Casual gamers a ‘critical’ audience for blockchain games: GameFi execs

The casual game market will remain a crucial audience for blockchain games and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in games, according to three co-founders of the blockchain game company.

Casual gamers, people who play games fairly regularly but rarely invest a lot of time, make up the largest segment of gamers in the gaming industry.

Kieran Warwick, co-founder of blockchain role-playing game Illuvium, called casual gamers “critical” due to their numbers in the population.

There are more than 3 billion gamers worldwide in 2023, and it’s estimated that at least 1.95 billion are casual gamers, according to Exploding Topics.

Keiran Warwick, co-founder, IlluviumSource: LinkedIn

Warwick said gamers interested in earning in-game returns, primarily from developing countries and drawn to mobile games, are also becoming increasingly important.

However, Warwick admits there is a “major challenge” in coaxing casual gamers into the market due to the perception that blockchain games are substandard.

Despite this, he was optimistic that NFTs, blockchain and Web3 will have a bright future in mainstream games.

“NFTs, Blockchain and Web3 have a place in mainstream gaming for the long term, as mainstream game developers are already working to integrate these technologies into their games, despite some backlash from their communities,” Warwick said.

“As more fun and engaging NFT-based games are developed, it’s likely that gamers will reap the benefits of ownership and not want to go back to traditional games,” he added.

Yat Siu, the co-founder and president of Animoca Brands, shares a similar view calling the mainstream casual audience “absolutely critical” for blockchain and NFT games, saying:

“Games are still games, whether casual or in-between. One of the things that has actually expanded mainstream gaming is casual gaming.”

According to Siu, the mainstream game industry fell on hard times between 2010 and 2011 and “stopped growing”. The introduction of mobile games has helped revitalize and attract a whole new generation of gamers, a feat that blockchain games need to replicate.

Yat Siu speaking at a World Economic Forum press conference. Source: Animoca Brands

Siu thinks it will only take one good game to start a blockchain gaming boom and he predicts it could start in the next 18-24 months with hundreds of millions of players entering the space.

“I think we’re painting a pretty good picture, but you know, you’re not going to convert everyone overnight, are you? But it’s starting and people are having fun and games are getting better. improve,” he said.

“All you need is a game that’s going to be reasonably successful and you’re basically going to get big news, and because it’s Web3, what’s going to happen is that once it will be very popular, it will carry over to other games.”

NFTs in games have faced backlash from the general public, causing several top companies to abandon plans to integrate them, but Siu thinks it’s only temporary until gamers learn more about how technology works.

“I think they’re trying to be sensitive to their audience. I mean, so that’s the right thing to do as a business. You can’t just say, well, whatever your opinions are,” did he declare.

“Most gamers I talk to say they all want to have digital ownership in games but are still against NFTs, but over time education will fix that,” Siu added.

Related: Opinion: 2023 is a ‘built’ year for crypto gaming

Bozena Rezab, co-founder and CEO of GAMEE, a blockchain mobile gaming platform, believes that mobile games will have a role to play in attracting casual gamers.

“Casual mobile games are the simplest step towards gaming, with the ability to engage a mass audience. This is what they can offer to a quest to integrate gamers into NFT/blockchain games” , she said.

However, the game executive believes that several aspects need to be changed first, such as games without paywalls, shorter sessions, and easier setups for casual gamers.

“We are still on the path of exploring the use of blockchain technology in games, the concept of asset ownership is very powerful and will remain so. The exact game genres, game economy models and the mechanisms that will define the future remain to be explored,” she says.