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IMX Knowledge Base
4/27/2023

The Difference Between Web3 vs Web2 Gaming Explained

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TL;DR

Take a second to imagine a world where you “purchase” something, but never get to have any agency and ownership over it. In this world, a third-party can alter or seize it from you at any point. This is the model that currently defines the relationship between players and their in-game assets in traditional games.

This isn’t great, but it’s already happening.

Following Blizzard Activision ceasing server operations in China earlier this year, millions of heartbroken players lost access to their accounts across World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo III. Outside of material financial investment into the game, players also experienced the loss of countless in-game hours, energy, and emotion poured into these digital worlds. 

Traditional games run on centralized servers controlled by a single company. This creates a situation where game developers:

  • Have total control over the digital worlds
  • Are able to completely shut down games
  • Can remove any content at will

As a result, gamers don't truly own their in-game assets like skins, weapons, and other items. But this is not a malicious fault of the games themselves - they are simply bound by the technological limitations of web2. 

Players and game developers alike have started to recognize this, and a new model for gaming has emerged to answer these challenges: web3.

Web3 games break traditional limitations

Web3 gaming enables players to own their digital items, the same way they own items in the physical world.

This means you maintain full ownership and agency over them, since the player-held asset is actually an NFT (non-fungible token). 

When digital assets (like in-game items and skins) are programmed as NFTs, it gives them a unique signature (like a digital fingerprint) and is enforced by a digital contract that secures your ownership over it. This contract is stored in a publicly visible ledger called a blockchain, such as Ethereum, for full accountability. This means that it is impossible for anyone else to seize or manipulate your assets. You would also be able to freely buy and sell assets on marketplaces.

Web3 gaming shifts the dynamic of the gaming industry towards a model that is fundamentally owned and driven by players. This allows players to capture tangible value for the time, money, and effort they spend in their favorite games. 

NFTs also open doors for interoperability, meaning that certain in-game assets can be used across multiple games in exciting new ways. For example, purchasing or unlocking a legendary hat in Team Fortress 2 and being able to wear it in a different game like Fortnite.

Immutable is the leading web3 games ecosystem that is building games for players

Immutable is building the best ecosystem where in-game assets are secure and ownable, so players only need to focus on what actually matters: having fun and playing games while enjoying the benefits of true digital ownership.

When Immutable brings web3 gaming to the mainstream, players will not need to know about the technical mechanisms behind how it works. You don’t need to be an expert in the hardware powering your computer in order to play a game. Likewise, you do not need to be a web3 or crypto expert to enjoy a game built on Immutable and trade items with other players.

This is why we are building powerful single sign-on (SSO) products like Immutable Passport, which provide the convenience and familiar user experience players know and love from web2, but with the powerful security and ownership benefits of web3. 

Immutable is eliminating the existing onboarding friction for web3 gamers, such as creating and maintaining multiple wallets and jumping through hoops to exchange tokens & currencies just to play a game with your friends. 

We are the leading web3 gaming ecosystem, with top titles like Illuvium, Gods Unchained, EmberSword, Guild of Guardians choosing to build on Immutable. With over 150+ games and projects launching on our platform, we represent one of the fastest growing ecosystems set to propel web3 gaming into the hands of mainstream players all around the world.

Jumpstart your journey into the new era of gaming

Web3 games are ready to play sooner than you realize! Check out all the exciting projects building on Immutable.

Want to be part of a movement and join over 1 million next gen players like yourself? Join the Immutable community to get involved, stay up to date on exclusive events, and discover your next favorite game #onImmutable.

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