GameFi ecosystem makes a comeback amid surging crypto prices

    17 Apr 2024

    After a dormant 2022 and much-muted 2023, GameFi projects are making a comeback as the bull market rages.

    This week, move-to-earn protocol StepN announced it would partner with Adidas for a 1,000 Genesis Edition nonfungible tokens (NFT) drop on Solana. The launch is part of an ongoing one-year partnership between the two firms that will see a mixture of NFTs and wearable sneaker releases in the future. Each NFT sneaker from Genesis Edition will be valued at 10,000 GMT ($2,200).

    Created by FSL in 2021, StepN allows users to earn rewards for walking, jogging, or running. Rewards are available after users purchase a virtual Sneaker NFT and link their smartphones. By interacting with the app, users earn GMT tokens, which have an inflationary mechanism, a supply cap of 6 billion and a current diluted market capitalization of $1.2 billion.

    “Partnership between the most widely used lifestyle app and a global brand like Adidas are now a reality indicates the direction lifestyle rewards are going,” commented Shiti Manghani, CEO of StepN. Last week, the move-to-earn protocol also announced a $30 million airdrop for its loyal users.

    For other protocols, it’s more about the hardware.

    Earlier this month, Ordz Games revealed its first Web3 handheld gaming device, “BitBoy One.” Inspired by the first-generation Nintendo GameBoy from 1989, the device allows players to earn Bitcoin via retro-style games.

    “Through BitBoy’s native applications connected to the Bitcoin blockchain, users can play a wide variety of video games that are forever inscribed on the Bitcoin blockchain as ordinals,” wrote Ordz Games staff. “Choices range from HTML games to on-chain emulators and ROM,” they added. Both Bluetooth and WiFi are supported for multiplayer activity.

    In addition, every BitBoy device comes bundled with a one-to-one 3D rendering of the physical device in the form of ordinal inscriptions, which can then be viewed on a VR device such as Apple Vision Pro. The device saw its official unveiling at Paris Blockchain Week.

    Other projects have shifted their attention to video games.

    ARPG Seraph: In the Darkness, built on Arbitrum and developed by Seraph Studio, recently achieved sales of over 11,000 Ether through multiple in-game NFT sales consisting of heroespriority passesgear, and others. Seraph Studio is backed by Korean gaming giant Actoz Soft. Set for pre-season launch on April 19, the game features a dark medieval setting where players can customize their heroes, battle monsters, and earn loot.

    The game has teased upcoming features in its pre-season that allow players to rent their in-game NFT equipment to earn rewards as well as discoverable treasure NFTs.

    Seraph: In the Darkness has been in development since 2021, with a total of $8 million spent on operations and research. During this time, developers have also been incorporating new technologies, with features such as multiplayer AI companionship available in the final release. The game is scheduled for launch on PC, iOS, and Android.

    As per data from DappRadar, the number of unique active wallets in GameFi has more than doubled over the past year to 2.54 million. Last December, gaming studio founders Yat Siu and Johnson Yeh predicted that “tens of millions” of players would enter Web3 gaming this year. Despite their enthusiasm, GameFi projects have also been criticized for prioritizing the “finance” aspect of gaming over fun, with several notable collapses in the past year.


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