Web3 has been making a significant impact on the games industry in recent years. Between 40-50% of unique active blockchain wallets are related to web3 gaming. While game producers are figuring out how to position themselves to benefit from this profound change in the industry, many are still looking to find answers to key questions. At the same time, we see that user experiences in web3 gaming are evolving, but still far from ideal.
One of the main promises of web3 is gaming is that users can truly own their earned and purchased in-game assets, independently from the game owner. This gives gamers power over their assets, and it creates new opportunities for interoperability of those assets. It opens up more flexible ways of trading assets between players for example. This also allows for new game models where assets can be used interchangeably between different games.
Current web3 game onboarding experience
As web3 gaming has evolved, existing standalone crypto wallet solutions were the only option availabe. If you look at the overwhelming majority of web3 games right now, you will find the familiar experience of having to connect with a MetaMask, or other wallet of choice. The result of this is that onboarding of non-web3 gamers requires a complex set of instructions:
- Start the game experience
- Redirect to the Chrome store
- Download and install a web3 wallet, including:
- Learning what a blockchain wallet is
- Learning what a 12 word seed phrase does
- Thinking about a strategy to store it safely
- Choosing a password
- Going back to the game experience
- Connect the wallet (assuming no connection issues)
- Continue with the game experience
- Optionally at a later stage, redirecting back to the wallet to use an onramp, or even a central exchange, to fund the wallet with crypto to buy game tokens
- In almost all cases this includes going through a KYC experience
It doesn’t require a very vivid imagination to see that this is not a user friendly experience for gamers without a web3 background. Compared to traditional game onboarding, this is an incredibly painful process. Clearly, this part of the current web3 gaming experience is discouraging many to join, and is a drag on mass adoption.
The ideal onboarding experience
So what should this experience look like in the ideal scenario? Clearly, in order to fulfil web3’s promise of self custody, gamers need to have control over their own wallet. Though this doesn’t mean that the wallet needs to be positioned outside the gaming UX. The wallet can be integrated entirely in an immersive way into the game experience, without pop-ups, jump-offs or separate wallet downloads. Yet players keep control over their assets, with an underlying wallet that is entirely owned by them.
It is key to understand that a user-owned wallet does not require separate user-owned software (like a MetaMask). With the right solution (whether using technology like Multi-Party Computation or Smart Contract wallets), the software can be presented as a part of the game platform, while the user controls the actual blockchain wallet and corresponding keys.
Once this approach is taken, the experience will change completely and vastly in favor of something much more user friendly. Summarizing what this would look like:
- Start the game experience
- Create an ‘account’ within the game experience
- This could be with an email/password combination, or any common 3rd party authentication method, like e.g. Google login
- Wallet is set up and ready for use in the game
Creation of the wallet, handling of seed phrases, all happens safely in the background, in a way that still keeps the control and ownership of the wallet with the user. Any subsequent funding of the account/wallet also happens within the game experience.
Note also that the use of crypto currencies here is optional, game coins or collectibles could be paid for by credit card or bank payments, using a standard payment gateway.
Liquality Wallet SDK
Just like the majority of gamers are not web3 experts, neither are the majority of game developers. At Liquality, we have set out to offer a solution that gives you the ideal web3 game experience, for mass market users. On top of that, the Liquality SDK is designed for ease of integration, independent of prior expert web3 knowledge of game or app developers.
For a limited period of time, we are offering free 30 minute consultations to select game and app developers who are motivated to improve their game or app web3 experience, or who want to start including web3 functionality in their games or apps. If you are interested, please fill out a short form , and we will reach out to you.