- Web3 games are broadly perceived as the future of online gaming.
- Traditional video game makers are beginning to pivot to web3 as blockchain-based MMORPGs gain popularity.
- KlayMeta and Ember Sword are some of the most exciting MMORPGs to look forward to heading into 2023.
The evolution of the video game industry is on the cusp of ushering in a new era of gaming. Video game developers are now beginning to accept that the blockchain-based concept of gaming that rewards all parties is the future.
For that reason, mainstream gaming companies are now developing web3 versions of some of their most iconic titles, with the likes of Square Enix in the frontline of early adopters.
In this write-up, we look at some of the most exciting massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) of 2023.
Web3 is generally described as a blockchain-based internet that prioritises decentralisation, trustless communications and user-owned communities. From the perspective of MMORPG gaming, game makers are leveraging web3 technology to power their game economies with in-game tokens and non-fungible tokens.
As a result, players can benefit more from playing games through the Play-to-earn (P2E) gaming mechanism and trading in-game characters in the form of NFT avatars.
MMO VS. MMORPG
An MMORPG is a type of online role-playing game where multiple players interact with each other through competitions and teams in virtual worlds. On the other hand, MMO (massively multiplayer online) can be single-player or multiplayer. It all depends on the game’s design.
MMOs focus on combat and/or questing, whereas MMORPGs are centred on community and social interactions, which is also one of the primary characteristics of Web3.
In addition, MMORPGs offer various in-game activities such as trade skills, crafting, exploration, and player-versus-player (PvP) combat to keep players engaged. In other words, an MMORPG offers a more immersive gaming experience.
All MMORPGs are MMOs, but not all MMOs are MMORPGs.
In no particular order, here are the top 5 blockchain MMORPGs in 2023. While there are several features that draw similarities between the games, each game offers something distinctive that its community finds more entertaining and rewarding compared to the others.
1. Ember Sword (Polygon)
Ember Sword is a blockchain-based MMORPG created by Bright Star Studios. The game offers a highly socialised gaming experience, driven by the community through ownership of digital assets like skins and avatars.
Players can own, trade, and sell in-game assets and earn crypto rewards for completing quests, participating in in-game activities, and owning land. It is one of the first blockchain-based games with its first trailer dropping more than four years ago.
Ember Sword has also introduced NFTs as a cosmetic feature, complimenting the colourful aesthetic and adventure-filled gameplay.
The game is based in the utopian world of Thanabus, which contains four regions; Duskeron, Ediseau, Sevrend, and Solarwood.
2. KLAYMETA (Klaytn)
KLAYMETA is a play-and-earn metaverse game built on the Klaytn blockchain. Unlike the profit-driven play-to-earn model, the play-and-earn gaming ecosystem emphasises on making fun games, with the opportunity to earn offered as an add-on feature.
The platform recently released its initial gameplay features, including adventure mode, while the full release is set for early 2023.
Klaymeta uses the blockchain to provide rewards and NFTs to players, which are earned during their normal gameplay. They can also choose to buy, sell, trade, or convert tokens and in-game assets into $META utility tokens.
KLAYMETA is using its all-in-one metaverse platform to bring Web3 gaming to the mainstream. The KLAYMETA platform allows smaller developers to create blockchain games by leveraging its no-code feature that enables experimentation with crypto and NFTs.
3. Axie Infinity (Ethereum)
Axie Infinity is a ‘petverse’ gaming world created by Sky Mavis. It is widely viewed as the gateway to blockchain gaming after inspiring the emergence of web3 MMORPGs. Axie Infinity’s gameplay enables players to breed, raise, trade, and battle fantastical creatures called Axies. The game features an extensive collection of unique Axie species with different appearances, skills, and behaviours.
The game boasts a 100% player-owned, real money economy. Through breeding, Axie enables players to nurture pet characters, which they can then sell at profit in their different stages of development.
Players breed Axies using the in-game resources (SLP & AXS) which they can sell to other players.
The game claims to have over 150,000 monthly active users, making it one of the most popular NFT games. Gamers have praised Axie for offering a gameplay experience almost similar to traditional online games, a factor not very common with blockchain games. Some see it more like a Pokemon game with play-to-earn features.
4. Treeverse (Ethereum)
Treeverse is a social and cooperative game set in a lush, mystical world featuring beautiful tree-dominated landscapes and fast-paced, highly mobile combat.
This user-centric blockchain MMORPG allows players full ownership of anything they acquire or purchase in the game, including NFTrees, housing and land plots.
The game also features the Treeverse collectibles, which are Ethereum-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Players can buy and sell Treeverse NFTs whenever they want. The game is set to debut as a free-to-play Player-vs-Environment (PVE) at launch before launching the Player-vs-Player (PVP) version in the future.
Treeverse is being developed by Endless Clouds, a blockchain gaming developer studio headed by a team that contributed to games like League of Legends and Rainbow 6 Siege.
5. Outer Ring (BNB)
Outer Ring is set in a vast, procedurally generated universe blending several genres in a third-person shooter MMORPG. Outer Ring’s player-driven ecosystem is being developed with the vision of an all-in-one metaverse powered by the $GQ token.
The Outer Ring project is governed by the community through the $GQ token and can be played as a freemium game where players can access and play without purchasing NFTs, only interacting with the tokenized technology at will.
Gamers who contribute to the ecosystem are rewarded for the time they invest in and consequentially shape the Player Driven Economy model.
The universe in the game is based on the Outer Ring Saga, a novel with five species divided into four factions fighting for the control of planets and resources.
Experts predict that the Web3 gaming industry will continue to undergo significant growth and exceed $200 billion at the end of 2023.
This explains why mainstream game developers are looking to pounce on the blockchain gaming market. Some have integrated NFTs, while others are launching independent titles for blockchain gamers.