A report by Japanese crypto firm Pacific Meta and DappRadar has suggested that Asia will dominate the Web3 gaming market.
Asia currently has a gaming population of 1.7 billion, which accounts for 55 percent of the global gaming population and is estimated to constitute 80 percent of all Web3 gamers, according to the report.
This is a fairly unexpected finding, especially in light of the gaming limitations enforced in certain countries within the region. For instance, in China, gamers under 18 can only play for one hour per day, while blockchain games have been under intense scrutiny and almost entirely banned in South Korea.
Despite facing legal restrictions, the report shows that the Web3 gaming industry is making headway in Asia. The report cites examples like MapleStory Universe from Japanese-South Korean video game publisher Nexon and Square Enix’s Symbiogenesis.
Web3 gaming demand
There is a significant demand for Web3 gaming in the Asian market, as evidenced by the prominent presence of Korean game publisher WeMade at last month’s Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.
According to a representative at the event, WeMade plans to launch their games initially in Korea without Web3 elements and later introduce them globally, incorporating NFTs and Web3 integrations through their WeMix platform.
At GDC, co-founder and CEO of Axie Infinity Trung Nguyen insisted that Web3 gaming is well-suited for the Asian market because of the popular game genres in the region.
Pacific Meta conducted a survey of more than 1,000 adults in Japan, in which 40 percent of respondents were aware of blockchain games, 57 percent of whom found them interesting. Around 33 percent of the respondents were uncertain or had not yet formed an opinion about Web3 games.
When questioned about their preferences for blockchain games, 773 out of the 1,030 respondents said that they would prefer a free-to-play game and that the initial cost was an essential feature for them.
More than 500 respondents preferred games mobile games. Factors such as player earnings, game quality, consoles and famous Intellectual property (IP) were not much of a priority.
Eastern gaming companies shift to Web3
The Pacific Meta and DappRadar study also indicates that the Asia gaming industry is experiencing a shift from Web2 to Web3.
Japanese multinational company Sony has filed a patent application related to NFTs. This suggests the company’s interest in developing a standardized digital infrastructure for gamers to own and transfer digital NFT assets across different platforms.
While other video game console makers have yet to embrace NFTs, Sony’s move suggests it is exploring opportunities in the blockchain space.
Minato-based video game publisher Bandai Namco also plans to launch a network of games and interactive media, beginning with the popular Gundam franchise, as part of its NFT initiatives. The company has created Side-G, a Gundam-themed metaverse with colonies featuring Gunpla models, esports and games.
Korean game company Wemade, with a market cap of $2 billion, also found success in its blockchain game “Mir 4 Global,” based on the popular game IP “The Legend of Mir.”