Hamster Kombat: Telegram’s Web3 Gaming Revolution

Telegram’s Hamster Kombat game has quickly amassed 8 million users in just four weeks, highlighting gaming’s potential as a powerful tool for Web3 projects seeking large audiences. My personal experience with role-playing in Web3 games has shown how engaging these experiences can be. These games often mirror real-life roles such as city planning, crime boss operations, and managing a crypto exchange, providing a blend of entertainment and practical challenges.

Reflecting on my past gaming experiences, I spent countless hours building a Sims town on an old Windows95 desktop, managing resources and infrastructure. Later, in 2009, I immersed myself in Mob Wars on Facebook, a game that leveraged the platform’s recommendation feed to create a powerful network effect, driving exponential user engagement. However, Facebook eventually restricted external notifications and prioritized its features over third-party apps, curtailing such games’ growth.

Telegram has learned from these early social media platforms and introduced new gamification modes that appeal to the crypto community’s gambling tendencies. With 900 million monthly users, Telegram is well-positioned to become a significant player acquisition platform for blockchain-forward businesses. Founded by Nikolai and Pavel Durov in 2013, Telegram has grown rapidly, thanks to its strong encryption and distributed storage, making it popular among the crypto community.

Hamster Kombat, the latest hit on Telegram, is a testament to the platform’s potential. The game involves players acting as CEOs of crypto exchanges, tapping a hamster on the screen to earn points, which can be invested in various crypto pairs for returns. The game’s social element encourages sharing with friends to earn more points, creating a viral effect. Players can also buy “cards” and join partner channels to boost their earnings. This SocialFi overlay has proven highly effective, with one partner blockchain gaining over 1.2 million Telegram subscribers within days of launching with Hamster Kombat.

Marketing advisor Nikita Anufriev explained that Hamster Kombat was inspired by the mid-2010s game USA Simulator, reframed for the crypto industry. The game’s viral spread started with influencers and quickly expanded as users invited friends. Anufriev noted the importance of targeting influencers initially and then relying on the network effect.

Telegram’s TON (Telegram Open Network) blockchain and its growing adoption further enhance the platform’s appeal. While Hamster Kombat will issue its token on the Binance Smart Chain, the game’s success underscores Telegram’s potential as a crucial platform for crypto projects. As the crypto community continues to explore Telegram for audience-building, events like Consensus 2024 will reveal whether this engagement translates into real-world interactions or remains predominantly online. For now, Telegram remains a vital tool for anyone in the crypto space looking to expand their reach.

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