Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) associated with blockchain-based gaming raked in a whopping $2.3 billion in revenue in Q3 alone, according to a new report.

The research, released by the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) in collaboration with DappRadar, notes a rapid expansion of interest in the crypto gaming space, as evidenced by a surge in Google searches for “NFT games,” “play-to-earn,” and “blockchain games.”

DappRadar also records a 6,566% increase in daily unique active wallets (UAW) interacting with game-related smart contracts, exploding from 23,100 in Q3 of 2020 to 1.54 million daily in Q3 of 2021.

According to a survey that was incorporated into the report, driving the adoption of blockchain-based gaming was a desire for asset ownership to be part of the gaming experience. The report says that “85% of survey respondents agree that asset ownership is the most important advantage of blockchain games,” as the technology gives property rights and gives players “true ownership of their in-game assets.”

“An example of this played out in Chinese courts this year when Tencent, the largest video game publisher in the world, sued for US$6.2 million worth of damages for allowing players of Dungeon Fighter Online to trade in-game assets on their site.”

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While the new business model has obvious benefits for the users, the report also suggests that it is beneficial for developers and publishers, allowing them to earn revenue from the sales and trading of the in-game assets.

The report highlights how play-to-earn gaming adoption was especially accelerated during the Covid-19 lockdowns, where millions of people were forced to stay inside but still make an income.

“It has also had a significant impact on emerging economies, such as the Philippines and Latin America, where play-to- earn games such as Axie Infinity have become a source of income for players, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting job losses. The play-to-earn phenomenon attracted new users as well as mainstream media attention that put blockchain gaming’s potential in the spotlight.”

Besides Axie Inifinity (AXS), some of the top performing gaming cryptocurrencies of the last year include Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and Gala Games’ GALA.

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