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Top Video Game Companies Have Their Sights Set on Web3

4.4 | by Nicholas Boey

How Many Top Video Game Companies Entered Web3?

29 out of 40, or 72.5% of the top video game companies by market cap, have ventured into web3 to varying extents. This includes directly investing in web3 gaming projects, blockchain game development, or hiring for blockchain-related positions. Yet, only seven, or 24.1%, of the 29 are in the midst of developing blockchain games: Take-Two Interactive, Nexon, Bandai Namco, Konami Holdings, Krafton, Square Enix, and Ubisoft.

Web3 Gaming Pioneers

Out of the 7 blockchain games that are in the midst of development, only Krafton’s Overdare (previously known as Project Migaloo) is set to soft launch in December 2023 and fully release sometime between January to July 2024. On the other hand, Zynga’s Sugartown and Bandai Namco’s Ryuzo have already launched NFTs exclusive to their gaming ecosystem, in August and June 2023, respectively. Sugartown’s Oras act as an ecosystem pass to access the platform and ecosystem while Ryuzo’s Maryus can be “burnt” to give birth to “Rya,” a soulbound token (SBT) which acts like a “Tamagotchi” that is able to be nurtured and grow.

Additionally, Square Enix’s Symbiogenesis and Ubisoft’s Champion Tactics: Grimoire Chronicles have started their allowlist campaigns on Twitter and have been constantly posting updates on Twitter. On the other hand, Nexon’s Maplestory Universe has a different go-to-market plan, where they share updates and their vision for their game on social media, and participate in web3 game-building discussions. 

Konami Holding’s Project Zircon was first announced in March 2023, but have only recently opened up their Discord on September 13, 2023. A more comprehensive reveal is set to be announced during the Tokyo Game Show, a well-known event in the gaming industry, on September 21, 2023.

On the flipside, the adoption of blockchain technology by established video game companies has been relatively slow, attributed to concerns such as scalability, market acceptance, regulatory uncertainty, and past security breaches in previous blockchain games.

As of September 19, 2023, the top 10 video game companies boasted a combined market capitalization of $3,219.6 billion, dwarfing the total market cap of the top 10 gaming tokens at $4.8 billion, emphasizing the substantial financial weight of established gaming giants in the blockchain gaming industry.

7 Blockchain Games by the Top Video Game Companies

The top video game companies by market cap with blockchain games that are in the midst of development are:

Market Cap Rank Company Blockchain Game
8 Take-Two Interactive Sugartown (Ethereum)
12 Nexon Maplestory Universe (Polygon)
13 Bandai Namco RYUZO (Oasys)
17 Konami Holdings Project Zircon (TBC)
20 Krafton Migaloo (Settlus)
25 Square Enix Symbiogenesis (Polygon)
28 Ubisoft Champions Tactics: Grimoire Chronicles (Oasys)

 

Majority Mitigate Risk through Investments or Partnerships 

22 or 75.9% of the 29 top video gaming companies that have entered web3 have chosen a more measured and indirect approach, contrasting the six companies actively engaged in the development of blockchain games.

These companies have channeled their efforts into blockchain game investments or infrastructure development, strategically mitigating potential risks. For instance, Microsoft has opted to make strategic investments in WeMade, a specialized company at the forefront of blockchain-based game production. This strategic move enables Microsoft to circumvent the risk of adverse headlines should the blockchain game encounter challenges. Additionally, it empowers Microsoft to leverage WeMade's extensive expertise in blockchain technology.

Other noteworthy players in this category include Tencent and Unity Software. They have concentrated their efforts on building the essential infrastructure for blockchain games. This includes introducing innovative tools and resources that empower blockchain developers to build upon.

Web3 Initiatives by Top Video Game Companies

The various blockchain initiatives of the world’s top video game companies are:

Companies Announcement Date Web3 Initiatives
Microsoft Nov 2022 Invested in WeMade, a blockchain game producer
Tencent Feb 2023 Partnered with Morpheus Labs, introduced a development roadmap for Metaverse-in-a-Box product and blockchain API services
Sony Jun 2023 Invested in Startale Labs, a Web3 incubator and subsequently announced plans to develop a new blockchain platform
NetEase - Created 3 consumer applications: Star, Quanquan & Yitoutiao, however all 3 have been reported as failures
Nintendo Mar 2023 Nintendo's joint venture with Game Freak and Creatures, The Pokémon Company, was hiring a blockchain expert
Electronic Arts Jun 2023 Partnered with Nike's .Swoosh platform
Sea (Garena) Nov 2021 Invested in Forte, a platform for gaming publishers to incorporate blockchain in their games
Unity Software Feb 2023 Introduced the "Decentralization" category page in Unity Asset Store with 13 verified solutions
Entain Jan 2022 Launched Ennovate to deliver new experiences for customers, including NFTs
Capcom Feb 2021 Released Street Fighter II-inspired NFTs on the WAX blockchain
GameStop May 2022 Launched a crypto wallet and an NFT marketplace, but announced sunset in Aug ‘23
Zhejiang Century Huatong Nov 2022 Launched digital collection platform "Shuhe" (数河)
Kingsoft May 2018 Partnered with The Abyss, a platform for blockchain games
Sega Sammy Holdings Jun to Jul 2023 Licensed multiple IPs for blockchain games
NCsoft Nov 2022 Invested in Mysten Labs, the company behind the SUI network
Playtika March 2022 Announced hiring for vice-president of blockchain technology
Kingnet Network Aug 2018 Launched “Wutiao”, blockchain content platform, but sunset it quickly in Dec’18
Giant Network Group May 2023 Invested in DeFiance Liquid Venture Fund Limited, a crypto investment fund
CyberAgent Mar 2022 Established blockchain game subsidiary, CA GameFi, Inc
Netmarble Mar 2022 Launched proprietary blockchain ecosystem, 'MBX' & 'Marblex Wallet'
International Games System Sep 2023 Announced the hiring of a blockchain game planning specialist
Spin Master Mar 2022 Invested in Tiny Rebel Games - Petaverse Network maker

 

The Future of Web3 Gaming

While promising and with immense potential, blockchain gaming remains in its infancy and comes with its challenges. As we look ahead, several key considerations emerge:

  1. The Quest for Blockchain’s Killer Product
    Blockchain gaming has yet to see a “killer” product that could catalyze mass adoption despite being around for a few years. Such a product would need to seamlessly integrate blockchain technology while delivering an engaging and rewarding gaming experience. 

  2. Player-Centric Rewards
    The future of blockchain gaming hinges on its ability to provide tangible benefits to players. Whether through unique in-game assets, verifiable scarcity through NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), or innovative tokenomics, players must feel that their time and investments are rewarded in novel and compelling ways.

  3. Market Expansion
    As blockchain gaming evolves, it’s likely to broaden its reach beyond dedicated blockchain enthusiasts. Companies will increasingly target mainstream gamers, drawing them into the decentralized ecosystem with experiences that rival or surpass traditional gaming.

  4. Regulation and Compliance
    The regulatory landscape surrounding blockchain gaming is rapidly evolving. Companies will need to navigate a complex web of regional and global regulations as governments work to establish clearer guidelines.

Methodology

This study examines the top 40 video game companies by market capitalization that have ventured into blockchain gaming or web3 initiatives.

Data for the top 40 video game companies was obtained from Companies Market Cap as of September 19, 2023. The study distinguished whether a video game company has entered web3 based on whether it:

  • launched or plans to launch a blockchain product
  • invested in another company that has launched or plans to launch a blockchain product
  • has positions for blockchain gaming roles

If you use these insights, we would appreciate a link credit to this article on CoinGecko. A link credit allows us to keep supplying you with data-led content that you may find useful.

Curious to find out more about our previous research studies & statistics? Check out this one we did on the top NFT Whales.

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Nicholas Boey
Nicholas Boey

Nicholas is a Market Research Intern at CoinGecko. He can be seen crawling around the vast crypto space, be it NFTs, crypto or memecoins from time to time. People in web3 call him picnicmou. Follow the author on Twitter @picnicmou

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