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Mobile is make-or-break for web3 gaming adoption

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The web3 gaming industry stands at an inflection point. While the promise of decentralized gaming and true digital ownership holds immense potential, the industry’s current focus on browser-based PC gaming represents a glaring missed opportunity—one that threatens to relegate it to the periphery of the gaming world as the mobile gaming juggernaut continues its inexorable rise. If we want web3 gaming to rival the web2 games industry, it’s time to bridge the mobile gap.

Think about it: Can you name a single successful browser game in the mainstream gaming industry? The answer is no. The stark reality is that even the most successful web3 games of today pale in comparison to the titans of the web2 mobile gaming realm—for instance, a game with one million players or downloads would be hailed as a resounding triumph in web3. But in the traditional mobile gaming space, it would scarcely register as a blip on the radar. 

The numbers paint a sobering picture: in 2022, mobile games commanded an overwhelming 50% share of the global gaming market, while browser PC games—the predominant platform for web3 games—accounted for a mere 17%. This chasm underscores the web3 gaming industry’s failure to capitalize on the mobile gaming revolution, a misstep that could prove catastrophic if left unaddressed.

If the web3 gaming industry maintains its current trajectory, it risks becoming a permanent sideshow, overshadowed by the mainstream success of mobile gaming titans. So, the equilibrium that has emerged in the web2 world, where mobile gaming reigns supreme, will inevitably reshape the web3 gaming landscape as well. The question is whether the industry will proactively adapt or be left behind.

To thrive in the mobile gaming era, the web3 gaming industry must urgently prioritize the development of robust mobile infrastructure. Developers need access to modular, blockchain-agnostic components that can seamlessly integrate blockchain technology into mobile games without sacrificing the mobile gaming experience. These components should handle everything from secure asset management and on-chain transactions to decentralized identity solutions and seamless cross-chain interoperability.

Failure to provide these resources will severely hinder the web3 gaming industry’s growth and relevance. Without a compelling mobile offering, web3 gaming will struggle to attract the vast and engaged user base that is essential for its long-term success and sustained innovation. The industry risks being confined to a niche corner of the gaming world, overshadowed by the mainstream success of mobile gaming giants.

The mobile gaming market is a behemoth, surpassing $184.4 billion in 2022 and projected to reach a staggering $775.69 billion by 2032, fueled by the proliferation of smartphones and the advent of 5G networks. To capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity, the web3 gaming industry must pivot its focus from browser games to mobile, embracing the platform that has become the beating heart of the global gaming ecosystem.

Mobile gaming market size estimation | Source: Precedence Research

The path forward is clear: web3 gaming must either unlock the mobile gaming revolution or risk ceding the future to those who do. Developers, investors, and industry leaders must prioritize the creation of robust mobile infrastructure, empowering developers to create captivating decentralized gaming experiences that resonate with users worldwide. By embracing mobile gaming, web3 gaming can secure its place in the vanguard of gaming innovation and unlock its true potential as a transformative force in the industry.

Corey Wilton

Corey Wilton

Corey Wilton is the co-founder and CEO of Mirai Labs, an international Web3 gaming studio headquartered in Vietnam.  Mirai Labs’ first release, Pegaxy, was recognized as the second-most popular crypto project in the Philippines in 2022, outperforming the likes of Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other major cryptocurrencies. A renowned speaker and play-to-earn thought leader, he began his first company within crypto in 2018, a customer support company designed to assist ICO companies with their customer service.