Play-to-Earn Gaming: The Birth of a Sleeping Giant

Yehia El Amine

Jun. 07, 2022

Almost three decades ago, the metaverse concept was something found only in science fiction. A digital environment where avatars of real-life people can interact together for many reasons. 

Now it’s become the talk of the town, making headlines by storm around the world, to the extent where one of the largest tech companies in the world changed its name to pivot more toward innovation in the metaverse. I’m looking at you Facebook, oh sorry, I meant Meta. 

This craze unlocked a flurried interest in the Web3 space, with companies big or small wanting a piece of the cake of the world’s next frontier. As the metaverse gains notoriety, many experts in the space raised an important question about how the economy behind this digital world will unfold. 

Outsiders might be puzzled by the answer to this question, fluent Internet warriors will see the answer as apparent. Video games. 

Ever since the pop of the dotcom bubble, video game monetization took many forms going from Pay-to-Play (P2P) models to subscription-based ones. While others rely on in-game cosmetic purchases such as the case for Free-to-Play (F2P) online games. But now is the time of Play-to-Earn.

Birth of Play-to-Earn Gaming

However, with the maturation of blockchain technology comes a new view of gaming, finance, technology, and many other facets in this world. This pushed many forward-thinking game developers to introduce a new monetization paradigm for gaming in the form of Play-to-Earn (P2E).

This concept was birthed into a novel economic idea in the emerging field of GameFi. 

While I know very well that many Internet aficionados reading this article already understand the concept of GameFi. But, for the people who are new to the space, we’ll break it down for you. 

A lot of big words right there, I know, but bear with me while I break it down real quick. GameFi represents the consummation between gaming and blockchain-powered financialization. The concept allows gamers to earn digital assets for their in-game efforts. 

Yes, yes, I know, traditional game publishers have been doing this for a decade or so. The difference in the case of conventional gaming, digital assets could be lost when a game studio concludes working on the game. In contrast, digital assets provided by P2E games give players sovereignty over their assets since they’re stored on a distributed network. 

Not only digital asset ownership been transferred from the publishers to gamers, but it pegs these digital assets with real-life value. Rewards that they could personally monetize within their very own digital wallet of choice. 

What This Means

The beauty and innovation behind it are that these assets operate independently of any single organization, institution, and anything in between, liquefying the risk of losing the assets altogether. 

This is revolutionary for a multitude of reasons. Still, the most prevalent one is the sense of empowerment and access the space gives to people. 

The impact trickled down toward the entire space, eventually becoming the beacon of the Web3. A sense of community, collaboration, and the free flow and sharing of information between individuals free of outside control.

The matter has evolved further to the extent where this community-first approach has allowed players to have a say in the future of P2E games. 

Peeking Under the Play-to-Earn Hood

The ecosystem works by offering assets in the form of tokenized NFTs. They can dragged out of the gaming world for possible trading on an NFT marketplace such as OpenSea. A more direct way of handling this transaction is through direct peer-to-peer (P2P) with anyone with a working crypto wallet. 

These tokenized NFTs are currently the driving force of the metaverse economy. They fuel the world with the necessary funds to keep the lights on. A great yet simple example is through a game called Sorare, a football (or soccer to all of our American friends) NFT cards repping real-world players. 

A set of seven NFT football cards is currently up for sale at a $3,000 price tag. While some of them offering players rewards in the form of Ether. 

While the space is still nascent, the Play-to-Earn gaming industry is growing at incredible rates. According to a report by Citi Ventures, between August 2020 and July 2021, the weekly users of blockchain games increased from a few thousand to more than 5 million.

Even in its infancy, the space grew considerably through the rise of several popular crypto games. Most notably, Axie Infinity, Crabada, The Sandbox, and many others. 

These P2E games have several things in common: 

  • Complex economic and tokenomic structures reward players by playing the games or contributing to the overall ecosystem
  • The inclusion of NFTs as the primary digital asset enabling players to have true ownership of all game materials
  • Marketplaces that allow players to freely trade these assets whether in-game or using third-party platforms 

The Ownership Economy & P2E Analytics 

Any major innovation or disruption brings a tidal wave of changes and opportunities. Especially since the adoption of blockchain into the gaming realm allowed Play-to-Earn developers to build universes to share ownership with the entirety of the community.

This transforms the space into a free-for-all platform, empowering both sides in the continuity of the game’s success and development. Accordingly, this splits the future of these universes on both of their shoulders. 

However, one of the problems facing the space is the complex learning curve that many newcomers are facing. 

Enter Play-to-Earn Analytics

Let’s face it, these games are rather hard to understand when first starting your journey through them. Since they require knowledge of the cryptocurrency world and how NFTs generally function. 

However, solutions to these problems are starting to emerge, namely, P2E Analytics. Which is meant to help players understand the DeFi (decentralized finance) aspect of crypto gaming. Despite this, P2E Analytics breaks down the functionality of a game’s economics. It presents vital information that helps players make data-based decisions that benefit the player and the game dev alike. 

While the platform is still in its early stages, it attracted the attention of many high-level investors looking to jump into the space. At the time of writing, P2E Analytics only supports Crabada, with plans to expand further into other popular games. 

It’s definitely a platform worth checking out if you’re looking to understand the space. 

Pro tip: if you’re looking to learn about these games, the P2E Analytics Discord is filled with players willing to educate anyone coming in. The server boasts a very collaborative and communal approach to everyone. 

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! Dive right into our GameFi Hub for analytics and insights into Crabada. Also, you can keep the conversation going on our Discord server.