The recent collaborative report by DappRadar and Blockchain Game Alliance shows a tremendous spike in web3 gaming investment following June’s slump, with many other positive indicators alongside the news.
Web3 Gaming Investment’s Spiky Graphs
Despite the elongated and painful crypto winter we have been enduring, there has been consistent and significant investment in web3 gaming, in particular. However, in June of this year, investment fell off a cliff to “only” $68m. This was speculated to be a result of the Coinbase, Binance, and Ripple lawsuits with the SEC. Ripple’s initial victory over the SEC and the alignment of a spike in investment does add credence to that theory too. July saw investment to the tune of $297 million, heading back toward the numbers we have seen in the three months prior to June.
Interestingly, the report shows that nearly two-thirds of the investment in July was for infrastructure rather than directly to games or metaverse projects.
A further interesting trend is not wholly unexpected and is likely an indicator of things to come: investments in AI and blockchain as part of the same vision. It is no secret that we see blockchain and AI as two of three key pieces of technology (the third being cloud) to drive the gaming industry forward, and VCs appear to agree. Inworld raised a total of $100m on a $500m valuation for their cutting-edge AI technology, but they were not alone.
Valhalla Ventures made waves by initiating a $66 million VC fund focused on deeptech and gaming startups. In tandem, Futureverse, an avant-garde blend of AI and metaverse technology, clinched $54 million in its latest funding round. Aiming to bridge AI with the metaverse, Futureverse seeks to amalgamate 11 metaverse infrastructure and content firms, creating an extensive metaverse ecosystem fueled by digital collectibles. Their ambition doesn’t stop there; with aspirations to pioneer the new horizon of AI gaming, they recently rolled out the AI-centric consumer game, AI League, in collaboration with FIFA for iOS and Android platforms.
One final finding I want to plant a flag in is the potential resurgence of Move-to-Earn. We started reporting on the Move-to-Earn trend — a mixture of tokenomics with wearable fitness devices — around 18 months ago and it trended upward for some time. Then, as quickly as it had risen, it fell back into obscurity. The two big names were STEPN — who incidentally just became the first blockchain game to integrate Apple Pay — and Genopets, and while both are still working hard, they appear to have much smaller playerbases now.
It would be logical to presume that the reason for this is the same reason for many Play-to-Earn games failing: it’s hard to earn when crypto is so low. Well, the counterpoint would be July’s gaming charts which saw the prolific Alien Worlds lose its top spot by month Unique Active Wallets (UAWs) to Swear Economy which saw a massive rise of 72%.
Whatever the case, web3 gaming as a whole appears to be right back on track. Read the full report here — it’s well worth your time.