From September 11th to 12th, 2023, the Web3 Gaming Summit 2023, the official gaming sub-event of Token2049, co-organized by ABGA and DeGame, was grandly inaugurated. This summit served as a convergence point for Web3 gaming enthusiasts and pioneers. It not only gathered leading figures, developers, investors, and enthusiasts from the global Web3 gaming community but also invited numerous industry leaders from both Web2 and Web3. With the theme "New Era For Gameplay," the event aimed to discuss the future of Web3 gaming and provide new directions, strategies, and tools for the industry's upcoming development. Over 4,000 people registered for the summit, with actual attendance exceeding 4,300, clearly indicating the industry's keen interest in Web3 gaming and the high expectations for the event's theme, guests, and shared content. It was one of the most attended events over the two days.
The summit officially kicked off at 11:00 AM (UTC+8) on September 11th at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. The morning sessions featured presentations and panels about the Linea gaming ecosystem organized by Linea, DeGame, and Particle Network. In the afternoon, ABGA, in collaboration with Klaytn, Iskra, and CESS, hosted the hackathon finals, showcasing top-tier gaming products from the Top 10 teams. Concurrently, the afternoon sessions also featured several leaders and experts from both Web2 and Web3 sectors, sharing their insightful perspectives on Web3 gaming. After the captivating presentations, the winners were announced and a grand award ceremony was held.
On September 12th, at 9:30 AM (UTC+8), the Web3 Gaming Summit 2023 grandly opened with a speech by ABGA's CEO, Kevin Shao, who shared his valuable insights into the Web3 gaming market. Apart from analyzing the current popular blockchains and trending games with high industry activity, Kevin highlighted the booming development of cross-chain games. He also mentioned that Web3 game developers would benefit from the emergence of AIGC.
Meanwhile, during an interview with Cointelegraph, Kevin expressed that gaming provides an excellent scenario for running AI, which can enhance the efficiency of game development and interactivity. When discussing the current state and development of the gaming industry, he pointed out that many games have already achieved cash flow revenue, making it a popular trend to attract new users. Over the past two years, AAA games have gradually become mainstream. However, developing AAA games is extremely challenging and requires significant investment, so the current market may not fully support such games.
In addition to that, the entire conference featured a series of consecutive speeches, including:
- Sébastien, COO of The Sandbox, discussed how today's Generation Z is embracing NFTs and digital asset ownership. To support this growing creator culture, The Sandbox continuously launches new creations, games, tools, and fully backs the community. He also provided multiple avenues and directions for community growth in the creator domain.
- Aloysius Chan, CEO of AI Meta Club (AMC), addressed the topic of "Is Blockchain Always Secure?" He pointed out that beyond a certain profitability point, game companies need to decide whether it's worth implementing expensive detection and encryption tools to thwart hackers. He added that with the help of AI, blockchain technology in Web3 games can be realized without integrating GameFi.
- Hugo Church, Head of Business Development at Brilliantcrypto, showcased the exciting game world of Brilliantcrypto. He predicted that apart from gamers, NFT enthusiasts would also be interested in owning a gem or jewel on Brilliantcrypto. He also introduced the concept of "Proof of Gaming" to create real value for players.
- Kordan Ou, CEO of KryptoGO, highlighted the challenges faced when transitioning from Web2 to Web3 gaming, such as identity binding, security and integration, and entry barriers. He proposed viable solutions like enhanced blockchain integration, improved user experience and accessibility, a robust financial ecosystem, and continuous community and societal engagement to enhance the gaming experience and user retention.
- Steve Good, CEO and Co-founder of Dreams Quest, showcased the upcoming open-world action-adventure RPG game "Origins: The Fall of Azoria." He also revealed that to better support the gaming community, Dreams Quest has established a new NFT infrastructure compatible with multiple chains and a new dynamic market.
- Carol Wang, Co-founder and CFO of MarsProtocol, discussed the centralization issues of Ethereum. She noted that liquidity staking currently accounts for 43% of the Ethereum staking market, with Lido dominating with a 74.2% market share. Amazon holds nearly 60% of Ethereum node distribution, making node centralization one of the biggest challenges Ethereum faces. She also introduced potential solutions to this issue.
- Lester Li, founder of DeGame, in his opening speech and presentation in the afternoon, discussed the trends and growth strategies of the Web3 gaming industry. He pointed out that due to the emergence of dedicated blockchain game engines, increased blockchain efficiency, reduced on-chain transaction costs, and the deployment of key technologies like account abstraction and related EIPs, the Web3 gaming infrastructure is continuously evolving. He also stated that the Web3 gaming market is rapidly growing, and in the next two years, more traditional games will turn to blockchain games.
- Hara, CEO of Jasmy Labs, provided a detailed introduction to the Jasmy platform and its core objectives. He also revealed that Jasmy has launched a grant program to support the construction of new community projects. Currently, Jasmy is building the Ethereum-based Layer 2 Jasmy Chain to further enhance scalability and continuously provide quality services.
- Jake Liu, CFO of Planet Hares, shared his views on "How to Extend the Lifecycle of Games through Web3 Mechanisms." He suggested that through well-designed token economics (Play to Earn and decentralized governance), developers can build a Web3 gaming metaverse to enhance the game's lifecycle. He also recommended designing a dual-token model to prevent the dilution of governance tokens while maintaining the stability of utility token prices.
- Henry Ferr, CMO of MetaCene, emphasized that Web3 games must be fun to play to compete with mature traditional/Web2 games. He introduced MetaCene and mentioned that the product is dedicated to integrating Web2 and Web3 features to create an innovative gaming platform that caters to the mass market.
- Karen Kao, CMO of BoxTradEx, introduced BoxTradEx, a one-stop Web3 gaming portal offering various games, tournaments and guilds, a task system, and token trading and NFT markets. Their Guild ToolBox is a comprehensive solution for game guilds to manage crypto tokens, NFT assets, add members, and create guild events.
- Jae Kim, BD Director of Luniverse, shared how blockchain games can benefit from multi-chain infrastructure. He introduced that as a node service provider, Luniverse's multi-chain Web3 API allows developers to easily build decentralized applications and deploy them across multiple blockchain networks through a unified interface.
- Yawn, Co-founder of STEPN, drawing from STEPN's experience, shared some key learnings from building Web3 games. He noted that the next phase of Web3 is built on hyper-socialization, and the next "holy grail" for games will need to address the infinite lifecycle of NFTs and reduce the entry barriers to zero.
- Shukyee, CMO of Polyhedra, shared how the company powers Web3 games with their new technology, zkBridge. She highlighted the advantages of zkBridge, including trustlessness, security, efficiency, decentralization, scalability, and universality. It will also be able to connect various Web2 and Web3 systems.
- Sami CHLAGOU, the co-founder and CEO of Cross the Ages, delved into how the collectible card game "Cross the Ages" continuously offers value to its players. He highlighted that the transition from Web2 to Web3 in the gaming domain would pose significant challenges. Game developers must prioritize user experience, keep the gameplay simple, and craft immersive gaming experiences for their audience.
During the summit, amidst various enlightening presentations, there were four specially prepared roundtable discussions. These discussions invited industry leaders from crucial Web3 tracks to explore and discuss the future of Web3 gaming. The four roundtables were:
Navigating the Future of Web3 Gaming: From Infrastructure to Community
- Hassan Ahemd, the Singapore Country Director of Coinbase, noted that we are currently in the first phase of Web3 gaming. He believes the next phase will be dedicated game wallets and new NFT standards, but games need to be playable first before considering tokenization and monetization.
- Lennix Lai, Chief Business Officer of OKX, added that the next phase of development will focus on the infrastructure for casual and hyper-casual games for mass enjoyment, and the foundational layer should be more game-friendly.
- Minh Ho, BD Director of Coin98, mentioned that blockchain is just one component of game infrastructure. While Rollups might be trending, the key is to integrate elements like NFTs into games, as not everything needs to be on-chain.
- Sanjay Popli, Co-founder of Cryptomind, suggested that the next phase in gaming won't be about tokens but NFT-related products and other game projects. However, these projects need to address three key issues: inefficiency in game economics, short-term value expansion (many users but unsustainable), and revenue generation challenges.
Which Game Genre is The Best Fit for Blockchain Gaming?
- Vera, a special council member of Apecoin DAO, emphasized that understanding the audience and designing a token economy for the Web3 gaming community is crucial from a developer's perspective. However, staying focused and deepening user understanding is even more important.
- Dreamer, Co-founder of Defi Kingdom, pointed out the complexities and high entry barriers of blockchain games, making it challenging for new players to start with Web3. He believes the growing value of digital collectibles might encourage players to venture into Web3 games.
- Lucaz Lee, CEO and Co-founder of Affyn, believes that Web3 games have significantly altered the industry landscape. To encourage adoption, game design must prioritize customer experience.
- William Guo, CEO and Co-founder of PlayEstates, noted that card collection games and their P2E mechanisms will continue to have a healthy market presence. However, collaborations are needed to address the scalability issues of Web3.
- Mary Ma, Co-founder and CSO of MixMarvel, holds a more optimistic view on Web3 games. She believes that many emerging Web3 technologies allow users to enjoy Web3 games using social or email records and is confident that more Web2 users will eventually adopt Web3 games.
Is There Still Demand From VCs for Web3 Gaming?
- Kelvin Koh, Co-founder and CIO of The Spartan Group, believes that if tokens are used correctly, developers can expect exponential user growth. However, he feels the current market is pessimistic and advises realism.
- Jason, Founder of Folius Ventures, highlighted the soaring customer acquisition costs in gaming. He mentioned that some Web2 games have mistakenly incorporated random Web3 features, which he sees as an unviable investment approach.
- James, Venture Capital Director at Animoca Ventures, stated that many talented game developers are entering the Web3 space. For Web3 games seeking funding, his advice is to avoid overvaluation and understand the ecosystem.
- Wesley, Founder of Rootz Labs, emphasized the importance of the ecosystem and stack layers, sharing about Rootz Lab's recent investment in a new reputation system. He added that crypto games seeking funding need patience and flexibility and should understand the differences between the crypto community and the gaming industry.
How Public Chains Build and Support Gaming Ecosystem？
- Alvin Kan, the Asia Regional Director of Sei Foundation, believes that the user experience for Web3 games should be more user-friendly. He looks forward to seeing games share assets like NFTs and have a centralized marketplace, which would greatly enhance interoperability between games.
- Mr. Walter, the Web3 Gaming Director of BNB Chain, pointed out that DAOs can help shape games, especially esports games, in terms of governance. However, he cautioned that the complete transparency of DAOs means that projects are public and suggested considering a hybrid model where some developer decisions can be made internally.
- Hazel Zhang, the Investment and Financing Director of AELF, remains optimistic about games and offers venture capital and project funding for them. However, she believes that not all games are suitable for having a DAO.
- John Cho, the Vice President of Development at Klaytn Foundation, stated that developers need support in user acquisition. He anticipates that traditional 3A game studios and conventional game players will transition to the Web3 domain, while players and developers more focused on crypto elements will venture into GameFi.
Amidst the sharing from industry luminaries, ThreeDAO held the launch ceremony for its Creator Training Camp at the conference. In the future, over 50 creators will join the camp. These creators will receive guidance from a coaching team comprised of Web3 industry leaders, embarking on an exciting Web3 journey.
The Web3 Gaming Summit, co-hosted by ABGA and DeGame, has successfully concluded. It left participants and the entire industry with invaluable guidance and insightful perspectives shared by countless industry pioneers and practitioners. This once again made us realize the boundless potential and prospects of the Web3 gaming industry. We are grateful for the collective efforts and contributions of all participants, speakers, and partners, making this summit a feast of knowledge exchange and innovative thinking.
The development of Web3 games continues to advance rapidly. ABGA and DeGame hope that this summit can provide some impetus for the upcoming industry transformations. They also look forward to Web3 games continuing to bring more surprises and opportunities for global players in the days to come. Let us all anticipate the next summit, where we will gather once again to discuss the promising future of Web3 gaming!