Web3 games must focus on quality over tech hype to succeed, claims Aphone CBO

William Paul Peckham, chief business officer at APhone, recently sat down for an exclusive interview with crypto.news, offering his insights on the intersection of Web3 and the mobile gaming sector. 

Mobile gaming is booming. It’s a .74 billion market, commanding half of the global gaming industry. With the core appeal of the sector being accessibility and convenience, it has become a dominant force in the entertainment business.

But innovation never rests. Enter Web3, the game-changing catchall phrase promising decentralization, security, and true ownership of digital assets. With it comes the promise to empower players, giving them control over their in-game assets and creating new economic opportunities.

Yet, this revolution faces hurdles. Developers struggle with blockchain integration, and user adoption remains slow. 

So, what’s holding back Web3’s entry into mobile gaming? Peckham believes that the main barriers are restrictive app store policies and hardware limitations that hinder broader accessibility.

What are the main barriers to entry for new users in Web3 gaming, and what steps are being taken to simplify the onboarding process for a broader audience?

Hardware is probably the biggest one. We’re seeing plenty of AAA Web3 games hit the market or getting ready for launch. These games require a certain level of GPU spec to run, which means they are targeting a specific type of gamer. For the mobile gamer, there is now a rise in mobile Web3 games, but they’re accompanied by a misconception that to play these games, you need the latest iPhone or Samsung. It’s just not true. APhone lets anyone run Web3 games on even the most basic old smartphone for just a year, lowering the barriers in a major way. 

What challenges do mobile game developers face when integrating blockchain technology to support live, dynamic Web3 gaming environments, and how can these challenges be mitigated?

Players are naturally drawn to the allure of immersive graphics and gameplay experiences and seek the thrill of cutting-edge advancements. But, these elements are also a real problem when it comes to potentially limiting the available player market. Whereas many PCs can support these abilities, gamers – especially those in developing nations – simply don’t have the latest hardware. To ensure these players aren’t missing out on the action, it’s important for developers to be aware of solutions that can use the decentralized cloud to handle the CPU and graphics requirements so that players can log in regardless of the hardware device they own.

Given the current landscape of mobile gaming and its rapid growth, how can developers ensure that Web3 elements do not compromise the accessibility and user-friendliness that mobile gamers are accustomed to?

I think the key thing is to focus on the quality of the game and make the Web3 elements secondary. Not many players are choosing games because of NFTs or because they like a Web3 wallet design. They’re choosing games because they like the graphics, the premise sounds interesting, the lore is well-designed, and the gameplay is engaging. Also, if Web3 games require too much knowledge or too many setup steps, they’re going to alienate less technical players who just want to get straight into the game. 

How do you envision Web3 technologies altering the traditional revenue models in mobile gaming, particularly with the introduction of microtransactions and tokenization?

Incentives are key. Web3 has proven that if you design an intelligent incentive system, you can attract users and earn their loyalty. This is the complete opposite of mobile gaming, which traditionally has required users to pay to play, pay to unlock features, or basically spend to get beyond the freemium version. If mobile games were to instead incentivize their users rather than looking for ways to exploit them financially, they can tap into a whole new type of user and unlock a new wave of gamers. For all of this to be successful, however, we need to get past Apple and Google app stores, which aren’t amiable toward Web3 technologies, for the most part.

In what ways can Web3 mobile gaming platforms leverage blockchain technology to enhance security and trust, particularly in peer-to-peer transactions and the ownership of digital assets?

Gatekeeping and censorship are huge issues that stand in the way of a lot of innovation this is partly why we created APhone. The fact that app stores can delete apps or users that don’t align with arbitrary policies or some political change is a gross misstep. Web3 mobile games put the power to choose in the hands of the user. You are human, and you want to play a game. Why does it matter where you come from or if you can earn tokens from the game? The new internet is a more freeing place. I also think the transparency of interactions between players and the immutable nature of digital asset ownership will prove to be must-haves for players. Being able to store assets in your wallet on the blockchain means that even if something goes wrong with the game, like bugs, lags, freezes, or whatever, you still have the asset under your ownership and control.

How is APhone navigating these waters?

Unless Apple and Google change their policies on Web3 technology and crypto over the next years, I foresee a battle taking place between virtual cloud phones and Web3-enabled handsets. Our approach is to give developers more of an incentive to deploy apps and users more sovereignty over their data and abilities to access Web3 technology. APhone’s Web3 virtual cloud smartphone app is a more viable method of getting gamers into Web3 games, as they don’t need to buy a new device; they can just use their smartphone and access APhone through that. There’s no need for them to be concerned about hardware limitations based on their smartphone – they can leverage RAM and GPU via the cloud. 

Based on current trends, what are your predictions for the integration of Web3 technologies into mainstream mobile gaming over the next five years?

Mobile gaming has grown in popularity. In 2024, the mobile gaming market is projected to generate a revenue of US .74 billion worldwide, and mobile gaming makes up 50% of the global gaming market. The entire Web3 gaming market, regardless of console or device, is worth bn or so by comparison. So, over the next five years, Web3 is going to take a large percentage of that, but for it to work in this growing space, I see the need to make use of existing hardware instead of requiring people to buy new devices.

Tổng hợp và chỉnh sửa: ThS Phạm Mạnh Cường
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By Phạm Mạnh Cường

Phạm Mạnh Cường là một nhà đầu tư Tiền mã hoá và giảng dạy Blockchain ở Trường Đại học Kinh tế - Luật, Đại học Quốc gia Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam. Tác giả đã có bằng Thạc sĩ Khoa học máy tính từ năm 2011 tại Đại học Bách Khoa Hồ Chí Minh. Tính đến nay tác giả đã có kinh nghiệm 7 năm giảng dạy cho sinh viên về công nghệ Blockchain và 8 năm đầu tư trong lĩnh vực Tiền mã hoá từ 2016. Tác giả hiện sở hữu hàng nghìn bài viết tổng hợp, nhận định và chỉnh sửa về Tiền mã hoá và Tiền điện tử chất lượng trên Website và ở nhiều kênh khác.

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