We explore the required daily average players for web3 games to remain viable by comparing traditional games that shut down to current web3 games and their reported Daily Average Users.
Head of Gaming Research
In the rapidly evolving world of gaming, it's important for developers to ensure that their games maintain a loyal and active player base. With the emergence of web3 and blockchain technology, the gaming industry is facing yet another revolutionary change. In this article, we will explore the number of daily average players a game should have to remain viable in the gaming industry by examining data from games that have shut down their servers and comparing it to the current average player base in web3/blockchain gaming.
A strong player base is essential for a game's success in the competitive gaming industry. Focusing on user-generated content, sustainability and longevity, and revenue generation can help developers attract and retain players, ensuring their game's long-term viability.
To better understand the required daily average players, it's important to examine some games that shut down their servers, their player base at the time of closure, and their peak daily average players.
LawBreakers, a 2017 online first-person shooter game developed by Boss Key Productions led by the industry renowned personality, Cliff Bleszinski. Despite a strong initial release with peak daily concurrent players reaching around 3,000, LawBreakers' player base dropped drastically, with less than 50 concurrent players at times. The servers were eventually shut down in 2018.
Battleborn, another online first-person shooter developed by Gearbox Software in 2016, struggled to find its footing after tough competition from Blizzard’s Overwatch and an unfortunate overlapped release. At its peak, the game had around 12,000 daily concurrent players. However, in its final months, the game's daily average dropped to around 100 concurrent players. The servers were finally shut down in January 2021.
WildStar, a 2014 MMORPG by Carbine Studios, faced a steep decline in its player base, partly due to a lack of regular updates and stiff competition. At its peak, WildStar boasted approximately 40,000 daily concurrent players. However, at the time of its closure in 2018,
WildStar's daily average player count had plummeted to a few hundred.
Examining these cases highlights the importance of maintaining a sufficient daily average player count to ensure a game's sustainability in the competitive gaming market. It also underscores the need for continuous updates and innovation to keep players engaged and maintain their interest in the long run.
The landscape of web3 games is relatively new and still emerging, but a comparison with traditional games that shut down due to insufficient daily average players can provide valuable insights. By examining specific web3 games and their current daily average users, we can better understand how close they are to meeting or falling short of the thresholds that have led to the closure of other games in the past.
CryptoKitties launched in 2017 as one of the first blockchain-based games, CryptoKitties experienced immense popularity upon release, with a peak of nearly 14,000 daily active users. However, as the novelty waned, its daily average user count diminished significantly. As of late 2021, the game had around 300 daily active users, placing it in a precarious position compared to traditional games that shut down with similar player counts.
Another entry in the list to draw comparison is Decentraland, a decentralized virtual world that was headlining the metaverse craze and one of the few that made its name on mainstream media alongside the likes of The Sandbox Game and Axie Infinity. Despite its innovative concept, Decentraland has relatively failed to manage to acquire a sustainable player base that keeps its lobbies and virtual world alive. As of late 2021, it had approximately 2,000 daily active users. While this count is higher than some web3 games, it is still not far from the daily average player counts of games like WildStar prior to their shutdown.
Since we mentioned Axie Infinity, the web3 game that sparked everyone’s attention towards what blockchain can do to the traditional gaming market, it has enjoyed its fair share in the spotlight. By late 2021, the game had amassed over 250,000 daily active users, accumulating over 2.5 Million in Average Monthly Player count. As this was evidently affected heavily by their token performance, it has since dwindled to around 380K Average Monthly Players, which can be translated to around 12K daily players. These figures suggest that Axie Infinity has a more robust player base, setting it apart from games that have shut down in the past.[*]
As the web3 gaming space continues to evolve, it will be crucial for developers to monitor their daily average user counts and ensure they maintain a sufficiently engaged community to prevent the same fate as their traditional counterparts. To avoid a similar fate, these games must adopt proactive strategies that cater to their specific target audience and strengths.
One key aspect for these web3 games is to ensure continuous development and updates. Regular content updates and improvements are crucial in maintaining player engagement and interest. Developers must be committed to introducing new features, expansions, and experiences to prevent stagnation and keep their player base captivated.
Additionally, focusing on usability and accessibility is important. Ensuring that the game is user-friendly, accessible, and compatible across various devices and platforms can help attract a wider audience and retain existing players.
Transparency about game stats is essential for both developers and players. For developers, being open about player counts, engagement metrics, and other vital statistics can help identify areas of improvement and guide development efforts. Moreover, this transparency can foster trust within the gaming community, reassuring players that the game is being actively developed and managed. For players, access to this data enables them to make informed decisions about whether to invest time and resources into a game, understanding the risks and rewards associated with the game's current state and future prospects.
In summary, web3 games teetering on the edge of meeting the same daily average players as previously shut down web2 games must act diligently to secure their future. By adopting a range of strategies focused on continuous development, community engagement, innovative marketing, and ensuring usability, these games can enhance their chances of long-term success. Furthermore, maintaining transparency about game stats is crucial in fostering trust, guiding development efforts, and enabling players to make informed decisions.
*Disclaimer: All of the numbers featured in the web3 gaming portion were taken from a mixture of self-reported statistics and insights available through Active Player, which curates and aggregates data for web2 and certain web3 games from numerous statistics websites such as statista.com, steamcharts.com, newzoo.com, gamstat.com.
April 29th 2023
April 29th 2023