Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been flipping the script on finance, and now Web3 games are mixing it up with a dash of gamification.
In recent years, numerous blockchain companies have ventured into the gaming industry. Take Yuga Labs, the company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), for example. Its Otherside metaverse introduced the “Legends of the Mara (LOTM),” a 2D collection-based NFT strategy game powered by Ape Coin. The game is also set to collaborate with Gucci to issue built-in NFTs. Traditional gaming companies like Giant Network, Kakao Games, Com2uS, and Neowiz have also entered the Web3 gaming space.
Web3 gaming has become a focal point within the industry. DappRadar's "2022 dApp Industry Report" highlighted that the number of daily unique active wallets (UAW) in Web3 gaming increased by approximately 1.15 million in 2022, accounting for 49% of all daily blockchain activities across Dapps. Furthermore, the number of transactions experienced a staggering 94.17% increase.
Web3 games have attracted significant investment as well. According to Everyrealm's data, by 2022, blockchain game projects successfully raised $4 billion. However, only a small number of these projects have released official products, with most still in development or testing phases.
Like any emerging technology, Web3 games come with their own set of challenges. Many launched games tend to focus more on the Web3 and financial aspects, neglecting the fundamental gaming experience. This attracts speculators or "wool parties" but eventually leads to the game's unsustainability and collapse.
The market is in need of Web3 game projects that prioritize the gaming experience while integrating Web3 innovations. Arena of Faith (AOF) is one such project that aims to strike this balance, placing the essence of gaming at the forefront and incorporating Web3 elements as a secondary but complementary aspect.
Introducing Arena of Faith
Arena of Faith (AOF) is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) that offers both Free-to-Play (F2P) and Play-to-Earn (P2E) experiences. The core team behind AOF consists of specialists from Tencent Interactive Entertainment competitive games, former Ubisoft senior experts, seasoned developers from Tencent Tianmei Studio, and key contributors to Cosmos ecosystem technology.
The test version of Arena of Faith (AOF) has received widespread recognition from game practitioners, players, and investment institutions. The game's operation and art quality are on par with mainstream MOBA products available on the market.
One of the core concepts of AOF is "event priority", which has led to the creation of a highly automated event platform. This platform supports players, communities, and event organizers in efficiently organizing events according to their own requirements while ensuring fairness. A set of decentralized commercialization models is also provided for all event participants.
On May 21, Arena of Faith (AOF) announced the successful completion of a $1.75 million seed funding round. The round was led by Chain Hill Capital, a cryptocurrency and digital asset investment firm, and Initiate Capital, an early-stage investment company focused on crypto games.
Gameplay of Arena of Faith
If a Web3 game focuses solely on "speculation" without "gameplay," it's destined to become a bubble.
The Arena of Faith game takes place in Vigrid, a mysterious and perilous battlefield of the gods. The environment features extreme weather, aborigines, ancient giants, and mysterious guardians, all of which contribute to a complete and original world view system. The game also boasts high-quality art development standards.
Since September of last year, the AOF team has been working on the concept design of hero characters and the production of next-generation 3D character models. As of now, 20 hero characters have been completed and are set to undergo preliminary testing soon.
In terms of gameplay, AOF retains a design similar to traditional Web2 games, making it easier for traditional gamers to experience Web3 games. The game supports single-player and team modes. For instance, in the regular season, two teams of five players each choose heroes to battle. The map consists of three main lanes and four wild areas. Players must collaborate and strategize, conquering defensive towers and minions to earn in-game gold coins and experience. The team that destroys the opponent's main crystal wins.
The game system includes equipment, arcane, apocalypse, and weather systems. The equipment system is the game's core development aspect, allowing players to exchange gold coins for equipment and choose suitable gear based on their hero's traits and battle situation. The arcane system lets players select two active skills before starting the game, providing heroes with multi-dimensional battle support. The apocalypse system is a free out-of-game attribute and skill system that complements hero skills and equipment. Lastly, the weather system is randomly generated in-game, affecting giant attributes and hero skills. Players must adapt their strategies according to the unpredictable weather. This innovative design is unique to AOF, enhancing the game's diversity, scene variability, and overall enjoyment.
In terms of performance, AOF stands out with its CS architecture for large-scale events and the ability to seamlessly switch to a frame synchronization architecture. Its highly customized rendering pipeline ensures top-notch visuals and multi-environment adaptability, while the behavior prediction system effectively reduces in-game lag issues.
Market Analysis of Arena of Faith
Most Web2 game products follow a similar commercialization model, which involves selling in-game items and props to players to generate revenue. E-sports is also a popular marketing tool, with publishers supporting it through a percentage of total revenue. However, publishers often focus their investment on the top professional competitions, leaving the waist and long-tail ecology with little resources and low overall income for practitioners. Additionally, the continuous release of new heroes and skins has made the game more complex, increasing the learning and return costs for users.
While popular MOBA games like DOTA2 and LOL have seen a steady increase in the popularity of e-sports, their game content sales have continued to decline.
In contrast, Arena of Faith (AOF) aims to address the imbalance in interest distribution within the traditional MOBA ecology by focusing on the waist and long-tail e-sports ecology. AOF offers solutions for these users through product design, interactive experience, and business models. By allowing core MOBA users to pay for the game behavior itself, rather than just new skins and heroes, AOF is able to serve the most hardcore user groups and reconstruct the overall product form. This is a change that most Web2 MOBA games cannot make under the existing system.
Arena of Faith Is Evolving
Web3 games are still an emerging field, with few blockchain games successfully combining gaming entertainment and financial investment. Unlike existing blockchain games on the market, AOF is a Web3 game that emphasizes competition and offers higher playability. AOF merges innovative gameplay and strategies with a decentralized economic model, allowing users to enjoy both gaming experiences and economic benefits.
Additionally, AOF continually expands its game content and systems. As stated in the official website roadmap, AOF plans to launch a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for game governance in the third quarter of this year. The introduction of the DAO will facilitate the transformation of game community governance, allowing players to shape the game's development. Moreover, most of the profits generated by the game will be automatically distributed to community members. AOF also aims to build an esports system, introducing a wider variety of event types and event rights to cater to players' diverse needs. This will create a bridge for KOLs, content creators, event organizers, esports clubs, and fans, fostering new commercialization ideas. Furthermore, AOF intends to launch a betting mode in the fourth quarter, enabling players to wager on game outcomes for rewards, enhancing player engagement and interest in the game.