Investments in blockchain projects have staggered, but even as the market is down, there is one sector that is sustaining growth: GameFi.
GameFi is the combination of two concepts: DeFi and video games. It refers to a decentralized, blockchain-based world of video games that presents players with opportunities to earn rewards in the form of cryptocurrency and NFTs.
While video games have traditionally incorporated in-game money or items before, the difference between them and blockchain-based games is that these tokens can be transferred out of the game and sold on a cryptocurrency exchange for fiat currency, which is also known as Play-to-Earn (P2E).
The majority of P2E games originate from cryptocurrency-based ecosystems, focusing on the economic benefits of playing the game.
On the other hand, there are games combined with blockchain economy created by traditional gaming studios, like the South Korean game publisher Wemade.
With over 20 years of track record and blockbuster MMORPG “Legend of Mir” series, Wemade is well-known by hundreds of millions of players globally.
Henry Chang, the CEO of Wemade, is one of the most publicized CEOs in South Korea who has led the Korean gaming industry for 26 years and holds a significant role in the Korean blockchain industry.
Commenting on the nature of blockchain games, Henry said during his keynote speech at this year’s GDC 2022 (Game Developers Conference) that “games that started with crypto don’t really engage players [because those games are not fun to play]”.
However, he added “on the other hand, games that started as well-made games have that inherent fun. Most of these players usually play because they enjoy the game, not just because they want economic rewards”, the latter case being more sustainable. “[For games on the Wemix platform] to have a long-life cycle, the gameplay itself must be fun”, he later added.
Wemade launched its fourth installment of the Legend of Mir series “MIR4” in November 2020, a free-to-play game that generated $100 million within a year since its release.
Following the game’s success, in August of 2021, Wemade launched the Play & Earn (P&E) version on the Wemix blockchain platform focusing on enhancing the user experience through fun games with blockchain benefits.
The game triggered an unprecedented paradigm shift in the gaming industry, leading to an expansion of the company’s reach to global markets across 170 countries and gathering 6.5 million monthly active users in a few months.
This cemented its place among the most successful blockchain MMORPG games. Wemix platform services 14 P&E games and includes Wemix wallet, Game Coin DEX, NFT Exchange, and DeFi services. Players can earn game tokens by playing games and then swap them for WEMIX coins which can be traded in global exchanges.
WEMIX coin is currently traded in over 20 global crypto exchanges and reached USD 500 million daily trading volume in May 2022.
In regards to the success of the GameFi industry, he said that “the current performance suggests that the fun fact of the game created this success and that the fun factor is strengthened by the blockchain economy when the in-game economy is extended outside the game and possesses real economic value, the game becomes more enjoyable”.
Consequently, “for an online game to gain success, it has to offer a fun and sustainable in-game economic system.”
The in-game economy is not a new concept in the $172 billion gaming industry. However, traditionally in-game items are locked up in games.
“Blockchain can free the locked-up economy into the real world and give the real economic value it deserves”, Henry added.
Henry said during a press conference held in May, that “WEMIX is a coin that can be used for an actual purpose [in many games on the Wemix platform]; it’s fundamentally different from coins that don’t have real utility.” These two aspects of real utility and well-made games are at the center of the platform’s success.
Henry is pioneering the future of gaming through various strategic investments in blockchain, Metaverse, NFT, and Defi projects (Gala Games, Spartan Capital, Calaxy, ALTAVA, Progression fund, and more), in line with his vision to produce well-made games with a strong in-game economy that fulfills loyal customers and enables long-term growth.
Henry confidently said that “in three years’ time, all games in the world will be on blockchain”. With fifty thousand new games being released globally every year, Henry’s ambition is to develop Wemix as a dominant open blockchain gaming platform that can support an unlimited number of games and users.