The concept of blockchain gaming, although gaining steam, progresses mostly in stops and starts. While users seem to love the concept, the execution has been lacking. Blockchain games rarely fit the definition of a ‘game’ rather than simply an NFT-based collection of game avatars. Genopets may be poised to break out of this dynamic with their recent launch, combining aspects of successful traditional games to create a more fleshed-out idea that features actual gameplay. Harnessing the artists at Concept Art House, Genopets use the NFT-as-avatar approach, but with stark differences.
Those differences have paid off in the short term with the value of Genopets’ GENE token nearly doubling on their first day of trading. Successful gaming launches often generate a considerable amount of hype within the blockchain space – but the difficult task ahead lay in maintaining a strong user base. Axie Infinity has done just that with a similar build, suggesting that Genopets alternate reality approach may keep players engaged over time.
What is Genopets?
Genopets is an alternate reality MMORPG on the Solana blockchain. Users mint their customized, personal Genopet as an NFT and enhance their abilities through wearable integration. Users can integrate their wearable health technology, including Fitbits and smartwatches, to earn $KI rewards. KI serves as an in-game currency to advance pets, purchase in-game items and engage in battle mechanics.
The game uses time-tested Pokemonesque features to allow players to strengthen their Genopet and battle against others in an entirely blockchain-based environment. In a sense, Genopets is descended from the cultural phenomena of Pokemon Go – encouraging users to “move-to-earn,” by getting the user out of the house and going for a walk to earn greater rewards.
The Pitfalls of Blockchain Gaming
In the same sense that mobile gaming has skewed towards egregious microtransactions and shallow gameplay, blockchain gaming has often failed to escape from game-of-chance mechanics. Gambling-based games are simple to code and require a much smaller team, while often reaping high profits. As such, the maturation of the blockchain gaming space stagnated until the recent cycle.
Moving forward, games like Axie and Genopets offer a more gameplay-based approach to the situation, which will hopefully displace the blatant cash grab crypto-casinos of previous cycles. Even CryptoKitties, the infamous progenitor of NFT based collectibles, served as more of a digital art gallery than any true game.