The game industry's not getting started

The game industry's not getting started

The interview rooms at Token2049 in Singapore earlier this month had adjustable stools that sank lower the longer you sat on them. Thanks to tight security at the conference, I was late for the meeting. Sky Mavis Chair Aleks Larsen was practically on the floor, he said.

A better writer might be able to spin this into some sort of metaphor. What is the value of s' two tokens? What is the feeling of slow decline into irrelevance?

The game publisher Sky Mavis, a Vietnam-based company, has pioneered play-to-earn gaming. It attracted millions of players - some of whom played it for a living - then its token collapsed, it was hacked, and the industry dismissed it as little more than a scam.

Even so, Larsen, chairman and co-founder of Sky Mavis, says it's not done yet. Axie's words, he says, made this industry happen, as we attempt to stop our chairs from sinking.

The mission of Web3 games is to contend with their web2 rivals. Many projects promise graphics and gameplay on par with the industry's top AAA games, including big-budget studio games like and Think the production values of plus web3.

As web3 develops, Larsen is worried about games failing to effectively leverage the benefits of web3 technology, and those that call themselves AAA games.

re basically competing with the AAA games of web2 without the benefits of web3 in any real tangible way, he warns.

According to Larsen, the AAA games label has devolved into a marketing gimmick. Team leaders are tasked with fixing themselves by evaluating NFT floor prices or the number of developers they employ.

And not every good game is AAA. In a word, check out Steam's rankings and you'll see that there's a lot of indie games.

Gamers are not a forgiving bunch. A former Steam employee told me that they used to prank players by posting about updates and not changing anything, and players would still complain about the new 'changes'. However, they will often opt for compelling lore, world building, and interesting premises over slick graphics.

Games such as and have traded insults over whether the other team is big or experienced enough to actually produce the game they promise. Larsen sees it differently: too many cooks can spoil the brew, particularly if they're seconded from other studios.

initial versions of the software were incredibly low quality and very simple, he said.

Of course, the industry is faced with delayed projects that under-deliver, and some are s' biggest contractors.

He thinks criticisms, especially from those who haven't produced tangible contributions, are harmful to the industry's collaborative growth.

At the peak of hype, the Philippines became a cultural phenomenon, particularly in places like the Philippines. Gabby Dizon, founder of Yield Guild Games, once told me several generations of his family played it. Dizon, himself, became one of the world's biggest breeders.

A company has created an app where players can pay their utility bills using the game's Smooth Love Potion token.

The idea of the original game was simple. In order to get started, players had to purchase three axies - thinking colourful, chubby axolotl-style creatures - to use in player-versus-player battles.

The different axis had different strengths and weaknesses. Who won the match would receive a token called Smooth Love Potion.

Two tokens were used: SLP and AXS. At their peak, they had a combined market cap of $11 billion.

Today, SLP has lost 97% of its value and SLP is down 99%. The chain it was built on, Ronin, was hacked by North Koreans in one of the biggest cyber-heists in existence in March 2022. The culprits made off with more than $600 million.

It's rather remarkable that it survived the damage, he said. The gaming industry, and the cryptocurrency writ large, forgot about the onetime juggernaut. The 270 employees at sky mavis have steadfastly stayed on the job, the company said.

Will Cryptocurrency eventually surge back into its zenith? Or is it doomed to be a vestige of its former self for the foreseeable future?

Last week, I returned to check out the gameplay.

It is one of only two web3 games I have played for weeks and actually gotten into. My boyfriend couldn't stand me in the early 2022 phase. He'd roll his eyes at each time he heard the soundtrack coming from my laptop.

My original axies have vanished in a wallet I can't remember, consigned to that part of my mind I try to repress, where my starving Neopet and abandoned Tamagotchi also live.

I bought some new ones and re-downloaded the Sky Mavis hub. It's still cute. It actually exists, unlike a lot of its critics who make big promises that never come to fruition.