The fast-paced transition from Web2 games towards Web3 gaming through blockchain-based technological developments is quickly conquering crowds. The introduction of Web3 games enables players to incorporate ways of earning cryptocurrencies and NFTs through blockchain apps, and Web2 gaming companies are paying attention. Ownership, a key feature in Web3, allows players to own the digital assets they acquire, which they can sell for cryptocurrency and other digital assets.
As the gaming industry experiments more with incorporating NFTs and blockchain technology into games, some developers may feel their Web2 games are missing out. Many players are even demanding tokenization and other Web3 elements from the games they already love. If you have a published or in-development game, there are ways to Web3 your Web2 game without going completely back to the drawing board.
Tag along and learn why the transition is necessary and how you can make a seamless upgrade to Web3 gaming without returning to the drawing board.
Dapp Radar reports blockchain gaming activity grew 2000% in 2021, with over 1.17 million unique active wallets connecting to the blockchain daily. While still in their infancy, Web3 games and metaverse projects raised a whopping $2.5 billion in Q1 2022, all being used by developers globally to incubate, create, and release world-class games. The allure of Web3 gaming relates to its offering a new experience through the potential availed through cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that have altered the value proposition of video games.
Unlike Web2 gaming, where players only derived fun through the playing experience, Web3 gaming adds a financial concept via play-to-earn economic models that enable earning crypto and digital assets.
Since they’re not based on blockchain technology, Web2 games have several limitations, the greatest of which is being under the total control of the developer and giving the players little if any freedom. Web3 games, on the other hand, allow players immense control that includes the contribution of user-generated content, ownership, and in-game trading, among others.
In addition to users enjoying the complete security of their personal information, developers are assured of payment security (via cryptocurrency) as Web3 eliminates the issue of fraudulent payments associated with credit and debit cards. Unlike the Web2 game’s situation where developers and actors share the profits alone, the Web3 experience becomes a game-changer by making users feel like part of the gaming community through earning crypto, NFTs, and governance decisions on the future of the game.
Web3 provides a strong incentive and unique opportunities for video game users and developers. Instead of returning to the drawing board, developers can spend time and ingeniously rise to the occasion and take advantage of existing web2 games infrastructure like content creators, dedicated communities, large player bases, and in-game economies. Some practical steps they can follow include:
Asset tokenization remains the most outstanding feature of Web3 games. Developers can start by tokenizing Web2 in-game virtual assets like weapons, armor and avatar clothing, etc. That way, instead of players having them locked in the virtual environment and only usable within the game, they can transfer them within the game’s atmosphere or be allowed to trade or sell them to other players.
Developers can enable players to own the tokenized assets by having them registered to them on the blockchain and making them theirs to keep or sell. Tokenizing anything from teams to players or brands can become a huge incentive towards attracting a new generation of investors and helping unlock benefits for the over 2.5 billion gamers.
Since claiming in-game assets like NFTs is among the salient features of Web3 gaming, creating Web2 games with special NFT abilities can build a bridge between Web2 and Web3. These NFTs will no longer remain simple collectibles but become access and identity keys in the gaming world. Users acquiring such NFTs can enjoy immersive content experiences and a continuous utility such as community events between fans and creators through social media platforms like Discord.
Developers can integrate “claim” functionality within existing Web2 games that could help unlock unique levels containing “NFT power-ups.” Such functionality could help introduce Web2 players to blockchain-powered P2E Web3 gaming through a trusted web2 platform. The additional competitive layer will allow gamers to interact and engage with their peers and favorite games. By paving a new way to engage with creators and players, developers can incentivize the existing community for beta testing and tap wisdom from their feedback.
Web2 game companies considering upgrading to Web3 gaming can consider transforming their games to NFTs and using them as a bridge. This will mean that instead of the developers owning their identity, content, and games solely, players can own NFT games and use them as a vehicle to build a gaming community and a basis for a relationship with their fans.
As the digital culture continues evolving, NFT communities are transforming web2 video games that were initially hatched for players to belong to specific leagues and play against each other into a tool that helps improve members’ feeling of belonging. That means players can connect with developers in relationships that allow them to take advantage of NFTs without necessarily being locked into the platforms where you discovered them.
Apart from offering more freedom for connection, interaction and expression, users will appreciate the sense of ownership that NFT games bring and use them as deeds of ownership, meaning they can sell them if and when they feel like it.
Developers can enhance Web2 applications using the Web3 structure to enhance their experience via web3 construct. A practical example is Shopify’s efforts to work on “tokengated commerce” to enhance the customer shopping experience based on users’ NFTs. Tailoring NFTs into games will make them feel natural. Apart from Shopify, Twitter and Stripe are examples of other platforms that are not Web3 DApps. They are dabbling with Web3 constructs to enhance their users’ experience.
The implication will be that Web2 game developers must figure out specific ways through creator tools and infrastructure to explore Web3 integration. Most enterprises that built massive Web2 infrastructure are now looking for ways to create components that will enable their Web2 apps to easily integrate Web3 dApps like P2E games, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. Web2 game developers build bridges that will allow them to interact with Web3 constructs by addressing sticking issues on both sides of the bridge and facilitating developers to build on it.