GameFi’s Mass Adoption — What’s Stopping it and How Can we Fix It?by@kirthanadevaser
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GameFi’s Mass Adoption — What’s Stopping it and How Can we Fix It?

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TL;DR the lessons we've learnt from the mistakes made by famous GameFi projects and how OpiPets is revolutionising GameFi for the better through storytelling and play & earn.

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The financialization of gaming, better known as GameFi, put down a marker amidst the non-fungible token (NFT) boom in 2021. If you’ve been in the blockchain gaming space in the last few years, you would already be familiar with a common three-word phrase that is often used to define the sector: Play-To-Earn (P2E).

This heavily utilized gaming model first came to light when P2E giant Axie Infinity exploded in popularity for rewarding gamers with actual money in return for their time and effort spent in-game. By mid-2021, Axie Infinity began attracting cryptocurrency investors looking to benefit from the sharp increase in its token price.

CryptoSlam Source: August 2022 Sales Chart

CryptoSlam Source: August 2022 Sales Chart

Unfortunately, following several vulnerabilities in the game mechanics including its flawed ‘scholarship program’ compounded by recent events such as the $165 million crypto hack from its network and current market conditions, Axie is facing a massive decline in not only the player base but profit too. In August alone, Axie faced a 99% decrease in year-over-year (YoY) sales, plunging by about $842 million from August 2021.

Whilst the fall of Axie Infinity may be discouraging to some, these setbacks have not been a deterrent to game developers and investors.

Market sentiment suggests that metaverse and GameFi fundraising saw a significant jump from $874 million in 2021 to $2.4 Billion in 2022. Thus, it is no wonder that P2E projects are springing up like mushrooms even in current market conditions. The real question is however, will projects learn from the mistakes and existing flaws of GameFi?

The Problem: Pay First

When Gala Games COO, Sarah Buxton, spoke at Zebu Live on September 23rd, she shared her thoughts on the market and the key to longevity in GameFi. Echoing Sarah, blockchain as a system has not hit the mass market because it is not interesting, it is practical. Blockchain gaming gives developers the mobility to let people understand all of this without all the jargon and hype. GameFi is essentially putting a game on the blockchain with the only thing varying is what a player earns from it.

We agree with this sentiment, however, we recognize that it is more than just putting a game on the blockchain. The majority of P2E games have left players around the world with little to no value both in-game and in the real world. Left holding the bag, gamers and veterans of the industry believe the flaw with GameFi lies in the fact most of these blockchain games require players to spend money upfront to even begin playing.

Let’s take Axie Infinity for example. In order to begin playing, you are required to connect your crypto wallet and deposit Ether (ETH) to purchase Axies. All in-game objects and Axies are tradable ERC-721 NFTs within the game that can be used to breed and battle.

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You will need at least three Axies to even start playing and breeding. Furthermore, the cost of an Axie excludes the ‘gas’ fee associated with your purchase. At the time of writing, the floor price is 0.001 ETH (approx. £1.34).

Source: CoinGecko

Source: CoinGecko

According to CoinGecko however, as of July 2021, a basic Axie can cost up to 0.15 ETH (approx. £195.41)…bringing the total cost of three Axies up to 0.5 ETH (approx. £651.37), which is a substantial amount. Thus, if a player cannot afford to purchase Axies, they can opt into Axie’s scholarship program where veteran players willingly lend their Axie to those who may be unable to afford this initial investment. In return, scholars are required to split their in-game SLP earnings depending on the amount agreed upon at the time of the transaction; some profit-sharing models are as high as 80%. If you really think about it, to be viable in facing off against other players, £651 would not even come close to being competitive within the ecosystem.

The sales of the NFTs fund the rewards and earnings system within the gaming ecosystem. Hence, in order for the game to be not only profitable but also sustainable, there needs to be a constant influx of new players.

The majority of P2E gaming models are often compared to those of pyramid schemes; fraudulent and unsustainable. Similarly, GameFi is often disregarded as a game changer (pun intended) but rather just decentralized finance (DeFi) with gamified elements. So, how do we switch the narrative? Simply put, go back to the basics.

Gameplay is the key to mass adoption

The biggest hurdle in the acceptance of GameFi is the lack of focus on the actual gameplay. GameFi developers should be prioritizing creating a project that people want to keep playing endlessly while simultaneously creating real-world value and utility for in-game assets.

Creating a sustainable blockchain game is about building a project that has the potential of maintaining a recurring player base… and that is exactly what OpiPets aims to do!

Gameplay through storytelling

Set to reshape player-owned economies, OpiPets is a free-to-play project revolutionizing GameFi by prioritizing gameplay through the power of storytelling.

OpiPets takes pride in not being a game, but rather a gateway to the Opiverse. The game is built on recruiting people to restore balance to the digital world of Opis I, within the Opiverse. It contains twelve distinct biomes — ten active and flourishing but two inactive and uninhabitable due to intervention and disruption caused by expedition members. Players are meant to help restore order by navigating through the Opiverse and interacting with their OpiPets through their chosen web browser.

Unlike other story-based projects, OpiPets intends on keeping the adventure evergreen by building its storyline in real time. Furthermore, the community plays a pivotal role in the creation of the story, influencing outcomes and potential plot twists within the game too. The project also heavily involves its community in character creation by giving members a chance to not only name in-game characters but also an opportunity to inspire these hand-drawn OpiPets too.

Furthermore, if ranked PvP is your game or if dominating economy-based games is your jam, we cater to all types of players — even PvE gameplay!

Most importantly, OpiPets is proud to be a gaming project built by gamers; not just conventional game developers, but also diehard players of classic games such as Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), World of Warcraft (WoW), Runescape & Dota2. The team advocates its aim to bring the solution to the mass adoption of GameFi through its unrivaled gameplay on the blockchain whilst still bringing value to its users through sustainable tokenomics and NFTs.

If you would like to learn more about the mechanics behind the project’s tokenomics, you can do so by reading about it here.

Final Thoughts

With just about any new industry or sector, sometimes it is important to reflect upon the basic fundamentals. GameFi is not meant to be a tradeoff between gameplay and decentralized finance; both can coexist and undoubtedly do so in the Opiverse.

Made with gamers in mind, OpiPets will not only reform GameFi but also break the barrier of entry for all to experience the wonders of Web3 through authentic and exceptional gameplay.

Kirthana Devaser HackerNoon profile picture
by Kirthana Devaser @kirthanadevaser.An Economist turn Financial Writer from Southeast Asia, Kirthana Devaser is an experienced writer and speaker in the Web3 space. She is the Content Manager at Opis Group, a British blockchain organisation and parent company of Opis Games and Opis Cloud.
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