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SAGE Labs, the browser-based sci-fi game experience on Solana from the Star Atlas team, saw over 2.29 million transactions on Sunday—surpassing the total for the entire Polygon network by about 256,000 transactions.
According to data from analytics platform Flipside Crypto, Star Atlas’ SAGE Labs experience has seen over 16 million total transactions since it launched last month. The browser game is a fully on-chain experience, with nearly every interaction requiring the user to sign with their wallet on the Solana blockchain, triggering a small gas fee to verify each transaction.
SAGE Labs is a 2D space management simulation experience that’s heavy on menus, simulated resource management tasks, and data—as opposed to being a 3D immersive gaming experience like the core Star Atlas MMORPG in development.
SAGE Labs has liftoff! Updated stats below. 👇
🔹 16,000,000+ Solana transactions
🔹 15% of daily @solana transactions 🤯
🔹 2,000,000+ DAILY transactions
🔹 8,577 profiles created
🔹 37,640 fleets created
➡️ Join the journey now: https://t.co/o8W50NyxsP
— Star Atlas (@staratlas) October 9, 2023
On Sunday, SAGE Labs recorded 2,293,210 transactions, per Flipside. By comparison, the entire Polygon network saw 2,037,330 transactions, according to data from blockchain explorer Polygonscan. Polygon is an Ethereum scaling network.
Ultimately, SAGE Labs transactions alone made up about 15% of all activity on the Solana network on October 8. But while SAGE Labs’ transaction tally may indicate a sizable player pool, digging into the data suggests otherwise.
SAGE Labs saw 1,442 active players on Sunday, each making roughly 1,590 transactions apiece. That’s a staggeringly high number of transactions for one player—but it’s because of how the game was designed.
The spike in SAGE Labs activity has generated some social media attention, with Twitter users debating how exactly a single game is dwarfing an entire blockchain ecosystem.
It’s unclear, however, how many of these transactions might be from bots or automated accounts. Star Atlas developer ATMTA did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment regarding whether it is able to determine if any, or how many, of SAGE’s users might be bots or otherwise automating the experience.
A Star Atlas representative previously told Decrypt via email that SAGE Labs is “unlike any other ‘Web3’ game out there” because “absolutely everything is done on-chain.” When more (or all) game elements require a player to sign a transaction with their wallet, it can add up—even with a relatively small player base.
A game like SAGE Labs is different from other games that deploy NFTs because many blockchain games offer an optional crypto experience—meaning that players aren’t forced to connect a wallet or spend crypto to play.
But SAGE Labs requires a Solana-compatible wallet to play, as well as some SOL or Star Atlas’ ATLAS tokens in said wallet in order to create a character and progress through the experience.
Star Atlas CEO Michael Wagner previously told Decrypt that developers can use SAGE Labs to build their own UI or modify the game’s mechanics to create their own experience.
While SAGE Labs is seeing substantial traffic, Star Atlas has faced economic challenges this year. Back in July, it laid off 73% of its staff. At the time, Wagner told Decrypt that the layoffs were needed to adapt to the market conditions and to reduce overhead to “accommodate a long runway” for Star Atlas’ continued development.