About Blockchain Gaming, and Night Crows Global

Ponyo외 1명
Research Analyst/
Nov 03, 2023

Table of Contents


1. When Will the Era of Blockchain Gaming Begin?

2. Which Blockchain Games Deserve Attention?

3. What Does It Take for Blockchain Games to Succeed?

4. Closing Thoughts





Blockchain gaming has been around for six years now. It started with the introduction of the first blockchain game, CryptoKitties, and the concept of Play-to-Earn (P2E) that was introduced by Axie Infinity, followed by global gaming giants like Ubisoft, SEGA, and Nexon joining the blockchain gaming market. However, the mainstream adoption of blockchain gaming still seems elusive. Many gamers hold a negative view of coins and NFTs, and even games based on popular IPs have received disappointing reviews. When will the era of blockchain gaming truly arrive? Why do gamers remain skeptical of it? What does blockchain gaming need to establish itself? This article aims to address these fundamental questions and provide insights into the future direction of the blockchain gaming market.


1. When Will the Era of Blockchain Gaming Begin?

It's been only a couple years since significant capital began flowing into the blockchain gaming market.

Gaming is one of the areas where blockchain technology has seen substantial investment, following infrastructure. Investment in blockchain gaming gained momentum in 2021 with the emergence of successful cases like Axie Infinity and MIR4. The investment, which was a mere $151.6 million in 2020, expanded significantly to $5.5 billion in 2021 and further to $8.5 billion in 2022. While it is expected that the investment in 2023 will decrease to around $2.3 billion due to the overall downturn in the crypto market, the cumulative investment from 2021 to 2023 amounts to a staggering $16.3 billion.

This level of investment is comparable to the traditional gaming industry. Annual investments in the global gaming industry have typically remained around $10 billion, with 2021 being an exceptional year due to factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and the metaverse trend. Considering that, in 2019, 2020, and 2022, the non-blockchain gaming industry received funding of $7.3 billion, $13.3 billion, and $8.3 billion, respectively, the significance of blockchain gaming investment becomes evident. The proportion of blockchain gaming investment within the overall gaming industry has steadily increased, going from 1.1% in 2020 to 9.5% in 2021, 38.3% in 2022, and a striking 57.2% in the first quarter of 2023.

However, despite the substantial influx of funds into the blockchain gaming market, it has not yet become the dominant force. Why is blockchain gaming struggling to gain a foothold, and how will it evolve in the future when compared to the progression of traditional PC and mobile gaming?

While PC and mobile gaming have been direct beneficiaries of technological advances…

The growth of the gaming industry can be understood through three major inflection points. The gaming industry, which was initially revolutionized with the introduction of arcade games in the 1970s, went through three more significant shifts in the 1980s (console gaming), 2000s (PC gaming), and 2010s (mobile gaming). The revenue generated by the gaming industry increased significantly at each of these stages, with the industry's earnings rising from less than $5 billion in the early 1970s to approximately $45 billion in the 1980s, $80 billion in the 2000s, and $140 billion in the 2010s.

As of 2022, PC gaming accounted for $40.5 billion, and mobile gaming reached $92.6 billion, representing 22% and 55% of the entire gaming industry, respectively. Nevertheless, neither PC gaming nor mobile gaming achieved their current substantial revenue levels right from the start. The gap between the emergence of PC/mobile gaming and their accelerated revenue growth is noticeable in the figure below.

When PC gaming was first recognized, its revenue was only $1.0 billion, accounting for just 2.4% of the entire gaming industry at the time. It took 13 years for PC gaming revenue to grow to $10 billion (29.4%) and an additional 25 years to reach $15 billion (22.1%). Mobile gaming followed a similar trajectory, with its revenue starting at $1.0 billion, or 2.9% of the total gaming industry when initially recognized. It took 10 years for mobile gaming revenue to reach $10 billion (16.1%) and 12 years to reach $15 billion (20.4%). Although mobile gaming showed faster revenue growth than PC gaming, it still took a considerable amount of time for these segments to gain significant traction. In other words, both PC and mobile gaming did not establish and grow their markets quickly.