Native blockchain gaming should put more focus on community than on tokenomics

Rug pull. 

If that word conjures an image of losing your balance while a carpeted floor covering is pulled out from beneath you, then that is probably how you might feel in the world of cryptocurrency. Except it’s a lot worse.

In the industry of crypto, a rug pull happens when a development team practically chooses to abandon a project. While this might seem like an inconsequential move, it actually has rather devastating effects. In essence, a rug pull leads to the sale or removal of the project’s liquidity.

Rug pull is a taboo phrase in the world of cryptocurrency. People like to avoid it with a ten-foot crypto pole, and that’s an understatement. In fact, I shouldn’t even be using that phrase within this article, especially since I have a project named Apollumia in the NFT space. Doing so would mean painting a target on my back or more specifically, on my project. But there is a giant virtual elephant in the crypto room and we need to address it.


Because there are genuinely great projects built on the backbone of creativity, transparency, and innovativeness. These are projects that truly want to offer something unique, while also providing a space for engagement, sometimes gaming, and often trading.

Let’s take for example the idea of ‘GameFi’, which is what several blockchain projects around. 

To put it simply, GameFi is an amalgamation of two terms; ‘game’ and ‘finance’. You might have already guessed where this is going. The concept is used for those blockchain games that offer financial rewards to the people who play them. We aren’t talking about some in-game currency that has no real-world value. We are talking about money. You know, the kind that helps you buy groceries or enjoy a meal.

The issue with GameFi isn’t the game aspect, but rather the finances that are built into the mechanics. Because several projects are too focused on the financial features of the game, and through that the returns they can expect from players, they don’t pay attention to the playability of their product. 

Games then take a hit when it comes to retaining their player base because in the end, they cannot offer enough replayability or gameplay loop to keep those players engaged. Moreover, this advertently affects the ‘Fi’ part, meaning the project’s returns go into the negatives. 

Eventually, the project suffers and the developers either cancel the game, look for more investment to try and hold on to their player base or worse, they perform a rugpull.

With games that focus on financial features, developers form entire teams to build the tokenomics, not realizing that players aren’t there for just the money. They truly want to enjoy a good game. 

The more such games fail, the more negative feedback is garnered by blockchain games in general, and the more genuine products suffer in the market.

But there seems to be a shift in people’s perspectives. It isn’t much, but it’s a start.

This particular shift isn’t happening because of bold claims or new features. Rather, it’s happening because of one key word; community.

The world is one large community, within which one can become part of hundreds of thousands (maybe even more) of smaller communities. Well, smaller in numbers compared to the population of the world. Within each of these communities, one can establish a sense of connection based on common interests.

Such connections are present within the space of gaming as well. You can find a community for plenty of your gaming interests, from fantasy adventures to specific titles that you are interested in. They allow you to engage, connect, strategize, and in most cases, simply enjoy playing something with others.

When most people think of gaming communities, they are probably thinking of those dedicated to the soulsborne genre. Alternatively, they might be into casual gaming, or monster collecting. They think about AAA franchises or indie titles, base-building or D&D based games.
More often than not, they don’t consider NFT based games.

This does not mean that blockchain gaming in general is a fairly alien concept. There are Discord servers that are dedicated to such games, but they are mostly a close-knit group of communities and you might never find in as large numbers as the communities of other non-NFT based games.

But building such social infrastructures is vital. There are several benefits to them.

Human experiences with social interactions

Why does a game become popular? Sure, you can always talk about the gameplay, innovation, and other features. However, you cannot downplay the value of a strong community. They talk about the game. They spread word about that game to other communities. It is through these virtual word-of-mouth marketing that you can see developers truly spread word of their creations to other people. At the same time, it builds a sense of authenticity. 

But the term authentic is a rather vague idea. There are various components that could make up that term.

Personally, I feel as though there are three key components to build authenticity.

1- The overall look and feel of the game

This factor decides how people approach your game. Is it in a post-apocalyptic setting? Then make sure the game does well to incorporate that feeling. Players have expectations that was initially created by the developer, and it is the developers responsibility to have a solid foundation for the look and feel of the game.

2- The immersive storytelling experience

When you are creating a huge world, then you need to pay attention to the lore behind it. A lot of developers feel as though story isn’t important, but when you have players engaging with your game and they are hungry to delve deeper into its world, a story allows them to fill in the blanks of ideas they may have about the different components of the game. For example, they might want to know more about the characters, locations, abilities, enemies, and so on. To be fair, storytelling might not always be necessary. For example, if you are engaging with a casual game, then you aren’t exactly expecting a deep lore. However, if one is building a world, then it helps to give plenty of opportunities for players to explore it.

3- Overall controls and gameplay of the game

Building a game is just one part of the equation. The other part is the gameplay itself. The gameplay decides how players approach the game. Does it really need to be complex? How easy is it for players to access its features? What is the learning curve to master the mechanics? 

It’s really not about how simple or difficult the gameplay and the controls are. Rather, it’s about what fits the overall idea. 

Let me give you an example. If you are developing a base-builder with an economy system, then you are more than likely going to add layers of complexity to the core gameplay. That kind of feature is what the players expect, since they want to make complex decisions on the world, economy, resources, alliances, and so on. But let’s say you are building a looter-shooter. You don’t really need too many features and intricacies. You just need to show the player where to go, who to shoot, and how to get that sweet, sweet upgrade. 

However, all of the above features compile into one huge feature.

Social interactions.

If you are developing a game that is, at its foundational premise, a multiplayer game, then it’s important to improve the social elements of the game. This means, players can have a chance to engage with other players, either through cooperative features or through challenges, where they get to face off against each other in the game. It also isn’t just about people connecting with each other, but to the game itself, through the characters, story, and ideas.

All of this creates a fantastic social ecosystem, which is also a vital component of the game’s engagement.


Ask yourself this; why are communities built?

One of the reasons you might come up with is the idea that they share a common interest, belief, or topic of discussion, which are three factors that make up a good foundation to build a community for a game.

But it isn’t just enough to create a community. That’s the easy part. The challenge arrives when it is time for the developers to build trust. When you have a community without trust, then you aren’t going to hear their true ‘voice’. This is the voice that compels them to engage with you as you build your game, allowing you to get them excited about the final product or market your ideas effectively.

Without trust, all you will have left is an echo chamber, where you are only going to speak with no one to respond. That’s not conducive to a healthy game development journey.

A developer with the right vision understands that a community is player-focused, which is a win-win for both the players and the developers. This is something explored in the next point.


In a lot of ways, games need support, whether in the form of beta test players or for feedback. It isn’t difficult reaching your goal online, where you can put out a version of the game and then have people play it, offering their feedback at the end of the experience. However, it’s far better to build a community. This allows you to truly have people who will give honest opinions about your game. They want you to succeed, so they will support you in numerous ways. Of course, this means that you have the huge responsibility of taking care of the support that they offer you.

No developer, big or small, should ever take advantage of the support provided by the community, in whatever form it appears. This means being honest to them about your product, maintaining their expectations, and delivering on your promises.

Eventually, you get to release a product that players are eager to engage with. Your approach to the community has allowed you to gain a large player base.

Final Thoughts

There is definitely a growing discourse on how blockchain games can reach a wide audience. Social media is definitely the first choice by many developers. After all, with just a Facebook or Twitter account, you are able to reach thousands, and maybe even hundreds of thousands of people. 

However, there is still nothing as powerful as a community. There is nothing that trumps honest and genuine connection with the people who are going to engage or purchase your product. There is something exemplary about connecting to others. That connectivity is why I believe that communities are a vital component of any blockchain gaming experience. That’s what we are trying to do for Apollumia as well.