Web 3.0 is supposed to be the next big evolution for the internet. It could also revolutionise games and enhance overall gaming experience for users, according to industry experts. In simple terms, the idea with Web 3.0 games is that users are rewarded for the in-game assets they own. More importantly, those assets have a value that goes beyond the game itself.
“For any game to be fun, they have to be meaningful and you should be able to play the game with or without the blockchain. If you do that, then that’s a fun game. Blockchain enhances the experience by giving your digital ownership and being rewarded for your interactions in the game,” Aakash Mandhar, Vice President of Studio Engineering at Immutable, Mandhar told indianexpress.com on the sidelines of the India Game Developer Conference (IGDC) 2022, held in Bengaluru last week.
According to him, the dynamic between “games with economies and gamified economies” will be crucial in the future of Web 3.0 games. “If you do the flip, which is essentially the entire game is about playing an economy and everybody’s angle is to extract value out of it, it is no longer fun,” he explained further.
That is not to say that these “games” will not see initial involvement. With a lot of people entering the space for what Mandhar called ‘speculative reasons’, numbers might shoot up fairly quickly in the short term. However, this is not a sustainable strategy in his view.
“Once there are enough high-quality games out there, then there is going to be a competition around which games are people going to play. At that point, these games will suffer,” he pointed out.
Another reason why gaming companies are excited about the prospects of Web 3.0 games in India is that users are now spending more on games and in-game purchases. “The idea that gamers in India are not spenders is changing as of now. All gaming companies are looking at India and the user behaviour is changing,” Dayanidhi MG, CEO of nCore Games said.
He admitted that right now Web 3.0 titles have lacked the quality that traditional high-end games offer. “When the Web 3.0 technology emerged, people were taking their games to the market fairly quickly. Studios that made these Web 3.0 games did not have time to bring in the triple A quality to start with, and they designed in a hurry so that they could go to the market fast,” he pointed out. But he thinks this will change going forward.
“The next generation of games that are going to hit the market, which are currently under development, are all going to be solid in their economy and game design,” he said.
But what about AAA games (aka the high budget, high production value) such as FIFA, GTA, Halo, etc? Will they also adopt blockchain at some point? Mandhar said this could happen, but might need more time. “There’s a lot of unknowns in the blockchain space, especially around regulations, and countries are trying to figure out how to go ahead and deal with it,“ he pointed out. “Once we have mass adoption of customers and therefore sentiment is more positive in general around all blockchain. I think the bigger AAA titles will come,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, nCore Games’ CEO has a different view. He thinks AAA games with Web 3.0 aspects will attract more gamers when these areas merge.
“If the next generation of games – the AAA quality ones — are going to offer a similar kind of user experience to gamers and in addition to that they provide ownership, then people will not hesitate to invest and then buy those Web 3.0 elements,” he said.
He’s also more hopeful that the transformation could happen sooner. “Give it a year or two because these (AAA) games really have longer development cycles. As soon as these games are ready, they’re going to offer an experience that is similar to what you’re used to without Web 3.0 elements. But when you have a combination of both, I think that’s going to be something very interesting,” he said.