NFT minting, the gasless nature is another hook for games to experiment within the ecosystem. Illuvium made its debut on the Epic Game Store under the early access label towards the end of last year.  

ILV is Illuvium’s native currency and governance token. It can also be used for voting and staking within the ecosystem. Illuvium’s token based community - Illuvinati Governance - has several councils ranging from gaming to strategy and everything else in between. Members of the council {DAO} have the right to vote on proposals and help improve the state of affairs.

Gods Unchained is another prominent game within the Immutable ecosystem. Launched on Ethereum in 2018, this card trading strategic game migrated to Immutable X in June 2021. The gameplay involves building the best card deck aligned to either of the six distinct Gods within the game - Deception, War, Magic, Nature, Death and Light. To date, the game has generated more than $370 million worth of NFT sales.  

Other interesting non-released games on the radar include:

Pixelmon - a game where you’ll assume the role of monsters and battle against each other and

Capsule Heros - you’ll have to gather a team of heroes and get into battles.

To date, Immutable has already helped more than 200 games on-board its ecosystem, and more than 100 ones are building on its zkEVM chain, with several scheduled for launches in the foreseeable future.

Avalanche x Beam

Avalanche has been that underdog network - performing and delivering under the shadow - for quite some time. Devs get to create customized blockchains, i.e. subnets, for their games on Avalanche. But establishing a presence here won’t isolate you from the broader ecosystem. The AWM {Avalanche Warp Messaging} fosters communication and token transfers between different subnets.

Also, when it comes to data availability, AWM enables oracles to disseminate data from origin chains to subnets. In fact, Avalanche also simplifies the whole process of building tailor-specific Virtual Machines via its development kit. The subnet-mainnet workloads are detached and independent from each other. This means activities like NFT mints on the C-Chain wouldn’t sabotage subnet activities, nor would it result in fee hikes. Creators of projects like Shrapnel have time and again patted Avalanche’s back for the ease of configurability and transactional throughput.

Beam is a subnet deployed on Avalanche, which initially birthed the idea of Sphere, gaming-focused NFT marketplace. During the final leg of its development, the team also decided to launch a blockchain on which its flagship marketplace could be deployed, and that’s how Beam came into existence.

Merit Circle DAO also boasts of a treasury worth more than $100 million, paving the path for it to invest in games/studios it believes in. Interestingly, it tied up with Immutable and Polygon in December, owing to its multi-chain expansion ambitions. Sphere also integrated with the Immutable zkEVM’s mainnet recently => every collection that goes live on Immutable will be available on the Sphere marketplace. There are several games lined-up to launch on Immutable’s zkEVM chain along with their own in-house assets, which would ultimately benefit MeritDAO’s ecosystem - that comprises Beam - alongside. At the moment, Sphere is a multi-faceted marketplace, supporting all kinds of assets. However, it intends to narrow down the focus to solely gaming-related assets with time.

Why Avalanche and Beam:

  • Avalanche Subnets, like Beam, have the liberty to adjust the base fees and block time => optimal transactions
  • Minimal fees, quick settlement - There are several subnets that have processed north of 1.5 million transactions during peak adoption periods and continue to facilitate more 400k to 800k transactions on a daily basis even today  
  • Quick setup + sufficient security
  • Game devs can easily deploy their games on Beam - Everything from asset management and oracle solutions to marketplace and smart contracts is catered to by Beam

Beam is also trying to sharpen the AI side of its sword. Along with being a seed investor, Beam recently collaborated with Aethir to integrate GPU Cloud infra within the Beam ecosystem. The Aethir network went live in April 2024 and anyone - game operators, devs, players - can become node operators.

Alongside the current integrations, adding another chain to its scope is another possibility down the road for Beam.

If you wanna start off on the Beam ecosystem, then Beam OS should be your starting point. You can swap, pool, bridge assets, and directly land up on Sphere. Going forward, you will also get details about all newly added products.

The Beam Companion application allows you to take control of your in-game assets and house them inside the app. You can add friends and send assets to each other seamlessly. With only a limited number of games live on the hub at the moment, not all functionalities are up and running.

The ecosystem initially had its back leaned on the Merit Circle token {$MC}. However, in Q4 2023, the migration of the MC token to the Beam {$BEAM} token was initiated. At the time of writing, over 95.3% of MC tokens had already completed migrating. Everyone who still possesses MC tokens have until the end of October to wrap up the process. The 1:100 conversion rate fetched holders 100 BEAM tokens for every MC converted, with all the utility and use cases of MC being transferred to BEAM.

Avalanche & Beam games

Shrapnel has already managed to earn a name for itself amongst shooting game enthusiasts. The game, currently in early access, made it to the Epic Game Store in early February. This early access version is called Shrapnel Training Exercises {STX}. Gamers who have Shrapnel Extraction Pack access keys are the only ones who have access to the game as of now. At the moment, neither the NFT elements nor the SHARP token are live. The full-fledged free-to-play version will launch in 2025, but until then, the team is focussing on dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, building the community and working on feedback to refine the game, especially on the visual appeal front. Being one of the first AAA games on Avalanche, Shrapnel does seem promising.  

Multi-player RPG, DomiOnline is another captivating game on Avalanche. You have to keep upgrading your characters and fight to dominate in this game. Interestingly, the team behind this project has also been associated with Power Rangers, RuneScape, and League of Legends.

150 player royal battle game Off the Grid is another game in the Avalanche ecosystem that has been taking off. Slated to release on PCs, Xbox Series X and S, and PlayStation 5, this game seems to be setting the standard for AAA games within the blockchain industry. The game is based on its own native Avalanche subnet - GUNZ - which not only hosts the game, but also serves as a platform for other games to build. As of now, there’s no official release date for the game, but whenever it is out, it will be set in motion across all platforms. When compared to Fortnite and other games from this genre, Off The Grid is expected to have a much more engrossing storyline. Each game is set to provide gamers a different experience because no missions are homologous.

Image
Source: https://twitter.com/Avalanche_Space/status/1772080806233800914

Raini: The Lord of Light is a fantasy card game associated with Beam that integrates elements like gems and memes. It also has its own native token and collectible NFTs. Also available on the Epic Game Store, in this game, all you have to do is use your set of 40 cards to strategically plan the death of your opponent.

There are several cards in the game that feature crypto stalwarts - right from SBF to Charles Hoskinson, and Vitalik Buterin to Satoshi Nakamoto, Elon Musk and his dear dogs - who will give you the feeling of indulging in a proper crypto game. While this might keep people from our space hooked, it could end up boring normal chads - kinda putting the whole mainstream adoption narrative in jeopardy. The game has its own native token, RST, issued on the Beam Subnet. It is the primary gaming token of the game and will also serve as the gaming currency for all future Raini Studio games.

There are already more than 200 games on Beam’s gaming hub, and other than Raini, there are other games like Trial Xtreme, Arcade Galaxy and Eclipse of Edenhorde that have been garnering traction.

Arbitrum

Arbitrum is another protocol that has now started paddling upstream in the gaming sector. The foundation recently rolled out its Gaming Catalyst Program {GCP} proposal asking the Arbitrum DAO to set aside 200 million ARB for a 2 year plus period, encouraging gaming project devs to come and build on its platform. The major chunk of funds {160 million ARB} will be diverted towards publishers and devs to create new games on the network. The remaining 40 million ARB will be used to support infra initiatives, like creating tools that would help the ecosystem grow. At this stage, it seems like Arbitrum is trying to position itself as a venture studio for games.

The ultimate aim of the GCP is to help the Web3 gaming vertical branch out in its ecosystem. Other objectives on paper include making at least 1/5th of all Web3 games to pick Arbitrum as their base network, instigate 25 new Orbit launches and foster more net migration to Arbitrum when compared to other L2 networks.

At the time of writing, Arbitrum had more than 3.4 billion ARB tokens worth over $5.8 billion in its treasury.

Source: arbiscan.io

The proposal passed, with an overwhelming majority of 96.7% voters voting for the decision. The remaining were seen quibbling over the fallacies of the proposal. Arbitrum rolling out such an ambitious proposal and getting it approved seems like its way of warning the rest of the clan to brace for the upcoming premier gaming chain competition.

Gaming L3s on Arbitrum

Xai is another tangent associated with Arbitrum that’s tryna hit the nail on the head. It is a ‘layer 3’ blockchain built on top of Arbitrum. Xai recently unveiled its partnership with indie game curator, Media Indie Exchange (MIX). More than 100 games are expected to be rolled out within a year, with individual name reveals happening going forward. MIX has been around for more than a decade and has been presuming the role of a bridge between independent game devs, media and publishers. They help put together digital shows, and in-person game showcases that back game devs and the gaming culture in general. MIX now intends to onramp several projects it is associated with into Web3, boosting the Xai and Arbitrum ecosystem.

MIX will aid games from square one on Xai, but alongside, the existing Web2 games can also be fine-tuned for the blockchain market via the SDK. I’m here with my popcorn to see how independent game devs end up experimenting with Web3 tech. There will be reluctance to a certain extent because not all from the traditional arena believe in the power of Web3, but given that user experience is completely abstracted from the underlying tech, the on-boarding hiccups would fairly be less.

The Xai token has two primary roles: One, it serves as the gas token and fosters transactions within the network. Two, it’s the primary token used within the gaming ecosystem - this means, users will have to pay for in-game items using the XAI token.

Gaming studio, Ex Populus, will be the first developer to deploy its games on the Xai blockchain. The company is currently in the midst of developing two eagerly awaited games - LAMOverse and Final Form. Execs of Ex Populus have their roots associated with several prominent gaming companies like Activision, Blizzard, Pixar, and Ubisoft.

While LAMOverse is still a work in progress, Final Form is poised to come soon to Xai. It is a trading card game where you’ll have to keep building the most powerful deck. As your wins pile up, your cards will get stronger. Cards can be updated by subjecting them to evolution. How can that be done? By swapping lower tier cards for high tired and rarer ones.

Apart from these two, there are already a bunch of existing games on Arbitrum One, Arbitrum Nova and other L3 chains on Arbitrum Orbit like Sanko and Proof of Play.

More Arbitrum games

Gaming and betting are two points on the same tangent and Arbitrum has been betting on both.

Beside Thales Market, Treasure and NFT-based strategy game BattleFly is another name that is widely associated with the Arbitrum gaming ecosystem. BattleFly is a part of the TreasureDAO ecosystem, which in turn, is an Arbitrum based decentralized game publisher. It intends to amalgamate games and communities together via its Web3 gaming infra.

Battlegrounds is the flagship game of BattleFly, Colosseum is another strategy game, Racer is a runner arcade minigame where you can stake butterflies, experiment with characteristic, design and weapon permutations, and collect nectar shards. MAGIC is the token associated with the Treasure ecosystem. You’ll earn/lose MAGIC depending on whether you win/lose battles. gFLY, on the other hand, is the governance token of the BattleFly. Nectar is an in-game currency that is non-transferable and non-tradable. They’re given to players, no matter if they win or lose, in the Proving Grounds {unranked arenas where it’s free to play}. Winning BattleFlys are handed 2 Nectar, while the ones who lose get 1.  When you play BattleFly Racer, you earn Nectar Shards. When you convert them, you’ll get 1 Nectar for every 20 Nectar Shards.

Base

On Base, devs can build either directly on the L2 or as an L3 on top of Base. The L2 deployment would work best for easy-breezy casual games with moderate transactional throughput - say, games that sing from the same hymn sheet as Candy Crush. Transaction cost and gas fee would be practically negligible on Base, incentivizing users to come on-chain and play. One of Base’s goals this year is to aid such games in its ecosystem.

The L3 route is better for games that have significantly high transactional throughput. Devs will have complete control of the execution layer. From the user point of view, L1 and L2 assets would be easily accessible - may they be NFTs, ETH or USDC + they’ll benefit from Base’s liquidity.

  • Why Base: High TPS => smooth gaming experience
  • Again, EVM Compatibility => seamless transition for Web3 devs
  • Coinbase’s blessings: Users can connect their Coinbase wallets, indulge in CEX bridging
  • Can choose between L2 and L3

Base games

Crypto: The Game S2

  • Crypto: The Game’s initial season echoed reality show Survivor’s notion - You had to compete in challenges to earn ETH
  • It was a massive success, with players thoroughly enjoying the mechanics and instilling FOMO to the ones not playing by flooding CT with tweets like:

“i feel bad for people not playing crypto: the game rn honestly. it’s going to be impossible to explain how dramatic this game is behind the scenes. it’s basically a fully online experiential reality show that runs 24/7 and only the people playing can see. we are all going insane.”

“whatever happens, crypto: the game is the most fun I've had in crypto in years.”

  • Based on Base, S2 of this game - Anon Island - went live on April 8
  • The gameplay is straightforward: You’ll be assigned to one of the ten tribes and take part in immunity challenges; If your tribes wins, you’re safe, if not, you’ll be a part of vote out rounds that take place  
  • NFTs would serve the purpose of an entry ticket - You’ll need to mint one to earn a spot in the game
  • When you get voted out, your Player NFT will get converted into a Juror NFT, giving you the ability to vote during the game’s final rounds
  • You can walk out of the game at any given point by selling your NFT; Likewise, once your out, and want to re-enter, you’ll have to re-buy an entry NFT from the secondary market
  • Uniswap, Wormhole, Safe, and Lens are backing the game by partly sponsoring it

Words 3 - It is an exclusively on-chain crossword game, where every move will cost you gas fees; You can try the free-version here before actually starting to play the real Web-3 game.

  • You have to spell words by placing letters on a grid
  • How to spell? You’ve to buy letters to spell and score points
  • The price of letters keep fluctuating based on demand; the payment accumulates in a player reward pool; the pool rewards are then split based on the score earned
  • If others use your letters, you’d be able to score more
  • Rounds are usually timed; Rules are governed by the smart contract code
  • Depending on your score, you’ll either earn/lose ETH

The game hasn’t gained a lot of traction yet, and has a fairly small community. Go check it out because Jesus can’t but you can!

i’m going to hell for this, lmao

FrenPet - Amidst exchanges, AMMs and DEX aggregators, FrenPet has managed to establish a place for itself in the top-25 dApp list on Base. In this game:

  • NFTs are proxies for pets
  • You take care of pets and make them participate in different activities
  • There’s an in-house FP token - subject to a txn tax of 5%
  • A portion of the txn fee collected is distributed back to players in the form of ETH rewards; the rest is diverted towards devs and liquidity provision
  • You ought to keep progressing on the rankings front to fetch more rewards

Players had been sulking about pet deaths owing to high gas fees, but well well well, blobs to the rescue!

Aavegotchi

  • Gotchichain recently revealed that it will be using Base as its settlement layer and use it to launch its on-chain gaming platform, Gaming Console
  • Gotchichain is an L3 rollup associated with the Aavegotchi game
  • The chain is expected to launch in the upcoming quarter
  • Aavegotchi was initially launched on Polygon back in 2021, but the latest step implies that it will have its own L3 chain
  • Going forward, Aavegotchi might also dip its toes in the Optimism Stack waters to expand Gotchichain’s realm and check the interoperability and sequencing boxes alongside  
  • The Gaming Console will store assets, your profiles and gaming advancements on-chain
  • The Profile Badges {soulbound tokens} will help facilitate the same + offer cross-game interoperability

WAX

In a world where L2s and L3s are the buzzwords, Worldwide Asset eXchange, a native L1 blockchain, still has a say in the market. It has been streamlining and harnessing on its upsides. WAX is already a couple of bull runs old - It was launched in 2019 via an ICO that amassed $60 million. In terms of activity, WAX is currently the 10th largest blockchain + boasts of a fairly instant block finality. Using WAX, builders can detach in-game digital assets from the gaming world and use it elsewhere - to create trophy shelves, forming walls of fame, integrating the assets with other compatible games and transacting them on third-party platforms.

  • Big names have been backing this project, adding an extra layer of credibility - Towards the end of March, Amazon joined hands with WAX to integrate its Amazon Managed Blockchain {AMB} service
  • The AMB service, on its part, aids devs in building dApps on both public and private blockchains
  • Now, Via the AWS console, devs will be able to deploy WAX nodes
  • This will foster both blockchain teams and devs from the Web2 arena to come and build on WAX + update/upgrade their projects to make them more decentralized
  • The platform hosts around 160 games on its network
  • Numbers wise, the blockchain has facilitated north of 140 million txns over the last month, with more than 650k unique wallets interacting with it

WAX games

Brawlers, a trading card game, recently became a part of the Amazon Prime Gaming Service, putting it side by side to the likes of COD and Apex Legends. In this game, you will compete in tournaments and get into brawls with peculiar AF wrestlers in the ring. The rarity of the WAX NFT brawler + its abilities are key factors that help shape the result of any match. Their moves are also kinda funny and range from Nutmegs, Choke Slams, Steel Justice and Sleeper Holds. You’ll fetch gaming rewards in the form of BRWL tokens. During the initial phase, it ain’t necessary for you to own NFTs to play this game - you can opt for the free-to-try asset version.

Alien Worlds is the top dApp on WAX in terms of unique active wallets and number of transactions. The main use-case revolves around building components in the NFT metaverse that others could also end up using. The metaverse is made up of a series of planets, each of which is governed like a DAO. TLM is the native currency within the ecosystem, and the game uses the WAX blockchain for data management and execution. You can own land, customize avatars, use tools to mine TLM, and eventually use the earned tokens to upgrade weapons and tools. The NFTs have different rarity levels that determine the value within the gaming ecosystem.

Source: WAX Explorer

Solana

Solana has been jumping on every trending bandwagon lately - from DeFi to memes and everything else in between, it’s been the Jack of all trades. It has even tapped onto gaming, and is currently home to more than 100 games, and the fourth most popular network for builders.

  • Txn fees are literally just fractions of a cent + Mining NFTs is also cheap => easy to entice people
  • The protocol focuses more on interoperability
  • Sub second finality => no peskyyy lags
  • Even though the network has faced several downtimes, there has not been any major incident registered w.r.t. gaming asset ownership loss. However, such glitches have impacted games and their playability
  • Horizontal scaling => easier for games to grow and get popular amongst the already existing user base of the blockchain
  • It has established a niche for itself as the non-EVM leader. When it comes to the smart contract execution environments, EVM is the go-to choice for 74% of Web-3 gaming projects, and is followed by Solana VM at 10% {Whenever transactions are submitted, VMs take care of processing them}
  • Solana games have been making the cut on the Epic Game Store too

Solana games

Sci-Fi MMORPG Star Atlas revolves around exploring space with the intention of conquering and dominating. ATLAS and POLIS are the two native tokens of the ecosystem. The former is used to buy NFTs and other in-house assets. The latter, on the other hand, is a governance token. The game is still under development - with the team building Star Atlas component by component. Loose ends like ship mastery, inventory management, character progression, hover racing, competitive PvP racing, third-person shooter, and combat racing are being catered to at the moment. The team weathered through the disastrous 2022-23 storm by laying off nearly 3/4th of its staff, despite that, their recently updated long-term roadmap shows that they seem hell-bent on their vision to bring Star Atlas to life.

Aurory is another Solana based game that has made its way to the Epic Game Store. Again, this game is also in early access, and it is only the Seekers of Tokane experience that has been put to sea. In this role playing, monster battling game, gamers have to battle with creatures called Nefties, loot and walk off with their winnings. This game was launched on Solana, but expanded to Arbitrum in 2023. In fact, in December, the game’s bridge was exploited for $830k, whereby funds from a developer wallet were siphoned and shifted to Arbitrum.

Enjin

  • Enjin is one of the oldest, gray-haired networks associated to gaming in the blockchain industry
  • It offers no code integration of NFTs into games → Builders can create projects + coins without essentially coding.
  • It emphasizes on user-instigated creation → players get to create, modify, upgrade, and trade blockchain-based gaming assets.
  • Crowdfunding: Right from virtual real estate to weapons, you can create all kinds of assets and sell it to games via crowdsourcing platforms/custom websites.
  • Assets can also be seamlessly shared via Beam - a QR based blockchain asset distribution service {not the Avalanche subnet!!!}.
  • You can design programmable digital collectibles and create AR and VR experiences with tokenized assets by using Enjin’s 3D modeling.
  • ENJ is the native coin and primary transactional currency of the network.
  • The blockchain is integrated to all native Enjin products including the Enjin wallet and the NFT marketplace.
  • In-game items can be used in other ecosystems too, brining the idea of multiverse to life.
  • The Enjin Cloud Platform helps you launch a full-fledge valuable gaming economy seamlessly; The integration process is quite straightforward.
  • Enjin built on Ethereum for six years, but has now started looking inward. The ecosystem has three components - Enjin relaychain {security + foundation layer}, Enjin matrixchain {NFT application layer} and custom matrixchains {they’re interoperable}. In December Enjin migrated 200 million NFTs from Ethereum to its own Enjin blockchain. On 1 April, all Ethereum centric services linked to Enjin were revoked. As things slowly get back on track, Enjin expects games to launch their own L1 chains within the Enjin ecosystem
  • The ERC-20 token ENJ was created back in 2017, but owing to the migration, holders of the ERC-20 tokens have now swapped them for mainnet ENJ

Enjin games

The Six Dragons was initially floated out in 2019, but will make its debut on Epic Game Store at the end of April. Over the five year period, the game was being refined in conjunction with Enjin. The latest upgrades revolve around improved trading experience, Rift Worlds, and Bosses tie-ups. The gaming environment is divided into tiles, and as a single-player, you have to remain within the boundary, take part in quests and chip-in to the overall progress. Once the tile progress reaches the brim, different events get activated within that arena.

ENJ Excavators is another game that has ties associated with Enjin. It’s a super casual game where you have to mine gems and you’re ranked based on the number of gems earned. Gaming related assets and rewards are stored on Enjin’s managed wallet. As you progress, you’ll be able to use your gems to appoint workers to mine gems for you. Other gaming related upgrades can be bought using compatible cryptos. The game has just on-boarded around 2000 players since its re-launch on Enjin.

Oasys

Oasys = L1 blockchain {Hub layer} + L2 solution {Verse Layer}; It is a gaming-centric protocol

  • The Verse layer is Ethereum compatible; The Hub layer is EVM compatible
  • Multi token economy: OAS - Oasys’ native token; Verse token - native token for the L2 network
  • Under Verse’s umbrella, gamers can develop their own native gaming tokens
  • Hub’s architecture is based on a forked version of gETH
  • Verse uses a modified version of optimistic rollups + The team is also positive about zk rollups
  • Verse’s layer is NOT permissionless => the team has control to green-flag who should and who shouldn’t interact with the blockchain => kinda sus and tampers with the decentralization aspect, but this is the path followed by the team to achieve instant txn approval
  • Hub is public, Verse is not => This enhances the odds of data retention, fosters scalability, facilitates high transactional speed
  • Zero gas fee is an enticing mechanic; Instead of gamers/users, devs end up bearing the fee cost inherently
  • Verse’s transactional throughput > Hub
  • The ecosystem also has a bridge that helps users transfer data associated to their NFTs between other chains and Oasys  
  • As of the time of writing, Hub had already proceeded over 6.9 million transactions in total + hosted 47.8k wallets
  • Oasys Passport is a wallet for the Oasys ecosystem

Oasys raised $20 million during a single seed round towards the end of 2022. It was led by Red Capital with participation from Jump Crypto, Crypto.com, Huobi, Kucoin, Gate.io, Bitbank and Mirana Ventures. It has also managed to secure partnerships with stalwarts like Nexon, Sega, NEOWIZ, Ubisoft, Netmarble, Square Enix, and Bandai Namco, who signed-up as initial validators.There are three token designs that are supported by the ecosystem. vFT/vNFT are tokens that can be minted and used only on the Verse layer. They can’t be bridged to other networks. oFT/oNFT tokens are tokens that can be minted on the Hub-Layer. They are interoperable and can be used on Verse and also be bridged to other networks. exFT/exNFT tokens are non-native tokens that are minted outside the Oasys network. They are accessible to users via cross chain bridges on both Hub and Verse.

Oasys Games

Ubisoft’s first OG blockchain game, Champions Tactics: Grimoria Chronicles has tapped Oasys for its blockchain elements. While the Girmoria has time and again picked Ethereum for NFT mints, the game itself is based on Oasys.

The ecosystem is already quite diverse and features several games at the intersection of the card, shooting, educational, casual, action, RPG, and simulation genres. Double Jump Tokyo has a couple of games deployed on Oasys - My Crypto Heros and Battle of Three Kingdoms. In the former, you’ll send heroes to dungeons to gather items to create asset equipment called extensions. The goal is to make your hero stronger and win battles. The latter, on the other hand, is a strategy-based trading card game where you pick one of the 7 dynasties to compete against in short battles. Along with Double Jump Tokyo, this game is jointly developed by Sega.

Several other games like SingSing {a Web-3 singing platform}, OasChoice {a price prediction game}, Goga {P2E gaming platform to learn English}, Pixudi {board game project} have already made it to the top 40 blockchain game list, amidst the ranks of other well-established games on other blockchains.

Closing Thoughts

Most chains have been pulling up their socks and bracing for the gaming season. There are already so many new entrants making their case already. At the moment, projects have been harnessing each other’s strengths by walking hand-in-hand. Immutable leveraging Polygon for its zkEVM rollup, Beam capitalizing on Avalanche’s subnet ecosystem, and Xai leaning back on Arbitrum.

The Layer 3 trend has been gaining steam within the gaming arena, with Arbitrum and Base already running the show. Thanks to rollups, devs can come up with L3 chains that settle transactions on L2 networks at a lower fee + have dedicated block space assigned to specific apps, making them more effective and efficient. But again, just because a tech seems appealing doesn’t mean things can’t go down south or be tampered with. My bet is the next wave of migration of budding projects would happen from L2s to L3s.

Avalanche has also been positioning itself as the go-to chain for devs to deploy their games on subnets. Subnets like Beam and games like Shrapnel have already been basking in the glow of attention, and it just seems to be a matter of time that we see the snowball effect and the whole Avalanche gaming ecosystem thrive.

Blockchain abstraction from user experience will hold the biggest key in on-boarding the Web2 masses to Web3 gaming, and Xai with the help of MIX has been focussing on that. Alongside, the tie-ins with Epic Games and WAX game partnerships with Amazon Prime Gaming Service would spruce things up further.

Gaming centric chains like Immutable and Oasys also have the ball in their court, with devs having the flexibility to choose between the deployment chains within these ecosystems. While Immutable is one of the largest gaming blockchains already, featuring a token with the highest valuation in this sector, I believe that Oasys is also here to stay and grow. It already has a bunch of top-ranked games, and once its ecosystem gains more traction and eventually finds its feet, it could end up becoming another dominating gaming hub.

Solana for DeFi? Yeah; Solana for DePIN? Yeah; Solana for NFT mints; Yeah; Solana for meme listings? Hell yeah; But Solana for gaming? For now, I’d say it ain’t there yet, but given its versatility, it does hold the potential to become an all-for-one blockchain.

Personally, I’m not very keen on Enjin. It seems to be a thing of the past, despite its latest migration. Several projects associated with this blockchain have considerably small playing communities, and not all of them have been able to keep up with the rapid pace of advancement and competition within the broader Game-Fi economy. While researching, this was the ecosystem within which I found the highest number of defunct games. It might continue to exist around for a while with the ‘OG gaming blockchain’ label hanging around its collar, but it’ll be the newer chains dominating the big leagues this season.

There’d be both hits and misses, but what history has taught me is not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. With innumerable games to choose from and play, it’s time to lay back and have fun. Happy gaming season!

Opening MetaMask...
Confirm connection in the extension

The current connected wallet does not hold a LARP. To get access to the Meal Deal please connect a wallet which holds a LARP. Alternatively, visit Opensea to purchase one or visit Join the Meal Deal to purchase a subscription

Table of contents
Prices
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.