History of GameFi
In 2022, the GameFi industry experienced substantial growth and innovation. The aggregated market capitalization of all GameFi tokens reached a significant milestone of $25B on April 1, 2022. While this figure did not surpass the industry’s all-time high of $36B from November 2021, the resilience of the sector is evident. Footprint Analytics collated this data by integrating the market cap of governance tokens with other in-game currencies across various GameFi projects.
There was also a 2022 surge in blockchain games with 717 new products being introduced that matched the robust growth of 2021. As a result, there were 2,171 GameFi protocols on blockchain by the end of the year. However, this influx of new games did not translate into widespread usage, as only 14.5% of GameFi products managed to attract more than 1,000 users. This suggests that the majority of games, despite their availability, struggled to secure significant traction among players.
In terms of transaction volumes, the industry witnessed a peak in the week of January 2–8, 2022, with an impressive $916.5M in capital flowing through GameFi protocols. However, a surge in transaction volume does not necessarily indicate heightened activity, as transactions can also reflect bearish sentiment, such as selling and outflows. This was exemplified during the week of July 17–23, when GameFi transactions reached their zenith at 184.5K. Interestingly, the most substantial monthly decline in volume occurred from April to May, when GameFi volume reduced by approximately 62%, primarily due to the collapse of Terra Luna in the first half of May.
From the perspective of blockchain games, as of December 25, 2022, 62 active GameFi projects made up the main sphere. STEPN, a game pioneering the Move-to-Earn model, garnered the most users, boasting a total of 1.8 million. Other games that achieved significant user engagement include Splinterlands and Alien Worlds, both of which dominated the leaderboard for active users throughout the year. Despite Ethereum’s known challenges with congestion and high gas fees, Cryptokitties had the highest total users among all games on Ethereum, with 112.6K users.
Examining the chains used for GameFi, Wax emerged as the most active in 2022, with 351K active users and a Daily Active User Ratio of 57%. Wax also held the largest market share, with 40.47%, closely followed by Hive, which held 20.86%. A growing trend in 2022 was the adoption of multi-chain strategies, with 149 games opting for this approach, a considerable increase from 63 in 2021. Among developers, BNB emerged as the chain of choice, hosting 748 projects by the end of the year, largely due to its low gas fees and the ease of launching protocols.
When looking at investment and fundraising in the GameFi sector in 2022, Epic Games stood out with the largest funding round. They secured an impressive $2B investment from Sony and Kirkbi for their metaverse project. Animoca Brands, the company behind The Sandbox, raised $434M in two funding rounds and distributed funds in 61 rounds, establishing itself as one of the largest recipients of funding and the most significant investor in GameFi. Despite the nascent status of GameFi, the sector received 16% of total blockchain industry investments in 2022, more than any other category. This led to an 84% increase in total gaming investment from 2021 to 2022, highlighting the escalated interest in the GameFi industry.
GameFi on Solana, BNB, Wax, and TreasureDAO
In the realm of GameFi, the choice of blockchain significantly impacts the success and reach of a product. In 2022, a wide range of chains demonstrated varying levels of activity and growth. Wax emerged as the most active chain with 348,070 users, a 55.2% increase in its user base from 2021. Hive came second with an impressive growth rate of 97.35%, increasing its user base to 258,876. BNB Chain and Polygon also experienced considerable growth, with Polygon exhibiting a staggering growth rate of 379.59%, albeit from a smaller base. Conversely, Ronin and ThunderCore both experienced a contraction in their user base, with Ronin witnessing a substantial decrease of -44.4%.
The BNB Chain, an early entrant in the dApp ecosystem, has evolved into a robust platform, boasting 904 games by May 2023. The chain, renowned for its vibrant community and comprehensive developer toolkits, has become a prominent platform for GameFi projects. It has seen the development and launch of notable games such as MOBOX and Radio Caca. With a market capitalization of $325,422,740 and a 24-hour trading volume of $26,822,185, the BNB Chain represents a significant portion of the GameFi industry. MOBOX dominates the BNB Chain with a market cap equal to 24.17% of the chain’s total.
Solana, a more recent entrant in the blockchain space, has seen exponential growth, particularly in 2022. With a focus on scalability and user-friendly dApps, Solana has quickly established itself as a major player. The chain hosts 175 games, with its market cap reaching $355,397,632 and a 24-hour trading volume of $30,385,810. Solana’s market is primarily dominated by STEPN, with a market cap that makes up 66.34% of the chain’s total. Other noteworthy games on Solana include Star Atlas and Aurory. This surge in Solana’s popularity can be attributed to its technological breakthroughs, commitment to investing $100M in developing gaming projects, and a rapidly expanding ecosystem.
Towards the end of 2022, TreasureDAO, an ecosystem focused on gaming, gained prominence in the GameFi sector thanks to The Beacon, a new dungeons ARPG. According to Arbitrum statistics, The Beacon exceeded 40K mints, 22.7K users, and 20K average DAU in the first weeks of December, with their Discord and Twitter numbers increasing in tandem. The main ecosystem advantage is its specialized infrastructure, characterized by high performance, low costs, and fast processing speeds, specifically tailored for GameFi projects.
The Wax blockchain has played a pivotal role in the GameFi industry, demonstrating resilience and sustained growth even amidst challenging market conditions. Despite the bearish market and macroeconomic pressures that pervaded 2022, the GameFi sector continued to grow, and Wax held its place among the top three GameFi blockchains by users.
One of the most compelling aspects of Wax’s performance in 2022 was its dominance in terms of gaming transactions. Data from Footprint Analytics indicated that over 82% of all gaming transactions were conducted on the Wax blockchain, a substantial lead over other chains. This dominance is indicative of the robustness of the Wax ecosystem and the trust users place in its security and reliability.
Although there was an overall decrease in daily unique active wallets in the GameFi industry in 2022, Wax maintained a strong user base. Despite an 11% decrease in active wallets in August, Wax still accounted for over 50% of the industry’s overall usage. Moreover, Wax led the market in terms of the number of active cross-chain GameFi users, boasting 326,516 active users.
The diversity of the Wax ecosystem also stood out in 2022. Volume distribution of Wax game protocols revealed that Taco and Alien Worlds were the most active, with volumes of 23,639 and 21,055 respectively. The top 10 game protocols by trading volume on Wax was led by Alien Worlds, which commanded a daily volume of over 670 million.
The TON GameFi Ecosystem
TON Blockchain has made substantial advancements in expanding the prospects of its GameFi sphere. Initiated in 2022, TON’s GameFi project development has resulted in an ecosystem with
25 games, 30 gambling platforms, and the TON Play GameFi platform
The TON Punks team, creators of one of the first NFT collections on the TON, holds a significant place within the ecosystem. With a primary sale of $1.5 million and a secondary market volume of $2 million, a community of up to 80,000 members on Telegram, they have demonstrated their capacity for successful project implementation and community engagement. Their latest project, PunkCity, further underscores their commitment to the GameFi platform. As the first game in the $punk ecosystem, PunkCity’s integration with Telegram and fair play guaranteed by smart contracts opens a new way for games on the TON. The TON Punks team’s pioneering efforts are instrumental in supporting the TON ecosystem’s growth and development.
TON Play is an integral part of TON Ecosystem, providing a toolkit that empowers game developers to tap into the extensive user base of Telegram, which currently stands at over 700 million users. It offers a plethora of services including international pay-in and pay-out options, near-instant payouts in TON for games with cash prizes, and revenue-share programs in TON for power players.
The integration of the Unity SDK with TON Play allows developers to publish Unity-based games as Telegram Web Apps, thereby providing access to Telegram’s vast user base in countries such as India, Brazil, and the Philippines. TON Play also facilitates the creation, publication, and management of unique digital assets like items, skins, passes, etc., adding an additional revenue stream for developers.
TON Play also enables the launch of in-game marketplaces, where assets can be sold directly to users, further enhancing monetization opportunities. The platform’s use cases extend across various game genres, from casual games to RPGs and mobile games, providing innovative ways for game developers to monetize their content in restricted markets.
TON Ecosystem’s Potential
In the dynamic GameFi landscape, the ability to leverage an established and far-reaching user network can be a true game-changer.
One of TON’s key advantages is its integration with Telegram, which provides it with a readily available and massive user base. Given that TON is Telegram’s native chain, it benefits from the robust technological infrastructure and innovative spirit of Telegram, which recently began to build its own products on TON.
A diverse collection of games, ranging from casual to RPGs, and especially mobile games, has proven to be a magnet for diverse user bases across various successful ecosystems, and TON also needs to increase the number of such projects. The release of tools to unleash the full potential of innovative monetization instruments are also vital catalysts for growth.
TON’s payment solution allows for seamless transactions in any country, negating the need for separate payment systems in different markets. This ease of payment, coupled with minimal compliance requirements, enhances the user experience significantly. Furthermore, the integration process is exceptionally efficient, with the initial integration of TON’s payment solution requiring just one day, followed by the addition of a digital assets API to boost game revenue.
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- Footprint Analytics Top Volume Games in 2022www.footprint.network
TON Play - a platform to build and play web3 games.
Discover and enjoy playing new games with friends. Craft and buy&sell game items.