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The Future of Web3 Gaming in Asia: Token2049 Recap (2023)

White text on a dark background: Token2049 Recap: The Future of Web3 Gaming in Asia, Immutable
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Token2049 is a premier conference held annually in Dubai and Singapore, bringing together leading voices across the blockchain industry to exchange ideas and discuss the future of web3. 

Unsurprisingly, gaming was a coveted topic of discussion this year. Joseph Lloyd (Gaming Team at Delphi Digital), Yat Siu (Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Animoca Brands), Aleksander Leonard Larsen (Co-Founder and COO of Axie Infinity), and Robbie Ferguson (Co-Founder and President at Immutable) joined forces on an expert panel to reflect on how far web3 gaming has come, and discuss its bright future in Asia.

Here's (almost) everything you missed:

The Immutable Thesis Behind Web3 Gaming

Web3 gaming has always been about digital property rights and true ownership of assets used inside games. It's an evolving field, and while its utility has changed over time, the underlying principles remain the same. Gaming has become a social platform that connects players worldwide in ways we couldn't have imagined a few years ago.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for in-game items were one of the first non-speculative uses of blockchain technology. In 2017, $80 billion was spent on in-game items every year, a figure that has almost doubled to approximately $150 billion today. For example, players have traded $33 billion worth of Counter Strike Go skins in the last three years, without any way to cash out those funds. Blockchain technology can provide immediate value and give property rights to these players

Asia is The Vanguard for Gaming and Blockchain

Asia is quickly cementing itself as the fertile ground for the gaming industry as a whole. Some of the largest Korean gaming companies are looking to leverage their existing web2 IP’s  and evolve it into an on-chain environment.

The unique gaming experiences and investments seen in the Asia Pacific region are unparalleled anywhere in the world. From the smallest to the largest gaming companies, the forward thinking is palpable.Instead of seeing web3 gaming as a hedge, Asian game studios are actively ushering in this new category of gaming. This parallels their position at the forefront of free-to-play and mobile gaming categories when they first emerged, while facing resistance from players and the industry.

Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, has even proclaimed that web3 is the new form of capitalism, with NFTs being one of five core areas of national business interest. This kind of government support is encouraging game developers in Asia to build in this space. Countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have retail trading of crypto, signifying their openness to web3 technologies. With web3 becoming part of their agenda, Hong Kong has even created a task force, including people from the industry, to advise the government on what to do in web3.

The future of web3 gaming in Asia looks ripe with opportunity backed by innovative thinking, government support, and a willingness to push the boundaries.

Empowering Creators through Web3 Gaming

Web3 gaming is not just about transforming the gaming experience; it's about empowering creators and users alike. The advent of web3 has allowed for a unique form of capital formation, where digital property rights are vested in the hands of the true owners. 

In 2022, NFT sales amounted to $24 billion, with the majority of this value—90%—going directly to the creators and owners. This contrasts sharply with platforms like Spotify, where only $8 billion was paid out to creators. web3 has essentially democratized the gaming industry, making it possible for small indie game developers to create sustainable games with only tens of thousands of players. This shift in business models has opened up new avenues for creativity and innovation in the gaming industry.

Looking Ahead: The Role of Asia in Bringing Web3 Gaming Mainstream

The next five to ten years will usher in a significant growth period in web3 gaming, particularly in Asia. China's interest in web3 gaming is particularly noteworthy, with many game developers from China moving to Hong Kong or Singapore to build web3 games. These cities offer a friendly framework for web3 development, attracting talent from all over the world.

The infrastructure and UX for web3 gaming is now finally in place. With products like Immutable Passport, and third-party app stores like Epic Store and Google Play supporting on-chain development, the stage is now set for web3 gaming to go mainstream. However, the journey to mainstream adoption will not be without its challenges. While there is a surge of investment in web3 gaming, with 40 to 50 percent of all funded games expected to go live next year, it's anticipated that 90 percent of them will fail. 

But the few that succeed will redefine the industry and set a precedent for others to follow.

The Future of Web3 Gaming

The future of web3 gaming is not just about creating games; it's about creating communities, ecosystems and sustainable economies.. Just like YouTube revolutionized and democratized the content creation industry, web3 gaming is poised to do the same for gaming.

Successful games like Candy Crush have shown that there is a diverse audience for games, and web3 needs to cater to this diversity. Easy onboarding and innovative game experiences are crucial to attract a wide range of players. As more people understand the concept of ownership in the web3 world, we can expect to see an explosion of creativity and innovation in this space.

Immutable is leading the charge for web3 gaming - check out all the games building with us today, join our growing community on X (Twitter) and Discord to stay up to date with the fastest growing ecosystem in web3 gaming.

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