I’ve moved from web2 to web3 marketing: here’s what I have learnt.
As the gaming industry evolves, so do the skills and knowledge required to succeed. Moving from web2 gaming to web3 can be challenging as the learning curve is steep on many fronts. As someone who has recently made this transition, I wanted to share what I’ve learned to help others who are considering the same move.
The first significant difference between web2 and web3 gaming is community. In web3, community is central to all efforts and exposed to how project is built very early on. Many of community members are owners of the project’s NFTs, which makes them even more invested in its future and what’s being built. This is different from web2 marketing where projects are often built in stealth mode until the big global launch campaign gets launched a few weeks before.
Platforms like Twitter and Discord are essential for web3 community building, while in web2 community is more spread out across other platforms such as Instagram or TikTok depending on what the core target audience is.
News cycles are fast: your strongest believers will become the project’s biggest advocates when you launch a new initiative, but they will quickly expect to see “the next big thing”. You need a frequent cadence of announcements to keep the engagement up long before the project launches. Having a strong community early on is the backbone of every project and an indicator of its future success.
Another key difference is discoverability. In web2 marketing mobile apps are centered around the App Store and Google Play. In web3 it is a lot more fragmented. There is no single go-to place where people can discover, review, and access all web3 games. Many platforms such as DappRadar or MetaverseGo are striving to connect web3 gaming projects. NFT marketplaces are also trying to get into gaming, which might make them key competitors to these platforms in the future.
Being in as many places as possible seems to be the strategy for now, but it’s likely that one clear winner will emerge over time.
USER ACQUISITION (UA)
In early project stages, especially when the project is not globally live, acquisition is very organic and focused on community-building and partnerships. The lines between community and partnerships are often blurred in web3 because many collaborations, especially during the game pre-launch phase, are related to Twitter Spaces, AMAs, NFT giveaways, influencers, guild collaborations and competitions, all of which are often executed on social media platforms.
When the project is live and ready to be scaled, more traditional web2 marketing starts coming into play with test UA campaigns across different networks and regions to:
- Check the technical readiness
- Look at retention and player behaviour
- Test monetisation by opening up to certain Tier 1 countries
- Scale and optimise based on ROI
That’s also the right time to invest in large-scale partnerships with brands, collections, platforms, and other gaming partners. There is a huge opportunity when it comes to interoperability as NFT ownership means that people can connect their wallets and bring on-chain assets from one game to another. This opens up a whole new layer of ownership that was not possible in web2 gaming.
Coming from a very data-driven background, I see a lot of room for growth in web3 when it comes to analytics and user insights. As far as I know, there is no one tool or platform that can combine traditional gaming metrics such as CVR, DAU and retention with demographics and wallet analytics or on-chain asset analytics.
Certain platforms like Dune are emerging as powerful and flexible tools to create and share web3 dashboards, but many companies are still building, so robust intelligence platforms such as Data.ai or Sensor Tower in web2 are yet to emerge.
Web3 brings enormous economy design opportunities into gaming, but also new challenges. With on-chain assets in games, developers need to design the economy in a way that doesn’t alienate web2 players and makes the game accessible. The goal is to remove web3 entry barriers, at the same time leveraging the potential that web3 brings with asset ownership and making people feel like they’re a part of the project on a much deeper level.
Many companies like Stardust, Recur, and Sequence are building tech and infrastructure for smooth onboarding and scalability of web3 games which might lead to strong networking and cross-promotion opportunities for projects within their ecosystems.
Beyond onboarding, games need to have strong retention and in-game incentives for people to hold NFTs as opposed to seeing it as a short-term financial gain that brought down games such as Axie Infinity that was initially so popular.
Ultimately the industry is moving at lightspeed, and what is considered the benchmark this week might not be at all the next. On top of that, big seismic events such as the fall of FTX or the emergence of Bitcoin Ordinals can cause large industry shifts that we would not see on such a frequent basis in web2. The closest web2 equivalent is the IDFA depreciation and the industry was preparing for it for months.
In conclusion, the worlds of web2 and web3 will converge at some point, but for now, the differences are vast. The web3 gaming industry is an exciting space, full of opportunities. As it continues to evolve, it’s essential to keep learning and adapting to stay ahead. Companies that will succeed in creating inclusive, seamless ecosystems will win in this space.
I’ve moved from web2 to web3 marketing: here’s what I have learnt. was originally published in Mighty Bear Games on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.