The evolving Web3 revolution has sparked an incredible wave of innovation. However, with every new thing, sudden changes and evolution also invite criticism and debate. Needless to say, any technological innovation needs ample time to perfect itself.
The kitty of Web3 gaming is not without its problems. But are there any solutions to them?
Let’s dive right into classifying and evaluating the problems plaguing Web3 gaming’s current landscape. It’s worth noting that Web3 gaming is a work in progress.
Utopia Is A Long Way To Go
The gamut of problems associated with Web3 gaming is quite filled to the brim. While millions of users are actively participating in Web3 games, its underlying problems are undeniable and quite inevitable.
Broadly, the problems could be bifurcated into the following:
- Ecosystem Problems
- Game Design
- Unsustainable Economics
Now that you have skimmed through the major problems grappling the Web3 games ecosystem, let’s address the elephants in the room.
Problem #1: Ecosystem Problems
While the Web3 gaming ecosystem maybe winning hearts all across the globe, there are some inevitable glitches that are left unaddressed so far including:
- Barriers To Entry
Let’s begin with the most obvious one. It is not just a ‘Web3 gaming’ problem but a Web3 problem. New users could find the entire ecosystem, including the applications and the community to be overwhelming. Don’t trust our words? Try making your mom set up a wallet.
Many Web3 and blockchain applications, in general, have a laughably bad UX. Furthermore, these apps are generally found to be appealing and easy-to-use for a niche crowd. As a matter of fact, these gaming apps tend to perfect the tech, forgetting that without a proper UX, it will be difficult to attract anyone outside their closed community.
- Inadequate Performance
If you aren’t aware, let us tell you that the majority of the Web3 games run on top of Ethereum. Hailed as one of the most important protocols in the world, it popularises smart contracts and creates multi-billion dollar DeFi and NFT economies. In other words, it is a driving force in the Web3 revolution.
Well, it’s not a bed of roses as it is also one of the slowest and underperforming blockchain protocols in the world with numerous instances of network clogging – BAYC land sale anyone? Can you run the latest GTA game on Windows 95? Ofcourse not, but that’s the state that we are in right now. Web3 lacks genuinely good games because of the lack of high-performance in the base layer itself.
Thankfully, there are a number of protocols that are trying to solve this problem through L1 & L2 solutions like Polygon, Arbitrium. However, it will be a win-win situation only if these protocols can not just solve problems of Ethereum, but also bring more developers onboard and solve for the friction in mass adoption.
Problem #2: Game Design
The design of the game plays a pivotal role in driving the success of the game amidst the gaming aficionados. The gaming platforms in the Web3 gaming industry somehow end up even missing the stars as they are too engrossed aiming for the moon.
- Superficial Gameplay
Although a transitional problem, it should definitely be called out.
You will be astounded to discover that a large number of Web3 games are just DeFi apps masked as games. They not only lack the depth and sophistication to attract gamers in the long run but also seem to be art pieces that have little to no gameplay with poor tokenomics and a non-existent economy.
These games grasp the buzz during their launch and do exceedingly well for a few months, before they fall flat due to unsustainable economics. In retrospect, the first wave of games were poor because they weren’t built by folks in gaming. However, the silver lining in the cloud is that more game developers are entering the space, hence enhancing the possibilities that Web3 opens up.
- Cookie-Cutter Approach
This is another transitional problem that has plagued the gaming ecosystem. Various Web3 developers and Web2 studios building Web3 games have taken a cookie-cutter Web2 game (typically an F2P game) and slapped on a crypto angle to it, where few items can be purchased with a cryptocurrency.
Wondering what’s the fuss? Well firstly, the only thing most Web2 studios can sell are NFTs. On the other hand, most of the Web2 games have a single player economy and the only source of new assets are the developers themselves. However, the landscape completely differs in Web3 games, where there is an expectation of a solid player driven market.
These key factors need developers to think differently and without a paradigm shift in the thought process of building, it is simply like rowing the boat without an oar. In simple terms, these games are doomed to fail.
Problem #3: Unsustainable Economics
Economies of scale have been a lingering problem of the Web3 gaming domain for quite a long time. The absence of a defined rulebook makes the entire ecosystem a little too complicated and difficult to comprehend at times. However, the tunnel isn’t dark ended and the days that are coming off will definitely be better.
- Overdependence On NFTs
NFTs are an indispensable part of the modern Web3 games ecosystem. However, NFT trading comes with a handful of cons including:
- Lack of liquidity
- Difficult to value
NFTs, by design are unique, and hence not fit for high volume and high-frequency trading. Their unique design further mandates them to be listed individually on a marketplace – a very time-consuming process that leads to a lack of liquidity that can make trading very frustrating and tiresome.
- Unproportionate Incentives
On the face of it, play-2-earn (P2E) gamers now have a solid way to monetize their time. However, the mechanics of most P2E games aren’t very well thought that would make Web3 adoption a little problematic.
In the present spectrum of time, P2E gaming is more of an ‘invest and earn’ thing than an ‘earn’ thing. Players have to buy or rent an NFT, and they can earn good money only if the other players also spend enough money. Hence, this model is a little too far from being sustainable as the players’ earnings are impacted by the number of new users entering the ecosystem and market fluctuations.
In A Nutshell
Despite a loaded bucket of problems, Web3 gaming is the next great evolution for the gaming world. It will not necessarily upend the entire industry and emerge as the dominant model. However, spending diligent hours in developing better and more robust economies could rescue Web3 games from the inevitable spiral of death due their inherent design issues.
To bring Web3 games to the masses will not be a smooth ride. But, mass efforts from the community can fix the obvious flaws listed above. And, despite these hurdles, Web3 games are here to make their own mark, and they are going to play a significant role in the digital economy in the future.