Contributor, Benzinga
January 3, 2023

As the line between physical and digital experiences continues to blur, demand for digital products and services continues to grow. One of the core industries spearheading this demand is the online gaming industry.

Currently, over 3.2 billion gamers exist worldwide. These gamers helped generate $200 billion in revenue in 2022 alone, up by +2.1% year on year and projected to grow further in the years to come – despite challenging economic conditions. In this way, the gaming industry is widely considered to be – to some extent – recession-resistant. 

The metaverse has the potential to amplify the already buzzing demand for video games by creating a captivating, 3D experience that truly immerses the players in the games that they are playing. It could provide opportunities to not only monetize and own in-game collectibles but to also interact with other players across the world with unprecedented levels of efficiency and ease. 

The following article will explore the best metaverse games today and how you gain financial exposure to this explosive trend.

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What is the Metaverse?

The metaverse refers to a 3D, shared and immersive virtual reality where humans can experience life in ways they couldn’t in the physical world. Such virtual realities can be decentralized or centralized. 

Decentralized metaverses that fall under the umbrella of Web3 are not controlled by a central authority and are instead powered by decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Players can monetize in-game items and vote on changes to the game – offering unprecedented levels of ownership and openness. 

Conversely, centralized metaverses are governed by one single entity that has absolute power over the metaverse. Users can share experiences and interact with one another; however, they do not have complete control or own pieces of the digital environment. 

Best Metaverse Games

Despite the doom and gloom of the 2022 bear market, the metaverse space is buzzing with innovation and development. Here are the top five metaverse games today that are actively building and growing their communities.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own and monetize their gaming experiences using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and SAND –– the platform’s utility token. The platform is scalable, fast and environmentally friendly, having fully migrated to the Polygon network. It aims to bring blockchain into mainstream gaming, attracting both crypto and non-crypto enthusiasts.

Within the Sandbox metaverse, users can create play-to-earn (P2E) games and dioramas, host giveaways and contests and leverage unique NFT-based assets. The Sandbox can be thought of as a blockchain-alternative to Roblox. 

At the time of writing, the Sandbox has completed two experimental seasons, with over 700,000 contest participants and 10,000 NFTs distributed in Alpha Season 2. Sandbox has secured partnerships with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Atari, Adidas, The Walking Dead and The Smurfs. 

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The Sandbox thumbnail

sand

The Sandbox

$0.699002*

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+4.05%

24H
Buy The Sandbox
47 votes

Illuvium

Illuvium is a popular fantasy role-playing game (RPG) developed on the Ethereum blockchain by the Illuvium DAO. Illuvium strives to be the world’s first AAA blockchain title in the gaming industry.

Within the game, players explore an open-3D world to capture deity-like beasts referred to as Illuvials. These creatures are collected by players and represent NFTs on Ethereum’s blockchain with real-world value. Under Illuvium’s P2E framework, players battle other players with their Illuvials to win ether (Ether).

Illiuvium was developed on Unreal Engine 4, which allows for detailed settings and environments that distinguish it from previous blockchain-based games. The game is powered by two types of cryptocurrencies: ILV (Illuvium) and sILV. ILV allows players to participate in governance, staking and yield farming while sILV is a synthetic version of ILV used for in-game purchases.

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Illuvium thumbnail

ilv

Illuvium

$103.28*

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+10.1%

24H
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0 votes

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity (AXS) is a blockchain-based game based on Pokémon-like creatures known as Axies in a world known as Lunacia. The project is a recognized leader in the P2E space and is ranked in the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization at the time of writing. Like Illuvium, Axie Infinity is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which enables players to own different components of the metaverse such as in-game items and virtual land.

The core purpose of the game is to collect and breed Axies. Players can use Axies to battle other players, explore the 3D world and breed other Axies. Each Axie is represented by an NFT that confers ownership and allows players to trade Axies on the game’s marketplace for real money.

In addition to Axies, a few other important items are part of the Axie Infinity ecosystem. AXS is the native token of the platform. It is used to claim rewards, play the game, stake and participate in crucial governance votes. Another important token is Smooth Love Potion (SLP), which is a reward token that can be earned in in-game battles or adventure mode. It carries value like other cryptocurrencies and can be exchanged on a decentralized exchange (DEX). 

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Axie Infinity thumbnail

axs

Axie Infinity

$7.23*

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+1.09%

24H
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65 votes

Star Atlas

Star Atlas is a space exploration blockchain-based multiplayer game. The game is set in the year 2620, with territorial pursuit, high-tech spacecraft and weaponry and political factions that enhance gameplay. Star Atlas is one of the most promising P2E games in the crypto space, allowing players to earn rewards with real-world value in a peer-to-peer game economy.

The goal of a Star Atlas player is to expand their space empire by mining the land for resources, acquiring land and exploring the galaxy. In achieving this, players will face new adventures and encounter other players. 

The project was built on Unreal Engine 5 and is powered by the Solana blockchain. Compared to Ethereum-based games, Star Atlas benefits from comparatively low network costs because of the high transaction-per-second speed of Solana (over 50,000 transactions per second). 

Where to Buy Metaverse Project Tokens and NFTs

Popular metaverse gaming projects such as the Sandbox can be traded on major exchanges such as Uphold, Gemini, Binance, eToro and Crypto.com. Many of these platforms allow you to purchase cryptocurrencies using your credit card, through swapping features or through different trading pairs such as SAND/USDT. You can also buy NFTs central to metaverse games either on the game’s website or through an NFT marketplace like OpenSea.

Are Metaverse Games a Good Investment?

The metaverse gaming industry is a promising trend that is positioned well to continue growing in the coming years. These projects are all great starting points, pushing the envelope of innovation in multiple sectors of the gaming industry including RPG and science fiction.

However, despite the promise, metaverse games are still in their initial stages of development. Most projects will fail in the long run, which means picking winners early on is not only difficult but risky. Prudent investors will invest in projects they understand and are passionate about, acknowledging the high risk associated with the metaverse gaming sector.

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