Our recent work titled “Towards Understanding Player Behavior in Blockchain Games: A Case Study of Aavegotchi” is accepted by the 17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG 2022).
Blockchain games introduces unique gameplay and incentive mechanisms by allowing players to be rewarded with in-game assets or tokens through financial activities. In practice, however, most blockchain games are not comparable to traditional games in terms of lifespan and player engagement. In this paper, we try to see the big picture in a small way to explore and determine the impact of gaming campaigns and financial factors on player activity in blockchain games. Taking Aavegotchi as an example, we collect nearly one year of operation data to build a player profile. We perform an in-depth analysis of player behavior from the macroscopic data and apply an unsupervised clustering method to distinguish the attraction of the gameplay and incentives. Our results reveal that the whole game is held up by a small number of players with high-frequent interaction or vast amounts of funds invested. Based on the analysis, we admit that finance factors are indispensable for blockchain games for they provide attraction and optional ways for players to engage with the game. However, we discover the fact that financial services are tightly linked to the free market and can be easily affected. When the market experience depression, the game will face a more severe and irreversible loss of players than it would otherwise. We affirm that, for blockchain games, well-designed gameplay should be the fundamental basis for the long-lasting retention of players.
The International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) is an interdisciplinary conference on technology used to develop digital games, and the study of digital games and their design. At FDG, academics can present their work to a diverse audience, share new ideas, and find collaborations with different backgrounds.
This work is supported by y2z Ventures. Mr. Rongqi Tao, the founder of y2z Ventures, is our collaborator for this paper. In memory of Mr. Tao.