Play To Earn Games: What They Are, Why You Should Care, And Are They Legal
Players have long relied on video games to unwind after a long day at the office or in class. Most people partake not only as a form of entertainment but also as a way to express themselves creatively and tell stories through direct experience. However, unless your gaming prowess puts you at the top, Ninety-nine percent of all players will not be able to turn the time they spend on a single game into cash.
But think about the alternative outcomes. The genre of video games known as “play-to-earn games” (or “P2E games”) is one of the more recent developments in the medium. For some time now, play-to-win games have dominated talks in the media.
While others are skeptical, proponents of crypto games argue that they will usher in a new era of gaming.
No actual thoughts or feelings have formed in your mind as of yet. Is your knowledge of play-to-earn games limited at this point?
You’re in the right spot. By reading this article, you learn about top blockchain game projects and more about Play to Earn Games.
The Meaning of the Term “Play-to-Earn Games”
These are called “play-to-earn games,” which should give you a good idea of what they entail. Players can earn money by participating in gaming activities.
A blockchain-based platform is required for the play-to-earn business model to function correctly. To put it another way, players can win cryptocurrency simply by participating in a game.
What are the specific steps that lead to all of this?
Players can acquire valuable in-game assets by participating in games with a play-to-earn component. This may take the form of skins, cards, or even a particular variety of cryptocurrencies. The possibilities are endless. The more a player participates in the game, the more assets they can collect, and the more valuable those assets become.
In more conventional games, the value of these assets is limited to the confines of the game in question. Nevertheless, they have value in the real world when used in play-to-earn games.
Players always have the option to move their assets into the real world at any time and sell them for cryptocurrency or real money according to their specifications.
In contrast to traditional games, these games do not have a central authority. This indicates that the developer lacks complete control over all aspects of the game from its command center.
Players in play-to-earn games each receive a share of the available in-game assets. Players add value to the game for themselves, the other players, and the developer when participating in the in-game economy.
There is one overarching explanation for why all of this is successful. People are drawn to these games because they provide them with two things they crave: entertainment and the opportunity to make money.
Earn Cryptocurrency Through Your Playtime
Play-to-earn games are also commonly referred to as crypto games, and there is a good reason for this. The promise that users can acquire virtual currency simply by engaging in the activity gives rise to the genre of games known as “play-to-earn.”
The players could easily interpret this as “If the value of this cryptocurrency rises, one day, you could potentially become extremely wealthy overnight.” Putting aside the importance of the player’s motivation, here is how these games are played.
Crypto-based games essentially award players with nominal amounts of cryptocurrency for their participation. They do this by participating in various activities the game offers, such as challenges, competitions, and other similar endeavors.
Online NFT Games with Real Money Prizes
“NFTs” game is shorthand for “play-to-earn” games. Allow me to explain this strange abbreviation. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are digital assets that can be traded or exchanged for other things. They can be presented visually or aurally.
Games make them look like things players would want to collect regardless. Things like characters, items, skins, and even virtual real estate. Non-fungible tokens are one-of-a-kind possessions that can never be replaced.
As an analogy, they could be compared to the famous Mona Lisa painting. This is unique to the blockchain network and also in the gaming industry. Not only are these items kept in the game, but also on the blockchain. They’re all valuable in their own ways, too.
The scenario is that two players have nearly identical NFT characters in the same game. They both wear helmets, but one is red, and the other is blue. One of them would have a more desirable personality after the trade.
How exactly does one go about earning money by playing games?
The fact that player-to-player games are decentralized is yet another significant feature that sets them apart from more conventional video games. To put it another way, the ongoing development of P2E games is carried out cooperatively, and the players’ feedback is frequently taken into consideration by the developers to improve the game. When it comes to fostering further community-building among a P2E game’s player base, it’s not uncommon for groups of dedicated players to even band together to form what’s known as a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO.
On the other hand, how players can participate in the ongoing progression and development of a P2E game is significantly more straightforward. They can get started by simply participating in the game. Players participating in the in-game economy create value for themselves, the other players, and the developer.
So, how much does it typically cost to play a pay-to-win game? It varies, just like more traditional games do. For instance, pay-to-win video games such as Splinterlands and the Sandbox are entirely free to access and play. On the other hand, before you can even begin playing a game like Axie Infinity, you are required to make a purchase of the Axies that you intend to use in the game.
Some of the most popular play-to-earn NFT games currently available
Although the P2E idea is simple in theory, different approaches have been taken to incorporate it into games. Games focused on either collection or creation have proven particularly promising in the development of the P2E gaming scene, as both can easily accommodate P2E mechanics.
Specifications include that one GODS token costs $0.2801, and its 24-hour trading volume on CoinMarketCap is over $55 million.
Overview: Immutable’s strategic card game, released in March 2021, features player-versus-player matches.
Hearthstone and Slay the Spire are two comparable games.
Free to play, backed by a former executive from Magic: The Gathering exec and multiple ways to earn currency are all positive aspects of this game.
In this strategy card game reminiscent of Hearthstone and Slay the Spire, players must strategically outsmart their opponents by building flexible decks to overcome most opponent strategies. This can be accomplished by utilizing a variety of different card combinations. It is also helpful to have decent cards, as any player of Yu-Gi-Oh, Gwent, or Magic: The Gathering will gladly point out to you.
How exactly does the P2E mechanic work within the basic gameplay loop of this NFT card game? To begin, similar to card-based games played in real life, certain cards in Gods Unchained are precious and can even be traded in for NFTs. Players have the option of combining their non-NFT cards through the use of a “Forge” within the game, which results in the creation of a Meteorite NFT Card. Neat.
According to the site for the game, players also have the option to compete in ranked matches of player versus player combat that takes place “on most weekends.” Players participating in ranked weekend events receive expansion packs as a reward. These expansion packs contain NFT cards of varying rarities, which are proportional to how well the player performed during the relevant period of play.
Since its release in March 2021, the game has received widespread community support. This can be attributed to the game’s deceptively deep gameplay mechanics as well as its well-balanced game design, which prevents things from devolving into a pay-to-win mess.
The AXS token can be purchased for $7.68 and has a 24-hour trading volume of more than $208 million. This is a Sky Mavis’ card-based role-playing game with an RPG-inspired combat system and was released in March of 2018.
Comparable video games include Pokémon and Neopets.
The advantages include widespread community support and an impending switch to free-to-play pricing. However, the gameplay may become tedious at times, and the initial investment may be prohibitively expensive.
Users of Axie Infinity can construct armies of Pokémon-like creatures known as Axies and engage in a card-based role-playing game (RPG)-style combat with other players. Players have the ability to breed these Axies, which enables them to construct potentially more powerful teams or even sell the creatures outright. Players have the opportunity to earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP). This in-game currency also functions as a real-world cryptocurrency whenever they achieve victory within the context of the game. At this point, players can use a cryptocurrency exchange to convert their in-game winnings into real-world currency.
This is one of the most popular player-to-player (P2P) games on the planet, which had a promising year in 2021, and has, unfortunately, been plagued by a series of significant setbacks in recent years. After the Lazarus Hackers Group broke into the Ronin network (the Ethereum-linked sidechain that powers the game) and stole $625 million in assets in April 2022, Axie Infinity saw a significant decrease in the number of users that were actively playing the game. By May 2022, the value of the AXS token used in the game had dropped by thirty percent.
Because of the significant decline in the number of people playing the game, the value of its tokens also decreased, which made 2022 a challenging year for the game. However, there is still the possibility that it will make a comeback. A sizeable portion of the game’s missing funds was just recently recovered, and the developers of Axie Infinity: Origin are working hard to make the transition to a business model that is friendlier to players in the near future.
MANA tokens are currently available for purchase at $0.5442 each, and their 24-hour trading volume is more than $309 million.
Overview: The 3D virtual world is an ever-evolving blockchain gaming community that was released in February 2020. It was developed by the Decentraland Foundation, Ari Meilich, and Esteban Ordano.
Games like Minecraft, Roblox, and Second Life are comparable.
The advantages include widespread industry support and a variety of revenue streams. At the same time, the con still risks getting bugs.
Decentraland is a fully decentralized and ever-evolving 3D virtual world its users created. This is alluded to by the name of the platform. Within the community of gamers who use blockchain, the game is widely regarded as a demonstration of the potential offered by the metaverse. The game lives up to its name by allowing players to purchase parcels of land and transform them into virtually anything they can imagine.
It is entirely up to the players’ creative abilities to determine what they want to do with the newly acquired digital land. Players can create anything from a digital art gallery where they can sell and display NFTs from their personal collections to a medieval dungeon maze; the possibilities are endless. In October 2021, Decentraland hosted the Metaverse Music Festival, featuring prominent performers such as Paris Hilton, Deadmau5, and 3LAU as headliners.
LAND NFTs, which are used to define ownership of digital real estate, and MANA, a cryptocurrency that is used to buy LAND and other virtual goods and services within the game, are the two tokens that govern operations in Decentraland. LAND NFTs are used to define ownership of digital real estate. As of August 2022, there were a total of 2.19 billion MANA tokens in circulation.
SAND token costs $0.7, and the 24-hour trading volume is $535 million.
In a nutshell, it is a voxel-based game that was released in November 2021 and was developed by Animoca Games. The game takes its inspiration from Minecraft. Games like Minecraft, Roblox, and Second Life are comparable. In addition, it provides options for land rentals within the game but with NFTs, and the transaction costs are slightly higher than in Decentraland.
The Sandbox aims to fill that void in the blockchain gaming space. Then, Minecraft stopped allowing NFTs and other blockchain technology to be integrated into their game via mods.
Players who want to make a profit off of their voxel ASSETs are free to sell their in-game creations for the game’s currency, $SAND, which also functions as a cryptocurrency. In addition to allowing players to sell their creations to whoever has the highest bid, The Sandbox enables players to create bespoke experiences or even full-fledged games within The Sandbox by making use of its in-house Game Maker software. These creations can then be published onto virtual land in-game or LANDs and subsequently monetized. Players can sell their creations to whoever has the highest bid.
What is the point of our concern?
The number of players and the amount of value that is accumulated within play-to-earn games are the primary factors contributing to the widespread interest in these types of games at present. Axie’s AXS token had a fully diluted market capitalization of approximately $16.7 billion when it was trading at its all-time high in August 2021, while the company’s total revenue from in-game purchases and market fees paid was $364.4 million at that time. The game was responsible for $3.5 billion in NFT sales during the previous year. Although it has since retreated from these heights, the numbers illustrate the potential scope of the industry.
It is anticipated that the blockchain gaming industry will be worth $45 billion within the next few years, and it is possible that the growth will come from markets that have yet to be seen as the most important for gaming. A significant number of financially stressed Filipinos turned to Axie Infinity during the period of the lockdown. By the year 2021, local Axie players had an average income that was five times greater than the minimum wage in Manila. It has been reported that in-game tokens such as SLPs have become more popular than the official currency of the Philippines, the Peso. This is due to the rise in the popularity of in-game items such as SLPs. On the other hand, India, with its enormous unrealized potential, may turn out to be the most valuable prize in the medium to long term.
Are they allowed by the law?
The approach can be applied to both skill-based and chance-based P2E games. A game’s legality can be more easily determined based on whether it is free to play initially or whether players must pay to progress. Regardless of whether they charge entry fees, skill-based games are unlikely to fall under the purview of gaming authorities. But in the case of games of chance, the answer can vary depending on various circumstances. If there is no consent to participate, the applicable law and its interpretation by authorities and courts will take precedence in the absence of a buy-in.
Most play-to-earn games are based on the premise that players will stake an item with monetary value in the expectation of a greater return. Which tokens can be considered to have actual value is up for discussion. For instance, Bitcoin is generally acknowledged to have monetary value, but NFTs representing objects or references to things may be viewed differently. What counts as gambling is also defined differently in various locations. The player could lose any staked tokens or NFTs. There is no chance of losing such possessions in any other scenario. However, the game developer may have a local company and servers or be located abroad; these factors are also handled differently by each jurisdiction, so the laws of the user’s access country may only sometimes apply.
The expansion of P2E games faces several obstacles, not the least of which is the possibility that they will be deemed unlawful. The general decrease in the value of cryptocurrencies is one of the factors that has contributed to the depreciation of Axie’s AXS token on a systemic level. The market is still in its infancy and exhibits a high degree of volatility, which casts some doubt on the potential value that developers and players can realize. How NFTs are stored has also been cited as a contributing factor in the origin of several high-profile incidents. Because of the significant amounts of money in online accounts, these platforms are a target of interest for criminals.
The fact that NFTs are stored on the server maintained by the game developer raises an additional security concern. Even though players appear to be the legal owners of their NFTs, those NFTs will vanish if the server on which they are stored is taken offline for any reason. It is not impossible that this could happen. The car racing P2E game F1 Delta Time shut down not too long ago, which means that all the NFTs associated with the game are now entirely worthless. The fact that some people paid extraordinary sums for their vehicles means that the losses will give players plenty of reasons to reflect on their decisions.
Some people have pointed out that the rewards for players of P2E tend to come from new entrants to the player base, making the entire ecosystem resemble a pyramid scheme. Several different people have brought this idea up. Although it’s possible that “play to earn” will turn out to be an oxymoron, for the time being, business is booming thanks to the fact that people are spending more money than ever before in the virtual world.
The future of player-to-earn gaming powered by NFTs
In addition to the previously mentioned titles, the gaming community and crypto enthusiasts have a great deal of affection for Guild of Guardians, Pirate X Pirate, ZED RUN, and RaceFi. Every one of these items attests to the exponential growth of the NFT-driven P2E gaming industry. NFT games brought in $2.32 billion in revenue during the third quarter of 2021.
In addition, the gaming industry is likewise serious about implementing blockchain ideas into mainstream gaming, as evidenced by the transfer from Facebook to Meta, Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, and the creation of the NFT marketplace Quartz by game company Ubisoft. A supplementary NFT project was made in honor of Final Fantasy VII’s 25th anniversary because of how well-known and loved the game is.
Despite these advances, the majority of the mainstream gaming community is still skeptical of the possibility that NFTs will ever be a part of the hobby they love. Although P2E gaming has been successful, it has not changed the core gaming customers’ negative view of NFTs.
The growing popularity of P2E video games has even raised worries among game producers. This can be interpreted in a positive light as an appeal to the developers of this gaming field to place more emphasis on the “play” aspect to create value-adding experiences for the audiences they are targeting. And the blockchain gaming industry plans to expand in the following years, particularly with significant tent pole titles like the BAYC’sOtherside scheduled to hit the market soon. However, only time will tell which aspect of P2E blockchain games developers would choose to prioritize in the future.
Will P2E completely supplant the more conventional forms of gaming in the market? Who is to say. At the very least, the fact that Epic Games is willing to experiment with blockchain gaming demonstrates that all sides of the gaming world can coexist in the future. The opportunity is still there for gamers who are interested in finding a means to make their pastime into a source of supplemental income until then. And it should go without saying that generating a fast buck or two from P2E games will become orders of magnitude more achievable than becoming a professional player or being successful as a streamer.