The advent of Web3 technology has marked an era of transformation for digital entertainment, particularly in the gaming industry. Web3 brings with it a decentralized blockchain-based infrastructure that holds the potential to revolutionize the way games are developed, distributed, and played. Not only does it create a new paradigm for gaming experiences, but it also opens up new gamer-centered economic opportunities thanks to the use of crypto tokens and NFTs. 

How fascinating, then, that some of the biggest champions of this burgeoning gaming sector are found among the gaming industry establishment! Video gaming has truly entered its web3 era, and this article will look closer at this emerging ecosystem, noting the major players who could bring decentralized gaming into the mainstream

The Emergence of Web3 in iGaming

Until recently, it seemed that the iGaming sector would be the first one to fully exploit the potential of blockchain-powered and web3 gaming. A number of operators in the market have already begun accepting coins like Litecoin and Bitcoin as deposit and withdrawal methods for their casino games, while the play to earn sector itself has plenty in common with the real money gaming aspects of online gambling. 

However, there are more incumbent gaming companies venturing into the market than initially assumed. According to Coingecko, over 75% of the world’s leading gaming companies are entering the space. Seven studios are currently in the stages of developing in-house gaming experiences, while a further 22 of the named studios are investing into blockchain and web3 gaming development or have recruited for brand new roles in blockchain-related opportunities. 

An Overview of Web3 Gaming in 2024

Presently, the decentralized gaming sector is predominately made up of early-stage and indie projects. Most of the games fall into the RPG, action, strategy and casual genres, and they’re compatible with desktop and mobile devices. While there is a short supply of AA and AAA currently, there’s nevertheless a strong web3 presence on mainstream gaming platforms. Epic Games, for example, is a marketplace with several listings for games in the sector, most of which have been built with the Unity and Unreal Engine game engines. 

Polygon is the blockchain platform that supports the largest number of web3 gaming IP (followed by BNB then the Ethereum Mainnet), with 389 currently on the network, creating a market cap of $396,723,670. Most of the L2 gaming ecosystems currently in play are powered by Immutable, while Solana is also building a strong presence in the sector. 

Encouragingly, funding levels in the sector have not just picked up but also stabilized following the last crypto market bull run. According to, the total funding generated by the sector stood at $988 million in April 2024. 

The Big Name Web3 Pioneers

At the time of writing, there are seven major gaming studios with web3 projects on the go: Take-Two Interactive, Nexon, Bandai Namco, Konami Holdings, Krafton, Square Enix and Ubisoft. Each organization is also taking a different approach to the game’s being generated. Konami, which is the studio behind legendary games Yu-Gi-Oh! and Castlevania has announced that Project Zircon, a “co-creation experience” that utilizes blockchain tech will be set in the Castlevania Universe. 

Square Enix has positioned itself on the other end of the spectrum, partnering with Polygon to create a virtual experience that fuses gaming mechanics with fine art. Symbiogenesis is set in a fantasy continent in which players can unlock gameplay by holding collectible art in the form of NFTs. One of the loudest voices in support of decentralized gaming, Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu has stated that the company’s strategic mission is to now “aggressively apply blockchain and other advanced technologies” to futureproof content development and game publishing functionalities. 

While no mainstream web3 games are ready for market quite yet, the one most likely to be released first comes from the Ubisoft studio. The French publisher closed the first minting of its latest NFT-based game, Champions Tactics: Grimoria Chronicles, back in December 2023. Ubisoft, of course, has a stronger pedigree in web3 gaming having released Quartz back in 2021 and partnering with Immutable to further develop the network’s existing game portfolio. 

Meanwhile, a slew of web3 initiatives supported and championed by mainstream gaming brands means that even those who aren’t in the midst of developing new IP still have a considerably sized finger in the pie. Microsoft has made its interest in decentralized gaming very clear with a substantial investment in blockchain game producer WeMade, GameStop also made a foray into the space with a crypto wallet and NFT marketplace service from April 22 to August 24. Unity, meanwhile, has launched all-out support for the sector with its brand-new Decentralization category that features 13 verified web3 game development solutions. 

The potential for future growth doesn’t end there, however. Sony has just launched a patent application that will see the technology giant integrate blockchain technology and NFTs into its gaming ecosystem. In fact, the brand aims to become “backbone of global web3 infrastructure” before the decade is out.