We collate some of the most innovative projects and use cases in the Web3 space from 2022.
In the past year, there has been a lot of movement in the Web3 world. The Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 was one of the first big events to use Web3 for interactive online experiences and digital collectibles. Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard. And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that gaming “will play a key role in the development of Metaverse platforms."
Metaverse investment firms are buying up parcels of land for eventual real estate development on Metaverses like Decentraland and The Sandbox.
With traction increasing in the virtual world, what Web3 projects should you be keeping an eye on? Let's go through some of the exciting ways that Web3 has been used in 2022, plus some interesting use cases that will shape the future landscape of the internet.
Facebook’s rebrand as Meta was announced in October of 2021.
In February 2022, Zuckerberg defined the Metaverse as an immersive digital world that becomes the primary way that we live our lives and spend our time. Rather than replacing reality, the Metaverse seeks to augment what’s possible in our day-to-day experiences. This is effectively Meta’s vision for the next phase of the internet: Web3.
Many Web3 technologies like blockchain networks and NFTs are essential to the Metaverse as they enable digital properties to be verifiably unique and owned by an individual. So what technologies were developed in 2022 to support the Metaverse? What popular Metaverse games currently exist?
We mentioned Decentraland earlier, but what is it exactly? Decentraland is a platform that contains 90,601 parcels of land in the form of NFTs called LAND. A LAND NFT represents a virtual geographic location that is owned by a community member. The player that controls this parcel can put anything they want on it like 3D scenes, applications, or games. These parcels of land can also host special events like the Decentraland Metaverse Musical Festival that’s set to host over 200 artists from around the world. This event is free to attend for everyone and doesn’t require a VR headset.
Epik Prime seeks to revolutionize virtual economies by reducing market fees, speeding up transaction time, and allowing users to directly own their virtual items without going through a third-party service. Epik has already collaborated with top brands like Universal, Sony Music, Capcom, and more to produce unique in-game items and events. With Prime, digital item ownership will be more secure and direct than ever before.
The Sandbox is a game franchise that already has 40 million downloads and a million monthly active users. Previous versions of The Sandbox functioned by letting players create their own 2D worlds and games on mobile devices pixel-by-pixel. The next version of The Sandbox will be 3D and allows artists to create their own assets in a separate voxel editor program.
Anyone can make, import, or animate their own digital assets and make them into NFTs. These NFTs can be bought, sold, and traded on an open market.
There are tons of different ways to monetize a game. Free-to-play (F2P) games, for example, have no high initial cost to play. They make money by monetizing smaller transactions referred to as “microtransactions”. Many F2P games are hosted on mobile devices and encourage daily play to keep players invested and making purchases.
In the next phase of the internet, play-to-earn (P2E) is emerging as a viable way to monetize a game. P2E games are characterized by letting players earn assets minted as NFTs by playing the game. These games may require an initial investment, or stake, but allow gamers to earn, keep, and sell in-game assets.
This previously wasn’t possible, or at least feasible. All those in-game assets would require a pretty robust database to keep track of. The assets were also tied to game accounts which left them vulnerable to account hacking and scams. P2E games today function on the blockchain, which is excellent at tracking high volumes of assets. It also means the assets earned by a player are tied to their identity, rather than their account.
P2E games are often compared to real-life trading card games (TCGs), which involve owning cards that are traded and played with them. This is an apt comparison, but P2E offers an alternative to buying packs in order to acquire individual cards and play the game. This new style of game lets you earn cards, or assets, by playing. Many early P2E games branded themselves as TCGs but new, exciting types of games are branching into the P2E monetization method.
So let’s take a look at some exciting P2E game projects.
Gala Games aims to close the gap between players and developers by making “blockchain games you’ll actually want to play.” The many games developed by Gala integrate P2E mechanics with NFTs to make decentralized economies and ecosystems where players actually own the items they collect in-game. Gala’s game server network is run using Nodes hosted on PCs owned by the community. Node operators get bonus items in Gala’s games and can also vote on key future development decisions.
One of the most popular P2E games out there is Axie Infinity. This game revolves around breeding, collecting, and battling creatures called “Axies”. The Axies act as NFTs that are either purchased in a marketplace or earned by battling. This game was particularly popular in the Philippines and Venezuela, where players were able to earn a livable wage by playing the game. The game also received support and sponsorship from companies like Ubisoft, Google, and Samsung.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs)
MOBAs, or multiplayer online battle arenas, are team-based strategy games in which two teams compete with one another to achieve a goal. MOBAs are one of the most popular genres with games like League of Legends and Dota 2 hosting a thriving competitive scene.
Veterans of Riot – the developer behind League of Legends – came together in 2022 to form World Spark Studios, a team that’s developing a new MOBA called Edenbrawl. This Web3 game will function on a blockchain with the heroes you play as being bought and sold as NFTs. They will also involve social features that align with the original Metaverse vision, but to keep players active will revolve around the games as a primary player driver.
Advanced NFT uses
NFTs were most commonly used in 2021 for buying and selling digital art. This was popular because NFTs are verifiably unique so no two NFTs have the same value. Verifiable individuality and uniqueness proved to be one of the most difficult characteristics of the real world to replicate in a virtual space. NFTs bridged this gap, and the possibilities are one-of-a-kind
2022 has held some of the most creative and advanced NFT projects yet. They’re proving to be one of the foundational pillars of the next generation of the internet: Web3.
Let’s go through some of the standout innovative uses for NFTs and what they mean for the future of Web3.
Although unique items are common in the real world, verifying that something is truly one-of-a kind or authentic is a completely different story. The Aura Blockchain Consortium aims to solve this by partnering with luxury brands to register NFTs that are tied to certain goods in order to reduce falsified and inauthentic products. If you buy a watch, for example, you’ll receive a “digital twin” NFT that tells a bit about the product’s manufacturing process and who has owned the product before you. You’ll even be able to keep track of how the product has been maintained and repaired with the NFT. Having NFTs augment the manufacturing and purchasing process will be a boon to the supply chain of any product.
Buying tickets for events has always been a difficult time due to scalpers, inflated prices, and a lack of transparency about what benefits you’ll get from your ticket. NFTs are proving to be a great solution for selling event and festival passes. With a Web3 ticketing service like YellowHeart, customers will be able to purchase smart tickets that are directly tied to their identity. These smart tickets let fans connect with a community of other event pass holders, but also have great benefits for event organizers. With NFT event passes, limits can be set on how many tickets an individual (or company!) can purchase. NFT passes also allow the organizers to keep a portion of the resale revenue, which will reduce ticket price scalping.
We’ve talked about how NFTs enable digital collectibles, but what if we take that one step further? Autograph.io lets you purchase digital art signed by a celebrity that’s verifiably their signature. These collections of art assets are registered as part of a collection, so you’ll be able to connect with other fans that have purchased similar assets. Already, athletes and celebrities like Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, and more have partnered with Autograph.io to create new NFT collections.
Any company or group can take advantage of the unique benefits that NFTs and Web3 offer. Web3 aims to connect people with communities of like-minded individuals across the digital space with no physical constraints. The Metaverse and P2E games are just the beginning of how social networking and entertainment will change in the next couple decades. The best part? These advancements benefit both buyers and sellers.