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November's Web3 Gaming Report

    Dec 2nd, 2022

    Monthly Report

November Digest November showed numbers consistent with previous months, standing at around 24 million UAW (Unique Active Wallets), for an average of 800k players a day. With the World Cup serving as a unifying theme, FIFA has revealed a number of collaborations that serve to underline the organization's long-term commitment to web3 and usher 5 billion football fans into the realm of NFTs and the Metaverse. The repercussions of the FTX collapse continues to reverberate across the whole ecosystem, yet the web3 gaming sector has shown remarkable endurance, as seen by the number of Unique Active Wallets. Exeedme was in London for the Token 2049 conference and it was an amazing experience. There are some considerations we would like to make about the Blockchain Game Industry. BLOCKCHAIN GAMING ON-CHAIN DATA In November, there was an aggregate of about 24 million UAW of user activity on blockchain games, putting the daily average of around 800k players. This data further demonstrates what we’ve been seeing over the past months that the growth has stalled. According to DappRadar statistics, most of the top ten games in terms of "unique wallet addresses” have seen a decreasing number of users in the last 30 days, but that is counterbalanced by the astronomic rise of WAM, a hyper casual gaming platform. FIFA Web3 Initiative For The World Cup The divorce with EA having been finalized for the summer of 2023, FIFA is now free to forge new lucrative partnerships with other video game players. The rupture between FIFA and EA wasannounced in May, after several weeks of rumors and statements full of tension from both parties. FIFA demanded nearly a billion dollars in order for EA to continue using the FIFA license, which the publisher refused, convinced to remain a reference even by changing its name. Obviously, because it would have been far too simple to sell the World Cup rights to smaller developers, Gianni Infantino's gang prefers to link up with the new big players of Web 3.0 for a series of games, all of which are proudly announced in apress release on its official website. The future is in Web 3.0 for FIFA The word "game" is overused when you read the descriptions of these new projects. It is rather a series of partnerships with major Web 3.0 players who will be able to paste the image of the World Cup into a whole bunch of derivative products in order to lure the eventual customer who is a little too much of a fan of the competition. FIFA’s announcement shows the birth of four “games”: · AI League: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition · FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Upland Metaverse · Matchday Challenge: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Edition · FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Phygtl For its part, the AI League will offer an amazing experience. Two teams of four AI-controlled players will compete, and players will be able to influence the match with "fun and tactical" options. Characters can, of course, be collected and traded. With the Upland Metaverse partnership, players will be able to collect "official digital assets" of the World Cup and also highlight video clips of the competition. The Matchday Challenge takes the form of a "social prediction game based on soccer cards" where you can play against your friends. Finally, the initiative onPhytgl will allow players to grow a virtual Golden-Globe-Football and "own a piece of it". For FIFA, this is a way to immortalize the participation of fans in the project. “This is a hugely exciting group of partnerships that we’ve entered into as we embrace a new, digitally-native football fan and engage with them in the spaces that we know they are already active within. As we continue to build our gaming strategy long into future, it’s certain that web 3.0 will have an important role to play, and this marks the start of our journey.” Romy Gai, FIFA's Chief Commercial Officer For the moment, reactions are few and far between, but FIFA is taking a very different path than the one it has been following until now. However, the federation has not yet made any announcements about the development of a direct competitor to the future EA Sports FC. For the time being, FIFA will develop its interactive license through specific experiences based on the metaverse, NFTs, and the blockchain. FIFA had already announced in September the launch of its NFT platform,FIFA+ Connect, powered by Algorand, and we can only expect it to continue to expand beyond the 2022 World Cup. With the eyes of the world set on Qatar for the next few weeks, it will be curious to see the impact of such a huge marketing initiative for Web3. We're already seeing the rise of fantasy football games like Sorare and fan tokens via platforms like Chiliz. FIFA, as a household name, is putting Web3 in front of an audience that’s expected to reach over 5 billion people during the World Cup, through sponsorships, advertisements, and interactive experiences. Impact of FTX Downfall on Web3 Gaming The November 2nd CoinDesk article quickly spread, and people got scared. In the article, there are allegations that FTX's sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, was overexposed by holding too many FTX’s FTT tokens. Binance's CEO, CZ, later announced he was selling $2.1 billion in FTT, so people got even more scared and things escalated into a full-blown panic over the weekend, with record withdrawals of about $8.6 billion from FTX since the 10th. In less than two months, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), the founder and CEO of FTX, has gone from being the crypto industry's White Knight to its Dark Lord, when he was a beacon of hope for investors. The fallout from the FTX cryptocurrency exchange is reverberating through the whole ecosystem, and many in the community are seeking clarity on the potential impacts on their projects. There is still a lot of information coming out, and only then will we know the full extent of what really happened. Some have spoken, reassuring their communities. Animoca Brands' exposure to FTX is "limited to an insignificant trade balance," according to a statement from President Yat Siu. "Animoca Brands remains financially strong with a cash balance of approximately $214 million, digital assets of $940 million with an additional $3 billion in off-balance sheet digital reserves and a portfolio of approximately 380 businesses," Siu said. Yuga Labs co-founder Wylie Aronow provided updates to Bored Ape Yacht Club and Yuga Labs subscribers, reassuring them that no funds were affected by the FTX collapse. To paint the bigger picture, this infographic shows the portfolio of investments by both FTX and Alameda, and a few big names do stand out, like Magic Eden, Fractal, Sky Mavis, or Immutable. Additionally, the ties between FTX and Solana meant that the Solana ecosystem as a whole took a major hit in the aftermath. A drastic example of the consequence was experienced by Star Atlas, which announced it had lost half of its runway. “I believed this liquid cash position to be custodied with a reliable and trustworthy institution. I put my confidence and trust into an individual I believed to be a stalwart of the industry. Clearly that trust has been betrayed. Poor timing, and a failure to have sufficient backup measures in place to respond expeditiously to situations such as this resulted in a compromised position. That is on me, and for that, I am sorry.” Michael Wagner, CEO ATMTA Web3 games only slightly bumped by FTX Fallout When something catastrophic occurs, most investors believe that the entire sector simply collapses to a point where it cannot be reversed. However, all the way through this bear market cycle, web3 games have been showing some of the most extreme degrees of resilience. Those newcomers to the crypto industry just from an NFT or gaming perspective perhaps do not even give a damn about the downfall of both Alameda and the FTX exchange. Maybe because they really need to figure out exactly who Sam Bankman-Fried was and understand the reasons behind the failure of FTX. But why would they even care? Except if they had their tokens on FTX, which isn't likely since many web3 games require players to use a personal wallet with the game's NFTs to interact with the game. In some cases, they even offer in-game marketplaces as well as optional staking for their players, which means holding the tokens in a personal wallet would be a crucial part of the game. Gamers will continue to play, no matter what! While the media remains attached to the story of how a crypto-billionaire turned into a fraud, gamers are out there, busy winning rewards as well as helping the industry further develop bridges toward widespread web3 technology adoption. Source: DappRadar Looking at the chart above, we can see that the Web3 games category and the number of Unique Active Wallets (UAW) have largely remained unaffected, with the range remaining consistent with previous months. Another important consideration is the fact that playing web3 games when the value of tokens is down actually tends to be more logical, since anything collected nowadays can later be cashed in as soon as the market prices become more advantageous. Token 4029 - We were there! Exeedme was in London for the Token 2049 conference and it was an amazing experience. There are some considerations we would like to make about the Blockchain Game Industry. There’s been a parade of bad news from Luna and FTX events, however it’s important to notice that the gaming space is one of the most active in web3, maintaining a lot of interest from both game studios, infrastructure projects and investors These signs of vitality can only leave us excited for the future. It’s important to consider that Gaming is counter-cyclical, meaning that, as global economies enter a recession and people prefer to save more money on what is called real life entertainment in exchange for an increase of digital consumables and more time playing games. An example of this is, upon people not being able to afford to travel or going to a live concert, people will look for other ways to connect and be entertained in the most immersive way available (whether it's games or the Metaverse) - and this is where Web3 brings digital ownership and a relevant factor of decision when choosing Games and experiences for Gamers - meaning the gaming experience now transcends pure consumption and reaches a new, deeper experience in which games retain more value. It's important to consider the aversion to NFTs in Gaming in this reflection, however this is a western narrative. In Asia, NFTs in Gaming are popular, with the biggest South Korean game studios fully embracing Web3. After a talk with some experts in the matter, it’s easy to see that Token design is in its early stage, specially in the Web3 Games field. As such, there isn’t yet a defined model framework that game developers can rely on. This means evolution in this area will be mostly driven by experimentation. It’s easy to see there are a number of opportunities in the Web3 space - and Exeedme will keep on laying the ground for it with our mission in mind to bring economic freedom through Web3. OTHER NEWS HIGHLIGHTS Yuga Labs and Animoca Brands Amongst Those To Form ‘The Open Metaverse Alliance’ Gamestop Embraces Web3 Adoption & Expands ImmutableX Partnership Magic: The Gathering creator launches new PvP card game Square Enix reveals new NFT art project – Symbiogenesis Microsoft Have Invested in New Korean Blockchain Prospect Instagram and Facebook Integrate NFTs Fractal is now officially live on Ethereum Roblox Metaverse To Add NFTs - Will It Replicate The Impact Of Reddit? Blockchain TV Series RZR (Razor) by Gala Films Paves The Way For Web3 Cinema Yahaha raises $40M more for its user-generated, low-code immersive gaming platform Saga & Com2uS Announce Partnership To Power Infrastructure For Gaming Icon.X World: At The Intersection Of Web3, eSports & Decentralized Socializing Magic Eden Expands to Polygon Network to Accelerate Blockchain Gaming Gods Unchained Begins Cosmetics Migration Undead Blocks Announces Loot Coffins Splinterlands to Reduce Team Size By 45%, Points at Current Market Conditions Star Atlas Plans Four Sales in Coming Months NFTs Are Officially Banned From Grand Theft Auto Fan Servers Sony Patent explores blockchain and NFTs for use with digital assets Polkastarter to Host Web 3.0 Game Awards Show, Nominates Over 200 Games Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Join The Blockchain

XPAD

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The XPAD has Arrived

    Nov 17th, 2022

    XPAD

At Exeedme, we believe Gaming Culture and Community are just as important as a Competitive spirit. These are the pillars for everything that we did since the beginning of this journey. We are always looking to support gaming communities growth, create new challenging and entertaining forms of competition, and help people connect through gaming. Becoming the one-stop platform for competitive gamers is a challenging goal. However, we’re on the way! We have grown into a community of 90,000 gamers, distributed over $150,000 in prizes in both web2 AAA titles and web3 games, organised the first CS:GO on-chain crowdfunded tournament, launched a web3 game Crypto Bird and partnered with great traditional brands and blockchain projects! This is the time to continue leaving our mark and prepare for the future in the web3 gaming scene. We believe that the forefront of competitive gaming evolution will be fueled by digital property rights. And those can only be advanced through blockchain technology so that’s why the XPAD aims to play a big role in it. The XPAD was announced a while ago but like gamers that play everyday to get better we decided that it was the right time to improve, upgrade and evolve. Today we announce the launch of XPAD platform with 3 main verticals: 1) Content Creation & distribution 2) Web3 Competitions 3) Launchpad Besides the changes, the XPAD’s mission remains the same - finding the first Esports 3.0 hit. 1. The Content Creation & Distribution For the XPAD team content is king but distribution is the queen - so we will create the best content but will also make sure it gets to the right audience. The ecosystem is in need of more curated web3 content. Our team will be releasing and creating themed articles, reviews, reports and videos regularly in order to make sure that everyone has access to reliable information about web3 gaming. No matter if you are a gamer, an investor or just curious, we deliver for you. The Game Reviews are lighter reviews of the best games on the web3 space targeted at gamers. A straightforward article including everything you need to know about a game that could interest you. Starting with a quick bio and info about the gameplay, how to start playing, and ending with an unbiased rating from our team. The Game Research Reports are tailored at web3 game investors, current or future. These extended analysis will cover the essentials and give a 360º view about a game from gameplay to traction and business model. The team gathers reliable information about the quality of game, their business model & tokenomics, investors & partners, on-chain & off-chain data, industry overview & competitors, team and community. We don’t provide financial advice. The Monthly Reports are intended to analyse the most relevant happenings in web3 gaming from that month. It is not meant to capture every news but alternatively to digest the most relevant ones and analyse its impacts critically. The Videos follow the Game Reviews in order for each gamer to quickly grasp the gameplay of a new game before trying it. 2. Web3 competitions The XPAD will work as the first point of contact with web3 games for Exeedme. After analysing the traction and interest from the gamer’s community we will explore the competitive potential of it. Using the competitive layer provided by Exeedme, web3 games are able to organise and create the best crafted competitions to access a new community in their game category. Starting in casual competitions and ending into professional tournaments, we offer a foolproof system to cater the competitive spirit and grow games into Esports. 3. Launchpad This is the last part of the funnel, for game developers that have gathered the interest from our audience, successfully crafted competitions on Exeedme and are now on a path to create an esports strategy. The launchpad, will allow initial testers, web3 investors, Esports organisations to access high quality games through shared property rights (NFTs and Tokens). The launchpad will help games that have shown initial traction, capacity to entertain gamers and competitive elements to launch their digital assets. This will help the continuous development of the games and its competitive environment to ultimately grow these games into Esports. The competitive environment was always central for Exeedme, so the XPAD is no exception. We will be mostly focused on games that can become the first web3 Esports. With a foundation of gaming expertise, unique investors and esports network, as well as a growing gamers’ community, XPAD sets the pavement for great accomplishments as we go on this new adventure — launching the best games, with thriving and balanced token and NFT gaming economies that actually meet the expectations of gamers while allow them to retain a share of the value creation. Opportunities on the Horizon 1.From gaming reviews to detailed gaming research reports, we make sure to create highly curated pieces of content to educate gamers and bring investors to support games that have the conditions to stand out. 2.A game is not a game without real competition - and we love it. The XPAD will bring Exeedme technology and platform to bring the most exciting competitions for gamers. 3.Games need gamers to thrive - the XPAD matches the right gamers with the perfect game. Exeedme’s community plays a big part in it - we are 90k strong and counting. XPAD Round Table To mark this date, Exeedme is hosting a Round table with Polkastarter Gaming, Polygon and Entropiq. Each one of these projects represent different sectors of the market on web3 Gaming, blockchain technology and Esports, respectively. Each will share some success stories and its perspective of the future of Esports 3.0. This talk will be taking place on Wednesday, the 23rd of November at 5.00PM GMT, on Exeedme’s Twitter.

XPAD

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Moralis & XPAD Announce Web3 Tech Partnership

    Nov 16th, 2022

    Partners

The XPAD is happy to announce a tech partnership with Moralis to accelerate Web3 adoption. Moralis x XPAD: Web3 Tech Partnership We are happy to announce that Moralis and the XPAD are entering into a tech partnership, aimed at driving adoption of Web3. More specifically, Moralis and the XPAD are teaming up to promote the development and growth of Web3 and Web3 gaming. Moralis' Unity SDK and cross-chain APIs are powerful tools for Web3 game developers - and the perfect compliment to the XPAD’s Web3 gaming offerings as well as its needs With this new partnership, we hope to make it even easier for Web3 game developers to build, launch, and promote their creations. Moreover, a more frictionless experience will benefit gamers, who get to use projects built with Moralis’ best-in-class Web3 tools and Exeedme's blockchain-based gamer economy. "Web3 gaming is very, very exciting," said Ivan on Tech, CEO of Moralis. "As such, cooperating with Exeedme makes total sense for us. Any Web3 game dev can now easily integrate blockchain into their game with Moralis, then launch it to a great gaming community platform. We can’t wait to see what people will build!" “As result of this new alliance, Web3 gaming projects onboarded through XPAD by Exeedme will have access to a few of Moralis services under some special conditions,” Francisco Varela, Co-founder Chairman & CSO of Exeedme added. “From their enterprise plans providing the right tools to build and improve web3 gaming ecosystems, to their Academy with the most updated and curated content for web3 builders, Moralis is the way to go for building Web3 projects.”

XPAD

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October's Web3 Gaming Report

    Nov 2nd, 2022

    Monthly Report

Blockchain Gaming On-Chain Data In October, there were about 25 million UAW of user activity on blockchain games, meaning that the growth has stalled. According to DappRadar statistics, half of the top ten games in terms of "unique wallet addresses” rose in the last 30 days, with the biggest increase percentage wise going to Planet IX, an NFT-based strategy game, which jumped 240%. Gameta is still at the top of the leaderboard. Although data is not being tracked correctly at the moment, it seems that they even increased the numbers from last month’s meteoric rise. It’s also important to highlight that in the top NFT Collections, we saw Gods Unchained take second place in terms of volume over the last 30 days. The total volume exchanged was $21.84 million, demonstrating that web3 gaming is in good health. Source: DappRadar The Global Web3 Gamer Study by Coda Labs Despite the $5 billion invested in blockchain gaming during the first six months of 2022 and an increase in active users YoY, mainstream adoption is still lagging. With the purpose of better understanding the players' sentiments towards web3 based games and potentially correcting course, Coda Labs has conducted a survey in collaboration with DappRadar, Laguna Games, and the Blockchain Game Alliance. Nearly 7000 participants across five different countries (US, UK, Japan, Brazil and South Africa) were classified into three groups: Gamers, Crypto gamers, and Crypto non-gamers. In the survey, players were questioned if they had heard of concepts like Web3, NFTs, blockchain games, and so on. Coda Labs chose to ignore countries like the Philippines, which have a lot of people who play crypto games. The differences between the economies surveyed are interesting. For example, people in emerging markets like South Africa and Brazil are more positive about cryptocurrency, while people in the US, UK, and Japan are more neutral or negative. “The majority don’t know what crypto gaming is. Only 48% heard of a Web3 gaming term. The most popular term was P2E, which is the worst way to market Web3 gaming. Those who don’t know anything about it are the most skeptical. Those who have engaged like it a lot. So our takeaway is that we did a horrible job marketing in this space. The crypto natives and crypto gaming companies and the get-rich-quick schemes left a really bad taste with the general audience.” Şekip Can Gökalp, CEO and Co-founder of Coda Labs Other interesting results have emerged from this survey. Crypto Gamers are “gamers on steroids” Game Developers might have to fight through adoption but it seems that once they get the ‘Crypto Gamers’, meaning gamers that play crypto games,’ they will have a path to monetize as are 62% more likely to spend money in-game and also tend to play more hours and competitively. Earning cryptocurrency is the most common reason for people to play web3 games. 75% of ‘Crypto Gamers’, reported playing a web3 game only for that specific goal. Barriers are still big: gamers overall are not familiar with how web3 games work and most of them don’t have a blockchain wallet. Those most familiar were concerned with scams and the cost of playing a game. Gladly, these are not news and there are a number of projects working to solve these issues. While every survey has its flaws, they can also provide great insights, especially when they’re unbiased. As we’ve seen, onboarding is still overly complex for most people, and this process needs to be continually improved. In general, education is still key to increasing awareness and demystifying many of the existing concerns. The focus should be on the gamer's benefits and the technology integrated seamlessly in the background. Ultimately, players just want the fun and none of the jargon. Besides a handful of examples, most AAA studios still remain on the sidelines, but they will be important to give legitimacy to the web3 space, even more when security is frequently pointed out by most critics. Assuming NFT ownership as a projection of the adoption curve, this survey shows that we are still in the early market phase and entering “The Chasm”. So, If you're reading this, you are an early adopter. Source: Thinkinsights.net There’s a small redemption, though. The bad noise created by the general media around NFTs should be taken with a grain of salt, as this survey showed that instead, gaming NFTs actually have a positive outlook from most people, and that may be important in the push towards mainstream adoption. Horizon Blockchain GAmes $40M Raise On October 4th, Horizon Blockchain Games, the company behind Skyweaver, announced a $40 million Series A funding round. The funding round was led by Brevan Howard Digital and Morgan Creek Digital, with participation from Ubisoft, Take-Two, Polygon, and BITKRAFT. In a “significantly oversubscribed” funding round, it’s notable as well, the participation of Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity co-founder Alex Larsson; co-founder of The Sandbox, Sebastian Bourget; and Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke. “We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised USD $40M in our Series A financing to make web3 easy, fun, and powerful for users and builders. We’ll use the capital to scale our products, grow our ecosystem, and hire more incredible teammates onto our team." This funding round will allow Horizon to grow the Sequence ecosystem. The aim is to make it the go-to platform for any company or project building a web3 game, metaverse, or any consumer-facing web3 product. More than 40 projects have already integrated Sequence or are in the process of doing so, including names like Metalcore, CyBall, Mecachain, Sunflower Land, or Cool Cats. With more than a hundred other web2 and web3-native apps in the pipeline, Sequence is becoming a reference in the space. Then, they will also work on improving and adding new content to Skyweaver, the company's flagship game. Over 100 patch updates and 600 cards have been released since the first playable alpha back in December 2018. The game has been in Open Beta since earlier this year, during which they have seen more than 400.000 accounts being created. They have recently added tradable stickers, Legacy Hero Skins, and Conquest Weekly Treasures to promote a deeper engagement with their vast community. With a rich product roadmap, the future of Skyweaver looks promising. Lastly, Niftyswap, a marketplace for Semi-Fungible Tokens (ERC-1155). Part of the funds will be used to expand into this new business. Niftyswap will simplify the process of trading SFTs by providing users with access to on-chain liquidity. This allows customers to rapidly buy and sell tradable items while liquidity providers earn fees. “We’ve always had a long-term vision for the future of web3, and are carefully building complementary products to support the ecosystem. With Sequence, we enable builders to create the next generation of Internet experiences; with Skyweaver, we deliver a fun, strategic, and rich piece of content for gamers to enjoy; and with Niftyswap, we enable the seamless exchange of SFTs, which are poised to become some of the world’s most useful and traded virtual goods.” Peter Kieltyka. Co-founder and CEO of Horizon Blockchain Games Horizon seems to be taking inspiration from the Sky Mavis playbook, going from game development to focus on infrastructure and tooling development with Sequence. Reddit Onboards Millions of Users to NFTs Back in July, Reddit opened up a marketplace where users could buy profile picture NFTs. On October 18th, at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, Reddit Chief Product Officer Pali Bhat said that over 3 million Polygon-based Reddit Vault wallets have been established by users to collect and trade its NFT avatars. More than 2.9 million avatars are already in circulation, according to the Dune dashboard. It's difficult to put the numbers into context because not all NFT marketplaces are happy to disclose such data. However, according to a recent research by Dune Analytics, one of the largest platforms, OpenSea, hosts around 2.3 million active wallets. Meanwhile, Axie Marketplace and Magic Eden have 2.1 million users each, and, as of March, the cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask has over 30 million users. Reddit, on the other hand, accomplished this feat in less than 4 months. Furthermore, Reddit accomplished this while avoiding the term "NFT." The word was not mentioned at all in Reddit's July publication. Prior to the release of the Collectible Avatars, the company conducted a poll dubbed “The ABCs of NFTs”, in which they observed that 70% of the users were willing to buy an NFT from their favorite brand, but 35% thought that companies might "ruin the future of NFTs." In other words, they realized they needed to correctly execute their approach to NFTs, avoiding unfavorable impressions of technology while making them accessible. The company hired independent and recognized artists within its own platform to create artistically unique digital avatars. Each avatar is based on Snoo, the Reddit alien mascot, and the collection features around 40,000 of them. These were then available for sale at prices ranging from $9.99 to $99.99. The NFTs granted owners specific utility on Reddit and offered them something equivalent to a CC0 license in terms of intellectual property usage. This pushed platform users to get a cool, new PFP in the process, which was accessible for purchase using fiat currency rather than cryptocurrency. Furthermore, users may customize their avatar's appearance with merchandise from the avatar builder, and the avatar will have a "glow-like effect" next to their comments in communities. Reddit delivered free airdrops to a handful of its top community builders and contributors in August in an effort to broaden the reach and visibility of its Collectible Avatar project. Reddit users who met certain criteria were given access to NFTs from the Aww Friends, Drip Squad, Meme Team, and The Singularity collections. These collections, however, trade at much lower volumes. It is impossible to overestimate Reddit's achievements in this case. As a result of its success, it could inspire many web2 companies on the fence concerning NFTs to use the same approach. Taking it to the web3 gaming space, we could see publishers mimic the same strategy to avoid the public backlash we’ve seen before. By quietly launching while hiding the complexities and web3 jargon to the players, publishers might be able to convert them. Additionally, with regards to IP rights, they can potentially allow some benefits to be shared with the owners, providing additional value that previously was not possible. OTHER NEWS HIGHLIGHTS Sega’s First Blockchain Game to Launch on Oasys Blockchain EU resolution calls for investment in video games and esports Epic Games Release Demo of Solana Game, Star Atlas PUBG Creator Announces Blockchain Game “Artemis” Shrapnel shows off gameplay for UE5-based multiplayer FPS ImmutableX adds 15 blockchain games to its Web3 platform Upland Partners with Gala Games to Create New Experiences Co-founder of Rockstar Games Unveils First Trailer of Skyborne Legacy KONAMI Braves the Angry Hoards to Venture Further into Web3 Sims Creator Will Wright Details New Metaverse Game Blockchain Game 'Alien Worlds' Launches In-Game DAOs ZED RUN Summons the Enduring Spirit of the FIFA World Cup Play-to-Die: New Crypto Gaming Model Makes Death in the Metaverse Real Final Fantasy developer partners with Avalanche to launch its first Web3 game Hunter’s Arena Joins Forces With ImmutableX Bringing Play-to-Earn To Consoles Apple Restricts Using NFTs to Unlock Content, Features in Apps

XPAD

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September's Web3 Gaming Report

    Oct 7th, 2022

    Monthly Report

Blockchain Gaming On-Chain Data User activity on blockchain games during September has remained relatively flat when compared to the previous month, standing at around 27 million UAW. We may conclude that the increase in activity that some games have seen is primarily due to players flowing around rather than new players coming onto the space. According to DappRadar statistics, seven of the top ten games in terms of "unique wallet addresses” rose in the last 30 days, with all of the top five games in the green. It’s worth noting that eight of the current top ten blockchain games are mobile-first and for the most part, they fall into the casual gaming category. Benji Bananas from Animoca Brands saw the biggest spike in users with an astonishing 20x increase. Surprisingly , the game was revamped in March this year to include P2E elements. At the top, Gameta has kept first position throughout the month while increasing its user numbers by a good margin. However, being a gaming platform with a variety of casual games, it’s harder to relate those numbers to each single game. In-Depth Topics Free-to-Own Model The blockchain gaming market has been experimenting with different business models for quite some time, with the Play-to-Earn (P2E) model being the most successful of these experiments. This model enables players to earn crypto tokens while playing the game, which they can then either reinvest in the game economy or cash out for any other token or even real currency. Axie Infinity, which was the subject of extensive media coverage during the most recent bull run in the cryptocurrency market and helped many people make a lot of money, has since held the position of market leader in this space. The value of Axie's game tokens, on the other hand, has recently seen a dramatic decline, and the ongoing bear market has demonstrated that the underlying mechanism suffers from a number of critical flaws. Axie Infinity was criticized for a number of reasons, including not only the fact that its business model was unsustainable or even that it functioned as a Ponzi scheme, but also the fact that the game itself was not fun to play and only gained traction due to the possibility of users earning money. The term P2E has since evolved and been substituted by the term “Play-and-Earn” (P&E), possibly as a reaction to accusations that P2E blockchain gaming is nothing more than a crypto profit grind, with the boring elements of a game slapped on. The addition of this new tag gives the impression that the game experience is of the utmost importance, with possible cryptocurrency profits serving only as an extra perk. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear whether this modification is anything more than largely superficial. As player-investors crash markets and dump the increasingly worthless NFTs and cryptocurrencies that formerly held these carefully crafted economies together, "Play-to-Earn" games, even the ones that find some success, will ultimately transition to "Play-to-Sell". As a result, P2E games will shift their focus from player acquisition to revenue generation. The most recent model to be added to the mix is known as “Free-to-Own” (F2O). This model, which is being pioneered by Limit Break and its DigiDaigaku NFT project, lays the foundation for a new type of gaming economy. This model is being proposed as an improvement to both F2P mobile games and the P2E models that sell NFTs upfront. Limit Break is a new web3 gaming company that was founded by Gabriel Leydon and Halbert Nakagawa. Both also co-founded Machine Zone, which is a leading company in the mobile gaming area, now owned by AppLovin after a $300 million acquisition. DigiDaigaku is an ongoing NFT project that was introduced by Limit Break in the month of August. After a decade of pushing "Free to Play" games to their limits, our founders have spent the past year building Limit Break to replace F2P using Web 3. We call this new model “Free to Own” Although not much more is publicly known about this new model, it’s apparently robust enough to justify a $200 million raise announced by the company, which is still running in stealth mode. The concept that is proposed for DigiDaigaku and F2O is that the NFTs are freely delivered to early adopters and will eventually act as generators, creating further NFTs for in-game use. Initial holders become invested in expanding a project's reach but are not motivated to quickly recoup any upfront costs. With this approach, the company hopes to prevent the scammy practice of promising and not delivering. Instead, they expect that by giving away the NFTs, supporters would become the most enthusiastic promoters of the upcoming game, thereby turning them into a viral marketing machine. Typically, a company would sell such digital items. However, the company in this situation gives the items out to early supporters while also retaining some. Fans are allowed to use NFT marketplaces like OpenSea to sell their items. If the price of the NFTs goes up, Limit Break will be able to sell some of its own NFTs in addition to those sold by the fans. In doing so, they’re able to generate revenue. The DigiDaigaku Genesis collection of 2,022 anime-style female figures currently sits at a modest 12 ETH floor price on OpenSea. It's fair to say that freely distributed NFTs are nothing new, one example being the famous CryptoPunks collection and, more recently, the surprise success, Goblintown. Will F2O, which has already been met with criticism, become the new standard business model for the emerging blockchain gaming sector? Guess we’ll find out in due time. Ethereum merge impact on Web3 gaming The Ethereum blockchain, home to the largest ecosystem of dApps, has gone through a major upgrade, one that will impact the world of crypto for years to come. Dubbed as “The Merge," it became a meme after years of constant delays and rigorous testing. At last, on September 15 at 06:42:42 UTC at block 15537393, it went live without an itch, a landmark in and of itself. Let us examine the Ethereum Merge and see how it may impact the future of Web3 gaming. It all boils down to how transactions are stored onto Ethereum's blockchain, which is an immutable record of all Ethereum transactions. Since December 2020, two versions of Ethereum have been operating concurrently. The former employed the standard way of recording transactions, whereas the latter used a new approach. With “The Merge”, as the name implies, the two versions have been merged into one, with the new record-keeping paradigm being used. To understand the distinction between the two versions, one must first grasp two major cryptocurrency concepts: blockchains and consensus mechanisms. A consensus mechanism is how a blockchain guarantees that everyone involved in keeping track of transactions is being truthful and not claiming that there is more in their, or other, accounts than there should be. The transition of the older Proof-of-Work (PoW) based Ethereum mainnet to a newer and more energy efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism is what the Ethereum merge is all about. Nothing else on the Ethereum blockchain has changed as a result of this merge. The Ethereum blockchain's execution layer, which is responsible for the actual functionality and security of the network, remains unchanged, but the consensus process for adding blocks to the blockchain, or the consensus layer, is being replaced with the PoS model. Here's what sets the two mechanisms apart: · The PoW consensus mechanism comprises difficult puzzles that miners must solve using powerful computers. To solve the problems, trial and error is employed. The first miner to solve the puzzle or cryptographic equation gets the opportunity to add new blocks to the blockchain for transactions. · In the PoS mechanism, before approving transactions, miners must stake their currency in order to validate blocks. Miners also provide information about the duration of their transaction validation history. A weighted algorithm chooses who will validate each transaction at random based on the stake and validation experience. According to the Ethereum Foundation, the Merge will cut the Ethereum network's energy usage by about 99.95% and pave the way for future scaling alternatives. You can check the full details of the merge on the Ethereum Foundation website. Let us now move on to the world of Web3 gaming. Starting with the obvious, the transition to PoS mitigates climate concerns, reducing this common entry barrier for mainstream adoption. As blockchain gaming continues to grow in popularity, developers are taking notice. There are still many obstacles to overcome, but if environmental impact is no longer an issue, putting features on-chain will likely face less opposition. This might start a domino effect of additional games and companies coming out in favor of blockchain technology. At first glance, it seems that the gaming sector won’t be directly affected. That may be so, but we need to understand that, as of today, nearly half of the activity on the blockchain is coming from the gaming sector, and we’re still in its infancy. Since this industry is predicted to expand rapidly in the next few years, a slew of new players will enter the market, leading to an exponential increase in activity. This increase in activity usually means network congestion and, in return, higher gas fees to operate on it. While the merge itself doesn’t change this, it does set the foundation for the next upgrades that are under development, sharding being one of them. Sharding is the division of a network into "shard chains" that distribute Ethereum's load, relieving congestion and boosting transaction throughput. It is set to be implemented sometime in 2023 and will allow the network to scale considerably, resulting in dramatically reduced gas fees. In short, the merge has set the stage for new upgrades that will allow for more players, faster transactions and lower fees, all fundamental aspects to support the continuous growth of Web3 gaming. Now, there's something more worthy of note that could have an impact on NFT-based games. A group of Ethereum miners have banded together to create a forked version of the Ethereum chain the preserves the PoW consensus mechanism, a chain being called EthereumPoW (ETHW). As a result, holders of NFTs may find themselves with duplicates of their assets. One will be compatible with the previous PoW consensus, and the other will be compatible with the new PoS consensus. The question then becomes, which is now the “original” or “genuine”, giving a whole new meaning to the “Non-Fungible” aspect of NFTs. In a space already filled with bad actors and harmful conduct, confusion caused by duplicate NFTs might open the door to new scams and rug pulls. In the weeks around the merge, we saw some big names taking a stance, with OpenSea or Axie Infinity committing to support the new PoS version in prejudice of the old PoW ones. We may see game developers taking different decisions or even facing technical difficulties in the transition. Time will tell where the dust will settle, but in the meantime, it's crucial that we all be alert. Zilliqa’s Web3 gaming console Zilliqa presented the prototype version of itsgaming console, showing it is gearing up to enter the highly competitive space of gaming hardware. Launched in 2017, Zilliqa is a platform for smart contracts with a sharded architecture that aims to solve the scaling problems that some other blockchains have. Because of its sharded architecture, concurrent chains may process transactions simultaneously, boosting the network's total capacity. In terms of network utilization, growth has been quite inconsistent. While monthly active addresses on the network grew significantly from 2020 to 2021, this growth has now slowed dramatically. In April of 2021, there were more than 731k monthly active addresses. Currently, there are nearly half as many. As far as strategy goes, Zilliqa has been actively pushing to grow its presence in the gaming world, joining the Blockchain Gaming Alliance (BGA) in April of this year and developing relationships with esports teams MAD Lions, RRQ, and, most recently, Alien Worlds and XBorg. Zilliqa is taking this unique approach to the P2E business by establishing a blockchain-based gaming ecosystem and, now, a hardware console. During the last 6 months, the team has been researching, designing, and testing the console with the goal of smoothly integrating web3 features, such as a cryptocurrency wallet, mining software, and blockchain technology, into a gaming experience that is familiar to players. The console will be centered on user-friendliness by hiding the complexity of web3 from the end-user. Players will earn Zilliqa tokens (ZIL) as they complete in-game activities. This implies that as long as the developers allow, gamers will be earning ZIL regardless of the game being played, and this provides an extra incentive to remain in the ecosystem. On top of that, assets used in the games are owned by the players, and they are free to trade them on the marketplace as they please. Part of a bigger picture strategy is the fact that the console will be able to mine ZIL passively, and this will lead to the further decentralization of Zilliqa as it expands the number of miners around the world. Eventually, the console might even pay for itself. Nothing has been shared in terms of hardware specifications of the console, nor pricing. However, it was mentioned that it is based on off-the-shelf hardware, using older Nvidia chips. The benefits of this white-label approach are 2-fold: first, it leaves the team to focus on building the blockchain gaming integration of the blockchain and really optimizing the software experience; and second, it can help ease the supply chain constraints that have been affecting the more mainstream competitors. The gaming console is planned to be released in the first quarter of 2023, alongside two Zilliqa-native titles, including the first-person shooter game WEB3WAR, which has been receiving positive feedback since its announcement. Zilliqa is heading into a very competitive space, not only with Sony or Microsoft, but also rubbing shoulders with Steam. Back in July, we saw Polium announcing a similar endeavor but proposing a multichain web3 gaming console. However, not much more has been shared besides a potential launch in 2024. Will we see other blockchains follow suit, particularly those with large gaming ecosystems such as Wax? And what about Solana, which has already ventured into hardware with the announced Saga flagship phone? OTHER NEWS HIGHLIGHTS Cross The Ages Releases Game Economy Updates Splinterlands Introduce Tower Defense Game Animoca Brands Secures $110M to Build Open Metaverse Axie Announces Rebrand to Axie Origins and Season 1 Launch Guild of Guardians teams up with top names in esports to grow Web3 game Crypto Gaming Space Raised a Total of $748 Million in August Axie Infinity’s $2 Million Esport Grant Program Is Here! Gods Unchained Announces two Global Esports Tournaments With $70,000 in Total Prizes Blankos Block Party Introduces Season 1

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