Blockchain gaming or Web3 gaming decentralizes certain parts of and activities within gaming ecosystems and platforms. Over the last few years, it has gained a lot of attention — from game developers, users, and investors.
For this data-driven article, I researched the stats and trends of the top Web3 gaming platforms to shed light on the current status of this part of the crypto space. (All the data used in this article is gathered on 15&16 April.)
Let’s dig in to see what I found out!
Web3 Gaming Investment Trends
How much money institutional investors put into specific sectors of the crypto sphere is always a good indicator and starting point to see how things are going. The following chart shows the cumulative VC investments in blockchain gaming per month.
For comparison, here is a chart from last year:
So we see that in Q1 2023 there is a significant increase in VC investment volume compared to the last quarter of 2022. At the same time, we are still a long way from the top level of the previous year, when months with a volume of over $200 million were not uncommon.
Overall, the crypto market is on an upswing. Since the number and amount of VC investments in crypto technologies also depend on market developments, we can expect a further increase in the coming months.
Web3 Gaming Protocol Token Prices
Since we are talking about a positive market development, what about the price development in the last few months?
Representing the Web3 gaming sector, the following chart shows the price developments in Q1 2023 for Axie Infinity ($AXS), Galactic Arena ($GAN), The Sandbox ($SAND), and MOBOX ($MOBX), which are among the current top 20 largest blockchain gaming platforms based on protocol balance.
$AXS, $SAND, and $MOBX show very similar course developments. At the turn of the year, they all experienced significant price increases, which peaked for the time being in mid-February. $GAN also recorded strong growth in mid/late February. Even if none of the projects was able to keep these profits in the long term, the overall picture (also in terms of trading volume) is much more positive than in Q4 2022.
Next, let’s check out stats of individual protocols.
Blockchain Gamin Protocol Stats
Let’s start with Web3 gaming protocol balances. According to DappRadar, the balance is the value of assets in a protocol’s smart contracts.
It is one of the most important metrics that can be used to determine how well a dApp is performing in a given market segment compared to other platforms.
As it turns out, the current top 3 Axie Infinity ($AXS), BinaryX ($BNX), and Galactic Arena ($GAN) have the lion’s share with a total balance of $1.5 trillion.
Interestingly, this is not fully reflected in the 30-day volume (total amount of incoming value to dapp’s smart contracts).
After TreasureDAO ($MAGIC), Axie Infinity ($AXS) takes second place, followed by DeFi Kingdoms ($JEWEL). The ranking looks completely different if we look at the number of unique active wallets in the last 30 days.
Benji Bananas ($PRIMATE), Planet IX ($IXT), and Axie Infinity ($AXS) are the protocols with the most unique active wallets over the last month.
Comparing these three charts, protocol balance, 30-day volume, and 30-day unique active wallets do not appear to be very closely related. However, keep in mind that this is only a view of a very limited period of time.
Spotlight: Axie Infinity
One of the constants in this comparison is Axie Infinity ($AXS), which for different metrics is always at the top among blockchain gaming protocols. Let’s take a closer look at this platform.
Token holders: The development over the last 12 months has been very positive. The summer 2022 dip coincides with the peak of the last bear market.
Protocol revenue: For much of the past year, protocol revenue hasn’t seemed particularly impacted by the bear market. However, the slump in Q4 2022 was striking. I can only speculate about the reasons. I suspect that the generally lousy market environment was largely responsible for this. Revenue is still low compared to the peaks of 2022. However, the trend is clearly pointing upwards again.