Is Web3 Gaming Infested with Bots?
Over the past 2 years blockchain gaming has seen an exponential spike in both funding and engagement. Crypto games have supposedly amassed millions of players and Unique Active Wallet registrations in this time frame, with mainstream brands seeing dollar signs in reaction to this.
However, has this data been manipulated by the game’s and their development teams? Whilst it cannot be disregarded how far this sector of gaming has become, the decentralized nature may allow for a misrepresentation of data to bolster the overall metrics.
Let’s look further into this possibility and what governing bodies within Web3 have found out about the engagement amongst some of our favourite titles and projects.
What has been uncovered?
Currently an anti-fraud and bot service known as “Jigger” has been doing the rounds trying to work out how many people are actually playing these crypto esports games we have grown to love.
60 titles were analyzed and it appears that 40% of the registered users were actually bots. 200, 000 were found in each game, which is crazy considering the supposed amount of gamers these titles claim to have.
Games within the space have become free to play, meaning accounts can be made very easily to bolster the numbers. This can have adverse outcomes going into the future as it will become increasingly clear that games are not developing in popularity via social media and the money that is invested into games by supposed users.
Furthermore, single players can control multiple accounts at a time, further boosting user count. Going forward the metric’s of games that are published need to considered from all angles, factoring in circumstances like the above to get a true picture of a title’s popularity.
Whilst the average game on the researched list had a 40%, some titles such as AnRKey X had a recorded 80% of their player base being bots. Crypto gaming is still maturing, it’s not a good reading though as new players will be pumping money into these games and may come off worse due to the lack of maturation on these projects due to the misrepresentation.
Other aspects of Web3 were tested, such as tourism, asset exchanges (such as Binance review and Coinbase) and gaming platforms. Overall games on the Binance Blockchain (BNB), were recorded to be hit the worse overall. Games averaged at 70% of their users being bots.
How were these readings worked out?
The way that Jigger worked this out is quite simple. By simply working out who owned/setup which wallet, they were able to work out who owned multiple wallets in accordance with the project or service they were linked to.
Rather than recording them as a Unique Active Wallet per person, they were associated back to one user showing how engagement readings have been potentially misread.
“We take a list of token holders, put them on a graph, and link wallets using our algorithm,” – Jigger co-founder, Levan Kvirkvelia.
Going forward Jigger believes more measures should be implemented by games and Web3 service providers. Such as a selfie authentication process that eliminates users from creating/linking multiple wallets on one given project.
Other factors to consider
Whilst the readings we have been presented paint a clear picture of what has occurred, there are also the factors on the surface level we must consider, specifically social media.
It has never been easier for influencers and brands to fake their social media presence to ‘big themselves up’ and to gain hype. Whilst followers and likes can be bought it is clear to see when a company fakes their social presence through irregularities in their engagement. This is seen more times than not on Twitter, where most of the Web3 projects promote their brand and project updates.
Discord servers are also a way for updates and community engagement. If the server has a flock of bots taking up their user count, this can be easily seen with who is messaging and replying to message threads/channels.
Overall these findings may be concerning to newcomers and even seasoned veterans. Hopefully going forward we see more transparency from project leaders and how they go about promoting themselves.