An Initial Game offering (IGO) is a type of crowdfunding method for blockchain-based games.
Inspired by Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), an Initial Game Offering (IGO) is a method used by developers in order to raise capital towards producing a blockchain-based game. Investing in the project usually provides the investor with early-access to the game, as well as tokens or other in-game assets that later players will (hopefully) need to purchase at a higher price later. Most blockchain-based video games utilize NFTs rather than tokens, although they sometimes utilize both, as in the case of CryptoKitties and Axie Infinity whereby the player will first need to purchase a CryptoKitty or several Axies for Ether (ETH) before they can start playing or earning on the platform, depending on the platform.
Early IGOs were actually conducted in an ICO format and there are still developers that crowdfund completely on their own. However, but in 2021 with the rapid rise in NFTs, public interest in gaming dApps also increased and platforms started offering developers the opportunity to launch crowdfunding campaigns on their platform. These platforms are usually blockchain based themselves and are often based on the Ethereum blockchain. Some cryptocurrency exchange platforms have also begun to offer IGO launch services. For instance, Binance offers the Binance NFT that enables platform users to invest in in game assets and NFTs from various gaming projects. GameFi and Gamestarter, on the other hand, are platforms that are intended exclusively for crowdfunding dApp games.
The advantage of using an IGO launchpad is that once the project has been invested in, the purchaser will immediately receive the game tokens or assets in their wallet. They will then be able to use them when the project is released. In some cases, IGO investors will also be given early access to the game. This is really advantageous in an NFT-style game like Axie Infitnity where the early investor can get a head start on breeding the pets that future players will need to purchase in order for them to participate on the platform.