Web3 Games and Their Potential
NB! There is still no consensus in the industry about the distinction between the terms “Web3” and “Web 3.0” – some specialists consider them to be interchangeable, while others see them as different, yet interconnected concepts. In this article we use the term “Web3” as a synonym for “Web 3.0.”
The Web3 concept. i.e. the idea of moving away from the existing internet model (Web2) and toward decentralization, blockchain, and cryptocurrency, has been in active development for several years now. This paradigm shift is creating exciting opportunities for the video game industry. Let’s take a look at how Web3 is influencing game development and what the potential of this innovative new field might be.
Web3: basic principles
Web3 is an evolving concept focused on creating a smart, interconnected, decentralized internet. It’s often referred to as a “semantic” or “decentralized” network. According to the experts, it should have the following characteristics:
- Decentralized control over the network, i.e. the network is distributed among users and participants rather than concentrated it in the hands of a few major organizations. This decentralization is often achieved via blockchain and distributed ledger technology, which allows participants to interact with one another directly based on the “peer-to-peer” principle.
- Compatibility and the unobstructed exchange of data, services, and information among various platforms, applications, and devices
- Personalization of content and services via AI and data analytics. AI can analyze large volumes of information, draw conclusions from users’ behavior, and give them unique recommendations.
- Confidentiality of personal data and the ability to decide how and with whom to share it
- More complex semantic search mechanisms that are capable of understanding user intention and context. These mechanisms include enhanced natural language processing, semantic indexing, and better content categorization.
- Smart contracts and self-implementing blockchain scripts that automate agreements, transactions, and processes securely and with no opportunity for unauthorized access, thereby reducing the need for intermediaries.
The main idea behind Web3 is to develop an open, inclusive, user-oriented internet that will become the key to creating a smarter, more interactive online world.
Web3 in the game industry
When it comes to gaming, Web3 represents a shift away from traditional centralized platforms and toward decentralized alternatives. Games based on the principles of Web3 feature increased transparency thanks to blockchain technology. In addition, new methods for developing and monetizing games are also appearing. But let’s break it all down and look at each point individually.
AI plays a key role in these projects. Procedural (i.e. automatic) generation using AI makes it possible to create dynamic and personalized content, guaranteeing that each and every gaming session will be unique. AI-controlled NPCs (non-player characters) can react to the player’s actions in an intelligent way, rendering the game environment more complex and interactive.
Web3 games are making active use of virtual and augmented reality. These technologies allow players to immerse themselves in virtual worlds and interact closely with digital characters. VR and AR erase the boundaries between real and virtual spaces, creating an unprecedented level of immersion.
Some of the most exciting VR and AR games are based on metaverses – virtual spaces in which users interact with their environments and other players via avatars.
- Blockchain technology
A pivotal component of Web3 gaming is the principle of real control over virtual assets. This principle, which is implemented via smart contracts and blockchain technology, creates new possibilities for creativity, commerce, and collaboration.
Just like any character, item, or skin, each asset is represented as a token (NFT). These tokens can be purchased, sold, and traded, generating a special digital economy surrounding the game. The value of these assets is maintained by artificial scarcity. Developers can regulate the NFT market, releasing unique items in limited quantities in order to increase their rarity and value.
Some Web3 games allow players to create their own NFTs, including individualized skins and accessories for their avatar. These assets can also be sold or traded at a virtual marketplace, which gives users greater creative freedom and an opportunity to earn income from their creations.
Some Web3 games have their own cryptocurrencies for in-game transactions and rewards. These cryptocurrencies can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges and integrated into larger blockchain ecosystems.
Some Web3 games use the “play-to-earn” model whereby players earn rewards, tokens, or cryptocurrency for unlocking in-game achievements. This model motivates users to log in more ofter and turns gameplay into a potential source of revenue.
Some standout Web3 games include the virtual worlds of Decentraland and The Sandbox, as well as blockchain-based TCGs (trading card games) and RPGs (role-playing games) such as Axie Infinity and CryptoKitties.
The potential of Web3 games
Since the Web3 gaming ecosystem is still growing, collaboration between game developers, blockchain specialists, designers, and other experts from various fields will only increase as time goes on. As the technology develops, we can expect to see the formation of a new gaming landscape featuring increased player engagement and new ways for players to express themselves creatively.
Web3 games represent a move beyond the entertainment industry – they make it possible to create new realities, forge connections between distant regions, and bring people closer together. Needless to say, this will all affect the translation and localization of these games – they need to be accessible and comprehensible to a global audience, support player engagement, and facilitate interaction between players.
In other words, Web3 games could fundamentally alter not just the video game industry itself, but also the way we communicate, create, and collaborate in a digital world.