Aside from Axie Infinity, there seems to be a major backlash by gamers who seem hesitant to jump aboard the NFT bandwagon in our deeper push into Web3, especially after GameStop announced its $100 million fund for game developers back in early February.
Following its announcement, GameStop has continued to acknowledge the fears that many of its customers have with respect to digital ownership and this new infrastructure of NFTs — recognizing the rapidly-changing gaming marketplace.
On its face, gamers are understandably agitated over how games are currently monetized, where historically, gamers have been subjected to premium downloadable content, subscriptions, loot boxes, and micro-transactions that haven’t always been well-received.
But then you have major companies that announce NFT markets and the gaming economy seems to jump out of their seats ready to welcome it.
As for developers and the overall community, the relationship is tense, to say the least. The ongoing message most of the market’s NFT gaming projects are touting is the idea of “community” and a “gamer-first” mentality – which is hard for many to accept, considering the barriers that have been historically placed between the developer and fan.
By 2023, the estimated number of gamers is expected to reach just over 3 billion people, with play-to-earn (P2E) gaming becoming more integrated into our gamer economy as the world of blockchain and Web3 continues to evolve.
Unfortunately, gamers have been left out to dry for far too long due to an archaic infrastructure and hierarchy that is controlled from the top-down by publishers and developers.
As Web3 continues to drive gaming companies to shift their mindset on how they utilize gamers as well as distribute content, the push for appreciation and adequate compensation is an utmost priority.
Following the conclusion of ETHDenver 2022, we spoke with Chase J. Thompson, founder and CEO of the P2E platform Arena about the need to better automate gaming communities.
“With the massive number of gamers that engage in community gaming, it’s ironic that nobody is really building for these communities, let alone providing any opportunities to advertise or reach these communities,” says Thompson.
Through its platform, Arena provides the necessary infrastructure to allow gaming moderators and administrators to continue effectively managing their communities by providing the tools and resources that would otherwise need to be organically created from scratch – referring to multiple Google Sheets, word processing software, and other materials associated with a particular gaming league.
“This model also affords opportunities for gamers to be compensated for their time and attention by measuring scores, records, achievements, and in-game metrics that are almost always left out of conversations.
Last month, Arena announced its partnership with competitive gaming league and DAO League of Degens (LoD) that pits NFT communities against one another in different gaming events.
“Ever since we launched Arena we have set out to be pioneers in this industry and bring innovative ideas to the table to change the gaming industry,” Thompson explained. “League of Degens will not only bring a new dimension to gaming, but it will give individuals more enhanced ways of earning money. We see this as getting very competitive very quickly especially as the prize pool grows and more teams join.”
It’s worth mentioning that Arena is also working with CryptoDads, one of LoD’s launch partners to help better shape the gaming infrastructure community.
One of the biggest takeaways from this year’s ETHDenver was the drive for each exhibitor and executive to get right back to building. For many, Web3 is an opportunity for many to do things right this time – referencing back to when the Internet first came into existence and industries not taking it seriously at the time.
“My advice to entrepreneurs in the gaming space is to not sleep on crypto,” Thompson notes. “It’s a pervasive technology and it’s going to permeate every aspect of life, including the internet and our economy. You are going to want to be in front of this trend and not play catch-up.”