What are Play-to-earn games?
They are video games that bring players rewards (NFTs) they can later sell for real money. The emergence of blockchain technology and NFTs have already changed the future of gaming.
The non-fungible tokens enable the players to take ownership of in-game items like weapons, skins, avatars, land, pictures, clothing, creatures, mounts, etc. If you want to understand more about NFTs before continuing, you can check our previous article about them here - NFTs in 2022.
How to sell the earned in-game items?
As we said, the in-game items are in the form of NFTs, which means they can be sold or traded in any NFT marketplace. There are two options of selling - auction or set price. In an auction sale, you choose the minimum bid for your NFT, and from there on, the highest bidder over that minimum amount wins the auction. In the case of a set price sale, you select the desired amount, and there is no bidding. The NFT is sold when a buyer agrees to that price.
The big boys in this Play-to-earn space
Axie Infinity is a monster-battling game launched in 2018. The primary goal for the players is to collect the in-game monsters called Axies, which are NFTs. Every Axie has a unique set of appearance, strengths, and weaknesses. They can be used for fighting and breeding. When winning, players earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens. As we are writing this article, the market cap of AXS is $4.7 billion, and Axie Infinity has 2.3 million Active Players Daily. In the Philippines, Venezuela, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, people are playing Axie to support their families. In these countries, the average wage is smaller than the profits from the game.
Illuvium is the major competitor of Axie. It is an open-world RPG Play-to-earn game. Gamers are traveling and fighting in this fantasy RPG, and their primary goal is to catch monsters known as Illuvials. These creatures can fight and complete quests. You can customize them in multiple ways. Each one of them has two characteristics - class and affinity. There are five classes and five affinities, all of which have different pros and cons. Your Illuvium becomes unique and powerful as the player fights and wins battles with it. Illuvium's prime target player is the old school gamer who appreciates the 3D open-world with a massive explorable landscape and strong storyline. The curious thing about the Illuvium NFTs is that they can be traded on their gas-free exchange platform - IlluviDEX.
This game is a little bit different from the ones above. Splinterlands is a trading card Play-to-earn game based on the Hive blockchain. In this game, players fight against various creatures to get rewards. Splinterlands can be played both on desktop and mobile devices. The Daily Active Users of Splinterlands are over 300,000. The game offers over 200 unique trading cards, each with specific characteristics. There are several ways of playing Splinterlands - participate in daily reward activities, complete different quests, ranked matches, and tournaments. What is unique about this Play-to-earn game is that it has the feature of cross-compatibility with other blockchains - WAX, Ethereum, and Tron. The Splinterlands runs on its own blockchain, which provides security, stability, and frequent updates.
That is a non-fungible token collection Play-to-earn game. Each player collects fantasy football players for their team and then competes against other players. The game is not easy-to-play, because a good fantasy team can take much money to form. It is fast-paced, and some players may be perfect for this month but may get injured by the other. This game is excellent for sports fans that want to dive deeper into the crypto and NFT space.
The Sandbox is not exactly a Play-to-earn game. It is more like a Play-to-earn virtual universe (Metaverse). You can buy digital land, play different games, even cooperate and create your own game based on their Metaverse. Here you can be a collector, player, developer, or artist. The Sandbox is the primary choice for buying digital land and virtual real estate.
Decentraland is a “reality game.” By definition, it is a VR 3D digital platform based on the Ethereum blockchain, or in other words - simulation. Decentraland is what we consider Metaverse for the moment. You can engage in multiple activities in this virtual environment - exploring lands, attending events, and video conferencing. For now, the way to monetize your time in Decentraland is by owning land. By using smart contract technology, you can be the landowner. You can do everything with your land - build a house, host a music festival, even set up an art gallery for selling your NFT collection. You can trade in-game, without the need for an NFT marketplace. To do that, you need to have the Decentraland token - MANA. Several artists such as Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton, and Deadmau5 performed in this virtual world, and it was a huge success. The next big reality merging event in Decentraland is the Australian Open.
Future of Play–to-earn games
The past days were full of news in the world of NTF and Play-to-earn games. However, one of them stands out the most - the acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc. by Microsoft Corporation for $68.7 billion. Many experts interpret this as a substantial bet on Metaverse and Play-to-earn games. Behind this legendary deal are the gamers’ favorite franchises such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Starcraft. Just imagine how big of an impact these games will have when they join the Metaverse. Let’s not forget that Microsoft Corporation also owns the second most popular console - XBOX. We are sure that the future of console gaming is in the Metaverse, and most likely, we will play every game with a pair of VR headsets. To put it briefly, we are bullish on all Play-to-earn games, the Metaverse future, and the NFT ecosystem. Sure, many projects will die without glory, but Play-to-earn is here to stay.