Case study: What do gamers really think of Web3 gaming?

“Play-to-earn” is the most familiar Web3 gaming term players have heard of.
Coda Labs and other partners logos on a black background with colorful data bars peaking from right side

Coda Labs, a Web3-powered mobile games maker and publisher, surveyed nearly 7,000 people across five of the largest global markets (UK, US, Brazil, Japan and South Africa) and prepared an extensive report dubbed The Global Web3 Gamer Study.

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The gaming firm says this is the most ambitious study to this date based on how gamers feel about the Web3 technology. Coda Labs partnered with Blockchain Game Alliance, DappRadar and Laguna Games to prepare this detailed report. The case study dives deep into how consumer gamers worldwide (PC, consoles, mobile, and Web3) feel about cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain gaming.

Web3 gaming stands on shaky ground according to a considerable number of industry experts. However, despite the suspicions around the underlying technology and how it’s being marketed, Web3 gaming is expected to reach approximately $10 billion in investment, Google alone invested over $1.5 billion in Web3 in the last year or so.

Coda Labs segmented participants into three groups of gamers based on their gaming habits and familiarity with Web3. The groups are listed below:

  • Gamers (81%): People who play video games at least twice a month.
  • Crypto Gamers (16%): People who play video games at least twice a month; and use a crypto wallet, trade via a DEX, or buy NFTs monthly.
  • Crypto Non-Gamers 3%): People who use crypto wallets, trade through a DEX or buy NFTs monthly.

Key findings of The Global Web3 Gamer Study

Şekip Can Gökalp, the CEO of Coda Labs said the study “unsurprisingly” found that many video game fans don’t see any benefits in Web3 gaming, and even the gamers who’re experienced in the Web3 gaming space are wary of scams and financial costs. Gokalp also added that Web3 gaming has yet many obstacles to overcome to go mainstream in the gaming world. He then commented:

“When regular gamers do give web3 games a go, they tend to feel more positively, and this survey reveals that those regular gamers and heavy crypto users aren’t as far apart as we might have thought.

“They often overlap in their behaviors, motivations, and concerns; and ‘Crypto Gamers’ as we have called them are effectively hardcore gamers who are also early tech adopters. We hope the collective games industry can use these crucial insights to experiment with ways of making gaming more fun and accessible for all types of gamers.”

Per The Global Web3 Gamer Study:

  • Most Gamers know what cryptocurrencies and NFTs are, but they’re not big fans of the technology. 89% have heard of Bitcoin and 51% know of NFTs; however, NFT ownership is approximately around 3%.
  • About 52% of Gamers aren’t familiar with any Web3 gaming terms, but one in every three Gamers has heard of “play-to-earn”. About 12% of Gamers tried Web3 games.
  • About 41% of Gamers weren’t sure about how Web3 gaming would work.
    • Meanwhile, 41% of Crypto Gamers are more concerned with scams, and 32% of Crypto Gamers are worried about the financial costs if they were to enter the Web3 gaming space.
  • As stated earlier, “play-to-earn” is the most familiar Web3 gaming term; and the study suggests earning cryptocurrencies is why most people play these games, alongside other benefits like community and ownership.
    • 37% of Gamers, 45% of Crypto Non-Gamers, and 60% of Crypto Gamers are in Web3 gaming to “earn” while they play.
  • Gamers seem to like Web3 gaming and NFTs once they give them a chance. Gamers who tried NFT games rated them 7.1 out of 10.
  • Nearly all crypto users are Gamers, and the study found that for every Crypto Non-Gamer there were five Crypto Gamers. Coda Labs says 71% of Crypto Non-Gamers actually play a game at least once a month, but for study purposes, they count as “Non-Gamers” since they don’t meet the criteria stated in the study’s methodology.
  • Crypto Gamers are “hardcore” players, who’re likely to spend money in-game. The study labels them as “gamers on steroids” and adds that they play more competitively and on more gaming platforms than regular Gamers.

Sebastien Borget, President of the Blockchain Game Alliance said “The Global Web3 Gamer Study proves with data that the blockchain gaming industry is still a nascent industry that needs more guidance in general both for Gamers and Developer,” and added “The first attempts at creating Web3 games have raised awareness but not defined the business model that will be the next industry standard yet. Our role as the Blockchain Game Alliance is to keep educating actors on the possibilities offered by the technology so they can innovate and experiment more with it.”

Coda Labs commissioned WALR (a member organization of the Market Research Society) to conduct this Web3 gaming survey and the fieldwork was done in June 2022. The gaming firm recently rebranded to Coda Labs.

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