Despite the FUD, blockchain games surged in active users in September, while God’s Unchained cracked the top 10 in terms of total NFT sales volume of all projects.
User activity on blockchain gaming decentralized applications (DApps) surged in September, with a host of games posting significant increases in the number of active users.
According to data from DappRadar, seven out of the top 10 games in terms of the number of “unique wallet addresses interacting with dapp’s smart contracts” increased over the past 30 days, with all of the top five games being in the green during that time frame.
At the time of writing, the DApps registering growth in the period include Web3 gaming platform Gameta, and blockchain-based games Alien Worlds, Solitaire Blitz, Benji Bananas and Splinterlands, Farmers World and Arc8 by GAMEE.
In a Sept. 27 blog post, DappRadar noted that eight of the current top 10 blockchain games are mobile-first, which could eventually “bring millions of users to the blockchain,” noting:
“Dapp games like Gameta, Benji Bananas, Upland, and Trickshot Blitz let anyone with a mobile device earn crypto with little prior knowledge, investment, or risk.”
“Using daily activities like hyper-casual mobile games as a hook ensures users find fun once they interact, while solid tokenomics can encourage everyday use and retention,” it added.
DappRadar said one of the possible reasons for a rise in popularity of blockchain games despite the bear market, is the idea of “bleed in the bear and run in the bull:”
“The idea that stacking crypto and investments in a bear market pays off in the bull is almost proven at this point.”
The biggest uptick in users came from Animoca Brands’ Benji Bananas (Polygon), which saw a 2016.54% increase over the past 30 days. Notably, this game was a Web2 mobile app until March this year. Animoca then introduced play-to-earn (P2E) elements via the Bored Ape Yacht Club-affiliated Ape Coin (APE).
While it is unclear what specifically saw the number of Benji Bananas users increase by so much, it did host a P2E gaming event this month that offered a series of valuable in-game NFTs to the winners.
Out of the top 10 games, only Axie Infinity, Trickshot Blitz and Upland saw decreases over the past 30-days.
The increase of blockchain gamers this month comes as publications such as Bloomberg note in a Sept. 28 article that the highly correlated NFT market trading “frenzy is almost dead.” It points to overall NFT trading volumes dropping 97% since January as evidence of such.
As Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu pointed out via Twitter on Sept. 30, purely looking at the metric of NFT sales volume doesn’t necessarily paint the whole picture in NFTs or gaming.
Siu highlighted that NFT prices have generally declined in accordance with the price of their paired assets such as Ether (ETH), while many games — that don’t often grab the headlines — require NFTs that are relatively cheap. He instead emphasized that user activity and the number of people entering Web3 is where the focus should be.
6/ Judging an entire market simply by one metric is imperfect you need to take a multifaceted lens eg. @TheSandboxGame has seen record growth in users in its last season despite the market and blockchain wallets continues to rise https://t.co/brvDgCAhqh
— Yat Siu (@ysiu) September 29, 2022
Gods Unchained breaks 10 top NFT sales
Meanwhile, NFT-based card battle game Gods Unchained has seen its NFT sales volume creep into the top 10 in NFT sales volume over the past 30 days, according to Cryptoslam.
Gods Unchained has seen a 373.25% increase over the past 30 days to sit at $10.8 million at the time of writing. This marks the first time the game has seen NFT sales top $10 million since January, and after a very slow February to August period.
Reasons behind this could be due to discussions of a “Season 2” upgrade to improve the game and lore in the works and GameStop offering free NFT packs to Pro members this month. Meanwhile, an esports tournament with a $70,000 prize pool was also announced at the start of this week.
Gods Unchained has also seen a significant increase in active users over the past 30 days, gaining 28.50% to sit at around 14,180 according to DappRadar. The game still has a long way to catch up to the top 10, however, as its user count places it at twenty-eighth.