The rise of Web 3.0
According to Alexis Bonte, Stillfront Group, COO, Web 3.0 is the rebirth of Web 2.0 and the dawn of mobile internet, but with one major difference – there's a lot more money coming in sooner and faster. This means the window for start-ups to scale is much smaller, so they're going to be more aggressive. "The incumbents, the big sports and gaming executives will have less time to react before the start-ups eat their cake," he said during a panel discussion.
In the same chat, Max Stoeckl, Dogami co-founder and CEO, said Web 3.0's play-to-earn model is driving a change in consumer attitudes that will continue to grow. "We can now build games that enable a larger pool of players to earn money or assets they can sell on a liquid market. This revenue opportunity will alter the expectations of traditional players," he said.
However, Bonte urged caution around overselling the capacity of play-to-earn as a sustainable gaming model. "A small minority of talented creators and gamers will potentially make decent revenue out of it," he said. "But that will be very small. It's important we think about play-and-earn that way."
As Yield Guild Games proclaims on its sign-up page, play-to-earn guilds are fast becoming 'the settlers of the new worlds in the metaverse'. The rise of guilds - player communities who play games and monetize their efforts - has been driven by NFTs and the opportunity to own a digital asset such as an avatar, picture, or ticket.
They can sell to other players. In a chat about What Gaming and Sports Executives Should Know About Web 3.0, Stoeckl said the rise of gaming guilds is the modern incarnation of World of Warcraft (WoW) devotees selling items on eBay in the early 2000s.
While gaming giant Blizzard cracked down and banned WoW eBay sales, blockchain game publishers have created official markets gamers can cash into. It will be interesting to see how traditional game publishers and sports executives react.
From Emfarsis director Leah Callon-Butler's perspective, the guilds have changed the Web 3.0 gaming space.
"The idea that people pool their assets and make them available to others who want to use them but don't want to own them is now a benchmark," she said in a discussion about Exploring the Web 3.0 Universe.
It's not a new business model, but it's available in the metaverse, and it's become the standard very quickly. Guilds have also created interest in blockchain gaming and NFTs, which has driven up the price of assets and raised a huge amount of money. As for what's next - we've only scratched the surface. "
Web 3.0 opportunities for emerging Asian markets
With high English language levels, a history of early adoption of new technology, and more than 400 million mobile gamers in Southeast Asia alone, Asian markets are a natural target for blockchain gaming studios. Mobile-first, socially and digitally savvy gaming communities have championed widespread awareness of NFTs, with many now releasing their own.
In the Philippines, blockchain gaming already has a solid foothold. In the pandemic-ravaged region, Axie Infinity now has 2.5 million daily active users. Callon-Butler believes the game's dramatic rise in popularity during this time is because it provided a lifeline to many locked down, out-of-work Filipinos, empowering them to earn much-needed income while also entertaining themselves while stuck at home. "People are putting food on the table because of blockchain gaming from the Philippines to New York," she said.
Digital wallet Metamask, meanwhile, has 26 million users, and 20% are from the Philippines. The potential of Asian markets is supported by the fact they are consistently the fastest to scale with new technology and have different behavioral gaming preferences from the West, where desktop and PC are still king. "Gameplay mechanics are dramatically different in Asia, and making money is highly appealing," said ATTN chairman Ivan Yeo.
Value to everyday people
Blockchain and Web 3.0 are leading a slow but steady disruption in mental models of interacting with technology. As Stoeckl pointed out, "while Google and Facebook capitalize on their users' data without giving anything back other than their services, Web 3.0 gaming provides a token that rewards people for the data they've given and that has been exploited on their behalf."
While this aspect is undoubtedly appealing, the human desire to connect is also at the heart of the explosion of blockchain gaming. With more than 1200 active blockchain games in the pipeline, how much you can cash out versus the people you can connect with is redefining the notion of value.
Singaporean artist, ShiGGa Shay, believes NFTs keep people playing and drive the ecosystem, but community is also a huge factor. "When a lot of people are on to something, they meet other people who like it. This attracts more people, and the opportunities for collaboration are endless."
As Ivan Yeo perfectly summarized, "Web 2.0 was focused on monetizing the fans, not the value for gamers themselves. Gamers played in exchange for entertainment, but Web 3.0 gaming is about how to create value for the end-user through financial value and social economy."
Speakers and themes
Hot topics of the day and the thought leaders addressing them included:
Speakers: Alexis Bonte, Stillfront Group, COO and Max Stoeckl, Dogami co-founder and CEO
The future of the gamer experience (00:56:44)
Sebastien Borget, The Sandbox, co-founder and COO
Ivan Goncharov, CCP Games, product manager
Bilal El Alamy, Dogami, co-founder and CTO
Corey Burkhart, Emergents TCG, game designer
Dan Madesclaire, Team Vitality, apEX
Leeston Bryant, McLaren Racing, Senior marketing manager eSports
Exploring The Web3 Revolution (02:37:30)
Leah Callon-Butler, Emfarsis, director
Ivan Yeo, ATTN, chairman
ShiGGa Shay, artist
Building sports communities (03:29:40)
Lindsey Eckhouse, McLaren Racing, director of Licensing
Changes in Creator & Brand Engagement Trends (04:10:15)
Brian David-Marshall, InterPop, President and Publisher
Guillaume Martin, Golden Goals, COO
Alon Goren, DraperGorenHolm, founding partner
Mark Soares, Blokhaus, founder and CMO
Khleo Thomas, Actor
Rédouane Ramdani, Co-Founder - Snipfeed
Shannon Wells, Head of Community and Governance - Livepeer
Joab Garza, Founder - GIF Games