Aqua, a gaming-centric non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, has formally closed its doors citing a “slow” market expansion.
CEO Sean Ryan shared the news in a post on LinkedIn, acknowledging successes and challenges. In his post, Ryan noted, “At Aqua, we did some things well and some things not as well, but the Web3 gaming market isn’t scaling to a mass market size in a time frame that made sense.”
Beyond the sluggish market growth, the announcement cited difficulties in securing funding, hindering the project’s expected growth.
The shutdown took effect on December 1, signaling the conclusion of Aqua’s journey, notwithstanding its initial triumphs, when the marketplace gained recognition for onboarding prominent blockchain games like Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, and Guild of Guardians.
Despite the setback, Aqua’s team remains optimistic about the potential of Web3 gaming, stating, “We hold a steadfast belief in the potential of Web3 gaming and its future prominence.”
The shutdown adds to the challenges faced by the NFT market this year, witnessing difficulties even for major players like OpenSea.
Last month, OpenSea announced a strategic shift to “OpenSea 2.0,” emphasizing technology enhancement and user experience while downsizing its team. This move prompted investment firm Coatue Management to significantly reduce its stake in OpenSea, leading to a substantial valuation adjustment.
While there was a slight positive trend in the NFT market in November, it doesn’t match the remarkable boom of 2021, which witnessed a staggering 21,000% surge in sales. In a recent report, JPMorgan analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou maintains a cautious stance regarding these recent positive indicators, labeling them as “tentative signs of revival” and emphasizing the need for prudence, as it is “too early to be getting excited about it.”