The Ultimate Guide to Web3 Gaming

The Ultimate Guide to Web3 Gaming

Gaming has seen explosive growth over the last decade — and in 2020 alone, gamers spent over $54 billion on in-game items. But in traditional games, players don't have any ownership over those items, and can't capture any value from the time & effort they put into them. Because of this, web3 gaming has gained major traction in recent years — and is primed to disrupt the entire gaming industry as we know it.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover what web3 gaming is, what its advantages are over traditional video games, and why more game developers are turning towards the blockchain to build video games.

What is web3 gaming?

Web3 gaming is the use of blockchain technology in video games to enable true ownership for players and unlock new revenue models for developers and studios.

Integrating the blockchain into games unlocks many different things:

  • Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, allow for in-game assets to become interoperable — meaning they can have utility outside of the game & enabling players to trade them on open marketplaces.
  • Web3 wallets allow for users to authenticate & log into any game seamlessly. This allows them to use interoperable NFT assets in other games, buy & sell items with cryptocurrencies, and much more.
  • The blockchain allows for in-game items & currencies to have verifiable scarcity & provenance, as well as greater transparency since the properties of those items are hard-coded into smart contracts and publicly visible to anyone accessing the blockchain.

But why are these things important? Let's dive into what all of the above unlocks for both game developers & players, and what the advantages of web3 games are over traditional games.

What are the advantages of web3 games?

For gamers, NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) enable true ownership of in-game assets. Rather than being locked into closed ecosystems, players can buy, sell, and trade in-game items in open marketplaces. This creates a secondary market for in-game items, which can increase their value and provide players with ways to earn money from playing the game.

For developers & studios, the blockchain is a massive unlock in democratizing the space. Game developers can offer in-game assets to players — like characters, land, or cosmetics — in the form of NFTs, allowing them to raise money to build the game before and during the creation of the game. These new blockchain-enabled models allow for developers to build engaged audiences, and for them to reward players for their early support.

NFTs are also interoperable — meaning they can have utility both in-game and outside of the game. This enables a paradigm that game developers were not previously able to benefit from: earning royalties from the sales of in-game items in open marketplaces, between players, since they're built directly into the smart contracts powering those NFTs — opening up yet another revenue stream for developers to sustainably build their game.

Additionally, interoperability allows for in-game NFT assets to be used across multiple games and platforms, making them more versatile than traditional in-game assets that are locked to a specific game or platform. This can increase the value of the item and give players more utility.

Lastly, NFTs can be used to store and track the history of in-game assets — giving them provenance, authenticity, and scarcity. Because the quantity of each type of item is hard-coded into the smart contract (without the ability to create more), in-game assets can have true value and a sense of exclusivity for the players who own them.

There are many web3 games emerging recently — from MMORPGs, to first-person shooters, to mobile games. Some of the most popular examples by usage include:

  1. Pixels Online
  2. Sorare
  4. CryptoKitties
  5. Axie Infinity
  6. Star Atlas
  7. Gods Unchained
  8. The Sandbox Game
  9. Benji Bananas
  10. Castaways

How do you build web3 games?

Web3 games are built using similar game engines to those of traditional video games — but to integrate blockchain-based assets and currencies, those games need to be able to interact with smart contracts.

To do this, game developers must use an SDK that interacts with the game engine that they're building their game on, such as thirdweb’s GamingKit. You can learn more about this here:

Introducing thirdweb GamingKit, in partnership with Coinbase
We’re excited to partner with Coinbase to launch thirdweb’s GamingKit: the all-in-one platform for developers to build web3 games. Learn more.

Concluding thoughts: Why web3 is the future of gaming

We hope this blog post has helped you better understand what web3 gaming is, the advantages it has over traditional games, and why it’s an important step forward in improving the gaming industry as a whole!

Web3 provides a better model for both game developers and players — and it’s the reason for which the creators of renown games like Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, and PubG are moving to the blockchain.

With the recent launch of our GamingKit, thirdweb’s customers are also making great strides in the industry — including Fractal, VOXverse (powered by Gala Games), and Heroic Story:

Fractal, web3 Platform and Marketplace for Blockchain Games, Expands to EVM Chains
thirdweb is proud to power Fractal’s expansion to EVM, allowing game studios to unlock blockchain utility on the Ethereum ecosystem. Learn more.
DreamWorks launches NFT avatars for web3 games with Gala
Gala is reimagining your favorite DreamWorks Trolls characters as NFT avatars in the VOXverse. Learn more about the successful launch.
Heroic Story Uses Dynamic NFTs to Build a Web3 Fantasy Game
Heroic Story is building Fortunata: a web3, free-to-own MMORPG fantasy game. Learn more about their successful launch using thirdweb’s tools.

If you’d like to partner with thirdweb to build your web3 game, reach out directly! And if you're ready to build web3 games, try thirdweb & Coinbase's GamingKit (it's free) & get started with our step-by-step Gaming guides.

Lastly, if you have any questions or are looking for inspiration, join 30,000+ other builders on our Discord community.