Review of Progress in the On-Chain Gaming Field: Short-Term Frenzy May Exist, but Overall it is a Long Game

On-Chain Gaming Progress Review: Short-Term Frenzy Possible, but Long-Term Growth Expected

Encryption researcher Polynya reviewed the progress of on-chain games in 2022 and believes that decentralized game infrastructure has made significant progress, while there has been little progress in game development, game distribution, and new smart contract mechanisms. Excellent AAA-level games have emerged, represented by Project Awakening, but the entire industry still needs at least 5 years to mature.

Decentralized game infrastructure made great strides last year with two very promising frameworks, MUD and Dojo. I hope to see these frameworks mixed and matched, compatible with each other, and inserted into traditional game engines like Unity or Unreal and middleware like Simplygon or Wwise. This infrastructure goes beyond blockchain and is indeed under construction, but it will take several years to mature.

On the DAO game development studio front, there hasn’t been much progress, but this is still a clear space where blockchain is meaningful, especially for MMO and platform games. There have been some attempts in game distribution, but no real progress. In terms of novel mechanisms using smart contracts, we saw some really cool ideas at the Autonomous Worlds hackathon, which don’t necessarily have to be “novel,” they can be repetitions of existing ideas as long as they make sense for smart contracts.

Regarding AAA games, Project Awakening meets all my criteria: it’s already a successful economic game, doesn’t mention asset sharing or Web3 or memes, developed as a DAO game, and with key game systems on the blockchain, driven by smart contracts. I hope to see more of these from both the mature game industry and the emerging field of blockchain games.

For almost all games, forcing blockchain and financialization will destroy them. Sharing assets between games is impossible and meaningless without underlying infrastructure or sufficient reasons. The blockchain game field made progress last year with some Ponzi scheme games dying out. Blockchain games and autonomous worlds are likely to be the most complex software development in the crypto space, and I expect this field to take at least 5 years to begin maturing. There may be short-term hype, but this is a long game.