Interview: KAP Games on Web3 distribution, development, and publishing

Colin Campbell, Tuesday, August 15th, 2023 9:59 am

KAP Games is a distribution and publishing platform that can best be described as a kind of Steam for Web3 browser and mobile games.. It is currently listing more than 50 games including a number of first party titles, such as Brawl of Fame.

It also serves as a support and advisory service to Web3 developers and publishers, offering blockchain community and marketing services.

“Users can come to our platform, and they can onboard extremely quickly in a way that’s not normally associated with Web3 games,” says the company’s head of partnerships, Alexei Udall. “With our platform, we make it as easy as jumping onto Netflix. We want people to be able to arrive and start playing games within seconds.”

He says third party partners are responding to this desire to simplify onboarding. “All games are different and they might have different wallet or NFT requirements. But we’re seeing a lot of games make their onboarding process much more streamlined.”

Mobile growth

KAP Games is planning to offer PC client downloads for games, but at the moment, the most significant growth is happening in the mobile space. “Mobile and Web3 were built for each other, perhaps even more than in the Web2 era. Traditionally, mobile games are good at attracting new players, some of them go on to spend a lot of money and become super users, and that’s a model I think we are seeing in blockchain gaming.”

He adds: “That kind of broad appeal, as well as core gamers who are invested, is also appealing to big brands who are interested in Web3 gaming, and who want to offer compelling interactive experiences. Over the next year we’re going to see a lot of famous brands moving into this space, because they want to leverage this technology to make really exciting experiences that don’t currently exist within gaming. I’m talking about using NFTs across gaming and real world entertainment, like ticketing or theme park scenarios.”

Although Web3 gaming has many detractors, as well as a patchy track record in these early years, Udall says the technology is beginning to find wider acceptance. “People are used to owning items inside games. The difference now is that they really own them, in a way that can be monetized.

“I’m not saying that everyone who plays blockchain games is going to make money from digital items. Some will simply enjoy owning their items, just as they do with real world collectibles, while others will make occasional trades and make a few dollars here or there.”

Crypto association

He adds: “I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that Web3 games need to be profitable for the players. That’s an unfortunate misconception that probably came about because of the whole association with crypto. What I think we’re going to see more of, is users not really being able to differentiate between a game being blockchain or not.

“The idea of collectible items is something that we’ve seen throughout centuries of human society. The idea that we can record the ownership of an item and have ownership within a digital environment adds a really exciting dimension to the play experience.

“Blockchain just adds another level of viability to the play experience, which is only just starting to be realized by developers and by players. We’re going to see a lot of innovation over the next few years, but for most players, it will feel natural. At this point, I’m confident that blockchain gaming has demonstrated that it’s here to stay.”

Part of KAP Games’ confidence stems from the company’s work to align games with one another, encouraging cross-play between games. “We’re already seeing games that allow holders of NFTs from within a whole diverse group of other blockchain games, to take their assets and play against communities of other games,” says Udall. “This kind of interoperability is something that we don’t see much in Web2 games, but it’s always been part of the blockchain vision, and we’re seeing a lot of exciting progress.”

For now, the market is mainly dominated by “hyper-casual” games, but Udall is looking forward to big-budget productions coming to platforms like KAP Games. “I love hyper-casual games, but I personally like to play AAA games as well, and the ideas that we’re seeing in this space right now will translate to these huge, famous productions, and will change gaming forever.”

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell has been reporting on the gaming industry for more than three decades, including for Polygon, IGN, The Guardian, Next Generation, and The Economist. © 2024 | All Rights Reserved.