Web3 Gaming: Avalanche

Web3 Gaming

TL;DR
Avalanche is an upcoming hub for Web3 gaming, attracting developers with its capacity for project-specific Subnets, on top of its overall speed, efficiency, and infrastructure. Web3 gaming ecosystem Beam–launched by the Merit Circle DAO–operates across chains but is built on an Avalanche Subnet, and there are some highly anticipated AAA games being developed on Avalanche, including Shrapnel and Off the Grid.

When it comes to Web3 gaming, the potential is huge, and among the ecosystems that look primed to take off, Avalanche is worth getting up to speed with. Let’s take a look at what makes Avalanche capable of outperforming, and at the games, platforms and innovations that are leading the way.

Why Is Avalanche Good for Gaming?

Avalanche

Launched in 2020, Avalanche is a very speedy and low cost Layer 1, competing most directly with Solana as an alternative to Ethereum and its Layer 2s. A key feature of Avalanche, when it comes to gaming and other applications, are its Subnets, which are linked-up, dedicated blockchains customized for specific projects, meaning, for example, that games can utilize their own chains.

When it comes to the Web3 gaming niche in particular, Avalanche is competing with networks such as Polygon, Immutable, and Ronin.

Gaming on Avalanche

Avalanche
Image credit: Gaming on Avalanche

Gaming on Avalanche is the name of an official Avalanche gaming community. It acts as a hub and a promotional platform, it has several upcoming, big name productions connected to it (including Shrapnel, more on that below), and is showcasing what’s coming with promo vids that feature ‘real’ games, rather than gamified DeFi operations.

Top Avalanche Gaming Projects

Shrapnel

Avalanche
Image credit: Shrapnel

There’s been a burst of hype in the crypto space lately around high-caliber first-person shooter Shrapnel, reflected in the gains made by its native token, SHRAP. The Shrapnel team includes members who worked previously on blockbuster titles Halo and Call of Duty, and the project is refreshingly upfront about using blockchain.

Shrapnel is produced by gaming studio Neon, the blockchain parts are built on an Avalanche Subnet, and the game will allow players to create and then trade NFTs. Some items–which will offer early access when the game becomes available for download and are called Extraction Packs–are up for sale now.

Off the Grid

Avalanche
Image credit: Off the Grid

Produced by AAA gaming studio Gunzilla Games, Off the Grid is a “cyberpunk F2P battle royale”, with the distinction of being directed by Neill Blomkamp (of District Nine movie fame.) Off the Grid will be integrated with Gunzillas’s own Avalanche subnet, and will be released for PS5, XBox and PC.

Interestingly, Off the Grid says that it ‘is not an NFT game’, but has ‘an optional NFT element’, and it’s possible that this approach can help introduce NFTs to mainstream gamers, with blockchain included not as a central feature, but as an addition.

Domi Online

Avalanche
Image credit: Domi Online

If you’re looking for an epic MMORPG built on Avalanche then take a look at Domi Online. RPGs are well-suited to using crypto and NFTs, since they tend to involve accumulating or creating items, and realistic world-building naturally incorporates ownership and trade.

Domi Online has its own token, DOMI, incorporates staking, and the team includes members who have experience at Runescape, League of Legends, and Magic: The Gathering. The project states that it’s “underpinned by digital collectibles”, but adds, “we’re not talking about monkeys or art pieces. Just the technology.”

DeFi Kingdoms

Avalanche
Image credit: DeFi Kingdoms

This title has been around since August 2021, and was originally a hit on the Harmony blockchain, before expanding also to Avalanche in March 2022. It’s a retro-looking pixel-art fantasy game which, as its name suggests–is heavily tilted towards earning tokens.

Unlike projects that integrate blockchain into tried-and-tested gaming styles, DeFi Kingdoms is in the early play-to-earn bracket, and while it’s questionable how much crossover appeal such styles can have outside of crypto, it’s very well established in its niche.

Merit Circle and Beam

Established in 2021–right around Bitcoin’s double-top all-time highs and when the last bull market was raging–Merit Circle is a gaming DAO which invests in new projects and acts as a meeting point for developers and gamers.

In November this year, Merit Circle fully launched Beam (after a period of limited access), a Web3 gaming network which is built on an Avalanche Subnet, with (prior to full public launch) Merit Circle tokens migrated over and converted into BEAM tokens.

Beam itself is “a chain-agnostic ecosystem”, and this week, Merit Circle announced that Beam is teaming up with Immutable and Polygon Labs to create a multichain gaming collaboration. This means Beam will still be on an Avalanche Subnet, with BEAM as its gas token, but will integrate products and applications with the Polygon-powered Immutable zkEVM gaming chain (including Beam’s NFT marketplace Sphere, and the Immutable Passport wallet.)

Avalanche
Image credit: Merit Circle

And prior to that, also this week, Merit Circle announced a partnership with crypto investment firm Pantera Capital, which it explained will offer “support in hiring, connecting with existing and future games and overall spreading the word about our DAO, and our gaming ecosystem Beam.”

Activity and Infrastructure

Avalanche
Avalanche Daily Active Users

While competitors such as Immutable and Ronin are fully dedicated to gaming, Avalanche has the advantage of being a renowned, multi-purpose chain that has DeFi (with big platforms such as Trader Joe and GMX), commercial partnerships and users (including major enterprises such as DeLoitte, Shopify, and Alibaba), and solid infrastructure.

On the whole, Avalanche is demonstrating that it has a strong draw on projects looking to incorporate blockchain, and as gaming is included as a key area within the ecosystem, we’re already seeing high quality gaming projects building on Avalanche.

Web3 Gaming: Avalanche - - 2024

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Web3 Gaming: Avalanche - - 2024
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