In a recent Guild of Guardians Medium article, the news came that the game will not be launching in 2022. This is saddening and has been met with some anger, but it’s a move that ought to be praised.
It’s difficult to articulate just how quiet Web3 gaming was back in 2018. There were so few projects, almost nothing remotely playable, and the investment in blockchain gaming projects bordered zero. Now, in 2022, the amount invested in Web3 games is approaching $10 billion this year alone and major studios are scrambling to get their blockchain-based affairs in order.
Four years in crypto is an enormous timeframe that has seen several bear and bull markets, catastrophic hacks, and industry-affecting innovation. As a consequence of that — or at the least, a factor — many of us in crypto have grown impatient, particularly with games. We have seen the merits of blockchain in gaming and we want AAA-quality games with NFTs and tokens right now, or, at a push, tomorrow morning.
The rushing of games to market is a tale as old as gaming and it typically ends the same way: disaster. There is already a small pile of examples in Web3, but Pixelmon’s iconic (or rather, infamous) Kevin is the poster boy of rushing. A squashed roadmap and hurried development are not conducive to a AAA-standard game, let alone games utilizing burgeoning and novel technology.
Guild of Guardians, is a game that we — like 500,000 others who signed up for the waitlist — are excited for. It has the potential to represent another step forward in Web3 gaming and a demonstration to Web2 gamers that there is a sea of potential, and the allure is not simply financial. However, as the old adage goes: you only get one first impression. If Guild of Guardians cannot live up to its hype (which is a tall order), it’s a net loss for both the developers and Web3.
The decision to delay the launch again is disappointing, we cannot escape that, but it ought to be praised, not criticized. Many developers under the cosh from publishers, or whoever controls the purse strings, would simply release an MVP as instructed, while the game has some buzz around it. It takes a special kind of studio — a studio that cares for its product — to take the hit and delay.
As for why Guild of Guardians is being delayed until 2023, here is the official word from their blog post.
“There are two reasons why we expect the launch to be delayed.
1. Stronger first impression: We fundamentally believe that web3 can be used to make games even BETTER than their web2 counterparts. Despite overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community, we want to make the core gameplay loop and the strategic gameplay elements even better before we release GOG to the public. This will allow for more relevant feedback, leave a better first impression, and ultimately make the big global launch of GOG more successful.
2. The unpredictability of web3 innovation: It takes time and patience to build the future of gaming, and we are constantly learning and innovating throughout the process. Working with new technologies means facing new, unanticipated challenges — all of which is part of being the “first” of anything, but also means things take longer than we might anticipate. For us, a few examples include navigating the rules and requirements needed to launch a web3 game in the App store and integrating a seamless player wallet experience into the end-to-end game and blockchain systems. Once done well, these will empower us to onboard millions into web3, but also take time to get right.”
I have nothing but admiration for the decision the developers have made and the reasons behind it. Guild of Guardians is one of the most highly anticipated Web3 games in development, and with the mindset the studio behind it is demonstrating with this delay, they might well justify the hype.