Gam3 Awards 2022: Which NFT Game Has the Most Potential According to the Industry?

Polkastarter hosted the Gam3 Awards show to recognize Web3 gaming in 2022


DALL-E modified by Blockworks


New initiatives in GameFi — blockchain-based gaming — are still part of a prominent narrative for 2023 as project teams look to onboarded new players and make use of billions of dollars of funding that have entered the space in the past year.

As the new year approaches, Polkastarter Gaming, a Web3 fundraising platform, organized and hosted the inaugural edition of The GAM3 Awards 2022 to recognize 16 categories of gaming, from ‘game of year’ to ‘best RPG’ (role-playing game) and even ‘best content creator.’  

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During a two-hour live streamed show, a 39-person jury judged all the nominees on accessibility, gameplay, graphics and overall experience. Jury members included representatives from DappRadar, the Solana Foundation, Fractal and Arcade, while 10% of the votes were left up to the community.

Blockworks’ host of Playconomy, Ryan Day, one of the judges, said, “It’s amazing what caliber of games are being built now. Lots of these titles could soon be up for both Web3 and traditional games awards.”

The bull case for Web3 gaming is largely linked to the explosive growth of the gaming industry writ large. For instance, GAM3 was inspired by the mainstream version, The Game Awards, the latest iteration of which took place that last week as well, and was the most watched awards ceremony in the world, boasting 103 million viewers. For comparison, the preeminent film awards show, The Oscars, attracted 16.6 million viewers, according to Forbes.

The goal of GAM3 was to “highlight the top quality games, to give something back to the industry, but at the same time it’s to really showcase what we have in store,” Omar Ghanem, head of gaming at Polkastarter, told Blockworks.

He wants to get people to “see beyond” games like Axie Infinity when they think about Web3 games, and said that it will take a few years for AAA studios like Ubisoft and Square Enix make their own successful foray into the ecosystem, dodging much of the current backlash. When they do, “the stakes get even higher,” Ghanem said.

The multiplayer action RPG ‘Big Time’ won the GAM3 Awards Game of the Year title, beating out fellow nominees Illuvium, Gods Unchained, The Harvest and Superior.

“We started Big Time with the vision that web3 games should be as fun and accessible as traditional games, while empowering players to take an active part in the game economy through true ownership,” a spokesperson for The Big Time team told Blockworks.

Given that many blockchain-based games are still in alpha and beta, the GAM3 Awards included a category for most anticipated game, and that award went to the first-person shooter game Shrapnel.

Don Norbury, the chief technology officer at Neon — the studio behind Shrapnel — said that they are “super appreciative of the nomination, let alone the win.”

A special award for the category of Games’ Choice Award went to an NFT trading card game called ‘The Harvest.’ This category was closed to the public and exclusive to game studios that nominated their own peers’ games. The Harvest, currently in closed beta, is described as a third-person shooter with elements of multiplayer online battle arena games and battle royale.

A full list of winners can be found on the Polkastarter website. The 16 finalists will share over $1 million worth of prizes sponsored by companies including Immutable X, the Blockchain Game Alliance and Machinations.

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