I ran into David Bennahum, CEO of Ready Games, at the 3XP Web3 gaming event last week in Pasadena, California. He told me in an interview that Web3 games that integrate blockchain wallets and NFTs currently offer a clunky user experience on mobile.
By relying on external wallet apps, for example, users would need to constantly switch on-and-off to perform basic actions in-game. Properly bridging Web2 games to Web3 was, so far, a complicated task that often compromised a game’s usability.
“With Polygon, we are launching something called the dApp Store kit. It’s basically a turnkey solution for Web2 publishers to enter Web3 on mobile,” said Bennahum. “It’s a method by which mobile publishers can provision their own app store for Web3 players.”
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With this integration, Ready Games is making a Web3-specific game development toolkit available for dApp Store Kit, a community-led initiative to enable anyone to launch fully fledged dApp Stores, Bennahum said.
Ready Games’ mobile game development toolkit offers a one-stop shop for integrating all the necessary pieces of Web3 on-chain support. This includes integrated wallets, on-chain user profiles, on-chain interaction and a full dApp Store frontend stack to help easily launch successful Web3 games.
Ready Games is primarily targeting the large niche of free-to-play games and communities. Alongside the deployment of the development toolkit, Ready Games will also launch its own dApp Store based on the dApp Store Kit.
“It’s creating this method for a game publisher to run their own independent Web3 mobile app store on Android,” Bennahum said.
(Apple doesn’t allow alternative stores on its iPhones at the moment).
The initial studios in the Ready Games dApp Store include CIMU games, IDC Games, Minijuegos, Aeria Games Canada and ToroFun, said Christina Macedo, COO of Ready Games, in an interview with GamesBeat. Collectively, those companies have more than 2500 games with 80 million cumulative monthly active users (MAU).
These large Web2-native publishers are expected to migrate their existing successful titles into Web3 by utilizing Ready Games’ techstack and the dApp Store Kit, all deployed on Polygon protocols as their blockchain scaling solution of choice.
Decentralized dApp Stores are one of the key paths for Web3 gaming mainstream adoption. Centralized app stores have by now turned into full-on monopolistic gatekeepers, often engaging in censorship, and taking a large cut of any in-game transaction, Bennahum said.
dApp Store Kit is designed to break the monopoly and help Web2 games find better monetization and engagement with Web3.
“Gaming is a critical focus area for the Web3 ecosystem, and dApp stores represent an innovative way forward in driving improved user experience and engagement,” said Ravikant Agrawal, director of growth at Polygon Labs, in a statement. “By leveraging decentralized application stores, gamers can enjoy a seamless and secure experience while also contributing to the growth of the Web3 community.”
The beta release of Ready Games’ Web3 Mobile Game Development Kit. The beta kit as well as the dAppStore alpha are expected to debut in mid-June.
“The integration of Ready Games’ SDK into the dApp Store Kit is a monumental step towards making Web3 gaming accessible to billions of mobile gamers worldwide,” said Macedo. “By prioritizing a player-focused approach, we’re not only bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3 but also shaping the future of gaming by fostering innovation, engagement, and rewarding experiences.”
“By harnessing the power of Ready’s cutting-edge Web3 gaming technology in conjunction with the robust dApp Store Kit, we are poised to reshape the landscape of mobile gaming,” Bennahum said. “This integration paves the way for a new era of immersive and decentralized gaming experiences that will drive mass adoption of Web3 technology.”
The dApp Store Kit is an open-source, community-powered tech stack, incubated by Polygon Labs and currently led and maintained by Meroku, a decentralized app store protocol and other community members, that gives developers a decentralized framework for successfully deploying EVM-compatible dApp stores and the ability to set their own rules for monetization, branding, distribution, curation, and governance. The mission is to effectively scale Web3 by giving new and existing users a safe and easy way to browse and discover new dApps on desktop and mobile.
Ready Games has a user base of over two million monthly active wallets (MAW). Ready Games has raised $11 million over the years from investors such as Comcast Ventures. And Ready Games has 13 people.
It embarked on its blockchain game strategy in the spring of 2021.
Keeping in compliance with platforms
Bennahum noted that his company’s solution enables both Google and Apple to be paid their 30% cut for in-app purchases. To buy NFTs in the games supported by Ready Games, players will make payments to buy in-game currency through Apple or Google. Then they use those coins to buy the NFTs. That ensures that Apple or Google get paid.
The transaction also has to happen inside the game, not on a website away from the game.
This means that Web2/Web3 game companies can be in compliance with app store rules. Ready Games is also different from other companies when it comes to wallet integration, Macedo said. In this case, the wallet for the transactions is inside the game. This is one reason why Polygon partnered with Ready Games, Bennahum said.
As an example, a player might want to craft a new NFT rifle inside a deer hunting game. But if the player doesn’t have a wallet for the transactions, they will have to create a wallet. The user will have to type in a long passphrase to access a non-custodial wallet. When they complete the wallet creation, they confirm the transaction, which happens on the blockchain.
“This is the actual like method by which you take a regular player and bring them into Web3,” Bennahum said. “And so there you go. The player has their wallet now and they can purchase that NFT rifle.”
At the time of that sale, Apple immediately gets its share of the proceeds. If someone resells a game item to another player, the transaction has to happen in game. In that case, the appropriate parties get a cut of the resale. If items are sold outside the game, then there is more risk the platform owners will crack down on it. At least that’s what has to happen for the time being.
“We’ve all understood that the players are ready for Web3,” Bennahum said. “In-game transactions makes them feel secure and they just want to play, have fun and not have to take on anything else. They don’t want to think about creating a wallet outside of the game or sharing too much public information for essentially just playing a game.”
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