Bandai Namco, the Japanese gaming giant known for gaming hits such as Elden Ring, Pac-Man, and Tekken, is intensifying its focus on mobile blockchain gaming for the Asian market.
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Web3 gaming has less stigma in the East
In a candid interview with Decrypt at the Esports and Gaming Business Summit in Las Vegas, Bandai Namco’s SVP of Corporate Development, Karim Farghaly, projected a blockchain-dominant future for gaming in Asia.
Farghaly revealed his company is researching how to build a Web3 infrastructure. His insights stem from close collaboration with a Tokyo-based team, dissecting the variances in Web3 reception between Western and Asian markets:
“Web3 is definitely something that doesn’t have the backlash that gamers feel in the West in Asia.”
The sentiment mentioned by Farghaly forecasts a pioneering role for Asia in embracing Web3 and crypto-based games.
Contrasting the West, Asia displays less stigma and more vibrancy in blockchain gaming. Japan and Korea, for instance, are hotbeds for blockchain game development. “There’s just more going on there,” Farghaly observed.
Gaming companies eager to join Web3
Despite global Web3 skepticism, prominent IPs are venturing into this space, a trend that surprises even Farghaly. Bandai Namco’s strategy aligns with this shift. The company, akin to Sega, partnered with blockchain firm Double Jump.Tokyo for game development.
Bandai Namco invests in Ryuzo
This summer marked a milestone with Bandai Namco’s launch of “Ryuzo”, an AI-powered virtual pet game. Players can own Ryu creatures as NFTs, existing on the Oasys blockchain, a platform in which Bandai Namco, alongside Sega and Ubisoft, has invested.
“Our VC fund in Japan has invested in a couple Web3 companies,” Farghaly mentioned, citing Oasys, Double Jump.Tokyo, Gaudiy—a Web3 community platform, and Genies, an NFT wearables company.
Farghaly believes blockchain games hold a unique allure, particularly for “whales” of the gaming world:
“Owning a digital asset, and the ability to trade that asset, sell that asset, keep that asset for a very long time… I think is very interesting to gamers, especially gamers that tend to spend in games,”
Web3 gaming adoption will occur through mobile
Mobile gaming, according to Farghaly, will likely spearhead this blockchain integration. He envisions a synergy between mobile gaming and Web3, accelerated by the support of iOS and Google for asset portability and minting:
“So mobile probably is a little bit ahead, and PC will have it, but PC without multi-platform is just PC. And at the end of the day, that’s probably not where we’re looking at our audience,”
As the gaming world pivots, Bandai Namco’s foray into blockchain gaming underlines a broader industry trend, especially in Asia. The coming years may well witness a paradigm shift, with blockchain technology becoming the standard rather than the exception in gaming.