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Yoda Labs Ecosystem Spotlight: Polygon

Get ready to explore the world of Web3 gaming like never before! The rise of blockchain technology has brought about a new era of gaming, with endless possibilities for gamers, developers, and investors alike. This series of reports will take you on a journey through various gaming blockchain ecosystems.

This Yoda Labs Ecosystem Spotlight co-authored with industry giants, Dappradar and BGA, takes a comprehensive look into the Polygon gaming ecosystem, covering the team behind it, key players and volume trends, the most noteworthy projects, partnerships aimed to set Polygon as the ultimate gaming chain and games to watch.

Table of Contents

  • Polygon: Always Moving Forward

  • Polygon: Beyond Blockchain - Unveiling Its Potential

  • Exploring Its Growth: A Retrospective of Its Advancements

  • Fueling Innovation: a glimpse into the Polygon investment landscape

  • Uncovering the Current State of Polygon Gaming

  • Polygons All-Star Cast

  • Decoding On-Chain Data: Insights and Trends

  • Unveiling the Top Games in Polygon: A Brief Overview

  • Game Changers: The Top Promising Games to Watch Out For

  • Conclusion

Polygon: Always Moving Forward

Polygon initially started as a sidechain to Ethereum for scaling purposes rapidly grew to be one of the top networks and ecosystems with multiple verticals offering Dapps, tools and services constantly evolving both for Web2 and Web3.

Polygon has recently attracted much interest in the Web3 sector since its adoption by major corporations, including Starbucks, Reddit, Nike, and Meta.

For instance, Reddit was behind in producing 9.6 million Collectible Avatars on Polygon during the summer of 2017. Conversely, Starbucks has created a customer loyalty program focused on collecting NFTs, while Nike offers metaverse gear on Polygon.

Polygon: Beyond Blockchain

Polygon's expanding portfolio of products gives developers quick access to all the primary scaling and infrastructure solutions.

It is also an effective platform for decentralized gaming as it enables flawless and lag-free gaming experiences due to its minimal costs and fast transaction times. Additionally, Polygon enables interoperability with Ethereum, allowing game designers to quickly include pre-existing assets and smart contracts from the Ethereum ecosystem into their games.

This incredible nature of Polygon opens up fresh possibilities for asset transfer and cross-platform play, making it a desirable choice for game creators trying to port their titles to the blockchain.

Polygon has aggressively partnered with Web2 gaming studio titans like Ubisoft, Atari, and Square Enix while proactively investing in numerous Web3 gaming ventures.

It's not just that various platforms are collaborating with Polygon; many people like (Michael Blank of EA Games) in high-ranking positions are leaving the traditional game industry in favor of roles at Polygon.

It is undeniably apparent that Polygon has positioned itself as a prime on-ramp to Web3 for millions of casual gamers and countless gaming studios.

Besides, Polygon also offers a set of tools for platforms and game developers. Each has its own set of features.

  • Polygon Edge: A modular and adaptable framework for creating sidechains, renowned for the customization freedom it offers. Companies in the gaming and esports industries may use Polygon Edge to create a customized blockchain for certain games.

  • Polygon ID is a decentralized, self-governing private identity that is risk-free and secure. It is scalable, features confidential on-chain verification for dapps, and offers maximum user privacy.

  • Polygon Gaming is a specialized division combining blockchain gaming and the NFT sector while closing the gap between Web2 and Web3 gaming.

Exploring Its Growth: A Retrospective of Its Advancements

At first, Polygon was a blockchain that specialized in applications for decentralized finance (DeFi), such as Market Makers and DEXs with the advantage of having low gas fees and high transactionality. The patterns did, however, shift somewhat in June 2021.

Polygon game dapps began to appear in the top spots on the DappRadar rankings, signaling the arrival of a new wave.

With the launch of Polygon Studios, the blockchain reiterated its emphasis on gaming in July 2021. At that time, a more significant trend in the broader Web3 business was beginning to emerge with the introduction of a new platform for NFTs and play-to-earn games.

Soon after, all the new games created on Polygon noticed an upsurge in players; the user base of some games like My Crypto Heroes and Aavegotchi had surged as high as 1000%.

  1. Atari, a gaming giant, entered a strategic partnership with Polygon to build and offer their products on the network in March 2021.

  2. Community gaming, a leading esports gaming platform, joined hands with the network in July 2021.

  3. Catheon Gaming partnered with Polygon in August 2022 to launch Catheon game titles: Onigiri and Cosmic Break, onto the network.

  4. GameOn Entertainment, a leading game technology provider to media, sports and entertainment companies gained investments from Polygon Studios to bring NFT games to the masses.

  5. Earn Alliance, a Web3 gaming community and infrastructure platform, partnered with Polygon Studios to bring 100 million gamers to Web3.

  6. Square Enix, a Tokyo-based video game giant, recently partnered with Polygon to launch a gamified art-collecting experience.

  7. The Sandbox migrated to Polygon at some point in 2022.

The list goes on and on. Whether they built dapps on Polygon or integrated with it, studios and developers began recognizing how much they could gain from this specific blockchain.

Fast-forward to 2023, and Polygon has established a dominant presence in the gaming industry, captivating a significant share of the market

Fueling Innovation: A Glimpse Into The Polygon Investment Landscape

According to a Delphi digital report, most blockchain-gaming funding has skewed towards EVM-compatible ecosystems, particularly Polygon.

Polygon initiated a $100 million fund to support Web3 gaming projects in 2021. Moreover, they joined Game7, a Web3 Gaming DAO, for another $100 million grant program focused on building better, sustainable, open-source games last year.

It is in addition to the $450 million funding round Polygon had in 2022. With this funding, the company plans to rapidly grow its selection of Ethereum scaling solutions, pursue partnerships with established companies, and build up the blockchain developer community.

Sequoia Capital India and included well-known companies, like SoftBank, Tiger Global, and Animoca Brands, along with 20 other investors, spearheaded this fundraising round. Since then, Polygon has used the funds well, developing its ecosystem and making strategic partnerships.

Polygon's success in raising millions for its gaming platforms and games is only matched by its investments in many others.

  • Intella X is developed by South Korea's gaming giant Neowiz and plans to launch its platform on Polygon in Q1 2023. Its $12 million private funding garnered interest from Web3 leaders such as Polygon, Animoca Brands, Magic Eden, etc.

  • Cross the Ages, a Polygon NFT game, raised $12M led by Ubisoft, Animoca, etc.

  • FreshCut, a short-form gaming content ecosystem built on Polygon, raised $15M.

  • nCore Games, a leading Indian gaming firm, raised $10 million from Animoca, Galaxy Interactive, and Polygon.

  • Blast Royale, a P2E mobile title, raised $5 Million from Animoca Brands, Mechanism Capital, and Polygon.

The list goes on. It is pretty evident that Polygon or games and gaming platforms in Polygon are not usually lacking in funds and have a solid vision and the courage to execute.

For example, Partnerships with Intella X could empower Polygon to tap into the South Korean gaming Market. While investments in mobile games like Blast Royale illustrate Polygon's vision and commitment to the untapped Web3 mobile gaming scene.

Uncovering the Current State of Polygon Gaming

As blockchain seeps into the mainstream, Web2 gaming entities are pivoting to Web3 in 2023. A sizable portion of gaming firms intending to enter Web3 chose to use Polygon and have decided to expand using the network. This comes as no surprise, given that Polygon is already home to many gaming platforms and games.

One critical advantage of Polygon is that the network can offer plug-and-play software development kits (SDKs) to game studios like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and others, so they can include blockchain elements in games that don't use any. On top of that, any Ethereum developer can seamlessly switch to Polygon RPC to get started on Polygon.

Moreover, the studios and developers can leverage Polygon's $100 million treasury fund to propel their initiatives. This offers a unique opportunity for developers to build groundbreaking games and features that might not have been possible otherwise.

Polygon has quickly gained a reputation for offering a top-notch gaming experience, attracting over 100,000 users within mere months after launching the Polygon Games.

Some of the most significant Web3 game projects and companies, such as Animoca, Decentraland, Somnium Space, and Sandbox, have found their home on the Polygon.

But Polygon's reach extends far beyond the Web3 space. The platform collaborates with Web2 firms like Stripe, Meta, and DraftKings, making it an increasingly important player in the broader gaming industry. It is possible that Polygon has some exciting upcoming partnerships that it has yet to reveal, adding to its already impressive list of prominent partners. A partnership with other giants such as Riot, EA Games, and Activision may skyrocket the adoption.

Finally, Polygon's strategic partnerships with NFT gaming platforms OpenSea, Fractal, and Magic Eden highlight the platform's commitment to the intersection of gaming and blockchain technology.

These partnerships have far-reaching effects on the ecosystem future and the Web3 gaming space.

For example, Magic Eden's integration with Polygon will support a line-up of launches from industry-leading developers like Kakao Games-backed BORA, Block Games, IntellaX, nWay, Boomland, Planet Mojo, and Taunt Battleworld.

As a recent example, Fractal's recent expansion into Polygon Network can provide the infrastructure for companies to create blockchain-enabled games easily on Polygon and reach masses through Fractal’s tournaments and marketplace.

Overall, these partnerships and developments is poisod make building Web3 games on Polygon seamless.

As another illustration, Polygon is already very close with leading gaming DAOs like YGG and IndiGG. In a recent interview, Kratos Studio, which recently purchased IndiGG for $20 million, co-founders Argarwal and Gupta said they will work closely with Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal and YGG co-founder Gabby Dizon toward the mission of "building the largest gaming DAO in the world."

With Polygon’s infrastructure that includes its smart contracts, tokens, decentralized storage and consensus algorithms it is initiating a commanding presence within gaming. Partnerships with leading VCs, gaming studios, marketplaces, gaming ecosystems and communities shows its strength and determination to rise up to be the best.

According to Wyatt, Polygon has created an exceptional partner onboarding experience that makes transitioning to their platform a breeze. "We've built this great funnel for partners to come through and make the onboarding to Polygon really seamless," he explains. Wyatt also claims, "Polygon's Web3 strategy takes a holistic approach by incorporating Web2 companies, including Starbucks, Adobe, Clinique and Stripe, to integrate Web3 functionality."

Finally, the network's $450 million funding round in February 2022 should offer the impetus to continue expanding on the Web3 front. In establishing partnerships with both Web2 and Web3 game distribution and development channels, Polygon has laid a strong foundation for a comprehensive gaming ecosystem that covers all aspects of gaming backed by its dream team.

Polygon's All-Star Cast

Polygon has a lineup of a number of impressive executives who left traditional gaming for Web3 which cements its position as a leading player from a leadership perspective too.

It is more than just that different platforms are partnering with Polygon; many people holding reputable positions are walking away from the traditional game industry for roles in Polygon.

For example, Michael Blank left Apex Legends and Madden publisher Electronic Arts in March for a role as a COO at Polygon Studios. When he left, he was coming up on his 20th anniversary at the video game company, one of the most prominent in the world.

Blank is one of many to leave Web2 to join Polygon, but certainly not the last!

  • Ryan Wyatt, who previously headed YouTube's Gaming vertical, is now the president of Polygon Labs

  • Young Ko, who spent the past nine years as the VP of Finance at Penske Media (brands include Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety, and SXSW)

  • Charnjit Bansi, who has over 20 years of experience in AAA Web2 game leadership and development, all from world-class game developers like the creators of the renowned Call of Duty franchise

  • Ben Watley, a gaming industry veteran and recent EA alums

  • Will Matteson, ex-NASA software engineer and Riot Games strategist

The list goes on and on, and this influx of reputable Web2 personals illustrates the potential of Polygon games in the eyes of the industry leaders.

Decoding On-Chain Data: Trends and Games

According to DappRadar x BGA Games Report #11, on-chain gaming activity accounted for 48% of January dapp activity. With 138,701 UAW, up 11.29% from the prior month, Polygon is the third blockchain network with the most active gaming activity. This pattern further solidifies Polygon as a gaming chain.

When it comes to the top gaming protocols by Unique Active Wallets from January of last year to this year, it is a similar story.

WAX is the clear frontrunner, with an impressive 353,300 UAW, followed by Hive with 234,000. Although the BNB chain takes third place with 136,000 UAW, it's worth noting that the fast-rising Polygon network is nipping at its heels with 97,000 UAW.

Polygon Unique Active Wallets Monthly Average 2022

Analysis of the monthly average of Unique Active Wallets UAW, used to determine the player/user engagement, on Polygon, broken down by category from January of last year to this year, clearly indicates that Gaming dominates the platform, commanding the largest share of UAWs.

A staggering 58% of Unique Active Wallets on Polygon were attributed to Gaming, leaving DeFi and NFT categories trailing behind with a modest 25% and 3.1%, respectively.

With a range of exciting new games hitting the market daily, it's clear that Polygon is quickly becoming a hub for gamers and developers alike. To determine which games are making a significant impact, analyzing the Unique Active Wallets (UAW) for various Polygon games provides valuable insights into player engagement and which games are resonating the most with users.

Polygon Games UAW - Monthly Average

First, when looking at various games' UAWs, it's apparent that Benji Bananas and Crazy Defense Heroes are leading the pack by a large margin. The remaining 3 games are in close proximity with one another, providing healthy competition amongst themselves. However all 3, have quite a bit to do in terms of growing their user base and challenging the 2 leaders.

It's pretty apparent that the UAWs in line with the crypto slump last year also declined. But what's interesting is that UAWs of several games on Polygon, like Benji Bananas, recovered way before the market did. This faster-than-expected recovery might be the reason why Benji Bananas now reign supreme.

However, the user growth of Planet IX is astonishingly fast, and it has already eclipsed all other games on Polygon, accounting for 59% of on-chain activity in January 2023. If it continues on this trajectory, it will be no surprise if it surpasses Benji Bananas or Crazy Defense Heroes soon.

Unveiling the Top Games in Polygon: A Brief Overview

Benji Bananas 2. Benji Bananas - Benji Bananas is a mobile free-to-play mobile adventure game backed by Animoca Brands with a monkey named Benji who swings from vines while gathering items to unlock upgrades. Benji Bananas includes a "swing and earn" P2E function. Membership Holders of NFT can participate in incentive schemes to get $PRIMATE, the native token. $PRIMATE's main objective is to introduce mobile gamers to cryptocurrency gaming.

Crazy Defense Heroes - Invites players to build and upgrade a variety of towers and defenses to prevent waves of invading enemies from reaching their kingdom. The tower defense game developed by Animoca Brands also features a variety of heroes with unique abilities that can be summoned to assist in battle. Available on mobile devices the game combines the thrill of tower defense and the cleverness required in card strategy games where players can experiment with different strategies and playstyles as each hero and tower has unique strengths and weaknesses.

Pegaxy - A simulation game where you rent or buy a Pega NFT, a futuristic Pegasus with various attributes like speed, strength, and element classes. A Pega can race up to 25 times a day with no total race limit. Players enter a race, to compete against other players with similar class Pegas until there are 12 racers vying for a place in the top 3. Winners are rewarded accordingly and a Pega's chance of winning is based on how well its attributes match with the stadium's randomized attributes.

4. Planet IX - In the play-to-earn NFT game Planet IX, players must gather as many pieces of land as possible to make the planet a better place. Each 1.66 billion pieces of land represent a unique NFT termed a PIX. The mission is for the players to gather as many of them close to one another as they can. They may get compensation from the IX utility token after they have built their domains by gathering PIX. Additional ways to get PIXs include random pack drops.

Arc8 - Arc8 is a blockchain gaming platform with arcade-style mini-games available to play in 1v1 or tournament-style competitions to win GMEE tokens. The platform offers a variety of skill-based games ranging from card games to action games, resembling classic arcade games like Tetris and Asteroids. With 3-4 tournaments live at a time, players can enter and play to earn rewards. Arc8 is a mobile-based crypto gaming platform, with the crypto feature added as an additional feature, making it the first of its kind.

Top Polygon Games NFT Sales Volume 2022-2023

Interestingly, when comparing the Monthly Average NFT and UAW graphs, the most played games are not the most selling game NFTs. While Polygon NFTs have shown incredible growth recently, Polygon gaming NFTs have not mirrored the surge. However, Sandbox NFTs on Polygon have shown signs of recovery.

This trend conforms to the findings by DappRadar, who recently reported a 114% increase in the trading volume of virtual worlds in January compared to December 2022, with the trading activity of The Sandbox hitting $1.5 million in January 2023, up 114% from December 2022.

Finally, it's interesting to note that Benji Bananas and Crazy Defense Heroes, who lead the graph of Average Monthly UAW, are not even in the Top Polygon Games NFT Sales Volume graph. This indicates that the popularity of games doesn't always translate to NFT sales and vice versa where it is evident that fun and gameplay still play a big role in terms of players.

Game Changers: The Top Promising Games to Watch Out For

The games below are some of the key upcoming game suggestions to look for by the Yoda Labs gamer team which might launch on Polygon.

Wildcard - Paul Bettner, a seasoned video game creator who co-created the popular mobile game Words With Friends and contributed to creating the Age of Empires series, has been working on this Web3 game Wildcard for over five years.

The launch of the first Wildcard public playtest is scheduled for February 23 as part of an event dubbed "Melee on the Meteor." The game is a competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game similar to hits like League of Legends and Dota 2, which Bettner claims was created with spectators in mind.

Metalcore - Ahead of its impending release, Studio 369's Metalcore, a free-to-play, 3D mechanized battle MMO, might be choosing to launch on Polygon too.

Instead of being a generic "NFT Game" like other titles on the market, Studio 369's Metalcore promises to take a game-first strategy. Rather, it will be an open-world, mechanized combat game that is "NFT-based." The pre-alpha teaser footage in the game's trailer features NFT pilots and vehicles minted to improve the gameplay. The game is a work in progress and we can expect the launch later this year.

Legends of Elysium - Featuring both Play-and-Earn and strategic aspects, Legends of Elysium pits players against one another in weekly League play and monthly tournaments.

Legends of Elysium is one of the top Web3 card games with the most ambitious and ingenious deck and board design. Each player employs their own unique deck-building and board-play strategies to achieve victory.

There are five game modes in The Legends of Elysium. Every game emphasizes a different element of the game, such as PvE or PvP. In addition, players can tailor their play style by selecting a hero from various available races and classes. Closed Beta is expected to launch by Q2 2023.


Polygon has shown the world how quickly Web3 adoption can ensue with its mind-blowing pace of growth. The network has reinstated trust in the blockchain Gaming sphere with partnerships with Atari, Square Enix, and other Titans.

As new brands and investors come on board, Polygon continues to generate value and volume. Moreover, Polygon's exponential growth last year, with an average of 97,384 UAW, a 338.37% increase from 2021, clearly indicates the platform's potential.

The bullish narrative around its zk-EVM and growth of Polygon NFT trading could attract even more participants to its ecosystem. With this extra edge, we may soon see a flurry of high-impact games launching on Polygon.

The driving force behind Polygon's meteoric rise in the gaming ecosystem can be attributed, in part, to its top-tier team of industry experts like Michael Blank (ex-EA), Ryan Wyatt (ex-Youtube), and many others.

Polygon's ability to attract and retain top talent from diverse backgrounds has been a vital factor in its success, allowing the platform to stay ahead of the curve and forge partnerships with industry giants.

Undoubtedly, Polygon is in the pole position to become the leading gaming chain, and its continued growth is something to keep a close eye on.