Meet the Web3 Players: Who’s Playing Web3 Games?
Web3 is, without a doubt, expanding rapidly, accounting for nearly half of all blockchain transactions in 2022, according to the report by DappRadar. The rapid pace of growth may indicate that gaming is the fastest-growing sector in blockchain, surpassing the expansion rate of DeFi and NFTs. While some think that Web3 will revolutionize gaming, it is still clear that Web3 gaming has a long way to go before mass adoption can become an option. The biggest challenges in attracting more players to Web3 gaming are complex onboarding and underwhelming gameplay, which demotivate players to join the “revolution of gaming.”
Even though Web3 gaming is evolving to become more attractive and far more sustainable in terms of establishing strong gaming communities and tokenomics, it still remains unclear what groups of players the sector aims to attract, which leads us to a question:
Who are Web3 players, and who is playing Web3 games?
Web3 Gaming Adoption Around the World
According to Finder and the research on Web3 (NFT) gaming conducted for 26 countries, including the US, the adoption rate of Web3 games that include in-game NFTs still needs to be higher. Most US players responded with a “No” when asked if they had ever played a Web3 game — only 9.4% of respondents shared that they played at least one Web3 game. In this group of US players who had never played a Web3 game, only 13.9% stated they knew what a Web3 game is.
A conclusion that we can draw from these results is that Web3 gaming is still not catching on as an innovative trend in the US, while there is also a need for raising more awareness about Web3 gaming and creating educational content that can contribute to unveiling the mystery that this sector still seems to be among traditional US players. According to the percentage of people who plan to play at least one Web3 game in 2022, Finder predicted that the number of Web3 players in the US would increase by at least 16% by the end of that year.
At the same time, the a16z Games Fund One survey report confirms that the population of Web3 gamers in the US is still relatively small, with only 5.8% of players reporting that they played at least one Web3 game.
Suppose we observe the data for players in other countries among the 26 included in the Web3 gaming study by Finder. In that case, the attention easily shifts to the Asian subcontinent, with India having the highest percentage of Web3 players (34% among 26 countries). Next, the second-biggest Web3 player base is Hong Kong, with 29%, and UAE, with 27% of players responding that they played at least one Web3 game.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sweden has only 4% of players who tried out a Web3 game.
What may explain why Web3 games are the most popular in the Asian subcontinent is the fact that many players from Hong Kong and India see Web3 gaming as a handy way of generating some pocket money while playing games. On the other hand, higher income brackets of Web3 players in the US may indicate the presence of Web2 “whales” in the sector, seeking opportunities to invest early in an innovative industry. Still, despite the fact that 12% of Web3 gamers in the US spent more than $200,000 on in-game purchases, the adoption level remains lower compared to India and Hong Kong. For comparison, 7% of traditional gamers in the US spend over $200,000 on in-game digital purchases.
Who Are (and Where Are) Web3 Players?
According to a16Z Games survey, Web3 players in the US are, on average, wealthier, male, millennial, and urban. If you’ve been wondering how old is an average Web3 player in the US, 37% of the players are between the ages of 25 and 34. For traditional players, this data is different, with the majority of players aged between 13 and 25.
Regarding the dominant gender in the survey, most Web3 players are male (72%), which is the case in traditional gaming as well, with 59% of male players.
We can also see the same demographic pattern for Web3 players in other countries.
So, if you are a traditional player, male, aged between 25 and 34 with a stable above-the-average income, interested in new tech trends, and living in an urban environment, you are likely to match a profile of an average Web3 player in the US.
If we observe an average US Web3 player through the prism of preferred gaming genres, shooters and action adventures are among the top popular, with MMOs and MOBAs ranking higher for Web3 players than puzzle games and life simulators.
The profile of an average Web3 player in India or Hong Kong, as the locations with the highest percentage of Web3 players in the world, would be a male player with an interest in either gaming, crypto, or both, aged between 18 and 34.
What’s Pressing the Breaks on the Web3 Gaming Adoption?
With many players needing to learn what Web3 gaming, P2E, and NFT gaming are precisely, it might be simple to conclude that the lack of information and clarity will easily demotivate players from joining Web3 gaming.
Not knowing enough about Web3 gaming is at the top of the list of reasons why players are not motivated to play — this might be a problem that doesn’t require a complex solution. To resolve the barrier that a lack of information poses, Web3 companies, industry leaders, platforms, and gaming studios should commit to creating valuable and informative content that can serve as a reliable source of education for players who would like to join but decide not to because they don’t know enough about the sector and the way it works. The transparent and consistent informational content flows may significantly reduce this percentage perceived as negative to the adoption. However, the situation is more complex than simply being demotivated by the lack of knowledge in Web3 gaming, considering different concerns expressed in the a16Z Games survey.
“Not knowing enough” also goes beyond the lack of transparency and misinformation — players are struggling with complex onboarding processes, connecting wallets, figuring out the game mechanics, signing smart contracts, trading NFTs, and learning how the game’s tokenomics works, and what tokenomics is in the first place. So, the period between deciding to try out a Web3 game for such a player and the time of actually starting to play is marked by a long and daunting onboarding process, which is enough to demotivate the player. Building smooth and easy onboarding and working on UI/UX would be the right way to tackle this problem in the long run, which is the mission behind platforms like Vorto.
Among the main barriers to adoption in the US is the lack of trust in Web3 projects, where the biggest concerns are volatility and scams, which are also valid concerns if we take the crypto market development as a reference. Amidst the cryptocurrency boom, as a perfect example of an innovative blockchain application, there were many scam projects designed as elaborate or less elaborate schemes, robbing many people of their investments. Regarding volatility, many games don’t have sustainable in-game economies, leading to assets of highly volatile market value and, consequently, lost investments.
Unique Selling Points: What Motivates Web3 Players
Although the main USP for Web3 games was initially earning while playing, with the industry’s development, the players’ motives have become more diverse, so there isn’t a single onboarding motivator that can be tagged as a Unique Selling Point for Web3 games. Even for traditional games, passing the time is not enough to motivate players to try out a game, although it stands as the biggest motivator of all.
When it comes to Web3, players in the US seem to show a great interest in competing against other players, following lore and experience, and, finally, the community. Web3 players are not only motivated to find the next pastime activity — they are interested in brands, communities, and challenges. According to these stats, a perfect Web3 game for a US player would have a strong community, an exciting story, fun playtime, and would hopefully include PVP tournaments.
Get in Touch with Vorto
We always love to hear from game studios, players, devs, and crypto fans alike, so follow us on Twitter and join our Telegram group for more discussions about everything Web3. You can find more about what Vorto can offer your game on our Medium page or reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.