Huobi Ventures Weekly Insights
Insight provided by Alex Dong of Huobi Ventures
What Games Fit for Web3?
Games can be roughly divided into heavy games, moderate games and light games based on the player’s single-game time. Meanwhile, they can be divided into RPG, SLG, TCG, RTS, card and other types based on their gameplays.
Heavy games mainly include large-scale 3A-level games, such as The Legend of Zelda, Cyberpunk 2077, Eldon Ring, etc. Game developers spend years building the game world to create the massive stories, character plots, and character graphics. Heavy games would usually demand players to devote more time to experiencing the game plots and exploring many scenes. In general, the group of heavy game players is the smallest, having the highest requirements for game quality and the strongest willingness to pay.
Moderate games are usually various types of online games and more casual single-player games, such as League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, etc. The world views of such games are usually not particularly strongly bound to the core gameplays, and players can experience the fun of gameplays without knowing the background stories or settings of the games. At the same time, compared to single-player games, online games have a strong extension of social network effect, and the team-up function increases the stickiness within the player group, making it easier for them to spend more time in the game, thus enriching the game’s economic system. Moderate games usually do not have a particularly open game world, and the exchange and transaction of game tokens are usually strictly controlled by the game teams, which contributed to a relatively stable token exchange rate. Light games can mainly be hyper-casual games such as Aquapark, Fruit Ninja, and Temple Run.
MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) features rich world views, strong playability, full sense of social experience, and very mature and complete game development and design mechanism. Therefore, quite a few people think that MMORPG is the most suitable category for the transition to Web3.0 games. Compared with traditional 3A games, it has social attributes and a very complex in-game economic system. However, MMORPG could encounter the most difficulties for evolving into Web3. Too many internal subsystems lead to too much content to be developed. Therefore, the development is extremely difficult and requires a long development cycle, usually more than 3 years. Thus, a small developing team cannot afford the workload and cost.
Hyper-casual games could be a very suitable game category for Web3. First of all, compared with MMORPG, this type of game features a small installation package, simple game content, strong playability, and ease of playing. Secondly, the economic model of hyper-casual games is also simple enough for the game development team to control. Due to the on-chain characteristics of Web3 game tokens, once the game version is updated, mistakes are often irreversible. For a game such as an MMORPG with extremely rich internal subsystems, it may be of very small probability to keep the version updated without errors during the game’s life cycle. Therefore, small mistakes in tokenomic designs could cause huge damage to the game’s economic system, even if the game system has been in operation for years. The simple economic models of hyper-casual games can ensure that the game team maintains a safe and sustainable token economy for a long time. At the same time, hyper-casual games are most likely to gain community spread effects because of their lowest learning costs, especially when the penetration rate of cryptocurrencies is not high today. Hyper-casual games can easily help players create wallets and manage earned tokens through their Apple IDs or Google accounts, and are the most friendly to players who have not been exposed to cryptocurrencies.