Skip to Content
B@@@@@@B         .&@@@@@@G
B@@@@@@B         .&@@@@@@P
B@@@@@@B         .&@@@@@@P
B@@@@@@B         .&@@@@@@P
#@@@@@@B.        :&@@@@@@P

// Prepare pages...
var pagesToLoad = [

function load() {
  loadPages(pagesToLoad, onPagesLoaded);

function onPagesLoaded() {

  // Show intro if first time, otherwise show content
  if(firstTime) {
  } else {

// Loading website...
Loading Percentage:

ArticleThe State of Web3 Game Developer Tooling

  • Developer Tools
  • Web3

In this report we aim to give the community the information they need to navigate the Web3 gaming infrastructure landscape. Building good games is incredibly hard, successfully integrating Web3 elements whilst building a good game is even harder. We believe that the studios which balance this tension well have an outsized opportunity of cracking into the mainstream and potentially driving a new paradigm of web3 gaming. 

In the following sections we introduce the key obstacles bottlenecking mainstream adoption, dive deeper into each sector of our market map, discuss how each of these obstacles may be overcome, highlight traction by players in the space addressing these problems, and finally present our view of the recommended path forward for each of these problems and their solutions.


Player-related obstacles include:

  • Onboarding is a High-friction Process and Experience: Users are required to install browser wallets, complete Know Your Customer (“KYC”) processes, purchase native tokens, approve perplexing transaction requests, and pay gas fees
  • Self-custody Risk: The responsibility of securely storing seed phrases with no route to recovery in the event of loss or compromise

Team-related obstacles include:

  • Unfamiliar Concepts for Teams: Teams face unfamiliar concepts including constrained computation, adversarial environments, smart contract security etc, all of which which distract them from focusing on building a great game
  • Lack of a Standard Operating Procedure: The rapidly evolving technology landscape, continuous upgrades to protocols, and frequent discovery of new problem-solving approaches create an environment of uncertainty
  • Managing Open Economies: Ensuring the sustainability of open token economies without negatively affecting gameplay is a task, alongside protecting the economy from automated bots
  • User Acquisition, Engagement, and Retention: In a world populated by bots and pseudonymous users, cohort analysis and targeted promotions for user acquisition (“UA”) become a challenging undertaking

Regulation Compliance: Keeping up-to-date and compliant with the ever-changing regulatory environment presents its own set of challenges

Market Map

Readers will notice that some providers appear in multiple categories. This is intentional as many providers have diverse offerings and we wanted to provide a resource that allows founders to navigate to relevant sections without relying on the article's overall context. This overview is also non-exhaustive and excludes topics not directly related to Web3 integration in games, including the vast landscape of Web2 game developer tools.

Report Outline
  1. End-to-End Solution vs Modular Approach
  2. Which Blockchain?
  3. Wallets and Player accounts
    1. Custodial Vs Non-Custodial
    2. MPC and Smart Wallets
    3. Invisible Wallets
  4. Meta-Transactions
  5. Fiat On-Ramp/Off Ramps
  6. Marketplace Infrastructure
    1. In-Game NFT Marketplaces
    2. Protocols for NFT Marketplaces
  7. SDKs and Blockchain Integration
  8. Bot Prevention
  9. Economy Design
  10. Launchers
  11. Tokenized Gaming Ecosystems
  12. User Acquisition
  13. Decentralized Identity
  14. Data Analytics
  15. Sounding Off
1. End-to-End Solution vs Modular Approach

End-to-End Approach

An end-to-end (“E2E”) solution offers a comprehensive suite of tools and services, such as Stardust, Sequence, MetaFab and Ready Games Network. E2E solutions offer the best developer experience as the full stack is designed to seamlessly work together. A key feature of E2E solutions lies in abstracting away a lot of blockchain complexity through no/ low code tools, in addition to providing developer support. Vendors are also incentivised to keep their offering up to date with the latest innovations in the Web3 space, whilst providing cost savings for teams through bundling or risk customer churn. All this allows games teams to focus on their core expertise. 

Conversely, teams may experience a lack of flexibility and varying degrees of lock-in. Founders should be wary of their game becoming dependent on the survival of the underlying solution, as the long-term sustainability of current Web3 infrastructure business models has yet to be proven. Founders should also be aware of who retains ownership over any deployed smart contracts. While migrating to a new vendor always entails some switching costs, founders can minimize these by planning for such scenarios.

Modular Approach

The modular approach grants founders more flexibility, as they can cherry-pick point solutions from a variety of vendors and open source projects. This significantly reduces reliance on any single vendor thus minimizing dependency, lock-in and rent seeking risks. However, the modular approach can be time-consuming and expensive due to the need for research, setup, ongoing maintenance, and most importantly in–depth knowledge of each and every “mod” including competitor solutions and underlying strengths and weaknesses of each. Consequently, this approach may be better suited to experienced teams already adept at navigating the Web3 landscape.

In reality, many founders will find themselves using a combination of E2E and point solutions. The blockchain's openness allows for a high level of composability when constructing a tech stack. This flexibility empowers teams to tailor their approach based on their specific requirements. Ultimately, the decision lies in striking the right balance between cost, convenience, usability (for developers and players), flexibility, and features.

BITKRAFT View: Teams looking to develop Web2.5 games, or teams without full-time blockchain developers are best off choosing a E2E solution, as this allows them to focus on creating engaging core game loops. Teams that wish to leverage the unique aspects of Web3, e.g., having more game logic on-chain or creating bespoke interoperability features, should consider a more flexible, modular approach.

2. Which Blockchain?

“Which blockchain should I deploy my game on?” is a common question we encounter, and it largely depends on the team's goals. Given the constantly evolving nature of the blockchain landscape, keeping options open is generally preferred as this path offers the greatest optionality. Nonetheless, it's important to note that the Ethereum Virtual Machine (“EVM”) is the original smart contract platform with widespread developer adoption, and hence the most future-proof option given the Lindy Effect

That said, emerging ecosystems like Sui and Aptos (both of which use the Move smart contract language) or Cosmos could be worth considering, as they aim to address limitations found in legacy smart contract platforms like the EVM, so it ultimately still depends on the needs of the underlying product and which chain is best positioned to fulfill those needs

One good example of the above would be games leveraging web3 to primarily enable digital asset ownership,  but do not require any custom logic. Platforms like ImmutableX and Solana are great starting points for such games: Immutable’s APIs provide accessible interfaces with the blockchain, while Solana has dedicated software development kits (“SDKs”) for popular game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine. 

For games that require more than asset ownership, founders may want to consider launching on their own dedicated blockchain, sometimes referred to as an app chain. There are various startups and ecosystems available to support this requirement. Notable options include Polygon Supernets, Avalanche Subnets, Cosmos, Arbitrum Orbit, and Rollup-as-a-Service platforms like Eclipse or the OP Stack. These offer teams the flexibility to customize their infrastructure to meet their specific needs, such as launching native tokens, subsidizing transaction fees or achieving ultrafast finality.

It is worth mentioning as well that many chains have entities associated with them that offer grants, as a way to incentivize builders. Examples include Ethereum, Near, Sui, Immutable, Tezos and many others, but we do not believe this should be the key reason for building on a chain as it ignores longer-term considerations in lieu of short-term capital support.

BITKRAFT View: As the space matures, we believe it will undergo consolidation and commodification. Furthermore, while the initial phase of Web3 games relied on crypto-native communities to drive adoption, the next phase will target a much broader audience and will therefore require technology that is capable of servicing the mainstream audience such as EVM chains, which have the most developer tooling and (player) liquidity. For now, it’s prudent to remain flexible as long as possible by only committing to a chain when necessary. Teams should only deviate from this if they have a good reason to as developer experience is one of the most important considerations today

3. Wallets and Player accounts

In the introduction, we discussed the main obstacles to widespread adoption of Web3 games. Most player pain points are experienced at the wallet level, which serves as their primary interface with the blockchain. For this reason there are a multitude of startups building in this area, so we have included a selection that we feel is representative of the space. What follows is a summary of the key points founders should consider when looking at wallet solutions.

3a. Custodial Vs Non-Custodial

Founders need to consider whether they want to provide a custody solution for player private keys or support non-custodial key management. There are pros and cons to each approach.

3b. MPC and Smart Wallets

As mentioned above, one major problem with first generation non-custodial wallets is that a user's private key represents a single point of failure - A loss or compromise of this key can be catastrophic for the user as it often results in complete loss of a player’s crypto wealth and at times results in people leaving the space altogether. There are currently two approaches to solving this issue in a trustless manner: multi-party computation (MPC) and smart contract wallets (often shortened to smart wallets). Both enable account recovery, by allowing multiple signatories to authorize transactions. 

MPC wallet 

MPC wallet infrastructure such as Web3Auth uses off-chain distributed key management to decentralize the control of a user's wallet. The private key is divided up into shares and trustlessly held by multiple parties. When the user wishes to sign a transaction with their wallet, a signature is reconstructed from partial signatures using Threshold Signature Scheme (“TSS”). This negates the need to back up a seed phrase and therefore removes the single point of failure.

Smart wallets

Smart wallets turn a user's account into a fully programmable and extendable smart contract. In addition to supporting MPC-like multi-signatory features, smart wallets further open up the design space to enable UX features including:

  • Setting time-based spending limits
  • Human-readable messages when requesting user signatures
  • Defining access controls - whitelisting contract functions your account can call
  • Creating session keys - removing the need for users to sign every transaction
  • Gas abstraction - allowing users to pay gas in any token
  • Gasless transactions - the studio or another entity, separate from the user, can subsidize gas fees
  • Batching transactions to improve UX - e.g., rolling a uniswap approval and swap into a single transaction

Stand-alone smart wallets are available from the likes of Argent and Braavos. Infrastructure providers like  Openfort, Biconomy and Sequence, allow teams to integrate smart wallets into their stack and offer them to all players.

3c. Invisible Wallets

One way to improve the player onboarding experience is to programmatically create a wallet for them in the background when they first log into a game. This approach is sometimes referred to as semi-custodial as the company encrypts the user’s private key in their database, but has no way to access it without input from the user. Combine this with an open standard like WebAuthn, which allows users to authenticate into web apps using smartphones instead of passwords, and Web3 UX can be significantly improved for mainstream audiences.

Automatically deploying wallets for players means they do not have to install a wallet app in order to start playing and hence allows players to game without knowing that a wallet is involved. It also gives developers more control over UX, enabling features like initializing new wallets with in-game currency, only displaying relevant digital assets, subsidizing transaction fees, etc. Players can be eased into the Web3 experience and progressively exposed to more complex Web3 concepts when they are ready. We encourage readers to check out this excellent post by Sylve from Briq, which explores this topic in much greater depth. 

However, if every application uses siloed wallets it undermines a key benefit of Web3: users being able to take a single interoperable account to multiple apps. To combat this, some platforms like MetaFab give players the option of connecting their existing external wallet to their managed player account without sharing any private keys. 

BITKRAFT View: For onboarding mainstream users, UX is king. The vast majority of users do not want a wallet and ultimately just want to own their digital assets. Wallets can and should be abstracted away from the onboarding process and gradually introduced only when it makes sense for the user, specifically only for users who wish to interact with them. We view smart wallets as the future since they can unlock a Web2-like experience whilst remaining non-custodial

4. Meta-Transactions

Closely related to the wallet experience are gas abstraction and gasless transactions (collectively referred to as by meta-transactions), which are key to reducing friction in the Web3 user experience. 

In a meta-transaction, data is created and signed by a user but executed by another trusted party (Relayer) who pays the gas fees. These transactions can be used to abstract away the need to hold the native network token, allowing the user to pay transaction fees in alternative tokens. The gas fee can also be sponsored by the studio, removing the need for a user to pay at all. Both options, and especially the latter, remove significant points of friction from the Web3 experience.

Meta-transactions are facilitated by decentralized protocols like OpenGSN as well as hosted services from providers such as Sequence, Biconomy, Venly, MetaFab, and OpenZeppelin. If considering subsidizing all transaction costs in your game, be careful to ensure the financial viability remains at scale.

BITKRAFT View: Any highly successful game will need to abstract away gas fees while maintaining positive economics at scale

5. Fiat On-Ramp/Off Ramps

Fiat on/ off ramps facilitate the integration of fiat payment systems into games and decentralized applications (“dApps”), and basically allows users to purchase NFTs with cash or a credit card directly. This minimizes the friction associated with the movement of funds into and out of a Web3 game economy, a critical step towards enhancing accessibility for mainstream gamers. Various point solutions, such as Moonpay, Coinbase Pay, Paper, Transak, Poko, and Wyre address this need directly. A considerable number of developer platforms and wallets are also incorporating fiat on/off ramps into their services. Well-known examples include Sequence, Stardust, Magic, MetaCommerce, Particle Network, Biconomy, and BlockUs

BITKRAFT View: Convenient fiat payment rails in and out of Web3 games will be critical to mainstream adoption

6. Marketplace Infrastructure

One of the main value propositions of integrating Web3 into games is true player ownership of digital in-game assets or NFTs. Being able to freely trade these NFTs in a peer-to-peer manner is integral to this vision. However, requiring players to leave the game to visit an external marketplace in order to buy, sell and trade items negatively impacts the experience. For that reason, there are a number of projects building infrastructure to help teams create custom in-game NFT marketplaces.

6a. In-Game NFT Marketplaces

While there are no-code whitelabel solutions like Altura or Recur for creating external web-based marketplaces, in-game marketplaces are inherently more bespoke. Therefore, existing solutions generally offer APIs or Unity/Unreal SDKs that simplify common marketplace functions on the blockchain. These functions include actions like listing NFTs, viewing inventory or making purchases. Examples include Nefta, Particle Network, Venly, Sequence, Mirror World, Fungies and Chainsafe Gaming. Typically these platforms also offer teams some sort of marketplace management dashboard. Additionally, there are some companies, such as Aqua, that are looking to provide no/low code in-game marketplaces as a service, embedding their systems directly into a game client via a Unity package. Finally, although not strictly marketplaces, some providers such as Ready Games and MetaFab offer systems for in-game shops, where players can buy or sell items at fixed cost.

6b. Protocols for NFT Marketplaces

For those interested in exploring the marketplace infrastructure space further, it’s useful to be aware of some of the underlying protocols that can be used to build custom solutions. The NiftySwap Protocol, created by Horizon Labs, serves as an Automated Market Maker (AMM) specifically designed for Semi-fungible tokens (a.k.a. SFTs or ERC-1155s). 

The Metaplex Auction House is a Solana-based program that empowers individuals to establish and customize their own escrow-less marketplace with custom trading logic. 

Finally, NeoSwap combines artificial intelligence with on-chain and off-chain data to provide users with personalized trade discovery. This includes facilitating multi-party auctions (Parties) and one-to-many sales (Yard Sales).

BITKRAFT VIew: We believe that in-game marketplaces provide a better user experience and will take the lead in the gaming sector in terms of trading volume

7. SDKs and Blockchain Integration

SDKs simplify blockchain integration by abstracting domain-specific logic into simple interfaces. This enables non-blockchain developers to understand and utilize them efficiently. By offering boilerplate code and abstractions aligned with best practices, they expedite development cycles while also ensuring that the code produced is high quality and maintainable.

Teams have a variety of SDK choices at their disposal, influenced by factors like choice of game engine and target blockchain. The Unity Asset Store's Decentralization category offers verified SDKs from MetaMask, Magicblock (Solana), Tezos, Nefta, Immutable, and others. Web3.Unity by Chainsafe Gaming is also a popular open source choice outside the Asset Store. Unreal Engine developers may consider Web3.Unreal by Game7, Emergence, or Mirage (the latter two also offer Unity support).

Moreover, many end-to-end solutions offer SDKs as part of a holistic service. Examples include MetaFab, Sequence, ThirdWeb, Particle Network, and Venly. Using such solutions can expedite development but may have varying switching costs. Refer to the "End-to-End Solution vs Modular Approach" section for further details and BITKRAFTs view.

8. Bot Prevention

As artificial intelligence has advanced in tandem with the emergence of the Web3 space, the prevalence and sophistication of botting in online games and virtual worlds have increased significantly given the profitable nature of botting (e.g. to farm airdrops). This escalating problem undermines the integrity of gaming environments, fosters unfair competition, devalues the efforts of legitimate players, and overall dilutes and worsens the gaming experience. Games which fail to combat fake users and bots could see their economies drained and user satisfaction plummet as economic value is stripped from real, core users and accrue to bad actors who are engaging in botting activities. Companies providing solutions in this space include Verisoul, Arkose Labs and FingerprintJS

BITKRAFT View: If a game's open economy is largely dependent on a fungible token, it is vital for teams to seek strategies that effectively counter malicious bot activities. Given continuous advancements in AI technology, bots are growing more sophisticated every day. Therefore, an ideal solution should also be consistently adapting and evolving

9. Economy Design

In traditional games with complex and robust economies such as EVE Online, the economy itself plays an integral role in creating an enjoyable and enduring experience. With the open nature of Web3 games, it is crucial that teams have the tools to build, balance and maintain healthy, sustainable in-game economies. 

Tools such as Machinations and Telescope Labs allow games teams to simulate various player behaviors and how their actions might impact a game’s economy. Machinations also offers various templates for teams to use as a starting point. 

BITKRAFT View: Games with complex economies would benefit greatly from thorough simulation and modeling efforts. However, given the inherently unpredictable nature of player behavior, these simulations should only serve as an initial framework. It is essential to allow flexibility in terms of token faucets and sinks, thereby enabling teams to adjust their models based on actual player data. It is also important to note that the most important design aspect of the economy is likely the “crypto-economy-genre fit” i.e., understanding how the game loop and the economy loop, supported by crypto, form a virtuous cycle of self-reinforcing, fun actions. Game design tools will not tell you that

10. Launchers

As a result of Valve banning NFT’s and cryptocurrencies on Steam, Web3 studios must seek alternate platforms to launch their games. Epic Games has recently announced it will be launching 20 Web3 games on its Epic Games Store (EGS) platform this year. This is positive for the space, as studios are able to tap into a significant player base of traditional gamers. However, it is unlikely that the EGS will offer a feature rich experience for Web3 players in the short term, compared to more Web3-native launchers.

Launchers such as Hyperplay, Fractal, 1Kin, Elixir and GameSwift aim to offer players a Web3-native experience beyond simple wallet integrations. Players have the ability to mint, trade and transfer assets all within the launcher, without interrupting the flow of the game. Hyperplay, for example, allows users to play games on their PC/Mac but sign transactions on their mobile device. This is a significant step forward in UX compared to current solutions, yet still is not as frictionless as traditional gaming experiences. We believe with the advancement of primitives such as account abstraction (see “Wallets and Player Accounts” section), we will continue to close the UX gap between Web3 and Web2 games. 

The downside of these nascent Web3-native launchers is that their distribution pales in comparison to platforms like Steam and EGS. However, we believe that the next generation of Web3 games will usher in a new era of adoption and Web3-native launchers are well positioned to capture significant network effects. 

BITKRAFT View: Launchers will play an important role in the evolution of UX within Web3 gaming. Given launchers sit the closest to the end-user, they are well positioned to monetize through being able to charge convenience fees for acquiring and trading assets in the launcher vs going to external third party marketplaces (similar to Metamask’s swap feature). Given that the current player base for Web3 games is small, launchers with go-to-market strategies that are focused on acquiring games on their platform (e.g. Hyperplay) vs focusing on acquiring users will be better positioned to succeed long-term. Similar to the Web2 game launcher market, we anticipate this will be a winner takes most market as the first launcher to acquire a meaningful user base will be able to leverage flywheel effects and horizontally expand their product offering both on the developer and consumer side. Although incumbents such as Steam and EGS pose a major risk to emerging Web3 native launchers, we believe they will be slow to incorporate Web3 features which will be core to the player’s experience and as a result give emerging launchers a chance to succeed in this vertical

11. Tokenized Gaming Ecosystems

We have seen the emergence of several Web3 gaming ecosystems that aim to align studios and players through a unified single-token economy. At scale, this has many advantages including incentivizing teams with token grants and cross-game promotions which can generate significant flywheel effects. Companies like Immutable and Gala Games have been able to leverage their appreciating token value to acquire new games for their platform. 

An interesting case study is Ready Games Network, who have come up with a novel use case for their RDYX ecosystem token. Games teams building on their platform are able to mint in-game NFTs for players by locking a quantity of RDYX tokens inside them. In addition to extrinsic value provided by scarcity and in-game utility, this process also gives the NFTs intrinsic value, pegged to the value of the RDYX token. Players are able to stake these NFTs in a smart contract to receive token rewards. During the staking period players can still use the NFTs in-game but they are unable to trade them. This opens up interesting avenues for studios to craft player retention mechanisms that are uniquely enabled through the use of tokens. Learn more here.

We have also seen grassroots movements, with projects like TreasureDAO striving to create a decentralized ecosystem of indie games where player participation is incentivized. However, in order for tokenized gaming ecosystems to be successful long-term, they will need to find ways to maintain breakout success cases on their platform. The risk here is that successful games with extensive player bases might perceive more advantages in branching out and establishing their own ecosystems. This is primarily because the bulk of value within these ecosystems tends to be propelled by network effects and distribution.

BITKRAFT View: Tokenized gaming ecosystems present an interesting possibility of creating a physical arcadelike experience digitally that promotes cross-promotion and discovery amongst new games. Tokenized gaming ecosystems can maximize total value for a portfolio of games. However, this is at the cost of limiting the upside of an ecosystem’s most successful titles. Tokenized gaming ecosystems must find ways of creating significant lock-in for content on their platform. Whether it be through seeding their own content (e.g Shardbound for Bazooka Tango’s ecosystem) or providing key infrastructure (e.g Immutable, Polygon), being able to create ways to disincentivize studios/content from leaving the ecosystem will be vital. As a result, we expect tokenized gaming ecosystems that can’t effectively lock-in studios to struggle to retain breakout successes on their platform and ultimately cater to a portfolio of smaller and more niche games

12. User Acquisition

Effective UA is vital for game studios. Recent upheavals in UA e.g. Apple’s IDFA opt-outs have significantly deteriorated developer’s economics, particularly game genres which rely heavily on paid versus organic growth. These shifts have been so significant that several major studios have announced halts and/or pivots in the launching of new games. 

The Web3 user acquisition or marketing stack has been covered by other luminaries in the space, detailing airdrops, analytics, infrastructure and more. Below we cover the facets important to gaming studios solving for UA: 

Finding users: In the Web3 space, studios trying to acquire users have the added challenge of pseudonymity as they often only know a user’s wallet address and holdings. GodmodeHQ and Addressable aim to solve this problem by creating a product that matches a user's wallet with other social media profiles such as Twitter and Discord. This gives studios access to more traditional user acquisition channels. There are also platforms such as Carv, and Forge that aim to build player specific gaming profiles that can be leveraged by studios for more effective targeting. 

Attracting users: We have also seen multiple companies such as Community Gaming, Galxe, Dequest, Layer3, Intract and pursue questing as a service (QaaS). The basic premise of QaaS is to incentivize users to complete various quests in games. This redirects a portion of UA spend directly towards the player in the form of rewards (vs towards ad spend). The intention is to lower CAC over time by building a monolithic platform where studios can find and acquire users cheaper than by using traditional channels. Although we are seeing multiple different approaches to UA in Web3 gaming, the stark reality confronting every company at the moment, is the limited pool of players available for acquisition.

Allocating ad spend: Attribution, a traditional Web2 concept, is the practice of evaluating the marketing touchpoints a consumer encounters on their path to purchase. Without knowing where users have come from, it is difficult to know where to allocate your ad budget. This is incredibly difficult to get right in Web3 given the aforementioned complexities of wallets and pseudonymity. We are only aware of Spindl and Safary building a ‘targeted solution in the space thus far, but we are aware of other analytics and growth startups looking to build solutions here as a horizontal offering to their core product offerings. We remain excited to see how the space unfolds. 

BITKRAFT View: UA and its analytics is a core problem that has yet to be solved in crypto. This is primarily due to (1) the low liquidity (i.e., user supply) in Web3 publishing platforms, and (2) the rapid evolution of Web3 marketing techniques themselves as companies search for profitable growth. Historically, UA campaigns in Web3 were focused on community centric high-touch campaigns or expensive UA through tokenized incentives. We believe Web3 will unlock new avenues for studios to acquire users due to key traits of the blockchains such as added transparency. Companies that are able to “crack the code” and find methods to efficiently acquire users will benefit from first-mover advantages that will allow them to build data/customer moats, allowing them to iterate on their product offering quicker than competitors. Given those interested in delving deeper into this topic, take a look at our recent guest piece on the subject

13. Decentralized Identity

Identity plays a critical role in our digital lives, especially in the realm of gaming. Gamers invest years building their profiles and cultivating their friend networks, yet when transitioning to Web3, they often start from nothing. The current difficulties in correlating a user's pseudonymous on-chain footprint with off-chain data, like Discord IDs or Epic Games accounts, makes discoverability and social connection challenging. On the other hand, blockchain's open nature makes data accessible to all. If leveraged correctly, one could build an open social graph and enable players to create a unified on-chain identity. This would also greatly improve UA and retention effectiveness.  

Several general-purpose decentralized identity solutions, including Spruce, Disco, PolygonID and Gitcoin Passport, allow users to control their digital data through the use of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable credentials. In addition, there are gaming-specific identity solutions like Forge and Carv, designed to tackle the challenges and opportunities previously mentioned.

BITKRAFT View: Enabling players to establish on-chain identities and connect with each other adds a social element to the Web3 gaming experience and enhances engagement. This creates data that studios can leverage to retain players whilst reducing CAC

14. Data Analytics

Blockchain data, although open and public, can be challenging to interpret effectively. Much of it is hidden in calldata logs and can be spread out across multiple contracts. Furthermore, relying solely on on-chain data, which only considers smart contract interactions, can be misleading as it provides only a partial picture. A player might play your game every day, but only execute on-chain transactions once per week. Therefore, a more comprehensive approach should blend on-chain data with traditional game and web analytics.

While most end-to-end solutions provide basic in-game economy analytics, specialized startups like Nami, Helika, and Agave focus on offering in-depth data services specifically for studios. On the other hand, platforms like Nansen, Dune, Footprint Analytics and DappRadar primarily cater to analysts, investors, and hobbyists.

BITKRAFT View: As with any game, regardless of the underlying tech, effective analytics are crucial if teams are to make informed, data-driven decisions. Insights obtained through cohort analysis and behavior profiling drive UA, engagement and retention strategies. For founders, understanding the makeup of their user profile, including composition of whales vs dolphins, and identity of their whales, is critical. Knowing how to attract, engage, and retain this cohort is an essential component of a game's success

Sounding Off

We have covered a lot of areas in this report in an effort to give readers an awareness of what is being built in space, and some of the key considerations to be mindful of. The Web3 infrastructure landscape is constantly evolving, as engineering teams tackle and break down friction points for both studios and players. Today, the space looks very different to how it did only a year ago, and it is likely to look very different again a year from now. New business models can emerge and disappear overnight in this industry, so it’s prudent for founders to stay flexible and be mindful of platform risk. 

With each new iteration of infrastructure coming to market, we see progressive abstraction away from complex blockchain operations, and thus huge leaps in usability. Improvements to user acquisition tools will enable studios to leverage marketing effectively to bring in and retain players that add value to their ecosystems. It is our belief that the industry is approaching an inflection point, in which Web3 becomes attractive and accessible to mainstream game studios. We believe this will lead to the creation of new and fascinating businesses and a paradigm shift in gaming. 

Special thanks to Jeremy Parris, Anil Das-Gupta, David S. Bennahum, Adam Smith and Eric Vander Wal for their input into the process.