Coda Labs teamed up with the Blockchain Game Alliance, DappRadar, and Laguna Games to research gamers’ perceptions of crypto and NFTs, as well as how Web3 gamers differ from traditional gamers. Here are three fascinating takeaways from the study.
Firstly, go read the study. A lot of work goes into this sort of research and Coda Labs deserve credit for putting the report together. Any regular readers will know I have a background in academia and so I am always on the hunt for research. DappRadar and Chainalysis are two great resources for regular content, but they also collaborate with other researchers as is the case here.
The Global Web3 Gamers Study by Coda Labs
1. The Case for Blockchain in Mobile Games Strengthens
Blockchain technology in mobile games is an area we discuss regularly, we even have our resident expert on the subject, Murtagh. Earlier this year, he wrote Why Mobile is an Untapped Market for Play-to-Earn, and then recently, Top 5 Mobile Web3 Games in Development You Need to Know. So, it was no surprise to me that this report has yet more evidence.
Below are some takeaways, but please remember, this report has a sample size, may not be properly representative, and has separated gamers (console, PC, handheld, etc.) from mobile gamers through their questions, which is blurry for many people who play both.
- Mobile gamers are 55% more likely to own Bitcoin than gamers (28% to 18%).
- Mobile gamers are 39% more likely to have researched crypto in the last 6 months than gamers (25% to 18%).
- Mobile gamers are 38% more likely to have purchased crypto in the last 6 months than gamers (11% to 8%).
- Of all gamers who own NFTs, mobile gamers were 22% more likely than gamers to own an NFT for a game (73% to 60%).
The report shows in almost every possible metric measured by Coda Labs that mobile gamers are more receptive, interested, informed, and likely to engage with crypto or NFTs than non-mobile gamers.
2. Gaming NFTs Were Far Better Received Than Non-Gaming NFTs
This takeaway requires a pinch of salt as the data is vague and arbitrary, but the result was unexpected all the same. The report attempted to gauge the rough perception of NFTs and gaming NFTs by gamers, crypto non-gamers, and crypto gamers. In all cases, gaming NFTs were better perceived than non-gaming NFTs.
What I mean by arbitrary is that, presumably, those surveyed were asked to rate between 1 and 10 how they felt about NFTs and gaming NFTs. This of course cannot account for how people apply a number rating; a 6 for one person might be a good rating, but a 6 for another might be awful. Nevertheless, gamers averaged a rating of 4.3 for non-gaming NFTs and 7.3 for gaming NFTs, which is wholly unexpected.
3. Out of the Comfort Zone
There’s a common answer to why many in blockchain gaming think non-crypto gamers aren’t interested in it: a lack of “education”; this is tricky to navigate. While I agree that educating non-crypto gamers on the benefits of blockhain to gaming is important, telling people that the reason they don’t like something is that they don’t understand it, rarely yields results.
Nevertheless, there is a glaring statistic in this report that you can see above. When asked what they believed to be the biggest barriers to Web3 games, 41% of gamers said that they were not sure how this type of gaming would work. This is a double failure: firstly, we need to get the message across on how blockchain enriches games. Secondly, we need to get to a point where understanding how blockchain enriches games is unnecessary; you just own stuff (this harks back to the problem of onboarding.)
As with any study, you cannot take it too literally, but instead as a useful indicator. The line between Web3 gamer and traditional gamer (bearing in mind, the former is almost always also the latter) continues to blur. Much of what this survey showed would have been known or suspected by veterans of the space, but there were some fascinating insights nonetheless.
The standout statistic has to be how much warmer the reception to gaming NFTs was when contrasted to non-gaming NFTs. There’s no doubt that art NFTs are polarizing and much of the criticism leveled at them by those outside of crypto has been to do with utility, even if they do not explicitly say so. The right-click-save brigade is not contesting the technology per se, but what it proposes to do. With art NFTs (non-IPFS ones in particular), this can be difficult to overturn, but in gaming, the value is often tied up in the NFT’s utility.
I can’t help but think these sorts of reports will be interesting time capsules in years to come, but for now, they show how far we have to go.