‘Wen token?!’ A question web3 gaming founders have to face on the daily. ‘Our in-game NFTs are altcoins with jpegs attached to them’, a founder might say.
Above anything else web2 gamers want to have fun gameplay, competition, and immersive experiences. Web3 gamers (more often than not) just want to see financial returns. Founders need global distribution and balance between both worlds.
Web2 Gamers Find Value in Different Things
Web2 gamers would never ask about a token when downloading a new game. They would never ask if they can mint their skin or weapon as an NFT. If anything, they will submit a bug report if anything seems off with a game to improve their gaming experience.
Web2 gamers offer value to game developers to help themselves. Web3 gamers (mostly) just want to extract without giving back. They (often) don’t even want to play the games they want to extract value from.
The key is to make web2 players interested enough further on in the game to dig deeper. They start playing without needing to know if the game is using blockchain elements to begin with. Most likely it turns them off if they would know anyway. Unless while making leaps of progress throughout the game, they start to see and realize that there’s real benefits to utilize.
So, does this need to be in the form of a crypto token/altcoin? Or can it just be NFTs? A mix of both? It really depends because not all games need a token even though web3 folks keep asking for it in Discord because they’re invested.
I see it happening every day in web3 gaming Discords. ‘Is this game P2E’, x asks. ‘No, we only have NFTs’, x replies. Well, technically speaking having NFTs as in-game rewards does make it P2E. We just have to rethink what P2E really is and reshape our expectations if we want sustainable ‘P2E’ games.
Liquidity NFTs vs tokens
Lack of liquidity pools for NFTs, space not mature enough yet, blur bids are very often way below floor and insufficient, you pay more gas, you can only offload smaller amounts spread over a longer period of time.
An interesting yet complex solution would be a shared liquidity pool for different games with NFTs. Where players can offload NFTs from various games they play, all in one and the same liquidity pool, regardless of which company is behind them. Perhaps gaming companies who are competitors can find mutual interest here.
Need to actually play to earn NFTs in game. Staking for tokens is (often) passive, zero effort and engagement in the game itself. Games need players to be active, in large numbers, preferably as many hours a day as possible.
Having terrible stats is killing for a game in many ways. One could have millions of trading volume on a DEX for a token, while not even reaching 1,000 DAU/DAW. You’re trading thin air and VCs or investors are less likely to fund seed rounds.
web2 currency to web3 currency
Many web3 games still launch in-game currency without it being an actual token. Causing the same problems we have now, infinite supply, unbalanced economies, insufficient transparency based on trust. Hard to transition into real token after.
On the other hand, you don’t want to launch a token too soon, if you do launch it. To have a sustainable economy you need a lot of gamers in your IP / ecosystem. If the game only has 300 players and never grows beyond that, how does new money come into the ecosystem?
There’s so much more to consider and I’m curious about your thoughts on this.