Move-to Earn, a protocol that tracks user movements via geotracking and rewards physical activity, gained widespread recognition last May, surpassing GameFi in search interest. However, the genre is basically just Solana’s two projects of hers, Walken and her STEPN. Although the premise of the two games is similar, their approach to tokenomics, gameplay, and design differ.
GameFi has had many copycat projects in the bull market. One successful project spawned dozens of carbon copies in hopes of replicating its success. So, despite having only two representative projects, the M2E space is characterized by relative originality. The genre also offers innovative and really fun applications of blockchain technology.
By examining the on-chain activity within Walken and STEPN, we can begin to analyze what works in this genre and what kinds of features we expect to emerge and succeed in the future.
GameFi project timing issues
STEPN launched before the peak of the bull market and, in hindsight, became a successful victim overnight. When ETH rebounded in April, its market cap increased significantly.
All cryptocurrency projects are ultimately tied to macroeconomic conditions, and just like altcoins collapsed in spring 2022, so did STEPN. Denying GPS service for Chinese users made things worse.
The game’s functionality and UI have only improved since the first few months, but the market cap, activity, and token price have yet to recover.
Game developers are still active and appear to be discussing rollouts, but price charts are inevitable.It looks like a rug.
Trust is everything in the blockchain industry and is always linked to momentum that is hard to recover after a death spiral.
Walken was launched seven months after STEPN. It’s also Solana’s M2E game for her, although the design and gameplay are very different. As the market began to recover, Walken saw a surge in users and growth.
Walken’s growth compared to STEPN is not just an illusion caused by the sheer numbers of STEPN a year ago. Walken generated more search interest by riding the wave of optimism in the GameFi and Solana ecosystems, rather than getting bogged down in a recovery narrative. previous value.
This has led to much more positive trends in NFT trading volumes and token prices.
Both projects are sleek, mobile-first apps that gamify exercise, but GameFi is all about story and a fickle community. Negative narratives have been shown to blunt recovery, even if the death spiral was almost inevitable.
This data shows that the GameFi project’s token price and user activity are not a simple one-to-one correlation with the market. Timing is key and helps most users avoid catching a falling knife.
M2E projects need to activate users (pardon the pun)
Both STEPN and Walken scare new users when they first download.
In the author’s opinion, onboarding for STEPN is relatively intuitive, and the relationship between running shoes and running is more direct than the relationship between cartoon cats and walking.
I am not saying that STEPN is easy for crypto newbies. NFT quality, rarity, and mint are alien concepts. Additionally, the user will need to purchase an NFT in order to start playing. This is a major point of friction for those looking to gamify their daily jog instead of becoming an NFT trader.
Walken gameplay has many elements such as my berries, contests, clothing, different types of loot boxes, two-tier toquenomics (such as STEPN and most blockchain games). For those unfamiliar with blockchain games, it can be tough to dive into. However, Walken’s retention rate is much higher than his STEPN.
There is one important difference that serves as an explanation.
New users of Walken will automatically get a CAThlet when opening the app for the first time. The game then starts tracking steps on the user’s phone, leading to automatic daily rewards. The user can then go about her day and receive her GEM at the click of a button, furthering the gameplay at her own pace. Walken’s home screen may look intimidating, but this approach creates less friction than having users remember to buy her NFTs and manually incorporate the app into their daily routines. increase.
Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, but for now it’s clear which one will generate more DAUs.
Difficulty of GameFi analysis
Many crypto writers and analysts look like goldfish when short-term token price increases jump from one project to another every 8 seconds.
It is also easy to fall into a reductionist mindset. In this case, we would be reducing the price and activity of the above game for one or two reasons. Anyone trying to figure out GameFi right now is going through a house in the dark. No one knows what will happen next, which projects will explode or collapse. Analysis done in hindsight is always accessible and risk-free.
This article aims to show why timing and new user onboarding are important for M2E titles. Additionally, blockchain analysis tools like footprint analysis can reveal the relationship between them and the game’s key metrics.
Walken and STEPN take different approaches to M2E and face fundamentally different challenges to realize their vision. However, both project teams are among the strongest in cryptocurrency and are in constant communication with the community in good times and bad. With continuous updates and improvements, it is poised to set the direction for his M2E in the near future.
The Footprint Analytics community contributes to this work.
The Footprint Community is a place to help data and crypto enthusiasts around the world understand and gain insight into Web3, the Metaverse, DeFi, GameFi, or any other area of the budding blockchain world. Here you’ll find vibrant and diverse voices who support each other and move the community forward.
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