Web3 Gaming's Next Big Thing: The Games That Will Shape the Industry's Future

Web3 gaming is the future of the industry, and these teams are leading the charge by prioritizing gameplay.

Mon Jan 09 2023

9 Minutes

top-blockchain-games-to-watch-in-2023

Key Takeaways

  • The Parcel Team has identified a few of the games focused on what's important: NFTs as in-game assets to promote digital ownership, lore, MOBA mechanics, and Esports.
  • Brycent, a (if not the) Web3 Gamer and award-winning content creator, constructs thoughtful threads around Web3 gaming that are useful for those new to the space and teams that are building games.
  • Parcel's CEO, Noah Gaynor, believes that "the top four platforms by Web3 gamers will be (in no particular order): Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and ImmutableX."
  • In this guide, the Parcel Team looks at the most anticipated up-and-coming Web3 games, with hopes that they will eventually get to drop "Web3" from the title and be known as truly great games.

The Web3 industry, games included, is pivoting away from crypto jargon and unnecessary technicals to appeal to traditional and incoming gamers. That said, the Parcel Team has identified a few of the games focused on what's important: folding NFTs into the game as digital assets to promote digital ownership, good ole lore, MOBA, and Esports. One more thing, it's not surprising that most of these games drew inspiration from the greats.

Blockchain gaming gained traction at the end of 2021, with a strong slate of new games coming into the fold in 2022. The rise of "new" games marks the rise of Web3 gaming which is an important ideological switch. This selection of games has built on their predecessors' successes (and failures), bringing forward gameplay, positioning, and mechanism design innovations. Each is experiencing growth in various metrics and has received significant venture funding.

In this tweet, Brycent, a (if not the) Web3 Gamer and award-winning content creator, sums up the positives associated with the Web3 approach to gaming.

Blockchain mechanics enable folks to own their assets and justify the sheer amount of time spent playing a game. Traditional gaming companies, like GameStop, are seeing value in NFTs as a new revenue stream and way to keep up, so we'll see more of them begin to integrate NFTs into the landscape in a way that does not require the user to deal with these technicals on the frontend. In the long run, games that find a middle ground and create wallets for users to store their assets will be in the lead.

In this guide, the Parcel Team looks at the most anticipated up-and-coming Web3 games, with hopes that they will eventually get to drop "Web3" from the title and be known as truly great games. We dive into the studios building them, the funds backing them, and some critical narratives and metrics that help warrant their anticipation.

The Games

  • Pulsar
  • Shrapnel
  • Illuvium
  • Treeverse
  • Eldarune
  • Ascenders

Pulsar

With Pulsar, Twelve Random Words didn’t set out to build a crypto game, they set out to build an accessible and fun-to-play game that leverages Web3 to provide true ownership. The game is free-to-play and does not require any knowledge of Web3 or a crypto wallet to play it.

However, players who wish to take advantage of Pulsar’s Web3 elements can do so from the onset or whenever they are ready.

Blockchain gaming succeeds when it's indiscernible from gaming today. Blockchain should be a tech and user experience value add, instead of additional friction.

In terms of gameplay, Pulsar mimics the mechanical and economic complexity of RTS titles like Starcraft combined with a truly massively multiplayer experience. The player's general objective is to build bases and armies that allow them to gain control of the world of Pulsar. Resources can be mined while enemies can be fought, all contributing to a fun and endlessly evolving experience.

Pulsar’s premium Web3 option starts with its four Land NFT types referred to as Biomes. Each Biome has attributes including Land size, the quantity of $PLSR — Pulsar’s native token — available to mine, resources available to be extracted, its associated rarity, and its security from enemies. The game also features additional Web3 components surrounding mining and battling.

Shrapnel

Shrapnel is a multiplayer AAA extraction FPS that players can mod to make their own. The team of BAFTA and Emmy award-winning game industry veterans recognized the need for this type of game in the early 2000s, but until recently, the technology required to do so wasn’t available. Now with Web3 and game engine advancements, Shrapnel can provide players with a robust gameplay experience that empowers players to collectively own the game and its roadmap.

Shrapnel is the next evolution in extraction shooter games - where each session tells a story as players compete for resources and constantly evaluate their appetite for risk and reward. It’s a perfect metaphor for on-chain ownership where the stakes are real. The visual designs are unlike any other game, and extended fiction will be revealed over time. The ability to create, own, buy & sell vanity skins peer-to-peer (and maps later) is a huge new benefit to gamers. It enables a collaboration between the community and the dev team, so the future of Shrapnel is wide open.

Player-created content is crucial to the overall Shrapnel experience. Players have access to professional-grade creator tools that use the same Unreal engine technology as the game itself. With these tools, players can create their own in-game assets and maps that can be minted as NFTs tradable in the Shrapnel marketplace, allowing them to earn based on their popularity.

Not far removed from launch, with ~40,000 Twitter followers and ~35,000 Discord subs, Shrapnel has already gained a large and passionate social following on Twitter and Discord. The game has also received significant adulation from its peers in the Web3 gaming industry. Bored Box founder, Bored Elon Musk, remarked on Shrapnel’s trailer, “This is one of the best game trailers I’ve seen this year. Period. Not mentioning Web3, blockchain — period. It looks beautiful…”

Illuvium

Illuvium is an AAA-rated gaming experience operating as a fully decentralized protocol. Illuvium launched its liquidity mining program to achieve more distributed holding of $ILV tokens across its community. This approach has allowed the Illuvium community to grow to over 345,000 Twitter followers with nearly 200,000 Discord subs. The size of the Illuvium community is critical to building a decentralized, self-regulating protocol that discourages bad actors and governance manipulation.

Illuvium is the first AAA-rated game that merges DeFi with cinematic quality SFX and an immersive open-world RPG. Illuvium gives players complete ownership of their in-game assets and LAND NFTs. It’s gameplay features compelling earning opportunities via PVE quests that empower players to collect and upgrade their ownable in-game characters called Illuvitars. The game also features in-game wagering on matches taking place in its PVP battle arena.

Illuvium’s team recently released a mining game mode called Zero, "available for download on Windows, Mac, and Android devices."

Treeverse

Treeverse is a mobile-first fantasy MMORPG with gameplay rooted in ownership. The game combines a stand-out gaming experience with social gaming and NFTs to create a novel kind of cooperative gameplay that fosters both true ownership and long-term player retention. While NFTs add an important layer to Treeverse, the game is still accessible for gamers without Web3-specific knowledge.

Treeverse will be very community-centric and will have a unique art style compared to other traditional games. I think this is what will attract other users and keep our community involved

NFTs catapult Treeverse’s standing from a fun, beautiful, casual game to an industry-defining Web3 onramp. Starting with Treeverse’s founder’s plots, players obtain immediate earning ability within the game. The game also features ownable in-game characters through the Timeless NFT collection on top of its origin driver, NFTrees.

Treeverse is a nice example of the power of NFT communities. Starting as a relatively simple NFT collection by Loopify, NFTrees has grown into a full-fledged community-driven gaming project with a 50-person team after raising $25 million in a round led by Animoca, with participation from SkyVision Capital, Stani Kulechov, and other angel investors.

Eldarune

Eldarune is a fantasy RPG that merges web 2 and Web3 by combining its rich gameplay and immersive storyline with interactive P2E elements. Eldarune’s gameplay focuses on PvP battling, although there are other complementary game modes, including a campaign, resource farming, and boss fights.

NFTs are foundational to Eldarune, with three of its four-game modes revolving around their character NFTs called champions. These NFTs are upgradable, tradable, and can be used to earn Eldarune’s ecosystem token, $ELDA.

Eldarune brings together the core elements of real gaming experience and blockchain utilities. A huge world with many different enemies and RPG elements, players can fight against monsters, develop their characters with new skills and weapons and even fight with each other on their own or with their clan.

Elda empowers its community through both passive and active earning. The game’s active earning opportunities include PvP battles and awards related to campaign missions and quests, while they can earn passively by staking $ELDA and renting out their champions.

Eldarune is currently being incubated by one of the most prominent blockchain gaming and metaverse launchpads in the space, Seedify. A full-game release and an in-game real estate sale are expected to occur in the coming quarters.

Ascenders

Ascenders is an open-world ARPG with an intricate economy designed around DeFi. Fascinating dynamics are built by the relationship between Ascender’s Gamefi and its gameplay. With user-generated NFTs, like weapons and armor, crucial for success in the game, players often must trade with each other via the Ascenders in-game marketplace to find missing resources to craft items. This leads to endlessly compelling economic loops as an entire economy becomes developed around these user-generated NFTs and the resources which make them up. Other important Web3 aspects include a governance token, a currency token, NFT Land, character NFTs, and cosmetic NFTs.

Ascenders feature a rockstar team of award-winning game developers, including those behind Ghost Recon and the Grand Theft Auto series. The team is backed by heavyweights, including Blizzard and Sino Global Capital.

Final thoughts

The next wave of Web3 games are prioritizing gameplay. This is reflected by the AAA quality talent both founding and being recruited to these games. With these titles often featuring the very same people responsible for many of the best games of the last 20 years, you can expect the valuable ones to be, at the very least, great games. This seems pretty intuitive, but with the chief complaint of most blockchain gaming critics revolving around the lack of gameplay quality, it is a welcomed shift in prioritization.

However, this isn't to say Web3 doesn’t have a massive role, It's just the approach that has changed. Where in most blockchain games circa 2021/2022, play-to-earn was the game, developers now look for it to add both color and opportunities without being at the expense of the game itself.

The next era of Web3 gaming will act as high-quality on-ramps into digital asset ownership. With many looking to appeal to those without prior experience in Web3, aka true gamers, this presents a great opportunity for the larger blockchain space to onboard millions. That said, Parcel's CEO, Noah Gaynor, believes that "the top four platforms by Web3 gamers will be (in no particular order): Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and ImmutableX."

Alternatively, Web3 brings much-needed true asset ownership to the gaming industry, opening up opportunities for gamers and companies alike.

With so many revolutionary games on the horizon, it’s a great opportunity to dig into this list and become antiquated with the space. A key feature of most of these games is land ownership.

Parcel is the one-stop shop to research and buy many of the assets associated with the games on this list.

See what you you can do with your assets on our metaverse Marketplace.

Recommended Articles

Parcel Logo

Parcel © 2023

Products