Crypto Markets Have Tanked, but Not Blockchain-based Gaming

Animoca Brands and Andreessen Horowitz are leading crypto gaming investments


Blockworks exclusive Art by Axel rangel


key takeaways

  • $2.5 billion worth of investments poured into blockchain games during the first quarter of 2022
  • Current market conditions will not kill Web3, Animoca Brands executive says

Blockchain-based gaming is proving to be surprisingly resistant to the broad-based crypto market turndown of late. 

The number of daily unique active wallets of game decentralized apps (dapps) and those of game transactions have been at all-time highs since April, according to digital assets data provider DappRadar. And venture capitalists have taken note of — and written checks for — the strong and engaged metaverse game player base, even as activity has trailed off in decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs this year. 

When it comes to gaming investment, DappRadar and the Blockchain Game Alliance recently reported $2.5 billion poured into blockchain games in the first quarter of 2022 alone. In 2021, venture capitalists invested a total of $4 billion in blockchain games. The firms predict investments throughout the rest of the year will increase about 150% from 2021. 

Case in point: Gaming investment giant Animoca Brands recorded earnings that value its portfolio at $1.5 billion across over 340 investments.

The company also reported income from token and NFT (non-fungible token) sales, contributing to $573 million in net gains over the first quarter. 

Subsidiaries, such as The Sandbox metaverse and partnerships with Yuga Labs and ApeCoin DAO, are just some of the company’s most profitable ventures, especially when it comes to virtual land sales. 

Animoca invested $450 million in Bored Ape Yacht Club’s Otherside metaverse game, and the group’s Otherdeed NFT land sale set the record for the largest NFT mint ever conducted.

In a message to shareholders, Animoca co-founder and executive chair Yat Siu wrote that “current market conditions will not kill Web3, the open metaverse, NFTs or cryptocurrencies.”

In his “sanguine view,” he described the leaders of the shift to Web3 as the companies and projects that are building the open metaverse and encouraged readers to “keep their eyes on the strong growth of the Web3 market.”

Venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, meanwhile, recently launched the $600 million Games Fund One, dedicated to investing in game studios and transforming the Web3 gaming ecosystem.

A16z also raised the largest-ever crypto venture fund at $4.5 billion, which brought the firm’s total crypto and Web3 holdings to $7.6 billion.

While the traditional gaming industry is currently worth $300 billion, the crypto gaming space is on track to bring the economic potential of the metaverse market to at least $8 trillion.

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