The web3 gaming industry has grown at a breathtaking pace, with play-to-earn, NFT, and metaverse gaming accounting for nearly 50 percent of all blockchain usage in 2021. The promise of true digital ownership and circular token economies is lighting the path toward the next remarkable evolution of gaming, and perhaps even toward the first true portal for the mass adoption of blockchain and web3 technologies.
Despite being impacted by the downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX, Solana and its high-performance blockchain remain an emerging leader in the web3 gaming movement.
Today, I’ll be discussing what you need to know surrounding Solana, and how they plan to continue leading the charge in the GameFi movement. We’ll also take a sneak peek at some of the best Web3, metaverse, NFT, and play-to-earn games in development on Solana today.
What is Attracting the World’s Best Web3 Game Creators to Solana?
Solana is a public and open-source blockchain with a strong reputation as the fastest and most scalable decentralized blockchain in use today. In addition to the high throughput and low fees that make it an attractive destination for NFT and web3 game creators and publishers, the Solana Foundation has shown a sincere commitment to making a positive impact in the gaming industry.
- For starters, Solana Foundation’s venture arm, Solana Ventures, has invested 250 million dollars i250 million dollarsttracting top game creators and improving the overall quality of the GameFi ecosystem.
- Solana Labs offers a robust collection of web3 tools, services, and support to empower builders and accelerate growth in the industry.
Amy Wu, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, a firm that partnered with Solana Ventures and FTX to fund a $100 million investment initiative in 2021 to support Web 3 gaming said:
"High-performance blockchains like Solana are now capable of delivering the kind of Web2 experiences gamers expect while providing the advantages of decentralized Web3 systems.”
The Best Solana-Based GameFi Projects
The speed and affordability at which Solana operates, alongside the Solana Foundation’s commitment to attracting the world’s best talent, has already made a significant impact on the future of web3 gaming according to Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana Labs in 2021:
“In the last few months, we’ve seen talented game builders leave their jobs at Riot, EA, Scopely, and other established gaming firms to build Web 3 games on Solana.”
We’re now beginning to see the benefits of those efforts with several highly-promising games set to launch into the Solana ecosystem. So, without further ado, here’s a sneak peek at the top play-to-earn, metaverse, and NFT games being developed on Solana today:
Guild Saga is an NFT-based fantasy RPG that is built on top of the Solana blockchain, which features detailed generative pixel art NFTs that can be imported within the game on release, and there are over 700 available traits. There's equipment that can be displayed on the characters directly, and any Hero holders can send their NFTs on a quest, which is the game's form of staking. In return for doing so, they passively generate the game's native cryptocurrency, known as the GGLD token, as well as NFTs.
Star Atlas is an ambitious Web3 game built in Unreal Engine 5, which is one of the latest game engines that work on top of the Solana blockchain. The game is set within a virtual gaming metaverse based in the year 2620. When we look at the game mechanics, there's a grand strategy space exploration aspect to it, alongside land and territory control and even vehicle and fleet control. There are a lot of spaceships alongside mining operations. There are two in-game currencies, ATLAS and POLIS, alongside NFT asset ownership, and mining revenue is generated based on the number of territories that are controlled. There's real-time smart contract execution of game scenarios, and DeFi is directly integrated within the game through Serum.
BR1: Infinite is essentially a skill-based, player-versus-player (PVP) game that features kill-to-earn and pay-to-spawn mechanics. Whenever a player ends up eliminating another player, they earn their entry fee, which is 10% of the wealth that they have on them. Any player can spawn within a map of 300 other players already within it, and there's no start or finish in this game, which means that anyone can play at their own speed, aiming to eliminate other players. The earnings are measured in USD and can be seen transparently. All of the earnings, however, are transacted in the form of USDC through the Solana blockchain and can be withdrawn at any supported wallet. There Are three character types, Apes, Droids, and Humans. The map design features hot zones, where there's better loot but higher stakes, respawn and advance. This is a battle-royale-style first-person shooter (FPS) with a prize pool.
Project Eluüne: Star Garden
Project Eluüne: Star Garden is essentially a team-based, auto-chess battle game that features role-playing game (RPG) mechanics. Players can build armicanith creatures and have the main goal of outsmarting their enemies. They can create strategies, recruit, craft, train, optimize as well as merge creatures. The game will reward players with dynamic NFTs, which have real value based on the amount of time and effort put into them. The more dynamic an NFT is, the more powerful, and in-turn, wealthy it becomes.
GYRIS features a multiverse that has no limits that feature multiple classes which players can select in order to explore it alongside NFT features. The game is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), but the universe also expands into an epic fantasy film 10940 individual mints will produce an NFT with between 8-13 traits, which are randomly generated from 7500 traits. The universe features own native cryptocurrency in the form of the GYRIS token, and NFT and GYRIS staking will be enabled, through which players will be able to get rewards alongside exclusive NFT upgrades and rewards.
Earth From Another Sun
Earth From Another Sun is a Solana-powered first-person galaxy game that allows players to explore an entire star system, where their quest will have them conquering planets, building their territories armada, and creating a wide variety of content in the metaverse that is ever-expanding. It features a two-token system, where EFAS is a token meant for governance while KPL is the in-game token.
Recent Solana Volatility
The fallout from the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX continues to rattle the crypto space. The Solana ecosystem was one of the hardest hit due to its proximity to Bankman-Fried and FTX.
It’s too early to understand the amount of contagion resulting from FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s implosion. For now, all users are encouraged to exercise caution and withdraw tokens and NFTs from centralized platforms until there is more certainty.
As for Solana’s future, despite Sam Bankman-Fried being a large investor and driver, the ecosystem, technology, and determination of the community and builders look to remain resilient and strong.
“Just as we saw with Ethereum and ETH in 2018, this current shakeout will purge Solana of pure price speculators and ensure that only those that are dedicated to the ecosystem are part of the next big wave of innovation and growth,” said Marius Ciubortariu, core contributor to Kamino Finance.
A spokesperson for the Solana Foundation told CoinDesk:
"The events of this week are unfortunate and will likely impact certain projects more than others, but the overall Solana ecosystem of thousands of developers is robust and diversified, and ecosystem projects continue to reiterate support for Solana and their commitment to building on Solana."
Solana’s burgeoning GameFi ecosystem could play a huge role in paving the way toward a new chapter for the blockchain.
Keep up with the Evolution of Web3 Gaming on Solana
Whether you’re a gamer, creator, or Web3 investor, Solana could use your attention and support now more than ever before. Here are some resources to keep you informed: