The casual games market will remain an important audience for blockchain games and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in games, according to the three co-founders of the blockchain gaming company.
Casual gamers, people who regularly play games but rarely put in much time, make up the largest segment of gamers in the gaming industry.
Kieran Warwick, co-founder of blockchain role-playing game Illuvium, called random players “critical” due to their sheer numbers in the population.
According to Exploding Topics, there are over 3 billion players worldwide as of 2023, and it is estimated that at least 1.95 billion are casual players.
Keiran Warwick, co-founder of Illuvium Source: LinkedIn
Warwick said that gamers interested in gaming revenue, primarily from developing countries and attracted by mobile gaming, are also becoming increasingly important.
However, Warwick acknowledges that there is a “serious problem” with attracting casual players to the market due to the poor quality of blockchain games.
Despite this, he was optimistic that NFT, blockchain and Web3 have a great future in mainstream gaming.
“NFT, blockchain and Web3 will find their place in mainstream gaming in the long term as major game developers are already working on bringing these technologies into their games despite some backlash from their communities,” Warwick said.
“As more fun and engaging NFT-based games are developed, it is likely that players will experience the benefits of ownership and will not want to go back to traditional games,” he added.
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, shares a similar view, calling the mainstream casual audience “absolutely critical” for blockchain and NFT games, stating:
“Games are still games, whether casual or mid-core. One of the things that really made mainstream gaming bigger is casual games.”
According to Siu, the mainstream gaming industry went through a tough period from around 2010 to 2011 and “stopped growing”. The introduction of mobile gaming has helped revitalize and attract a whole new generation of gamers, and blockchain games should repeat this feat.
Yat Siu speaks at a World Economic Forum press conference. Source: Animoca brands.
Sioux believes it only takes one good game to kick-start the blockchain gaming boom, and he predicts it could start in the next 18-24 months with hundreds of millions of players entering the space.
“I think we have a pretty good chart, but you know you’re not going to convert everyone overnight, right? But it’s just getting started and people are having fun and the games are getting better,” he said.
“All you need is one game that is actually successful enough that you get big news, and because it’s Web3, what’s going to happen is that once it gets very popular, it will seep into other games.”
NFTs in games have faced backlash from mainstream gaming audiences, forcing several high-profile companies to drop plans to implement them, but Sioux believes this is temporary until gamers learn more about how the technology works.
“I think they are trying to be sensitive to their audience. I mean it’s the right thing to do for the company. You can’t just say that your opinion doesn’t matter,” he said.
“Most of the gamers I’ve spoken to say they’re all for digital property in games but still against NFTs, but over time education will fix that,” Sioux added.
Related: Opinion: 2023 is the year of “building” for crypto gaming
Bozena Rezab, co-founder and CEO of GAMEE, a blockchain-powered mobile gaming platform, believes that mobile games will play an important role in attracting casual gamers.
“Casual mobile games are the easiest step to gaming, with the ability to reach a mass audience. This is what they have to offer to gamers looking to get them into NFT/blockchain gaming,” she said.
However, the gaming head believes that several aspects need to be changed first, such as pay-free games, shorter sessions, and simpler settings for casual players.
“We are still on the path to explore the use of blockchain technology in games, the concept of asset ownership is very powerful and will remain. The exact game genres, game economy models, and mechanics that will shape the future remain to be explored. ,” she said.