Why This Blockchain Gaming Bull Run Is Different

It’s tough to ignore crypto’s raging bull run. Bitcoin is up 50% in February and the rising digital tide lifts all boats. The blockchain gaming sector, for example, recently recorded its highest number of unique daily active wallets in more than two years.

Beyond strong numbers, this momentum comes at the right time for blockchain gaming. The sector today counts far more appeal for mainstream audiences than in the last bull-and-bear cycle. Backed by better games, more players, and richer ecosystems, the sector is – in a word – maturing.

Whether it’s the quality of games or the shifting methods of consumption and value generation, all signs point to growth. Let’s look at three reasons why this is more than just a bull run in blockchain gaming.

Market Attention At The Right Time

This market upswing couldn’t have come at a better time for blockchain gaming, the nascent sector that combines gaming and gaming infrastructure with blockchain technologies like cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and smart contracts.

Despite the challenges of last year’s crypto bear market, blockchain gaming used 2023 to consolidate its proposition and fine-tune its offering. Now, as crypto hits multi-year highs and brings blockchain back to the forefront of tech conversations and investments, the sector is ready to take advantage of the newfound attention.

Today, the sector enjoys the support of strong financial backing, top-notch talent, and renowned game studios. Moreover, only the most resilient projects endured the challenges of last year's crypto downturn. What endures are formidable teams committed to crafting cutting-edge gaming adventures. These pioneers are willing and able to ship entertaining games and push the boundaries of blockchain gaming. For example, we’re now seeing new forms of user-generated content, the integration of artificial intelligence tools, and fully on-chain games.

Likewise, the maturation of the blockchain tech stack is a key factor contributing to the sector’s resurgence. Technologies like social log-ins, multi-chain transactions, and account abstraction wallets significantly lower entry barriers. Across the board, this maturity paves the way for intent-based, user-centric applications, and an environment ripe for mainstream adoption.

The Growing Migration From Web2 To Web3

Another key element bolstering blockchain gaming growth is that even legacy players are making the switch from web2 to web3. 

In November, AAA gaming studio Ubisoft partnered with blockchain game firm Immutable to collaborate on developing web3 games through its Strategic Innovation Lab. In January, SEGA announced that it was working with blockchain company Finschia Foundation to create web3 games based on its popular franchises.

Ubisoft and SEGA are known for classic games all over the world. If they can bring some of their expertise and intellectual property to the sector, the sky’s the limit.

Better Ways to Play, New Ways to Earn

Finally, the current crop of blockchain games is returning to what makes games popular in the first place: fun. 

Far beyond the play-to-earn model, which obligates engagement for the sake of earning, today’s titles are improved by better developers and gameplay. In turn, this encourages gamers to stick with the game, boosting the ecosystem of players, assets, and value generation. 

To this last point, blockchain gaming is also introducing new ways of earning. The latest web3 standards empower gamers to link their gaming, social media, and diverse accounts to the blockchain. For example, ERC-7231 binds multiple web2 and web3 accounts to a single NFT, creating an “identity of identities.” This offers users better control over their data and how it’s utilized. If they opt-in and decide to share this information with brands, users can potentially earn passively whenever their on-chain and off-chain data is accessed.

This presents a complete inversion of power dynamics in data ownership. Instead of personal data being confined to isolated databases, resulting in a fragmented user identity spread across corporate-owned platforms, users reclaim ownership of their information. This is one element to watch closely this year and beyond.

Momentum + Optimism = Growth

Momentum is clearly with blockchain gaming at this moment. The sector is entering a phase of unprecedented optimism and growth, fueled by market attention, industry partnerships, and innovative gameplay mechanics. 

As the sector continues to evolve, it promises to redefine the gaming landscape and revolutionize the way users interact with games and digital assets. Expect blockchain gaming to continue to carve out its place in the gaming industry landscape, offering new opportunities for players, developers, and investors alike.

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