In October, the realm of crypto gaming witnessed sustained growth, with a report from DappRadar indicating that these games reached one million daily unique active wallets (DUAWs) on multiple occasions. This follows a trend from September when blockchain games collectively achieved more than one million DUAWs on three separate days. While the overall daily average showed a gradual increase throughout October, the rise was moderate compared to the previous month.
Crypto gaming achieved a new feat in October
Despite this growth, some of the major players in the crypto gaming space are grappling with challenges posed by an upsurge in automated bots. Connecting crypto wallets to blockchain games has become a daily ritual for a considerable number of users, reminiscent of late 2021 and early 2022 when games like Splinterlands, Alien Worlds, and Axie Infinity propelled user counts past the one million DAU (daily active users) mark. A similar spike occurred in April of the same year, according to DappRadar data.
However, the persistent issue of bot accounts has plagued games like Alien Worlds over the years. Bots are deployed by malicious actors to automate and amplify token rewards without engaging in actual gameplay. This challenge, associated with real-world financial incentives in blockchain games, was notably faced by Axie Infinity in 2021 when it had to address the presence of “bot farms.” In October, Alien Worlds’ official Twitter account reported that at least 1.6 million accounts using its game were identified as bot accounts.
These bots account potentially contributed to the inflated user totals for the month. Notably, games such as Alien Worlds, Sweat Economy, SecondLive, Splinterlands, and Battle Left Center Right (BLCR) recorded the highest numbers of daily unique active wallets during this period, according to DappRadar’s report. While concerns about the authenticity of user counts persist, Sweat Economy Cofounder Oleg Fomenko expressed confidence in the legitimacy of their numbers.
Battling the dark side of the success of the gaming sector
Oleg Fomenko, whose game took the second-highest spot with about 73,000 DAUWs, emphasized the robustness of their movement verification system, claiming that the number of bots earning SWEAT tokens is minimal. Despite the strides made by the gaming community in addressing bot-related challenges, the debate over the accuracy and significance of user figures continues. The recent spike in activity observed in the casual pixelated MMORPG and farming game Pixels adds another layer to this discussion.
DappRadar data indicated virtually zero users for Pixels in October, but on October 30, following a migration to Axie Infinity’s Ethereum sidechain, Ronin, the game experienced a surge, with nearly 6,000 UAWs connecting. From November 6 to 10, Pixels saw approximately 50,000 unique active wallets connecting to its platform, although this peak has since subsided according to DappRadar. Axie Infinity co-founder Jeffrey “Jiho” Zirlin claimed that Pixels had surpassed 100,000 daily active users, challenging the reliability of reported figures.
The release of DappRadar’s report coincided with a broader social media discussion on the value and accuracy of such metrics, raising questions about whether these figures genuinely reflect the demand for blockchain games. While the report indicated that gaming constituted 33% of decentralized app (Dapp) activity in the past month, the challenge remains in distinguishing between legitimate human users and blockchain bots in the rapidly evolving landscape of crypto-enabled gaming.