One of the key narratives that came out of the last bull market was the explosion of new layer-1 blockchains. Avalanche was one of those layer-1 blockchains that grew significantly during the bull market. The chain launched its testnet in May 2019 and within two years it had over $12 billion in total value locked (TVL).
What sets Avalanche apart is its low cost and speed of finality for transactions. The network has the potential to process over 4,500 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchains on the market. Additionally, the launch of subnet technology was a key differentiating factor. For those not familiar, subnets are like customized blockchains that are secured by the Avalanche network. You can read more about subnets here.
An obvious use case for a blockchain that is low-cost, fast and customizable is gaming. That being said, the Avalanche gaming ecosystem has grown significantly over the past two years. We took a look at 48 games in the ecosystem to see if we could draw any macro conclusions. Our analysis includes games that have launched, in beta testing, and also games that are under development. We looked at trends such as game genre, launch date, and tokenomics design.
Additionally, we sat down with the Avalanche gaming team to get a deeper look into what has been going on behind the scenes and how the ecosystem is fairing during the crypto winter.
Let’s dive in.
One of the first things we looked at was genre. Are there certain types of games that dominate the ecosystem? Or is it evenly distributed? Let’s look at the numbers:
- The most popular genre of game in the AVAX ecosystem is role-playing games (RPG) at 25% of our sample size. Top names for the genre included, Ascenders, DeFi Kingdoms and Heroes Chained.
- This was followed by strategy games at 8.3% which included names like Castle Crush, Monsterra, and Wyndblast.
- The third largest genre was tied between Battle Royal, Action and Racing Games at 6.3% each of the total sample size. Popular names included MetaDerby, MetaDOS and Gunfire AVAX.
- It’s worth noting that 43% of games in our sample were various other genres which would indicate that the ecosystem has a diverse range of genres.
Next up we looked at the number of games that launched and when. You can see in the chart below that the majority of games are still in development.
In terms of tokenomics, we looked at how games are structuring their token system. The overwhelming majority (over 76%) are keeping it simple with a one-token system (see chart below).
Avalanche Gaming’s Insights
To get a better understanding of what’s happening behind the scenes, we sat down with Coop from Avalanche Gaming to find out what’s on the horizon.
How would you describe the current state of gaming on AVAX?
Coop: Primed and ready for gameplay. Infrastructure and tooling for games has made significant improvements. Now we await some of our favorite upcoming games to go from alpha to release.
How has the bear market affected the ecosystem?
Coop: Personally I’m very happy with what I’ve seen in the bear market with AVAX gaming. Fewer speculators but the builders have been making a ton of progress on infrastructure with partnerships like Stardust, enabling smoother game experiences.
On chain gaming wasn’t quite ready for mass adoption, this bear market has given time to get closer without all the intense speculation and commentary from people who didn’t really care about the sustainable success of the ecosystem.
What games are launching this year on AVAX that you are excited about?
Coop: Timelines change very frequently in gaming, I don’t want to put anyone in a tough spot saying they’re launching this year and then something alters their timeline.
Here are some games I’m really excited for regardless of launch time that fit what I think a good Web3 game will look like:
Of the new games that are coming into the ecosystem, how many are launching on mainnet vs their own subnet?
Coop: Most are going on C-Chain to start with maybe 20% choosing a subnet. We want games to have a plan to get to a subnet when their game reaches adoption velocity but when just starting out a C-Chain deployment typically makes sense.
Of course there are exceptions, AAA games and large studios should be starting with a subnet. Games that see a need for zero gas and customized virtual machines go to a subnet.
And this will likely shift over time. As C-Chain becomes full, the subnet recommendation will come earlier.
What next for AVAX gaming?
Coop: More games, more e-sports, more marketing. We have some very exciting partnerships coming up that will speak for themselves, but it’s a big focus of ours to reach the web2 gaming companies and make sure they understand the potential of Web3 and the benefits of Avalanche for gaming.
We’re also quickly building our gaming marketing team. Web3 won’t spread without champions and marketers who care, and we need to set the example.
What kind of support does Avalanche offer the games that are building in the ecosystem?
Coop: It depends on the opportunity size, for our GREE partnership we’re consulting on every part of their Web3 journey.
For many games, we’re offering marketing support, which is an area I want to see us improve on, and connectivity to all the service and infrastructure providers.
The Amazon Web Services partnership has also enabled us to help with AWS credits in some cases.
This was just a brief look at what macro trends are playing out in Avalanche gaming. We will be revisiting these trends periodically to help gamers and developers understand what macro trends are taking hold. It’s clear that the next 12-18 months will be full of action on Avalanche gaming. We will be here to cover it all.