Key points to remember
In about a year, NFT games will now be poised to overtake PC games in popularity.
Compared to conventional PC games, only 10 games are more popular than the top editions of NFT games.
Raised $2.5 billion from blockchain games in Q1 2022, on track for $10 billion this year versus $4 billion for 2021.
While gaming token prices have plummeted alongside the broader market, user growth and investment has been solid.
As NFTs plummet as the market continues in risk-free mode, I’ve decided to dive into the stats of an industry that I believe has one of the most intriguing use cases of this new technology.
a lot of course NFT are overpriced and can be attributed to the hysteria of the bear market, but I’ve always thought that the marriage between games and NFTs was natural. Players spend so much time playing certain games, as well as money on in-game add-ons, that defining ownership and maintaining a historical record on the channel makes sense.
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 plummeting token prices?
In terms of active users, the growth of NFT games over the past year has been lightning fast. A report from DappRadar calculated the growth of blockchain gaming at 2,000% since the first quarter of last year.
Also in the first quarter of this year, $2.5 billion was raised for blockchain games and other metaverse projects. While this came before the ugly downturn of recent months, it still holds great promise as $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 60% cut would take it above the 2021 level.
NFT game users
The financing is strong, but so are the users. A look at the chart below of the top 10 NFT games confirms that the industry is starting to grow in popularity, attracting more and more unique users each month.
To put the above numbers into context, an interesting current benchmark for NFT games is PC games. The chart below shows the top 10 most played PC games on the Steam platform. While 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 past 30 days (rather than the total number of unique users per month according to the graph above).
Assuming 5% of active gamers are online at some point, the chart 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 while NFT games have yet to catch up to PC games, it is very close. 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 about 1,000 users.
But despite the bullish growth in numbers, these games are being labeled as fads due to the general slump in the crypto markets. Additionally, the chart below for two of the biggest tokens – Alien Worlds and Axie Infinity – shows that the freefall was brutal after last year’s explosive accelerations.
But if we look beyond the prices of these tokens (much of which would be due to speculation) and instead focus on user growth and investment in these platforms, the future still looks bright.
It reminds us that despite the bearish sentiment in the markets, there is very real technology here that is making a difference and disrupting industries. To be on the edge of the top 10 PC games is already quite an achievement, given the burgeoning nature of the space.
Whether these tokens are good investments at current prices? Well, that’s a problem for another day.