Blockchain gaming is exploding thanks to the highly lucrative play-to-earn movement, but how long will it last?
While Axie Infinity may be stealing the show, a report by DappRadar on the state of blockchain gaming puts several gaming titles ahead of it in terms of unique active wallets (UAW) in Q3 2021.
As expected, the report also highlights that play-to-earn (P2E) gaming, and NFTs to a lesser extent, are driving growth in the blockchain gaming sector.
With that in mind, has gaming become the new DeFi?
Blockchain gaming is taking off
Analysis by DappRadar shows 1.54 million UAWs were registered in Q3 this year. They point out that this is a 25% increase quarter-over-quarter and a 509% increase year-over-year.
Of those 1.54 million wallets, almost half, at 754,000, relate to blockchain games. This, they say, is being driven by the growing popularity of P2E games.
The 7-day trailing average for UAWs shows a spike in games around July, going on to peak at just below 1,100. By contrast, year to date, DeFi peaked at just over 1,100 UAWs in May and has seen a sharp decline, leading to a ranging average of between 500 and 700 since.
As impressive as this is for the gaming sector, DappRadar states that UAW relates to unique addresses interacting with a particular smart contract. As someone may have more than one wallet, this metric should not be interpreted in the same way as daily active users.
“Unique Active Wallets (UAW) or unique wallets refer to unique addresses that interact with a given smart contract; therefore, UAW does not translate to (daily) active users (DAU). A single individual might utilize different wallets to interact with a single dapp.”
Axie Infinity is the star, but for how much longer?
Axie Infinity is described as Pokémon but on the Ethereum blockchain. And with reports of some users generating thousands of dollars a month playing it, it’s no surprise to learn its monthly users for August topped 1.8 million.
However, DappRadar reports that, over the last 30 days, seven other blockchain games were more popular than it in terms of the number of UAW interactions. Alien Worlds on WAX was the most popular, followed by Splinterlands on Hive and Arc8 on Polygon, making the third spot.
Despite active wallets on WAX increasing 53% quarter-over-quarter, its dominance (as a gaming blockchain) decreased by 31% compared to Q2. This is because other blockchains had undergone massive expansion in Q3, in particular, BSC and Hive.
With P2E offering the added element of entertainment, perhaps we’ll see metrics for gaming pulling even further away from DeFi in the future.