Gabby Dizon, CEO and co-founder of Yield Guild Games, forecasts that the most successful Web3 games next year will shift their focus from play-to-earn (P2E) models to a completely free-to-play approach to attract more players. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Dizon highlighted the contrast with games like Axie Infinity, which require players to buy at least three Axie NFTs to participate. He envisions a new trend in Web3 gaming where financial and technical entry barriers are minimized, saying, “For millions of people to get into a game, it has to be free-to-play first.”
Dizon noted an evolving business model where games start as free-to-play, and only later do opportunities arise for players to mint NFTs or earn tokens, without initial NFT ownership requirements.
He believes this move towards a free-to-play model is part of a larger strategy by Web3 game developers to prioritize gameplay over tokenomics. This approach is seen as a key solution to the issues of speculative Web3 gaming bubbles. By creating engaging games that encourage continual play, players are more likely to reinvest in the game, thus preventing the in-game economy from merely being a tool for financial gain.
This change in strategy aligns with a downturn in blockchain games, paralleling a drop in crypto prices. Following the collapse in the value of Axie Infinity-related assets in late 2021, the blockchain gaming sector saw a decrease in player numbers and revenue. Surveys from October 2022 revealed that many dedicated crypto gamers were leaving due to the overemphasis on financial aspects, lack of entertainment, and confusion regarding crypto wallet technology.