The gaming industry, which has always been synonymous with fun, has grown massively lately, and a lot of money is now mentioned when it comes to gaming. The industry has grown immensely since the introduction of Web 3.0. At the end of 2019, the global gaming market was reportedly worth $ 152 billion. This growth has resulted in Web 3.0 games growing steadily and becoming increasingly popular since the introduction of Web 3.0. A lot of money is being made and this in turn has attracted a lot of new developers.
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Gaming in the past has always been a one-way relationship where only the developers or owners of a game get the financial rewards while the players just have fun and keep spending. Now a new economic model has been introduced, but in the years before that, players spent a lot on games. In 2020, customers in the mobile application industry spent a combined $ 143 billion. Gaming apps took a huge $ 100 billion of that. This implied that of every dollar spent on the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the App Store (for Apple devices), a whopping 70% of that was spent on game apps. Even with the introduction of the new gaming model, it is estimated that over $ 120 billion will still be spent on mobile games in 2021. This corresponds to an increase of 20% compared to the 2020 figures.
The new gaming model that I’ve mentioned twice now is the play-to-earn gaming model. It is no lie that interest in play-to-earn games was sparked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The same goes for the virtual worlds or “metaverse” on which these games are hosted.
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What is the metaverse?
“Metaverse” is a combination of the prefix “Meta”, which means beyond, and “Universe”. So the metaverse is a world beyond the universe. An otherworldly place, so to speak. In the Metaverse virtual countries, avatars and even buildings can be bought and sold. This most often happens with cryptocurrencies. In these virtual environments, people can move around freely with their friends, attend events, and buy goods and services – basically the same things as in the real world.
The lockdowns that were a result of the global pandemic pushed people to become more concerned with the potential of the online world and discovered that they can still do business and have fun at the same time by taking their devices off use anywhere in the world. Many of the metaverses that exist today are powered by blockchain technology, and in order to transact in these virtual worlds, a user would need cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Many of the play-to-earn games that we have today have their own metaverse of native cryptocurrencies that are used for both transactions and for receiving in-game assets and rewards.
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What are play-to-earn games?
The play-to-earn gaming model embraces the idea of an open economy and financially rewards every user who creates value by playing and spending time in the gaming ecosystem. In the past, the perception of games was that they were just a way to have fun. That perception is now changing as a new class of games is emerging. Not only are these games fun, they are also attractive investment opportunities. Speaking of investing, the industry has recently seen big venture capital firms investing a lot of money. In the 18 months leading up to 2019, up to $ 9.6 billion was invested in the global gaming industry, and 24 blockchain-based gaming companies invested $ 476 million in the first half of 2021 alone.
Recently, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity and The Sandbox have grown in popularity, and they have one thing in common: their economic system. Take, for example, the traditional game The Sims, where a player can purchase in-game assets with the in-game currency – but the currency and assets have no real value. This is because there was no infrastructure for liquidity in the game. Another traditional game, World of Warcraft, has a marketplace where players can buy in-game assets and exchange characters, but it’s very disorganized. Blockchain technology combined with the play-to-earn model has solved all of these problems.
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How do play-to-earn games work?
To explain how play-to-earn games work, I’ll use Axie Infinity as an example. Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired blockchain game developed by Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis. It currently has over a million active daily users, and what attracted that large number are the cute creatures in the game called Axies. Users can breed, buy, and train these axes. The Axies are also used to perform tasks and take part in battles. The object of the game is to get a token called the Smooth Love Potion (SLP). SLP allows players to breed their Axies, which gives them the advantage of making more.
Another reason players want to earn as much SLP as possible is because SLP is a cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold on cryptocurrency exchanges. The best performing players are said to be doing up to 1,500 SLPs per day. This is around $ 250 at the time of writing (as volatility causes the exchange rate to keep changing). The Axie creatures themselves can be sold as NFTs in an open marketplace. Players can also sell in-game assets such as real estate and flowers as NFTs, among other things. In this Axie Infinity play-to-earn economy, players are rewarded for their time by earning SLPs that can be sold on crypto exchanges and by acquiring Axies and other in-game assets that are based on open marketplaces can be sold.
Other play-to-earn games
Aside from Axie Infinity, other play-to-earn games and platforms will be or have already launched and I see the potential in them.
Block topie, powered by Polygon, is a decentralized metaverse that provides the crypto community with an unprecedented virtual reality experience. The bridge between the virtual and the physical world within the decentralized and the open source world is the metaverse. Protocols for managing the digital value of real estate and digital art will emerge, and NFTs on the Polygon Network will make this easier due to affordability and fast transactions.
OneTo11 is a fantasy sports mobile application designed to provide users with a new way to use their sports knowledge for their general enjoyment and benefit. OneTo11 aims to create a future where sports fans, bettors and gamers can do the things they love most on one revolutionary platform. You can not only interact socially, but also compete against each other transparently and decentrally. This is a play-to-earn platform that allows users to make money by participating in fantasy sports and other games on their platform.
OneTo11 rewards the loyalty of its customers by giving every player the same chance and opportunity to prove themselves and prove their skills. Players on the OneTo11 platform can also earn without participating in the paid competitions. This game is different from other play-to-earn games in that users can earn money in three different ways:
- Competitive Wins: Players create their fantasy team to compete in and win money by only being in the top 75%.
- Network commission: Players can refer other smartphone users to the OneTo11 platform with a unique code. When their referrals enter paid contests, players earn 1.5% of their contest fee.
- Referral Income: Users of the OneTo11 platform can earn from the referrals of their referrals. OneTo11 rewards its users with up to 11 levels of recommendation in the network.
Nakamoto games‘The aim is to give anyone with a crypto wallet access to a wide range of play-to-earn games on the platform. With this access, they can generate substantial and sustainable incomes. The company will launch an in-house suite of games where players from all over the world compete for weekly prize pools and earn lucrative rewards from these games.
Developers will also be able to develop and deploy their play-to-earn games on the platform, and they will retain control over the monetization aspect of their games. This is comparable to starting applications in the Google Play Store or in the Apple App Store.
Immortal games is a platform developed by a talented pool of game developers who are working on amazing game projects. They have developed trading card games (TCGs) and trading card game engines and are currently developing American Gothic – a unique take on classic TCGs. In this game, people play with four races based in an American Gothic environment with several unique game modes like “Arena”, “Tournaments”, “Lands” and “Multiplayer”. Fantasy Defense, an take on the classic tower defense genre with a larger multiplayer field, is another game on the platform that is in development.
The guys at Immortal Games believe the game industry is going through a revolution in terms of truly owning in-game assets, and they are building in that direction.
TryHards is a shooter game that is NFT based and powered by the polygon blockchain. In Tryhards, players can use, battle, craft, and upgrade their characters and weapons by simply playing the game. These characters, known as Fanatics, and their weapons are all based on NFT. Players need to collect as many fanatics as possible to improve their skill level.
While play-to-earn games are just beginning to emerge, they look like they will be around for a long time and are enjoying popularity. Players are allowed to create new digital assets, trade them through the game’s infrastructures, and earn virtual in-game currencies that can easily be sold against other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
There have been many games in the past that have fueled the dynamism of an online community, but by providing the opportunity to generate financial income, play-to-earn games make the communities much more active. The niche is still young, so keeping an eye on these play-to-earn projects can be beneficial as they can be beneficial in the long run.
This article does not provide investment advice or recommendations. Every step of investing and trading involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Evan Luthra is a tech entrepreneur and blockchain expert with an honorary doctorate. in decentralized and distributed systems. Evan was featured in Influencives “The Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 Creating Life On Their Own Conditions”. His companies StartupStudio and Iyoko invest in the companies of tomorrow and help build them up. Evan is a sought-after speaker at various universities and conferences around the world.