Has Crypto Gaming Bottomed?


2022 was a year to forget for crypto gaming and the play-to-earn (P2E) model which have become synonymous with each other. Indeed, it was a year to forget for almost every category of Web3 last year, but the feeling that a bubble had been burst for metaverse and gaming was certainly more prevalent than with others.

It’s always darkest before the dawn though, and 2023 has already breathed some life back into the gaming ecosystem with interest – and plenty of ETH – starting to flow back in that direction.

Yuga’s sewer pass

Yuga Labs recently introduced their Sewer Pass collection; a free mint for all holders of BAYC or MAYC. A sewer pass grants the holder access to Yuga’s game ‘Dookey Dash’, where players are currently competing with each other to get the highest score. Scores are tied to each NFT and will be finalized on February 8th. All who scored higher than 0 will be eligible for the next phase of the mint.

The approach taken by Yuga here suggests that the hard lessons of the infamous Otherside mint from April 2022 have been heeded and improved upon.

More interestingly though is the gamification aspect Yuga chose to employ. Mints have usually involved gas wars, bots, Discord grinding by saying “gm” hundreds of times per day, or application forms to prove your worth as a contributor to a community. Dookey Dash strips things down, eliminating all the laborious components of the aforementioned and replaces it with something fun that absolutely anyone can have a shot at succeeding at!

Yuga were not the first to do this however. Neo Tokyo’s S1 and S2 Citizen mints were allocated on positioning in gaming tournaments all the way back in October 2021, proving once again how The Citadel is a sleeping giant in the Web3 space.

Nonetheless, the success of Dookey Dash has perhaps nudged awake the crypto gaming industry, reminding it what is possible.

Axie back in the spotlight


Fellow Web3 giant, Axie Infinity, recently saw an increase of active user wallets for the month of January ‘23, rising 59% since the turn of the year.

Naturally with this, the game’s native token, $AXS, saw a sharp incline from $6.01 on the 1st to $11.88 at the time of writing today (26th) – a 97% journey upwards. $SLP, the token which runs the in-game economy, has also done well with a 61% increase since 2023 began.

Astonishingly, this has all happened in the midst of a massive token unlock that saw 4.8 million $AXS released. This would usually a bearish event as holders tend to dump their accrued tokens en masse.

Gaming will thrive where others fail

It’s been said for some time that crypto gaming will outlast other categories in Web3 during the downturn of the bear.

The theory goes that because people’s time and attention is not captivated by the money making opportunities which come from the bull, instead, those who want to stick around looking for a dopamine hit turn to gaming. It’s a fun and relatively inexpensive way of staying involved in Web3 – with the added bonus of being able to earn while you play, with cases such as Axie Infinity.

The big question

Has crypto gaming bottomed though?

Macro conditions aside, possibly in terms of price. Almost certainly in terms of sentiment for the foreseeable future. NFTs and blockchain technology are slowly but surely becoming adopted by the mainstream, which in turn will cultivate acceptance among the masses as time goes on. There’s still a disconnect between traditional gamers understanding the full benefits of owning your own in-game assets, but that too is gradually being eroded.

It’s conceivable that it will just take one smash hit game to open the floodgates. Yuga and Axie are currently the frontrunners in this race, but with supporting acts such as Treeverse and Dogami moving things along too, 2023 could be the year crypto gaming explodes!

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