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GameFi Projects Ranked: What to Play and What to Avoid!

By Michael @ CryptoEQ | CryptoEQ | 18 Aug 2022


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GameFi Rankings


  1. The Sandbox - SAND already has some immense partnerships created with giants such as Atari, Universal Music Group, and others. The metaverse is being actively developed by the world’s largest builders and has a much more favorable player count.

  2. Axie Infinity - AXS saw one of the highest daily player counts out of the game on this list but suffered immensely from the massive Ronin Bridge hack. Outside of the hack, AXS has a high barrier to entry compared to other metaverse/gaming titles but has had one of the highest rates of success in terms of player conversion.

  3. Enjin Coin - ENJ is providing what could be a multi-billion dollar solution for gaming titles in the near future. As more gaming developers wish to enter the blockchain / P2E space, ENJ will already have a solution to fast-track that process.
  4. Gala Games - Despite some tokenomics issues, Gala Games has one of the most sophisticated platforms that cater to pure gamers. Many gamers don't want to deal with blockchain mechanics openly or have it interfere with the gameplay, and Gala is doing a good job of offering that.
  5. Merit Circle - Has a sophisticated ecosystem model and already launched some well-renowned scholarship programs to bring in new gamers to GameFi. MC is ahead of YGG in terms of utility for its native token as it offers more of a platform where MC can be considered a medium of exchange.
  6. Flow - FLOW offers a highly sustainable blockchain network and has some of the most impressive NFT partnerships in the space. The gaming side of the blockchain is obviously lacking, however, so for users to bet on FLOW, they need to be betting on the value of art-style NFTs from major brands holding value long term—at least until true gaming titles emerge.
  7. Decentraland - MANA lags behind The Sandbox slightly but still offers a large metaverse with valuable LAND. Decentraland also benefits from a more favorable graphics package than The Sandbox.
  8. My Neighbor Alice - Out of all the blockchain games on this list, ALICE does the best job of appealing to non-blockchain gamers. The game model is simple yet refined, and it actually offers a level of gameplay that other titles don’t have.
  9. Gods Unchained - Unlike other titles on this list, Gods Unchained does have playability. The game is being developed, but it’s amassed a large player community of over 450,000 and fills a niche gaming category as a trading card title. Beyond this, however, growth may appear limited as the game itself hasn’t necessarily improved upon the style of game it is and could fall victim to copycat games.
  10. Otherside - BAYC is undoubtedly the king of NFTs, and with the successful testing of its metaverse concept, it could end up being a leader among metaverse protocols. Of course, graphics will be an issue while on the Ethereum blockchain, and the high degree of exclusivity will always limit its overall growth.
  11. Efinity - Efinity by itself offers lower fees and quicker transaction processing than that of its mainnet Enjin. For that reason, Efinity maintains a smaller market share and serves as a secondary solution for users to engage with outside of Polkadot.
  12. Illuvium - ILV has attracted a lot of attention and hype as players patiently wait for a full game launch. The reason it's low on this list is similar to other gaming titles this low: it has no playability. Those purchasing ILV and ILV-native NFTs are betting on the future of this title.
  13. Aavegotchi - While initially highly popular, Aavegotchi has no players and little playability. The main appeal of obtaining a ghost is for yield-generating as it gives users passive income over time.
  14. DeFi Kingdoms - DFK has been at the center of many controversies, but it still lives on as a protocol. The development team have been working diligently to add true playability to the game beyond just being a gamified DEX. Until this happens officially, DFK remains speculative along with Illuvium and Star Atlas.
  15. Star Atlas - ATLAS is another gaming title that has hype building behind it with no true proven product. With the game set to release sometime in 2022, long-time backers and eager players may finally get to interact with the game.
  16. Yield Guild Games - YGG is very similar to Merit Circle in a lot of ways, just with less overall utility. The DAO is more centered on the gamers joining and generating revenue for the DAO, acting more like a business than a GameFi protocol. This could lead it getting into trouble with regulators should they ever investigate the space.


Metaverse Protocols

The Sandbox (SAND)

The Sandbox is a virtual world platform where participants (players) can build, monetize, and own their own virtual experiences on the Ethereum blockchain through NFTs and the SAND token. The Sandbox itself is over a decade old, having previously released two mobile iterations called “The Sandbox” (2011) and “The Sandbox Evolution” (2016). Since then, the platform has successfully moved to a blockchain base in 2018.

The Sandbox is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, a $5.9 billion blockchain investment company that streamlines development and adoption for various projects. Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has continued to raise capital and invest in projects throughout the 2022 bear market. The company has placed its support behind many different upcoming blockchain gaming projects, NFT launches, and other digital assets. 

Key Features

The Sandbox features three main components:

  • VoxEdit Builder - A non-fungible token (NFT) builder for creating in-game assets

  • Marketplace - Where assets can be bought and sold amongst players

  • Game Maker Tool - Can create unique interactive games and experiences that can be shared with others

The Sandbox’s native token (SAND) is used on-chain to power many different activities for players. It serves as the medium of exchange for the ecosystem, powering marketplaces, facilitating transactions, and serving as a governance token for stakers.

SAND has a circulating supply of 3 million tokens and has routinely been a leader amongst similar projects in terms of total valuation and its market cap dominance versus other metaverse titles. In addition to the SAND token, there are four other assets:

  • LAND -  An NFT that represents a parcel of usable land within The Sandbox. There are just over 166,000 parcels of LAND with each representing a 96x96 meter plot.

  • ASSETS -  Virtual goods that can be traded on The Sandbox marketplaces.

  • GEMS - Burnable ERC-20 tokens that can give different attributes, qualities, or abilities to in-game ASSETS.

  • CATALYSTS - Burnable ERC-20 tokens are needed to mint new ASSETS that come with different power levels (more power, larger number of GEMS that can be associated with a particular ASSET).

Pros & Cons

The Sandbox has had fairly consistent positive LAND ownership growth regardless of overall market pressures. Since January 2020, LAND ownership on the platform has increased exponentially to over 20,000 unique owners.

The average price per month has also consistently increased since January 2020. The hottest parcels of LAND have been towards the geographical center of The Sandbox along the center island.

Overall, The Sandbox is still in its early access build, meaning the platform’s still being developed and isn’t yet finished. This creates massive limitations for builders actually creating anything functional in The Sandbox. So, many features of The Sandbox remain skeptical.

The only major playability to date has been Alpha Season 1 & 2, which allowed players to experience gameplay and compete to win SAND. This playability was led directly by The Sandbox team themselves as they approve and lead the experiences rather than from outside builders making use of The Sandbox.

Something else to consider is The Sandbox has an intentional Minecraft-esque style to it. Because of the limitations in processing power of blockchain technology, graphics processing is not at all a priority. To counter this, the platform implemented the simple Minecraft-like style, which has emerged as unappealing to some off-chain entities looking to enter the space.

Despite the lack of playability and limited graphics, The Sandbox has attracted top brands like Gucci, Ubisoft, and Adidas. Arguably its most bullish case is with Warner Music Group and a partnership with Snoop Dogg. There are future ambitions to add music playability to the platform to host large virtual concerts.

Active participants have continued to wane. Falling prices have reduced speculative demand; the velocity at which digital asset (LAND) transference has slowed in tandem. Source: Messari Dune Analytics Dashboard (@yulesa)


Sandbox is one of the few metaverse protocols with real utility for LAND and playability through the Alpha season events. There’s tons of real development being done from a team that began in 2011 before GameFi was even a thought. If the developers deliver on music compatibility, we could see Death Row / Universal music group host Sandbox concerts, LAND can be rented out, monetized, and so on—and SAND is needed to buy LAND.

  • Secondary LAND sales decreased from their peak in Q4 2021, falling ~80% in Q2 2022, following a ~50% quarterly decline in Q1.

  • Q2 2022 fell to ~$2.15 million on ~375 sales transactions.

  • Alpha Season 2 concluded in March 2022, with ~ 330,000 players participating in the second alpha test.

  • The LAND and SAND token contracts have been deployed on Polygon alongside The Sandbox's bridges for token holders to trade assets.


Decentraland (MANA)

Decentraland is a traversable virtual world platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform’s economy is built around the creator economy, where the main focus is ownership. Decentraland is similar to The Sandbox in terms of economics but differs significantly in its usability and art style.

Key Features

Decentraland is heavily geared towards builders and creators choosing to use the space, allowing users to traverse across multiple realms for multiple virtual worlds. Participants can purchase parcels of LAND and exchange assets through on-chain transactions in the platform’s native currency, MANA. The MANA token has multiple use cases on the platform, mainly being the main governance token for the protocol’s DAO. To interact with the platform and acquire LAND, MANA tokens (operating as ERC-20 tokens) must be burned.

Decentraland serves as a platform with the ability to host:

  • Large-scale virtual events, community meet-ups, etc.

  • Sophisticated marketplaces for swapping digital assets, art, and collectibles

  • Monetization opportunities in high-traffic realms

These features have attracted some of the world’s top brands including:

  • Samsung

  • Atari

  • Coca Cola

  • Nike

  • MasterCard

Pros & Cons

Decentraland offers a more sophisticated graphics palette and, though lacking the user base, is entirely playable. This has led to a large number of events having already been organized and taking place inside of Decentraland, including the wildly famous, world’s first metaverse fashion week.

Fashion week showcased several global brands coming together for a single virtual event, including:

  • Forever 21

  • DKNY

  • Estée Lauder

  • Jonathan Simkhai

  • Mowalola

  • Collina Strada

In total, Decentraland Fashion Week brought in over 100,000 unique visitors across four days of the event.

One headline-grabbing downside to the Decentraland ecosystem was the loss of Ari Meilich, the previous Co-Founder and CEO of Decentraland. Ari left the project to build Big Time, a competing virtual world to Decentraland.

Additionally, another major downside of Decentraland is its overall low user base. Decentraland also trails The Sandbox in unique owners despite having a larger market cap than MANA. Outside of major events, the platform itself is mostly devoid of users. Without a sufficient user base, there’s little incentive for long-term builds and real, sustainable monetization and creation as users will disappear as events end.

At the end of the day, both Decentraland and The Sandbox heavily trail Axie Infinity and are dwarfed by major gaming titles like PUBG: Battlegrounds.


Axie Infinity (AXS)

Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-inspired play-to-earn (P2E) virtual world built by Sky Mavis. Axie Infinity is Ethereum-based, allowing players to collect, breed, battle, and trade in-game “pets” referred to as Axies. All Axies and other in-game assets are represented as ERC-20 tokens or ERC-721 tokens (NFTs).

Key Features

Platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox have established themselves as leading virtual worlds in which builders can create experiences. Axie Infinity took this the extra step further and......


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Michael @ CryptoEQ
Michael @ CryptoEQ

I am a Co-Founder and Lead Analyst at CryptoEQ. Gain the market insights you need to grow your cryptocurrency portfolio. Our team's supportive and interactive approach helps you refine your crypto investing and trading strategies.


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