We recently had a Twitter spaces conversation with one of the most interesting guilds in Web3 gaming, MetaGuild. Its founders are hard-core gamers, and the organization is entirely self-funded, making it one of the few guilds that will likely survive and even flourish during the bear market. We talk about the future of Web3 gaming, guilds, communities, and sustainability. Here’s a recap for ya.
MetaGuild is a hybrid(Web3) esports organization—they create content to educate Web3 gamers, invest in emerging games, manage their treasury of in-game assets, and also develop experiences in the Sandbox Metaverse.
Egor, Metaguild's co-founder, started playing Hearthstone as a hobby but quickly went on to become one of the best hearthstone players in the world. While playing games professionally, Egor saw how big game publishers like Blizzard kill games once they have milked them sufficiently. This made him interested in ideas like decentralization and FTs. Egor tells us that he met his two co-founders when they started Russia's largest Web3 gaming website, called the Cryptogamer, in 2018. At that time, there was only one crypto game on the market-Axie Infinity. It’s remarkable that within four years we have more than 1600 Web3 games now.
In 2021, the trio founded MetaGuild to manage their own in-game assets. However, they quickly realized that their new organization could do a lot more for the Web3 gaming space. One of the key ideas for MetaGuild was to onboard traditional gamers into blockchain gaming.MetaGuild is entirely funded by its co-founders. Egor says they have more than enough funds to survive for the next two years without bringing in any revenue. He believes that the market will recover in that time period.
The Future of Gaming
Egor believes that the only sustainable business model for games is to create and sell high quality content to their community and share the generated revenue with skilled players. Play-to-Earn, arguably the most popular model in Web3 gaming, has proven to be unsustainable for every single game that employed it. It’s high time that existing and upcoming games learned their lessons and looked for new, more sustainable options.
A potential variation of Play-to-Earn that can work is in which players win tokens from each other through a showdown of skill, not from the new investors coming into the game. This model ramps up the competitive aspect of the game as there’s real money at stake, making it more intense and engaging. Egor says that MetaGuild wants to support and invest in games where players compete on skill and win rewards from each other. According to Egor, the main problem with current Web3 game design is that we don't have enough empirical data to build better models.
The game asset market will be huge. We have already seen game assets be insanely valuable in the closed off system of traditional gaming. Imagine What happens when Web3 gaming creates open rails for players to freely trade these assets? Web3 primitives like Blockchain and NFTs turn the virtual economy of a game into a real economy. This is a paradigm shift that Web3 brings to gaming.
What to look for in a Web3 game
MetaGuild has partnered with games like SandBox, Skyweaver, Aavegotchi, etc. The first thing MetaGuild looks at before partnering with a game is its economy. The organization also evaluates their partner’s commitment to the space. According to Egor, many game developers enter the Web3 gaming space for the wrong reasons—they build bad games, raise a boat load of investors' money, and then just move on. This gives the industry a bad rep in investing and gaming circles. MetaGuild does not want to promote this kind of behavior by partnering with games that just look at the space as a cash cow.
Egor says that players and investors should look at whether the development team is constantly selling them things or actually focusing on building the game to discern whether or not to invest in the game. The second thing is to look at how the game is designed. Games should not be designed on the fly. It takes a lot of time and effort to build epic games, and Egor suggests that gamers should not invest in low-quality games.
Building Sustainable Games
The sustainability of a game depends on good gameplay and a competitive aspect that keeps the players hooked for a long time. The second important part of a Web3 game is its economic design. However, we're still early and builders in the space are figuring out what the optimal configuration of gameplay, economics, and design is to build sustainable Web3 games.
The way to onboard No-coiners to Web3 gaming is to reduce obstacles like setting up wallets and learning about blockchain stuff. Reduce resistance to gain adoption.
Game economies can be modeled after real world economies. Therein lies the answer to building sustainable economies. Many nation-state economies have survived the test of time. What we learned from them was that several factors increase the longevity of these systems, such as preditible supply, which ensures liquidity in the market.
I hope you found this discussion as enlightening as I did. Previously, I thought that guilds might be a dying experiment in the journey of Web3 gaming, but MetaGuild expertly illustrates that there are always better ways to do things. The founders of MetaGuild are gamers first, and it's apparent that they care about the industry and are not working in it simply for the money. It reminds me of the dichotomy of missionary and mercenary that John Doerr popularized. Mercenaries(cash grabers) might be able to monetise a fad and make some dough, but missionaries end up way far ahead, both in terms of money and impact. We believe MetaGuild belongs to the Missionary clan. Go check out their stuff here(link).