While the sweet spot for L2s has been DeFi, Arbitrum took the initiative to expand beyond this to GameFi when it launched Arbitrum Nova in August 2022.
Now, the largest L2 protocol has made headlines for its partnership with Covalent and for overtaking Ethereum for transactions. However, other less publicized developments have been brewing among the game devs and GameFi projects of the protocol. TreasureDAO, which dominates Arbitrum GameFi with its ecosystem of games, has expanded from 2 to 6 games in a year, growing its community in the process. The unique advantages of Artbitrum over other L2s have also come into focus when we look at the web3 gaming data from this chain.
To discuss GameFi on Arbitrum, Footprint Analytics held a space with Juanzie of Web3 Academy DAO, YellowPanther, marketing lead at Tales of Ellerea, and JD from HandleFi.
What Makes Arbitrum Good for Game Developers?
Arbitrum has several primitives that provide advantages compared to Optimism, according to Juanzie.
“The great thing about Arbuitrum is the support of smart contracts. Optimism has faster processing times, and Arbitrum lags a bit behind, but that’s because it’s using the mainnet to do everything on the transactions, as Optimism isn’t,” he said.
“But because of that, for developers, it uses more smart contracts. Based on that, you can use more capabilities off smart contracts, which is one of the reasons you have more games jumping to Arbiturm as a Layer 2.”
While Optimism briefly overtook Arbitrum for TVL several months ago, the latter has since regained its lead.
The protocol is unique in its product-led growth within the blockchain space, said JD.
“The product has spoken for itself. It’s just been a really quality place to scale and build a Defi application, and it’s happened organically,” he said. “Whereas when you look at the Avalanches and Solanas and BSCs of the world, they’ve had to hinge their entire strategy on marketing and bringing institutional liquidity to drive project development.
The sharp increase in TVL for Optimism was caused by the introduction of quests as the protocol’s second airdrop. However, once Optimism dropped the quests, transactions dropped overnight. Now, there is talk of an Arbitrum airdrop as well. Will it suffer the same fate as Optimism?
Junazie says it’s just a part of the market. “As soon as the airdrop, the hype is in, and people want to buy, sell , make profit, then you’ll have a drop in transactions. So yes, I think the same thing will happen, though not to the same extent as Arbitrum is bigger.”
What Web3 Gaming Developers Can Learn from Treasure DAO
Treasure DAO is a decentralized DeFi/NFT ecosystem built for metaverse projects on Arbitrum. They all use one token, Magic, around which they all build their gameplay and lore. There are 6 games so far.
A significant portion of the community from Treasure DAO goes to Arbitrum as most of its games are hosted on the chain.
“It’s one of the strongest communities in terms of gaming that I’ve seen,” said YellowPanther. “There’s a lot of DeFi elements, but there are more and more games that are more like games. Its goal is to become the Nintendo of Web3, and I personally believe the community is super-strong.”
In just one year, Treasure went from a small community with just 2 games to the largest gaming ecosystem on Arbitrum. An impressive achievement.
Total Users by Game – Arbitrum
“One of the interesting things with Treasure is how they’re vertically integrated all elements needed to have a Gamefi ecosystem,” said JD. “At the base layer you have the liquidity with the Magic token. Around that, you have an NFT marketplace, denominated again in that token. And then, on top of that, you have the games that they called ‘cartridges’, and those games are then rolling out and launching.”
While some of the games started off to a rocky start, they’re arguably improving as the ecosystem matures. “One of the challenges when there is no GameFi infrastructure on a new L2 like Arbitrum, is that you have to build these GameFi elements from scratch, and Treasure DAO has done that.”
One of the key takeaways is the potential for other projects like Treasure which are game agnostic, that instead aim to build an ecosystem for all games on a chain.
This piece is contributed by the Footprint Analytics community.
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