How Blockchain Gaming Founders Should Think About User Acquisition

Matt Dion
18 min readMay 10, 2023

A report on the challenges and opportunities faced by founders seeking to grow their blockchain games and break through to a mass audience.

Written in collaboration with BITKRAFT Ventures.

Executive Summary

Though the rise of web3 and blockchain technologies has created many opportunities for new approaches to game design, games development, and digital asset ownership, when it comes to user acquisition (UA) the fundamental problem to be solved remains unchanged: maximizing player lifetime value (LTV) while minimizing customer acquisition costs (CAC).

However, what has meaningfully changed is the ability to accurately measure this relationship. Both sides of the equation are increasingly nebulous in a decentralized world:

  • CAC, frequently measured in traditional gaming as cost-per-install (CPI), is much more difficult to accurately calculate. Many web3 games are web-based, meaning that no such install event is required.
  • “Value” in web3 gaming is more difficult to quantify than in traditional gaming and LTV payback periods may differ wildly from standard benchmarks.
  • Player identity can be challenging to ascertain, as players can potentially have multiple wallets. Furthermore, a given wallet address in a gaming data set might actually be a bot instead of a human. Attributing LTV and/or CAC to a wallet address rather than a distinct user is risky and difficult to forecast against.

The environment for traditional performance marketing in web3 games — at least, as presently constructed — is challenging and underdeveloped. This leaves web3 games on an unlevel playing field with their web2 counterparts. Even if a strong web3 game were prepared to invest heavily in performance marketing, the macro headwinds against such strategies render them extremely cost prohibitive and largely unsuitable for early-stage ventures, many of which are likely still building their first game.

Yet opportunities remain for savvy operators able to combine thoughtful data analysis with novel crypto-native marketing strategies. By leaning into three key areas (community, partnerships, and web3-native growth), founders can boost…

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Matt Dion

Always Scheming is the product of Matt Dion, a product manager, writer, and games industry professional.