2023 is a BUIDL year for crypto gaming

2022 has been a huge year for the play-to-earn (P2E) gaming scene. An influx of capital and users has been followed by a sharp drop in blockchain gaming token prices and a decrease in players – and the market is still in a slump. And, with the fallout from the FTX disaster reaching every corner of the industry, the game’s prospects for making money look bleak on the surface. But peeking under the hood, the numbers tell a different story: Strong funding this year has set the stage for some serious “building” in 2023.

A steady stream of big raises for game studios Web3 has been quietly instilling funding for the market for months. In August, UnCaged studios raised $24 million, contributing to nearly $750 million raised by Web3 game studios that month alone. The momentum continued through September, when Revolving Games raised $25 million, and October, when Odyssey Interactive, Stardust, and SkyWeaver raised $19 million, $30 million, and $40 million, respectively. Thirdverse Raises $15M For Web3 And Virtual Reality (VR) Games In November;

These numbers directly contradict the slump in asset prices and gamer enthusiasm for the Web3 gaming space. But even as players and tokens falter, venture capitalists are betting big on the future of blockchain gaming. Which studios will win in the year ahead? And why?

Instead of betting on speculation, VCs bet on experience

One notable amid the increases that have taken place in recent months is that the majority of studies that have received funding are not conducting seed or pre-seed rounds. Rather, they are holding Serie A.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Some studies have successfully completed seed or pre-seed rounds. But even then, their founding teams have serious gaming experience. For example, Ruckus Games, which recently raised $5.5 million in seed funding, is a game studio started by former developers at Gearbox and Riot Games. This indicates that VCs are focusing on gaming experience studios, a departure from the early days of Web3 gaming.

How blockchain gaming investments were allocated in 2022. Source: DappRadar

During that early period, many Web3 game projects received solid funding without having a clear roadmap towards launching their products or establishing teams with the proven track record to make it happen. Indeed, the YOLO days of late 2021 and early 2022 are long gone. Today, studios receiving funding already have a proven level of success building Web3 games. VCs are now thinking farther into the future, even up to five or ten years later.

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While this time frame may seem like many lifetimes in the cryptocurrency world, this horizon is normal for studies in the traditional gaming sphere. The shift to long-term thinking also shows that studios are starting to understand that individual games have shelf lives, and that investing in the studios that make games is a more effective approach.

How will the cryptocurrency game change?

As we look at these increases combined with long-term trends in Web3 gaming, we’re starting to see certain patterns starting to shape the future of the industry.

So what will be the impact of all the increases in a few years?

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We can definitely expect a strong emphasis on mobile gaming. In September, DappRadar reported that hyper-casual blockchain mobile gaming drove more than 1.7 million users from Web2 to Web3 gaming in just one week.

With these changes underway, it seems likely that Web3 gaming will enter the “mainstream” and that within the next five years, the global index of top 100 game studios will contain studios with strong blockchain elements.

Here’s to the long game

We probably haven’t seen the last of the large-scale increases that have occurred in the Web3 gaming space in recent months. The Web3 game hype cycle has officially passed and the space is in “build” mode. And this time around, investors are interested in the studios that are playing long (pun intended).

This shift in focus, combined with the significant fluctuations in the broader blockchain technology sector, will create new dynamics and opportunities for builders in the P2E market in 2023. The heightened expectations from both players and lenders will separate the wheat from the chaff. Priorities in 2023 and beyond will focus on quality over quantity. In the end, those who can create the most outstanding games will win. So I play.

Corey Wilton is the co-founder and CEO of Mirai Labs, the international game studio behind Pegaxy. A renowned speaker and play-to-earn thought leader, he started his first cryptocurrency business in 2018, a customer support service designed to assist cryptocurrency companies with their customer service.

This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as investment or legal advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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