How we should build the future of GameFi

You’ve seen it before. An amazingly talented gaming founder teams up with a top-tier studio, promising to create a wondrous game experience built on the industry’s most powerful engines. But then, it happens: It’s paired with a dubious shitcoin that launches well before even a morsel of game content drops.

In the not-so-distant past, mainstream media may have referred to the hype-fueled crypto bull market — but, with Bored Ape floor prices still in the clouds, we’ll respectfully call it what it is: the monkey run. Market volatility aside, Metaverse evangelists still claim that Web3 finance will revolutionize the way that games monetize. I call BS.

The focus right now is not on new monetization models. The only thing these token raises are challenging is the idea of capital formation — not monetization. However tempting, the monkey run has quickly deluded some of our brightest founders into believing that they should raise a nonsensically large amount of capital from tokens printed out of thin air, as a faulty substitute for a real monetization strategy.

We’re ready for a change of mindset. The critical question is this: how can we make the hyper-capitalized, hyper-hyped Web3 Metaverse project work — for gamers, for founders, and for investors?

The most important thing you can do as a gaming founder in Web3 is to stay focused on improving your game. Tokens cannot make your game — but they can break it.

The right priorities for a sustainable GameFi future

The unique value of gaming and metaverse applications is not the token they circulate. Project value is created by revenues which, in the long run, spawn from unique, in-game digital assets. When these NFT-based assets are owned, experienced and understood by a community, value builds and builds — otherwise stated, the community’s unwillingness to sell increases.

I’m excited for the day when this model becomes the status quo — because it means we’ll be closer to the best Web3 games we’ve ever seen. Instead of the market rewarding short-term bag grabs, we’ll see superior gameplay and tokenomics wrapped into one gaming ecosystem built for the long term.

Engagement, retention, then monetization. Optimize for those things, in that order. Choose the right path.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Alex Ye leads Republic Crypto’s early-stage research, investments, and token economics strategy — helping secure and advance cutting-edge projects for Republic Crypto’s advisory portfolio. Before Republic Crypto, Alex drove fintech and blockchain investments at ZZ Capital, crypto fund research at $7 billion venture fund Top Tier Capital Partners, and at the endowment of the University of Chicago, his alma mater.