Robbie Ferguson, CEO of Immutable, shares his thoughts on web3 gaming. Immutable is a reputable company in the blockchain gaming industry and a leading provider of blockchain platform services. Despite facing significant challenges in 2022, the company was able to achieve several significant milestones. One notable achievement is that its blockchain platform, ImmutableX, saw a 250% increase in NFT trading volume, generating $87 million in total.
Immutable's achievements in the blockchain gaming industry include maintaining the popularity of its trading card game, Gods Unchained, as one of the top 25 most-traded collections across all blockchains. Additionally, the company experienced growth in the number of games on its platform from 5 to 100, and expanded its market outreach from 3 to 15, making it the largest ecosystem for Web3 games, except for Ethereum Scale-1 in terms of fund allocation.
Given Immutable's past successes and current standing in the blockchain gaming industry, the company's outlook for 2023 and beyond is noteworthy. Robbie Ferguson, CEO of Immutable, has shared his insights on the future of Web3 games and what the company has planned for the next year and beyond.
Web3 Games Reach a Global Audience
In an interview with Gamesbeat, Robbie Ferguson, CEO of Immutable, stated that he expects to see an exponential increase in the global audience for Web3 games in the coming year. He attributes this growth to the significant investments being made in the Web3 gaming space, which have reduced the risk associated with the industry and accelerated the development and reach of these games.
According to Robbie Ferguson, the global audience for Web3 games is expected to jump from 2 million to tens of millions in 2023. He believes that the release of several high-quality, AAA games will be the main driver for this growth. Immutable's own game, Illuvium, is one of the strong contenders in this race, along with games from Gala Games and other companies. These blockchain games have the potential to attract tens of millions to 100 million players to the Web3 gaming space.
Investments will continue to flow into web-based gaming
Out of all the domains within Web3, blockchain gaming, or Web3 gaming, receives the most investment and is expected to continue to do so in 2023. The reason for this is that blockchain gaming is not a hypothetical concept and has a solid foundation. It is a proven and viable use case for blockchain technology, and investors are confident in its potential for growth and success.
Blockchain gaming provides a clear and empirical use case for blockchain technology, rather than being just hypothetical or theoretical. Additionally, the value of in-game items in video games has been rapidly increasing year over year, now standing at nearly $200 billion. This trend is expected to continue, making blockchain gaming a promising and lucrative industry for investment.
Furthermore, with the advancements in AI software, the cost of game development has significantly decreased. Technologies such as DALL-E2 and GPT-3 have introduced new capabilities and mechanics in game development, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.
Asia will take the lead in the web3 gaming domain
Ferguson also mentions that the concept of in-game buying power is not new and has been present in the gaming industry for quite some time. However, the idea of in-game item ownership is gaining momentum in Web3 games, particularly among Asian players. He also notes that Asians have a history of embracing new technology and trends, citing South Korea's leadership in the free-to-play gaming movement as an example. This progressivism makes Asia a key market to watch for the growth of Web3 games.
In a similar way to how they led the way in free-to-play games, South Korean and other Asian developers are currently at the forefront of the Web3 gaming industry. In 2023, it is likely that we will see more large gaming studios becoming involved in the blockchain gaming space as the market continues to grow.
What About the Skeptics of the Blockchain Gaming Industry?
While the current narrative in the blockchain gaming industry is focused on creating NFTs, the key to its success lies in creating blockchain games that are enjoyable and engaging for players, regardless of their knowledge or interest in NFTs. By focusing on the gaming experience and making it enjoyable, the more people will embrace blockchain games, leading to less skepticism and more adoption of the technology.
Instead of focusing on debates, the key to the success of blockchain games is to create a product that people enjoy using. Producing results is the most crucial aspect of building a positive narrative for the industry, especially after the recent FTX collapse and dwindling consumer trust in the crypto and blockchain space. By delivering a product that people like and that delivers results, the blockchain gaming industry will be able to regain consumer trust and continue to grow.
The blockchain market will see consolidation
Regarding the challenges facing the blockchain gaming industry, Robbie Ferguson stated that he expects to see significant consolidation in the next 6 to 12 months. This is due to companies with poor monetization strategies or those that only relied on the bull market to survive, running out of funds. However, he also notes that strong companies, particularly those in growth and early stages, will continue to receive funding.
Ferguson also pointed out that the standards for corporate governance and how companies are run and align incentives will become more stringent, particularly for growth stage investments. Companies will need to demonstrate a solid business model and a strong commitment to ethical and responsible practices in order to secure funding.
Immutable entered the blockchain gaming market during a challenging time, the crypto bear market of 2018. Despite this difficult market environment, the company was able to adapt to new blockchain scaling infrastructures, survive the bear market, generate funds, and expand its team from 80 to 300 people. This demonstrates that well-established and serious companies with depth will be able to succeed in the blockchain gaming industry, despite market conditions.