At this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC), Wonil Suh (referred to as Won), the Executive Vice President of WeMade, took the stage to discuss the company's experience and lessons learned from launching over 25 Web3 games, each with its own unique token and tokenomics. He shared invaluable insights and data from successful and failed tokenomic designs with the audience, comprising game developers and studio executives interested in Web3 games.
"We think about blockchain. We eat blockchain. We sleep blockchain — that's all we do," Won proclaimed, emphasizing WeMade's commitment to blockchain gaming. With a background spanning over 25 years in the gaming industry and experience as the former CEO of Nexon Korea, Won has witnessed numerous shifts in the industry firsthand.
One of the central points of his talk was WEMIX PLAY, an all-in-one platform providing a wide range of services, including a cryptocurrency wallet, decentralized exchange, an NFT marketplace, WEMIX staking, and a game gateway. According to Won, about half a million people are currently enjoying the platform.
“Web3 games are games that give tangible acknowledgement to the users who put their resources into playing that game,” Won explained. The EVP believes that blockchain technology will eventually revolutionize the gaming experience, giving more tangible value to players who invest their time, money, and skills into games.
In his talk, Won delved into the evolution of tokenomics in Web3 games, detailing the transition from first-generation games with low gameplay quality and mandatory NFTs to third-generation games with good gameplay and more balanced in-game economics. He urged developers to be cautious about relying solely on selling NFTs as a primary business model, as more experienced consumers and blockchain competitors will challenge this approach.
Throughout the presentation, Won shared various examples of tokenomics applied to games on the WEMIX PLAY platform and highlighted WeMade's progress in the past year. The company expanded from seven live games to 24, diversified into multiple genres, extended their reach to a global audience, and increased the number of games to be onboarded.
Won also touched on the history of the Korean gaming industry and how his extensive experience in the field has shaped his understanding of the potential of blockchain technology in gaming. He has witnessed the rise of microtransactions, free-to-play games, and other game models, and sees Web3 games as the next frontier in the gaming world.
Some of the games featured on the WEMIX platform that were featured during the talk include Airpang Blast, Honor of Heirs, and Mir M: Vagabond & Vanguard. These games demonstrate how WeMade has taken successful Web2 games and applied Web3 technology to them, integrating blockchain and tokenomics into various game genres.
Drawing from their extensive experience, Won shared five key lessons learned from WeMade's Web3 games:
- Beautiful token graphs are very rare.
- Making supply easy can lead to the price going down.
- Restricting supply early on can damage players' interest.
- Monitoring a game's tokenomics is crucial.
- Good tokenomics cannot save a dying game.
Moreover, Won emphasized the importance of striking a balance between satisfying financially motivated gamers and ensuring that game mechanics and tokenomics cater to genuine gamers as well. Striving for this equilibrium can help create a robust and sustainable gaming ecosystem. Furthermore, Won highlighted the importance of collaboration and partnerships within the gaming industry. He believes that fostering a sense of community and working together with other developers, platforms, and stakeholders can lead to innovative solutions and further growth in the Web3 gaming space.
Won concluded his talk with an ambitious goal for WeMade: returning to GDC next year with dozens of more proven titles, with the space far more established. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, embracing Web3 technology and learning from the successes and failures of pioneers like WeMade will be crucial for developers and studios seeking to remain competitive and deliver innovative gaming experiences to their users.
In summary, Wonil Suh's GDC 2023 talk provided valuable insights for game developers and studio executives looking to understand the opportunities and challenges in the Web3 gaming sector. By sharing WeMade's journey and experiences, Won offered a unique perspective on the future of gaming and the role of blockchain technology within it. His advice and lessons learned can serve as a valuable roadmap for those seeking to navigate this exciting and rapidly evolving space.
Ultimately, Wonil Suh's talk at GDC 2023 reinforced the potential of Web3 games to revolutionize the gaming experience and transform the industry. By learning from the experiences of pioneers like WeMade and adapting to the changing landscape, developers and studios can help shape the future of gaming and unlock new opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and growth. As the gaming industry looks towards a future shaped by Web3 technology, it will be essential for developers and studios to heed the lessons shared by leaders like Wonil Suh. By doing so, they can position themselves at the forefront of this new era in gaming and contribute to the development of more immersive, engaging, and rewarding experiences for players worldwide.
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