According to Chris Watkins, the co-founder and CEO of the non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Digital Arms, many of the Web3 games developed in the last bull cycle were not only seemingly rushed but “lacked the essential element of fun,” hence they ultimately failed. Watkins also argued that the few games which did gain traction “relied on the allure of making money” which is not a sustainable model.
Web3 Gaming Not a Passing Fad
However, in his written answers sent to Bitcoin.com News, the Digital Arms CEO insisted that the industry’s focus has shifted back to making games with experiences and benefits which cannot be matched by traditional gaming. This shift in turn means Web3 gaming “is really just getting started” and may not be a passing fad as claimed by some critics, Watkins added.
Concerning his platform’s reported collaboration with the firearms industry, the CEO disclosed that this was made possible by the fact that some of Digital Arms’ founding members, including himself, are veterans of the gun industry. Watkins also shared his thoughts on Apple’s augmented reality headset and how this is likely to be a game changer for the Web3 gaming industry.
Below are Watkins’ answers to the questions sent to him via Telegram.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): What benefits do gamers have when they buy in-game non-fungible tokens (NFTs) versus traditional in-game assets?
Chris Watkins (CW): The main advantage here is the true ownership and traceability of the assets. As Esports and the fanbase of popular leagues grow, the potential to buy and trade firearms used by your favorite Pro gamer is just one of the many exciting use cases.
BCN: According to a recent report by Polaris Market Research, the worldwide blockchain gaming market size is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2032, up from an estimated $5.4 billion in 2022. What key emerging trends do you see that will shape the future of Web3 gaming?
CW: A prominent trend is the blending of real-world brands with the gaming scene, through either advertising rights or branded playable assets. Blockchain technology serves as the crucial link, unlocking new revenue streams for game developers via NFT licensing rights. As this trend progresses, I predict a surge in games integrating NFTs so seamlessly that players may not even realize they’re purchasing and trading these unique digital assets.
BCN: Over the last few years, the Web3 gaming industry has experimented with play-to-earn, play-and-earn and a bunch of other models to attract players. Even though some Web3 games have gained traction, we have not yet landed upon a sustainable model that appeals to both players and game developers. What makes you believe that Web3 gaming is more than just a fad?
CW: Games developed during the last bull run cycle often appeared rushed and lacked the essential element of fun. Those that did gain traction primarily relied on the allure of making money. This model is not sustainable in the long run as it depends on a continuous flow of players willing to spend. However, I’m seeing many emerging game developers creating high-quality, entertaining games with incorporated play-to-earn aspects. The focus is shifting back to making games that are fun to play and offer unique experiences and benefits that traditional gaming can’t match. In my opinion, Web3 gaming is really just getting started – exciting times ahead!
BCN: Your company Digital Arms is reportedly the only NFT marketplace where gamers can buy, sell, and customize licensed digital firearms from the world’s leading brands. Can you explain why the firearms industry chose Digital Arms and why they can or can’t sell their IP on other NFT marketplaces?
CW: The founding members of Digital Arms and I have over 25 years of experience in the firearms industry. We’ve built trust with leading brands and they’ve chosen us to guide them into the blockchain and digital collectable arena. We uphold their brand with high respect and ensure it’s delivered in a manner that aligns with their company image. No other marketplace or platform has our unique understanding of the firearms industry. Hence, the need for a unique marketplace like Digital Arms. You wouldn’t go to eBay or Amazon to buy a firearm, right?
BCN: Self-expression through customization has been a part of video games for as long as we can remember. It would seem like there is an attractive opportunity for the firearm and hunting industries in the Web3 gaming realm. What challenges, in your opinion, do such brands face in bringing digital firearms to Web3 games, especially considering the firearms industry is heavily regulated in most parts of the world?
CW: Maintaining a positive public image is very important to the firearms industry. The challenge is to ensure their products and branding are portrayed respectfully by game developers. As for firearm regulations, this is the exciting part. We are dealing with digital assets, not the actual firearm. Gamers in restricted regions now can own a piece of the brand. Digital Arms is producing limited edition, authentic IP-licensed NFT digital collectibles crafted from the original 3D CAD files used in the actual manufacturing of the firearm.
BCN: Do you think Web3 gaming could become an attractive revenue stream for firearms manufacturers — or physical goods brands, in general — in the near future?
CW: Yes, 100%! It’s already happening and is not limited to just firearms but many other in-game items and equipment.
BCN: Apple has just launched an innovative augmented reality headset called Apple Vision Pro. What role could such devices, assuming they become popular among gamers, play in the evolution of the Web3 gaming industry?
CW: Apple is leading the way, that’s for sure! This development is going to change the way we interact and play games in the future. Augmented reality can create immersive gaming experiences, combining digital items, such as our firearm NFTs, opens up a new world of possibilities.
What are your thoughts about this interview? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.