Web3 Gaming Marketplace: Why Do We Need It?
The very “Unique Selling Point” for Web3 gaming was playing to earn and earning through playtime with the Play-to-Earn model in mind. For a wide demographic of players, profiting through playtime is still the primary USP, especially for players in the Asian subcontinent where Play-to-Earn (P2E) games are often a fun and engaging side hustle.
According to Finder, Web3 gaming is most prevalentin India, with 34% of respondents reporting that they played a P2E game, following Hong Kong and UAE as the most significant Web3 gaming populations at this moment.
For those players who value fun over hustle, Play-and-Earn, Play-to-Own, and Fun-to-Play seem to be more valued and more acceptable terms than P2E, which comes with a connotation that a player needs to grind to earn, or that a player is playing not for fun, but for a smallcap profit.
Beyond the linguistic ideals for Web3 gaming models or players’ motivation to play, whatever term we choose to describe and tag a Web3 game, GameFi (Game Finance — the financialization of game mechanics) perfectly encompasses all of these.
In GameFi, game economy — or tokenomy, is the centerpiece of the Web3 gaming ecosystem, and as such, it depends and relies on marketplaces. These marketplaces are dedicated to commercializing in-game items that players mint, earn, or find while playing, enabling them to monetize the time they spend in a game. It is safe to say that without a dedicated marketplace, GameFi would lose that “Fi,” and players wouldn’t be able to safely and smoothly trade gaming NFTs and other in-game assets of value.
Why the Heck Do We Need Web3 Marketplaces?
Imagine a real-life economy functioning without marketplaces — impossible, right? Whether you are a buyer or a seller in this economy, you need a marketplace where the exchange of goods or services can take place. The same logic can be applied to any ecosystem that involves trading and finances. The same goes for GameFi.
In most cases with Web3 games, players monetize their playtime by trading valuable in-game assets on marketplaces where these digital items have some value. If you would like to move your assets and sell them at another marketplace that is not considered native to the in-game items in question, that would not be possible unless the items in question are listed.
If there wasn’t a Marketplace where gaming NFTs and in-game assets were whitelisted, these assets could only exist in users’ wallets, and trading, of course, wouldn’t be possible. Marketplaces provide a “frontend” for interacting with the asset and reading the metadata; however, since these markets are centralized, you can only interact with an asset that has been whitelisted by the centralized entity controlling the infrastructure.
As GameFi is still developing to what should be its final form — if there is a final form at all with technology infinitely developing — players could be able to easily sell any asset from any game on a DEX (Decentralized Exchange), as long as these assets exist on the same blockchain.
The Sea of Web3 Marketplaces
If you look at the list available on Alchemy, you will see many different marketplaces for NFTs, many of which also list in-game items from supported games.
If we would consider a low-key utopia-oriented idea as to why there are so many Web3 marketplaces at the moment, we could say that the industry is developing to respond to the demand in the market. The truth is the demand for Web3 games is still not at a level where a high demand would prompt the development of that many platforms. According to the a16z Games: Web3 Gamer Survey, the population of Web3 gamers is still relatively small.
Considering the number of active players in the gaming pocket of the Web3 industry, a great number of marketplaces probably exists, not with the motivation to provide a solid ground for players to monetize their playtime by trading digital items, but to get that piece of the profit pie. Nothing bad about it, and no hard feelings — capitalism is, of course, alive and well even in Web3. However, if profiting is the only idea behind building a Web3 market, then filtering valuable marketplaces and platforms from those that exist with the idea of building solid infrastructure to empower ownership and financial freedom should drastically cut the number of existing marketplaces for Web3 gaming. Will that case scenario possibly lead to the monetization of Web3 gaming marketplaces?
More likely is that this case scenario could lead to establishing ground-solid standards that define what such a marketplace should or shouldn’t offer and what qualities should embrace and include.
What Makes a Great Web3 Marketplace for Players?
There is no one-to-fit-all answer to what makes a great Web3 marketplace for players. Web3 is moving fast as if by following the Proportional Theory first put forward back in 1897 by French philosopher Paul Janet. If you are not already Googling (or ChatGPTing) Paul Janet and the Proportional Theory, the idea is that time proportionally runs faster as it passes by, which can also be applied to the progress we have gone through as a society since the Industrial Revolution, and that progress is only speeding up. Web3 is another attempt to assert technological evolution, even if localized to a limited number of groups that have an interest in it, and it is running fast. Perhaps, so fast that many industry players won’t be able to keep up, which is how valuable projects and marketplaces should be filtered for a more crystalized picture of Web3 gaming.
To leave Paul Janet and the Proportional Theory for another time, what makes a great marketplace for Web3 players?
Is it improved security and diligent support or seamless transactions and multiple payment methods? Is it interoperability and increased accessibility, or is it all of the above?
To understand what makes a great Web3 marketplace, we first need to define the demographics for which these marketplaces are built. To recognize and define these demographics, we mustn’t forget that Web3 gaming facilitates the collision of two quite opposite worlds — blockchain technology and its derivatives — cryptocurrencies and, with it, crypto traders on one side and gamers hungry for engaging content on the other side. There is also a middle ground between the two, which would be gamers that are also interested in crypto and crypto HODLers and traders interested in gaming.
If we can learn from traditional gaming, what Eve Online might teach us, is that players appreciate when they are given the tools and environment to do what they want, which is how sandbox-style games are so popular. Following the logic of this mindset, players would want the main focus to be on intuitive tools and engaging games, as well as how easily they can move and mint their assets. According to the study published by the University of Florida and Florida Institute of Technology, where Eve Online was chosen as an example, for the marketplace to be healthy, it is expected to minimize the price and maximize the gains or value of in-game assets. Here, the marketplace resembles a real-life market, with many players interacting and participating in the game’s economy.
Crypto groups, on the other hand, might find more use in transparent total caps and counts of gaming NFTs and assets available in the market, together with tools that enable seamless trading and cashing out.
With such diverse interests, there is certainly room for thick competition.
Vorto Marketplace is a peer-to-peer market for players to purchase and sell in-game items and NFTs for games connected to Vorto Network. As a player, you can earn rewards and special drops by playing games connected to your Vorto account. Items you have earned or purchased from Vorto can be sold on the marketplace to other players, turning your participation and the time spent playing games into an opportunity to play and earn. On the marketplace, transactions are conducted between players and facilitated by the Vorto platform. Sellers can set their prices, and buyers can choose from who they want to buy if multiple players are offering similar items. As NFTs are stored on a blockchain, their veracity can be verified and is available to see before purchasing.
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.
If you want to stay up to date with the development of the Vorto Platform featuring Store, Marketplace, and Playground, read our latest monthly Vorto DEV DIARIES.