NFT games could overtake PC games in popularity

Key points to remember

  • In about a year, NFT games are now ready to overtake PC games in popularity.

  • Compared to conventional PC games, only 10 games are more popular than the top editions of NFT games.

  • $ 2.5 billion raised from blockchain gaming in the first quarter of 2022, heading for $ 10 billion this year against $ 4 billion in 2021.

  • While the prices of gaming tokens have fallen with the wider market, user growth and investment have been strong.

As NFTs plunge while the market continues in a risk-free state, I have decided to dive into the statistics of an industry that I believe is one of the most exciting applications for this new technology.

Of course a lot NFT is overpriced and can be attributed to bear market hysteria, but I have always thought that the marriage between games and NFTs was natural. Players spend so much time playing certain games, as well as money on additions to the game, that defining ownership and maintaining a historical record on the channel seems logical.

So what do the numbers say about the adoption of NFT games compared to conventional games, and do they paint a more optimistic picture than falling token prices?

Year-on-year growth

In terms of active users, the growth over the past year has been fierce for NFT games. ONE report from DappRadar calculated the growth of blockchain games to 2,000% since the first quarter last year.

Also in the first quarter of this year, $ 2.5 billion was raised for blockchain games and other metaverse projects. Although this came before the ugly downturn of the last few months, it is still promising given that $ 4 billion was raised throughout 2021, a time when the bull market was in full swing. This puts gaming and metaverse projects on track to raise $ 10 billion by 2022. So even an extremely conservative funding cut of 60% would bring it above the 2021 level.

NFT game users

The funding is strong, but so are the users. A look at the chart below, which shows the top 10 NFT games, confirms that the industry is starting to grow in popularity and attract more and more unique users per month.

 
 

To put the numbers above in context, an interesting current benchmark for NFT games is PC games. The chart below shows the 10 most played PC games on the Steam platform. Although data on the total number of users in a month is more difficult to obtain, the graph below shows the average number of concurrent players over the last 30 days (instead of the total number of unique users per month according to the graph above).

 
 

Assuming 5% of active players are online at any given time, the graph below compares how NFT games compare to the most popular PC games, with NFT games in blue and conventional PC games in orange.

 
 

This shows that although NFT games have not yet overtaken PC games, this is very close to happening. Only the top 10 PC games capture more users than the top NFT game, Alien Worlds, and the margin is very narrow, with Alien Worlds, only around 1,000 users.

Still, despite the bullish growth in numbers, these games are termed as fashion phenomena due to the general decline in the crypto markets. In addition, the graph below for two of the biggest tokens – Alien Worlds and Axie Infinity – shows that the free fall has been brutal after last year’s explosive accelerations.

 
 

But looking beyond the prices of these tokens (much of which would have been due to speculation) and instead of digging into the growth of users and investments made in these platforms, the future still looks bright.

It is a reminder that despite the bearish mood in the markets, there is very real technology here which is making a difference and disrupting industries. Being on the edge of top 10 PC games is already something of an achievement given the nascent nature of space.

Are these tokens good investments at current prices? Well, that’s a problem for another day.

Sources

https://dappradar.com/blog/dappradar-x-bga-games-report-q1-2022

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1266486/blockchain-games-user-number/

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