Monday, 4 March 2024

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Mainstream approval critical for blockchain games — Gaming execs

Mainstream approval critical for blockchain games — Gaming execs

Web3 game developers have been battling to gain the attention of mainstream audiences for years, and according to three former gaming executives, that market is essential for the industry’s future. 

Video games have become a favorite pastime for a lot of people all over the world and have even evolved into a sport. Overall, there are more than three billion Web2 gamers worldwide as of 2023, according to Exploding Topics. Most are considered casual gamers who play regularly but rarely invest significant time.

Jennifer Poulson, who has worked in the gaming industry for 18 years, including at Web2 gaming companies Bandai Namco (Tekken, Elden Ring, PacMan) and Riot Games (League of Legends), believes mainstream audiences are “absolutely” important for the future of Web3 games.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Poulson, who is currently vice president of game partnerships at Immutable Games, said in her mind, “Bringing mainstream players into the Web3 space will be essential in the coming years.”

“However, it isn’t so much that we need to entice mainstream players to take the leap into Web3; rather, we need to be building games that are fun to play and will appeal to all gamers,” she added.

Mainstream gamers aren’t particularly fond of crypto, especially when nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are involved.

Blockchain entertainment firm Coda Labs released its Global Web3 Gamer Study in 2022 and found traditional gamers were not fans of crypto or NFTs. Respondents rated their feelings about them at 4.5 and 4.3 out of 10, respectively.

Poulson believes working with mainstream publishers and studios will be crucial for the future of Web3 games.

Because “it’s less about attracting mainstream audiences, and more about working with publishers and studios to understand how and why to integrate Web3 elements into their games.”

Related: Grinding out a living: Can blockchain games really offer a sustainable income?

“The reality is that these are all just games. Some have Web3 elements, and some don’t; as long as they are fun to play, this is what, in essence, determines whether a game is successful or not,” Poulson added.

Web2 gaming companies have also been hesitant to adopt Web3. According to a Nov. 13 State of Web3 Gaming report released by Game7 — a decentralized autonomous organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology in gaming — six out of 10 Web3 games are being excluded from mainstream distribution platforms.


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