“It’s important to note that Web3 isn’t a charity”, said Mirai Labs co-founder Corey Wilton in a conversation about the emergence of GameFi at the recent Blockchain Festival Singapore.
Citing a phenomenon known as “Web3 brain” where project developers cling to their ideals and depend purely on creating hype, Wilton said that it is imperative to recognise the fact that business fundamentals still apply in this space.
“If you launch these tokens and NFTs and you go to the effing moon, it’s probably not going to be a good thing. Without a product, not even Web3 hype is going to save you…It’s going to get you a lot of attention, but they’re not going to stick around”, he emphasised.
The five stages in Web3 products
According to Wilton, projects in Web3 generally go through five stages – niche community, word of mouth discoveries, the next best thing, realisation, and then maturity.
Wilton believes that the industry is currently in “the next best thing” stage, which is akin to a “hysteria” stage, similar to what happened back in 2017.
“This is when people kind of throw away the general ideas, the concepts and reality, and just accept the fact that NFTs are going to overtake the world. You’re going to need NFTs to eat and they’re going to change people’s lives”, he joked
“It’s the same with cryptocurrencies. They don’t think logically. It’s just the next best thing everybody needs to get into”, he added.
The “realisation” stage, as Wilton explained, is when people start to see through the hype and realise that the products may not be as attractive as they thought.
“Maybe that picture of that cat isn’t actually as cool as you thought, because you can screenshot it… I thought DeFi was going to take over the world. It just makes sense as everyone chooses DeFi. It was sweet. But actually it’s taking a little while to get to that point and unfortunately, the products are taking a while to build so it’s not as cool as I thought”, he said.
The “real audience” comes during maturity
For Wilton, people that are playing Web3 games right now are just in it for the money now, which means that creating hype simply isn’t enough for gaming studios to survive in the long-term.
“Real studios in maturity are the ones that are going to thrive. Why? Because they’re the guys that have strategies for user acquisition. These are the guys that understand the fundamentals of business. You need profitability. You don’t need hype”, he explained.
Showing the audience the price charts of Revv Racing (developed by Animoca Brands), Axie Infinity, Pegaxy (developed by Mirai Labs) and Illuvium, Wilton said that the price movements of their tokens are evidently based on hype. He also pointed out that Illuvium had a similar price movement with the other already released games, even though the Illuvium game will only be released later this year.
“The current token movement do not dictate future success. I think that’s pretty obvious. You guys can’t tell me right now that Illuvium failed when they haven’t even released the game”, he said.
“People just don’t give a shit about the game right now. So who is the real audience? They’re the ones that are coming in [during] maturity”, he concluded.
Corey Wilton is the co-founder of Web3 game developer Mirai Labs. The company’s flagship play-to-earn game “Pegaxy” was released in February 2021.