Testnets provide a safe environment for the testing of Web3 features, without the hurdle of creating core technology required to conduct the test. This liberates teams to experiment with different blockchain methods, refine those methods with real-world data, and then deploy at scale, with more confidence.
A good existing example of this in action is Kusama, which defines itself as "an experimental development environment for teams who want to move fast and innovate on Kusama, or prepare for deployment on Polkadot." One of the largest blockers in gameFi for mainstream adoption are the hurdles studios must overcome to go live with a Web3 game, which makes testing and learning cost prohibive as described in the pervious section.
Web2 game studios entering gameFi face meaningful uncertainty pertaining to testing, deploying, refining, and scaling Web3 economics. The present state of gameFi requires Web2 companies to adpot material risk at the outset, in terms of complexity, capital requirements, and reputational hits related to Web3 initatives that mis-align with existing Web2 player community sentiment. Potential risks include:
Over estimating the need for a purpose-built utility token associated to the game. In the absence of a testbed for web3 economic loops, the true necessity for a game token rests on conjecture, rather than disciplined real-world gaming data from players.
Underestimating the complexity of issuing a utility token, in compliance with global regulations. Poorly executed token issuances create material downside risk for the parent company, in terms of potential shareholder litigation, money laundering and KYC regulations that can shift with minimal notice, and a chronic shortage of "seller side" law firms able to confidently guide the newbie issuer through the token generation process.
A general "investor fatigue" at the cookie-cutter oversupply of vertically integrated, single-purpose gameFi utility tokens. Ultimate, these devolve into a simple equation for the seasoned investor: "Are we in the hit-driven game business?" Meaning the success or failure of token economy associated to the game is largely to correlated to non-crytpographic risks, notably- "Is this game super fun and going to be a mega hit?" Few, if any, investors like those risks.
Player cynicism that - to date- Web3 "play to earn" mechanics appear to be devoid of fun, and exist as financial "schemes" masquerading as games.
Underestimating the technical integration required for live operations on-chain by the game studio. Most game studios are not staffed with "core tech" engineers, let alone seasoned blockchain engineers. The capital expenditure to recruit a core tech crypto team, diligence the right partner set (layer1, layer2 solutions, smart contract methods, and more), and then crisply execute the concordant engineering strategy without errors, technical debt accumulation, and security risks- all prior to even validating the cost/benefit of web3 gaming in the conext of the studio's existing web2 games portfolio- presents a material go-to-market risk.
For the reasons above, Web2 gaming companies have largely taken an appropriately skeptical "wait and see" approach to Web3 gaming. Until "best practices" are fully developed, and player sentiment becomes more aligned with the "fun" and "play" possible in a Web3 gaming context, the "first mover" risks are material.
At the same time, with some adoption of risk comes the potential for reward. Thus some Web2 gaming studios are open to entering a Web3 gaming ecosystem- but would prefer to test, iterate, learn, and refine their strategy first.