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Web3 gaming sees strong start to 2023 with on-chain surge

Key Takeaways

  • On-chain gaming activity rose by 1.31% to 858,621 dUAW in January.
  • On average, top gaming tokens’ market caps increased by 122%, with GALA leading at 218% and $384 million.
  • Sewer Pass generated $44.6M in trading volume and 10,561 sold NFTs in just two weeks as Yuga hosted its Dookey Dash competition.
  • Investments in blockchain games and metaverse projects totaled $156M.
  • Trading volume for virtual worlds experienced significant growth in January 2023, reaching $44.5 million, a 114% increase from December 2022.
  • TreasureDAO emerged as a platform for building metaverse projects, with its unique token MAGIC underpinning a growing network of metaverses and games.
  • Legions Genesis collection has seen sales skyrocket, with their rarest NFTs going for over 70 ETH.

Blockchain Gaming Report

A new report released by DappRadar has outlined that the web3 gaming industry has had a strong start in 2023, with $156 million raised across ten investments in January.

Among the notable developments, TreasureDAO emerged as a platform for building metaverse projects, Square Enix launched its first NFT game, and Courtside Ventures invested $100 million for its third venture capital fund focused on sports, collectibles, wellness, and gaming. The total value of investments in web3 games and metaverse projects totaled $156M.

The crypto gaming sector has also seen a rise in on-chain activity, with daily active wallet (dUAW) increasing by 1.31% to 858,621 and making up 48% of dApp activity in January. On average, the market cap for top gaming tokens has risen by 122%, with GALA leading the charge at 218%.

Additionally, trading volume for virtual worlds (experiential metaverse) experienced significant growth in January 2023, reaching $44.5 million, a 114% increase from December 2022. The success of metaverse dApps, such as The Sandbox and Decentraland, has contributed to the significant growth in trading volume for virtual worlds, according to the report.

“The surge of the top gaming tokens in January 2023 is a very positive sign for the industry. The on-chain metrics are bullish, and the hype surrounding these coins is only growing.”

Other successes in the sector included the launch of the Sewer Pass from Yuga Labs, which created $44.6 million in trading volume in just two weeks. In addition, the pass granted access to the limited-time game Dookie Dash which holders played to make them “eligible for the summoning.”

Increased web2 interest

Kai Bond, a partner at Courtside Ventures, shared his investment thesis as a part of the report;

“The biggest outcomes always come at the intersection of a new form of distribution and a new type of monetization. The promise of Web3 is in the same space, and Courtside Ventures is well-positioned to capitalize on it.”

Legacy gaming companies, which are not web3 native, have also continued to dip their toes in the crypto water. Japanese game publisher Square Enix is launching its first NFT game, Symbiogenesis, on the Polygon network. The story-driven game features 10,000 NFT characters and turn-based play on a floating continent threatened by a dragon. Players will not be required to hold an NFT to access the game, yet it will add “extra value,” and character NFT holders can create replica NFTs to share story information with other players.

“This move by Square Enix is a clear indication that blockchain gaming is becoming more mainstream and that traditional gaming companies are taking notice[…] The outlook is positive, and we look forward to seeing the blockchain gaming industry continue to grow and innovate in the future. So game on.”


The report concluded that while the web3 gaming industry faced challenges in 2022, the performance in January 2023 shows signs of recovery. Experienced studios are being funded to create quality web3 games, indicating a shift in focus toward longer time horizons from venture capital investors.

In addition, the industry is moving towards “build” mode, prioritizing quality over quantity. Ultimately, the outlook is positive, and the web3 gaming industry is expected to grow and innovate.

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