Play-to-Earn tends to revolutionize the world of video games. The player is no longer there just for entertainment, but is participating in a new form of economy called GameFi (combination of “Game” and “Finance”).
The player is now at the center of the experience to be encouraged to do so earn cryptocurrencies and spend them on exchanges or in the game itself. A new world where NFTs integrate seamlessly and fully fulfill their roles.
What is it concretely?
Play-to-Earn (P2E) games are video games based on blockchain technology. The goal is to encourage the player to participate as much as possible in the video game experience. This incentive therefore requires the implementation of rewards in various forms (cryptocurrency, NFT, improvement, bonus, etc.).
These Play-to-Earns can take different forms. They can be “standalone” like Axie Infinity, meaning they are tied to their own game universe or rely on a virtual universe in the form of Metaverse like Runiverse.
How does the game work to make money?
Play-To-Earn’s economic model is that of reward players who add value to the gaming ecosystem. To do this, the game is initially free (freemium). It is no longer about buying a game or paying for a subscription, but about investing time in the game with earnings in return.
It is up to the participant to pay to add new features, improve a character, retrieve content or equipment, or simply progress faster in the game.
What are the main Play-To-Earn platforms?
A multitude of Play-To-Earns have been emerging in recent months. The main ones are:
- So rare : a game built on the Ethereum blockchain. The main objective is to collect the virtual cards of the players to participate in competitions. These cards are NFTs that can increase or decrease in value depending on the footballer’s performance in real life.
- Axie Infinite : the most popular NFT game where you buy creatures to evolve to participate in fights.
- My neighbor Alice : the player is on a farm and has to grow vegetables, raise animals, go fishing, develop his map.
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Artwork from the Axie Infinity video game
The strengths and weaknesses of Play-To-Earn
This game mode has many advantages by now incorporating a transactional notion into the gaming experience.
- Thanks to the authenticity granted by NFTs, the player benefits from all the advantages offered by blockchain technologies: Security, authenticity and decentralization.
- The concept itself is to offer a rewarding gaming experience for the player in the form of cryptocurrency rewards.
However, Play-To-Earn is not without its risks and it also exhibits some limitations:
- To generate returns, substantial investments still need to be committed in advance (purchase of cards, artifacts, equipment, characters, etc.).
- The security is not guaranteed within these blockchain games. The most famous Play-To-Earn Axie Infinity was hacked for damages estimated at over $ 600 million.
- These games are often suspected of being pyramid schemes. A system that has to feed new users to feed the income of previous players. Therefore, if players quickly convert their winnings and leave the game, the system is no longer efficient.
Conclusion: what future for these games?
If these games are a real opportunity to make money and consume the gaming world differently, they are still too few and still lacking in maturity.
These games will only last over time with the recurring addition of new features, new uses for NFT, to keep players in the game. the development of Metaverses could be the solution.