Web3 gaming won’t exist in 5 years, $656K for best crypto game pitch: Web3 Gamer


Web3 Games are dead, long live Games: SKALE CEO

Ethereum scaling network Skale CEO Jack O’Holleran is fairly confident that you’re not going to hear about Web3 gaming at all within the next five years.

“I feel very very strongly that the term Web3 gaming will no longer exist,” he tells Web3 Gamer (a column that will therefore need to be renamed by 2029).

He doesn’t expect it to fail because of tech problems. Instead, he thinks it will be a victim of its own success.

“That is because we will all be so successful at integrating the value propositions of blockchain into games that every game in the world will start leveraging this far better,” he explains.

O’Holleran compares the “Web3 game” term to the early internet days when people used to awkwardly say things like “internet company.” 

“No one says that anymore because tech is a part of every vertical,” he laughs.

So if every big gaming company is using Web3 tech in their games, then the term starts to lose its relevance.

“What is a Web3 game and what isn’t when every single game has some component of blockchain built into it?”

But right now, the term is still relevant.

The SKALE network is a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution that claims to provide a seamless and lag-free gaming experience for users and can support up to 700 transactions per second.

It hosts popular Web3 titles such as multilevel motorcycle racing game MotoDex, sports metaverse Gamify and side-scrolling blockchain platformer Untitled Platformer, which have all racked up millions of downloads in the last year.

O’Holleran believes that the focus on growing Web3 gaming communities is misplaced, and projects should focus on the wider audience. 

He thinks the big obstacle to traditional gaming companies embracing Web3 tech is that they want to keep users in their walled gardens by not giving them the benefits of ownership.

“Right now, if you have a game, you have to work so hard to keep the marketplace in your garden, or you lose so much money. You don’t want people going to social media and trading their game profiles or selling their profile on Craigslist,” he explains.

Building a Web3 Game? A$1M is up for grabs at the Australian Crypto Convention

This November, venture capitalists will come together at the Australian Crypto Convention to pick a Web3 company to invest a million Aussie dollars — approximately $656,000 — during the “Pitch Fest” competition, which is a lot like Shark Tank.

Convention director David Haslop advises devs to ensure they have high-quality visuals to enhance the appeal.

“You need really crisp graphics. If you go into it with Roblox kind of Graphics or pixelated graphics, I think you’re gonna get a lot less excitement,” Haslop tells Web3 Gamer.

Faculty Group’s founding partner, Luke Lombe, is fronting most of the money. He tells us that he’s confident that “GameFi will have its big moment later this year” after years of subpar releases.

“Many of the issues with gaming stemmed from the fact that most of the games released over the past couple of years were simply not high quality,” Lombe explains.

Venture capital firm JellyC co-founder Michael Prendiville agrees and says that’s because a lot of ill-conceived projects got funded during the Web3 gaming hype last cycle.

“There is no doubt that Web3 gaming got ahead of itself in 2021. Investors were throwing money at projects that had nothing more than a concept,” Prendiville explains.

Prendiville is not tipping more funds into Web3 gaming right as several projects he invested into in 2021 are just “coming to fruition” now. One of them is the role-playing game Dark Times, which is set to launch in Q3 2024.

But he says that if he were, his focus “would be on the team, the backers, the community and the gameplay.”

Lombe believes the standard of projects is higher now due to the realization that “the experience needs to be indistinguishable from top AAA games in the traditional gaming market.” Another point is that not every game needs to use blockchain.

“Product and utility first. Make sure that you really need Web3 before diving in. Many projects building in Web3 do not actually need to be building in Web3 at all,” Lombe says.

“Many traditional gamers do not like Web3 and feel that it is gimmicky or detracts from gameplay.”

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For the uninitiated, cricket is an English game that’s played in many Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and India. Think of the bat and ball setup of baseball, but played so slowly that the game goes on for six hours … each day … for five days.

It can get pretty boring.

But I decided to give the play-to-earn blockchain game Meta Cricket League a go, even though I usually give cricket a hard time.

By playing the game you earn JT points, which you can use on leveling up and purchase NFTs on the Jump marketplace. The NFTs include famous cricket players and signed bats. Some trading cards are listed for as much as $99 million — but you can buy others for a dollar or two.

The game grabbed my attention more than a test match, though there were some tedious flaws in the game.

Developed by Jump.trade, the controls are really tough to get used to. I spent the first 20 minutes trying to bat but kept missing every single ball. I’m not that terrible at playing games…

I was forced to just wing it since the initial tutorial was pretty vague.

The screen kept popping up with embarrassing alerts like “too late” or “missed ball,” and while that made me want to stick around and try to nail it, the controls were the real problem.

I thought you were supposed to flick your finger on the screen to hit the ball, but it turns out I was way off.

After playing for about 20 minutes, I finally figured it out. The trick is to hold down the left control to aim while pressing down on the middle button on the right side. 

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I scored my first six! That’s where you hit the ball so far it flies over the boundary.

But the game just feels slightly off. In most tennis and bowling games, you just swipe your finger to play, but this feels like a pinball version of cricket with all the buttons.

On the bright side, the game does a good job with quick matchmaking. You’ll get into a game fast, and even when people quit on me (probably because I was playing poorly), I was always put into another game right away.

If you’re already into cricket, you might have a different experience. I’m more of a soccer fan, so even a mediocre soccer game would still be way more fun for me.

Other News

— Web3 gaming platform Immutable has launched “The Main Quest,” which it claims is the “largest-ever Web3 rewards program.”

— Studio369, the gaming company behind MetalCore, expects to gain 1 million new players thanks to a new partnership with Pixelmon and Mon Protocol.

— InfiniGods, the gaming company behind Kings of Destiny, has raised $8 million in funding to support its projects through the rest of 2024.

— Magic Eden rolled out its much-anticipated Runes platform to align with the big Bitcoin halving event last week.

Ciaran Lyons

Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.

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