Amid a drastic drop in coin prices, changing player behavior, and difficult tokenomics to maintain, it’s been a tough year for many GameFi developers. While more established franchises like Axie Infinity have held their own, other lesser-known projects like Elexir have mostly gone offline, as the lack of viable game designs can’t make up for the “Fi” element in GameFi.

That being said, a project that, despite facing all the challenges experienced by its peers, seems to have gained ground anyway. In early February, the blockchain multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Superpower Squad (SPS) surpassed 200,000 downloads on the App Store and Google Play. The game was previously released in December 2022 and passed the 100,000 download milestone in mid-January.

Superpower Squad game poster (Source: SPS)

SPS features up to 20 players competing on the app in a five minute combat experience. Players can earn heroes from non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and create digital wallets directly in-game to receive and transfer rewards, with no prior crypto experience required. The game took almost three years to perfect before the developers said it lived up to its quality of gameplay. According to SPS’s chief game architect, who wished to be identified as Pony, the team faced quite a few challenges during that time:

“Compared to other projects in the industry, game development is a much more regenerative track that is particularly time, effort, and money consuming. Superpower Squad has nearly finished all of its functional development, with a self-funding of only $3 million. But be In this crypto winter, the entire industry is finding it difficult to meet its funding needs and becoming more secretive about its options.”

Pony explained that despite finalizing investment deals with “several major institutions,” the foundation rounds were put on hold after “two black swan events” hit the cryptocurrency industry last year. Additionally, the game’s developer said that funding became difficult as a subset of bad actors had tarnished the reputation of the entire industry.

“After Axie Infinity became popular, the market started to corner GameFi products. We have seen junk GameFi projects in large numbers, and most of them had little or no gaming experience, and some even had just one book. After the rise of GameFi, some of these projects died out or were renamed because it was too difficult to develop a good GameFi project and people didn’t realize it would require a lot of time and money. crash right after the first wave of GameFi”.

As told by Pony, SPS hit the market just at the time when sentiment was at its lowest point. “We faced a lot of bias from organizations and many of them refused to introduce our project to users,” she said. “Therefore, we are grateful to the partners who supported us, such as Kucoin, OKX, and BNB Chain, and their support throughout this time.”

Superpower Squad gameplay (Source: SPS)

Since its launch, SPS has already created its own marketplace for in-game NFTs and listed its namesake token, SQUAD, on KuCoin. For the next steps, Pony says that the development team will complete the rental feature for their marketplace. “In this way, users who have a large number of NFTs can rent them to earn income, and users who do not have enough money to buy them can earn by renting them.” The game currently has around 42,000 on-chain transactions per day and a daily active user count of 4,400, with over 44,000 in-game wallets created.

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