Two weeks ago, one of the biggest events on the crypto-calendar, NFT Paris, saw the Web3 world converge on the Grand Palais Ephemere exhibition center, just a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower.
Alongside the art and fashion projects, gaming stood as another pillar of the convention, with dozens of booths dedicated to showing off the latest Web3 titles. Venly also had a booth, so, alongside presenting our own integrated wallet and marketplace solutions, we also had the chance to wander around the hall and peruse some of the games coming on the horizon:
An MMORPG on the Ethereum network, Worldwide Webb utilisizes a nostalgic, pixelated graphical style to immerse players in a dystopian future world. Characters can be levelled up and equipped with craftable gear in order to delve into instanced raid dungeons or compete in team-based PVP arena fights.
NFTs are used to represent in-game items, property, and more, and a thriving secondary marketplace is already in place, giving players earning potential while they play. What sets Worldwide Webb apart, though, is it’s astounding commitment to NFT interoperability.
More than 1.2 million NFTs from over 200 different projects are already integrated into the game, and the team doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. That means that Cryptopunk or BoredApe you’ve got in your collection suddenly got more utility as your in-game playable character.
I got the chance to try out the game at the the developer’s prominently featured booth, right in front of the convention’s entrance. There, I faced off against a dungeon boss, playing the game on a classic arcade machine, which was perfect for the simple yet satisfying gameplay mechanics and retro art style.
My Lovely Planet
A free-to-play mini-games gallery for mobile with a 4.65/5 rating on the Google Play Store and more than 400,000 followers on Tik-Tok, My Lovely Planet distinguishes itself from the crowd with it’s business model. Not ‘Play-to-Earn,’ but, as studio CEO Clement Le Bras told me at the booth, ‘Play-to-Save.’
What does that mean? Well, for a start, 15% of the game’s revenue go to environmental NGOs that My Lovely Planet has partnered with, to plant trees, clean plastic from the oceans, and protect biodiversity and animal welfare.
On top of that, the game’s utility token $MLC, will drive an in-game economy that rewards players, as well as giving them governance rights over the Environemtal Treasury, from which funds will be distributed to player-chosen environmental projects. Through this mechanism, My Lovely Planet hopes not only to fund worthy causes, but also to empower its players to become more involved in the struggle to protect our planet.
The Immortal Game
The Immortal Game booth was hard to miss, with a row of chess boards set up for attendees to face off against each other, and even some of the chess world’s most famous players, including French grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Italian master Alessia Santeramo.
Based in Paris, the Immortal Game team isn’t trying to reinvent chess. Instead, they want to bring it into the modern age.
“We’re here for the new generation that grew up with online chess,” Content Lead Joseph Toaff told me. “The kids who are already challenging masters.”
So far, the team seem to be on the right track. Up to 15,000 players a week currently flock to their servers, playing more than 3 million games of chess a month. Classic chess can be played daily, weekly and blitz tournaments that award ETH prizes.
Then there is the NFT aspect, which takes the form of collectible rule modifiers that can be deployed to shake up the traditional format. Things like a ban on castling, or a requirement to win with a certain number or configuration of pieces. These NFTs, called the Immortals, are represented as bespoke chess on your board. They increase the difficulty and the amount of leaderboard points you earn from a victory, adding a whole new strategic layer to experience.
With a recently released mobile app, and plans to introduce game analysis, puzzle modes, and even a chess academy with lessons from master, there’s lots to look forward to in the world of online chess.
“Our opening was strong,” says Toaff. “Wait until you see our end-game.”
Icon X World Custom Shop
The Icon X World booth was right across the way from Venly’s, so we had ample time to witness the crowds of people lining up to try out the Web3 racing game. The Icon X team, dressed the part in racing suits, helped attendees into cockpits of the arcade racing setup, complete with steering wheels, and let them rip on a track through virtual Paris.
Billed as the ultimate Web3 racing experience, Icon X World will feature 2000 cars and 600 tracks at launch. The idea, though, is to open the experience up to as much NFT-powered customization as possible.
Custom cars, skins, body kits, performance mods, exhaust sounds, tracks and driver suits will all be available for buying and selling on an dedicated NFT marketplace, allowing players to customize every aspect of their experience.
Of course, one of the most well-established Web3 gaming experiences could fail to make an appearance at NFT Paris - especially given that’s where they’re based!
At their stand, the team was showing off a virtual in-game paris experience, built exclusively for the convention. Crowds watched on as player characters skips around such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Notre Dame Catherdal.
Besides leading the team behind one of Web3’s most successful games, CEO Sebastien Borget is also a relentless advocate of blockchain gaming in general. He helps drive the Blockchain Game Alliance, an association of game developers and Web3 technology companies - including Venly - that works to develop the industry. Prior to NFT Paris, Venly and the Blockchain Game Alliance co-sponsored a meeting of Blockchain game designers to help do just that.
The Sandbox is also utilizing Venly’s Wallet API as a key driver of more than 4.5 million new sign-ups to their platform.
With so many promising and diverse titles on the horizon, it’s clear that blockchain gaming is maturing into a respectable part of the wider industry. More than shallow pay-to-win gimmicks, blockchain gaming represents a true evolution of gaming, with exciting possibilities for innovative gameplay, supplemented revenue streams, and closer-knit fan communities more deeply invested in what they play.
And, with the range of tools for developers on offer from Venly, from seamless wallet and marketplace integrations, to specialised gaming APIs, to a newly developed Unity SDK, it’s becoming easier than ever to take advantage of this new frontier.