Momentum NOT stopping for Notcoin
Notcoin — where players just click on an animated coin to mine a crypto that’s not even out yet — has roped in millions and millions of players in less than a month since it dropped. Sasha Plotvinov, founder of Notcoin devs OpenBuilders, isn’t sure why, but he has some ideas.
“I’d put it down to its viral and simple mechanics that encourage users to invite their crypto ‘frens’ from Telegram messenger,” Plotvinov tells Web3 Gamer.
“I think that fun should be paramount. That’s why Notcoin gained millions of players, even before the token announcement,” he says.
The banner on their X account literally says “probably nothing,” so I guess no one can be too upset if a token listing never happens.
Plenty think it will, however. Within the first 26 days of release, 20 million people have signed up. By comparison, Axie Infinity only had 2.78 million monthly active users at its peak in January 2022.
But, despite all the clicking to mine a crypto, it doesn’t actually exist. So, people are basically just holding out in hope.
“Even with an unknown outcome, it’s enough to motivate people to play, and play a lot. However, an announcement about token listing has certainly increased interest, even without a clear listing date.”
Although he sees it coming that some players might just sell their stash of NOT upon its listing and then ghost the game for good.
“We can foresee that a few people with limited interest in Notcoin will leave and sell (that’s good, actually). We are happy to focus on building subsequent phases with those who stay and have an active interest,” he says.
“I do think a lot of Web3 projects are starting to realize that developing games actually takes a lot of time,” Dan Nikolaides, chief technology officer of Studio369, tells Web3 Gamer.
Nikolaides, the tech director behind the upcoming first-person mechanized combat game MetalCore, advises gamers against penciling in firm release dates for Web3 games in the calendar just yet.
According to him, the nature of the industry makes it tempting for developers to get overly optimistic and overlook the considerable time required to develop a high-quality game.
“A lot of games that were announced, you are going to start seeing them come out maybe a bit later and behind their originally announced schedules,” Nikolaides says.
In September, Illivium rescheduled its private beta for its upcoming PvP auto battler game Illivium Arena, shifting it to November.
The delay had a knock-on effect on the release date of Illivium Arena’s public beta, now expected to roll out sometime during the current quarter.
Regulatory issues for blockchain games
However, Matt Candler, CEO of Studio369, tells Magazine that there are other factors at play for the delays in blockchain games, like regulatory dramas and a lack of clear rules for Web3 game developers in the United States:
“There are a lot of products currently being developed that are waiting for the right time to announce. Mainly, due to confidence in the market and where the SEC is leaning towards.”
U.S. gamers will feel the impact of the lack of crypto regulations when the highly anticipated first-person shooter game Shrapnel drops later this year.
Shrapnel developers declared that U.S. players will not be able to cash out in-game assets due to concerns about the SEC potentially classifying them as securities.
However, European and Asian gamers face no restrictions.
Candler further explains the mismatch between developers’ expectations of release dates and the time it actually takes to build a game comes down to the added complexities of mixing Web3 with solid gameplay:
“There is a big level-up curve with how a game economy should work in web3. There is going to have to be a lot more effort put into the design and how that works properly with gameplay,” he states.
Once MetalCore is finally released sometime this year, Candler and Nikolaides will have clocked nearly three years developing the game.
MetalCore is going to be one of the very first games to launch on Immutable’s zkEVM.
With the full release of the game expected in 2024, a closed beta is set for this month before the doors swing open for a public beta in April.
On the flip side, Candler is pretty optimistic about Web3 gaming, even though his roots lie in the traditional gaming industry.
He sees greater potential in Web3, considering that Web2 is jam-packed with games, and the discoverability algorithm on platforms like Steam are becoming increasingly uncertain.
According to Candler, the Web3 gaming arena is an open playing field with ample opportunities for new games.
“The market is wide open for some really exceptional gameplay in Web3,” he explains.
“Our philosophy is let’s have a fun game that we all enjoy playing, then utilize this great financial opportunity to structure an in-game currency token that rewards players for their time.”
Hot Take: Heroes of Mavia
If you’re on the lookout for a game that mixes a bit of Axie Infinity with Minecraft and Clash of Clans, Heroes of Mavia might just be up your alley.
Developed by blockchain development company Skrice Studios and backed by heavyweights like Binance Labs, Crypto.com, Hashkey Capital and Genblock Capital, Heroes of Mavia is a free-to-play mobile MMO strategy game.
Skrice has been developing it for over a year now, and select landowners got a sneak peek during the beta edition in June 2023.
The global launch was last month, and the game has already hit over 1 million downloads in less than a week since it dropped.
I’ve been playing it since it was released, and despite a few hiccups like the game randomly going down for maintenance for extended periods, it has been an enjoyable few days building my empire while also demolishing others’ online empires.
It’s a fun game that, similarly to Minecraft, gives you the satisfaction of reaping what you sow.
As it’s a battle game, there is no greater feeling of power than being able to see the hours and hours you put in a game translate into accumulating more and more resources, all at the expense of other players.
The longer you play, the more resources you rack up, increasing your base and defense, and ultimately, the more victories you will secure against others online.
In Heroes of Mavia, your main job is protecting your land, aka your base, by setting up defenses to ward off rival enemies.
When you begin, a quick tutorial will walk you through building and shielding your base.
It’s kind of important because the whole game plan revolves around accumulating resources (through stealing them from other players) to make your base as secure as possible.
However, other players can swipe yours too, and that means losing resources.
Before going straight into online battles, it’s probably a good idea to hit up mission mode first and build up your resources.
Otherwise, it’ll be kind of like a boxer stepping into the ring who hasn’t hit the gym in months.
However, mission mode is just like campaign mode in any other game. It’s a good way to learn the ropes of the game while building your wealth before going head to head with others online.
Gold and oil are the main resources you’ll be accumulating. You can use them to add features to your base, such as walls and traps.
In-game currency, out-game crypto MAVIA
At some stage, Skrice Studios thought about turning the in-game currency, Ruby, into a crypto with some real value.
But they decided against it, stating they wanted to avoid any potential avenues for price manipulation.
However, the game will still have its own native token, MAVIA, which is set to launch this week.
Despite initial airdrops for early game adopters, it seems you won’t actually be earning MAVIA directly within the game.
Still, holding and staking the token grants governance power and voting rights.
However, you can collect and build up “legendary items” and sell them as NFTs for crypto.
However, no matter how much cash you splash on the legendary items, they won’t give you any upper hand in the game. They’re purely for show, just to spice things up cosmetically.
— Animoca Brands, Delphi Ventures, and Bing Ventures are among several firms to throw $8 million seed funding at MMORPG Pixelmon.
— Gala Games released its first public software development kit (SDK) GalaChain, for developers to further build on the Gala ecosystem.
— Avalanche-based first-person shooter Shrapnel has launched early access to its extraction pack holders via the Epic Games Store marketplace.
— Immutable has launched early access to its zkEVM mainnet, powered by Polygon. Guild of Guardians and Cool Cats are among the first games to be launched on the Immutable zkEVM.
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Ciaran Lyons is an Australian crypto journalist. He’s also a standup comedian and has been a radio and TV presenter on Triple J, SBS and The Project.