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Market overview

Overall Gaming Industry

With aggressive demand the emergence of play-to-earn games has exponentially increased the expected CAGR for the gaming industry, conservative growth estimates begin from 9.34% expected CAGR heading north of 13.20% for the period 2021 to 2026. A common factor explaining the growth among all statistics is the Web 3.0. The idea for true ownership, digital scarcity and monetization has wet the appetite for both existing and new gamers which has pushed the industry into exponential growth potential. At the end of 2021, the global gaming market was reportedly worth $180 billion; it is now expected to top $300 billion by 2026. This makes it one of the hottest markets on the planet.

Mobile Gaming Sector

The mobile gaming sector is also set to follow the trend for the overall gaming industry of between 10% to 13% CAGR, however, the main geographical region set for adoption is Asia-Pacific in particular the South East Asia region. With over 3.07 billion overall gamers worldwide and 1.75 billion monthly mobile gamers in 2020 the mobile gaming market is vast and the opportunity for rapid growth is clearly visible. Most profitable categories for 2020 being Puzzle, Casino and RPG and the most downloaded categories are Puzzle, Runner, RPG.

Mobile has become the largest distribution channel for games - 64.4% of the total $180b gaming market. Fostering broader adoption through accessibility, gameplay loops, and broader demographic appeal. This makes it one of the hottest markets on the planet. Gaming apps took a huge $116 billion of that amount in 2021. This implied that, for every dollar that was spent on the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the App Store (for Apple devices), games took a hefty 70% of it.

Old vs New gaming economy

Traditionally gaming has always been a one-sided relationship, where the developers or owners of a game get the financial gains, while players are not financially rewarded. The perception about games was that they were just a way of having fun.

However, a new economic model has emerged, which rewards players in exchange for their time spent on playing the game, it is called play-to-earn. This model has become incredibly popular in the Web 3.0 vision and matches perfectly for the introduction to the Metaverse.

“Metaverse” is a combination of the prefix “meta,” which means beyond, and “universe.” So, the Metaverse is a world beyond the universe. An otherworldly place, so to speak. In the Metaverse, virtual lands, avatars and even buildings can be bought and sold for cryptocurrencies. In these virtual environments, people can move around freely with their friends, attend events, and buy goods and services — basically, doing the exact same things they can do in the real world.

Play-to-earn (P2E) gaming is one of the most exciting areas within the ever-growing crypto space. The global P2E Games market size is projected to reach USD 3618.4 million by 2028, from USD 755 million in 2021. The play-to-earn gaming model embraces the idea of an open economy and financially rewards every user who adds value by playing and spending time in the gaming ecosystem. With the emergence of this model games are no longer “just for fun” and now are perceived as investment opportunities.

In recent times, the industry has seen big venture capital firms invest heavily into the sector. It is estimated that over $9.6 billion was invested in the global gaming industry in the 18 months leading up to 2019, and 24 blockchain-based gaming companies have seen $476 million in investments in the first half of 2021 alone.

Even though play-to-earn games are only just emerging, the evidence suggests that players are much more engaged and the overall player satisfaction has been increased, leading to a boost in popularity over the longer term for game developers.

A clear trend had been established that supported the dynamics of an online community. By adding the ability to generate a financial income, play-to-earn games are making the game and their communities a lot more active. The niche is still young, so it might be beneficial to keep an eye on these play-to-earn projects, as they can be beneficial in the long run.

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