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What are play to earn games

What Are Play to Earn Games? Exploring the World of Play-To-Earn Gaming

Exploring different games may have led you to play-to-earn games at some point. What are play-to-earn games, and why are they increasing in popularity?

Play-to-earn games (P2E) encourage players to complete in-game achievements and reap rewards that have real monetary value. As their name suggests, you can earn tokens, cryptos and NFTs that you can sell and generate an income—earning while playing sounds too good to be true. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

So what’s the catch?

While the potential to earn is certainly there, there’s a requirement to purchase characters or items to play the game. These games are at the frontier of online gaming, so let’s explore the world of play-to-earn games and bring it closer to you before determining if this is in your alleyway.

What Are Play to Earn Games?

Based on blockchain technology, play-to-earn or P2E games combine the world of gaming and cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised finance (DeFi) with one goal–to motivate the players to stay active and collect digital assets.

Essentially, they are video games. However, they allow players to earn assets, transfer them to the real world, and sell them for cryptocurrencies they can later convert into money.

Another essential characteristic of P2E games is that th-ey’re decentralised. In other words, the developer isn’t in control of everything inside the game. Players can work with other players to generate value together through trading and collaboration, but the specifics depend on the game.

Why Are Play to Earn Games So Popular?

The emerging popularity of P2E games is evident. If someone told you that you could earn simply by playing the game, wouldn't you jump right at that opportunity?

The rising popularity of P2E games can be attributed to our need for entertainment and our desire to make money.

P2E Games Provide Hours of Entertainment for Players

The mechanics of each game can differ. Players encounter different challenges inside the games. They complete tasks, battle other players, work with them, and progress through various levels. Hours of entertainment are guaranteed, regardless of earnings.

Players Can Earn Money by Playing p2e Games

The promise of earning tokens and other rare rewards you can later convert into cash incentivises players to stay in the game. The rewards can range from skins, virtual land, avatars, weapons, NFTs, etc.

Unlike some older blockchain games, play-to-earn gaming doesn't rely on chance, as it has an in-game economy and business models that allow players to work for income.

Rise of Cryptocurrencies and NFTs

The main selling point of so-called crypto games is to enable players to earn cryptocurrency.

And that's another reason why there's more play-to-earn games on the market. The games ride the wave of cryptocurrency and NFT popularity, allowing people to get into this world without spending a fortune and while having fun.

Just look at the increasing number and popularity of crypto casinos—will the P2E games have the same bright future?

What Are the Differences Between p2e Games and Traditional Games?

P2E Games - How do they work

The most significant difference between traditional and play-to-earn games is the earning opportunity you get with P2E.

For traditional games, players must purchase the game first and spend a lot of time unlocking in-game awards. Even when you reach high levels, all your achievements remain locked inside the game. You can’t transfer or sell your items in the real world.

Some games even incentivise the players to make in-game purchases and speed up their progress. Even so, all the success you have remains within the game.

On the other hand, play-to-earn games allow you to earn money from your successes. The economic aspect of P2E games is appealing to players worldwide—but don’t be fooled. You must still invest a lot of time to see the benefits, but if you’re going to play games anyway, play-to-earn at least gives you the chance to make some money doing so. You can access some play-to-earn games for free, while the others require initial purchases.

Progress and rewards in traditional games remain in-game unlike the P2E games where players can eventually cash out their effort and the time invested.

To progress in P2E games, players are encouraged to work with other players, join guilds and communities and go on quests together. The social aspect is highlighted as one of the main ideas behind metaverse gaming. In traditional games, players often go through the experience alone unless we’re talking about games that feature multiplayer.

In traditional and P2E gaming, players must overcome challenges and solve complex problems. The types of challenges are different, and so are the skills players develop. Broadly speaking, in traditional gaming, the skills lean more toward hand-eye coordination or strategic thinking. At the same time, P2E players learn to make crucial decisions based on limited information and live with the consequences.

NFT in Play to Earn Games

NFT stands for non-fungible tokens. They are virtual assets players can collect. But what does NFT stand for in games?

NFTs come in different forms, such as characters, skins and virtual items of any kind. They are unique and irreplaceable assets that can’t be duplicated and are stored on a blockchain and not just within the game.

Most play-to-earn games feature NFTs that you can collect through staking, farming or completing different types of tasks and challenges within the game.

NFT Ownership in Play-To-Earn Games

As you buy NFTs, find or win them as you play, they belong to you—a player. They don't belong to game developers or anyone else.

Depending on what NFTs are, you as a player can do whatever you like: customise them, level them up or sell rare and valuable NFTS in the in-house or the secondary NFT marketplace. Once you collect NFTs in P2E games, you own them. Even if the game becomes dead, the NFTs remain on the blockchain, in your possession.

Pro tip: Experienced players raise the value of their NFTs to make them more desirable before they offer them in different marketplaces.

What Is GameFi?

GameFi combines the words ‘game’ and finance’ and the term is coined by Andre Cronje, the CEO of Yearn Finance in 2020. It stands for Game Finance and mixes blockchain technology, NFTs and traditional gaming mechanics to provide users with a fun experience and a chance to turn a profit.

GameFi projects are often managed and governed by the community rather than a centralised authority. When players have control over the game and their in-game experience, they will most likely be invested.

For example, in a game called Aavegotchi, players can stake their native governance token (GHST). Once they do, they join the decentralised autonomous organisation and vote on the fundamental changes. Staking is one of the GameFi elements this particular P2E game incorporates.

Strategies for Success in Play-To-Earn

Players wish to know how to earn as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. You know how play-to-earn games work—they’re not spitting money, and you need to start with investments for most games. But are there any strategies that you can utilise to make the most of it?

There are many p2e games, but some general guidelines can help you maximise your winnings. Are you in it for a short gain or for a long journey? P2E games expect you to spend a lot of time playing the game, compiling quests and participating in the economy. The more you play, the more likely you are to profit. They’re not ‘get-rich-quickly’ types of games.

Diversifying your assets is considered a good strategy. Make the most of the collectables and invest time levelling up characters. Don’t just deem items worthless. This can turn around quickly, and it might be that the NFT you own becomes sought after. After all, they are your in-game treasures.

Make the most out of staking and yield farming to generate passive income while looking for more collectable items and progress in-game.

As the cryptocurrency landscape is evolving quickly, we encourage players to keep in touch with the industry, connect with other players, and actively participate in communities, as this helps increase your chances of getting value for your money.

Future Trends in Play-To-Earn Gaming

In 2017, Ethereum launched CryptoKitties, the first widely-accepted blockchain game. Right around that time, the emergence of Ethereum casinos happened.

Initially, CryptoKitties and other games didn’t receive a notable welcome, but P2E games took off during the pandemic. In 2021, investors spent $3.6 billion on crypto gaming startups, while most industry commentators believe gaming is the way to go for blockchain to be accepted worldwide. 

Play-to-earn games are gaining popularity, but their future is still under question.

Currently, the biggest issue is playability. The gaming experience is put second to earning, and P2E games fail to convert traditional gamers who might otherwise be interested in giving it a shot. Some gamers complain about NFTs being too expensive and delivering unfair in-game advantages to people who can afford to invest more in games.

Making the gameplay more appealing can motivate gamers and a more general audience to replace their favourite titles with play-to-earn games, which would cause a massive increase in players. The potential is there, but it remains to be seen will the P2E games live up to the hype.