Worldwide, there are billions of gamers, and the professional gaming industry as a whole has advanced with technologies, opening up thrilling opportunities for players. 

The top of the crop makes good money by participating in major esports teams as salaried players, winning tournament prizes, and securing rich sponsorship deals.

Others are making money by live-streaming their gaming sessions on websites like Twitch or YouTube.

Video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry today, with gaming software and hardware serving as its main sources of income. 

Some sources claim that video games have surpassed television, film, music, and on-demand entertainment to take the top spot among media categories globally.

However, a large portion of gaming-related economic activity is centralized, and the benefits typically go to the creators. Furthermore, they establish policies, decide on things like revenue and upgrade options, and govern the game’s content.

Despite the long-standing custodial strategy of profit-sharing and ownership, things started to change with the introduction of “play-to-earn” games.

Play-to-earn games are the most recent addition to the business concepts of the gaming industry. Play-to-earn, or p2e, games entail rewarding players for taking part in a game.

It is worth mentioning that play-to-earn gaming is not unique to web3, but it has grown in popularity as a result of crypto and blockchain technologies. Blockchain technology, NFTs, and tokens have ushered in a new era for game developers, gamers, and investors.

Without a doubt, play-to-earn games are the hottest trend in the gaming industry. 

And it’s crucial to know what they are all about to completely realize their potential. 

This blog provides information about play-to-earn games, including sessions such as their history, work, and prospects. 

Continue reading as we discuss the many important components of play-to-earn gaming.

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The emergence of Play to Earn Games

Axie Infinity, a monster-battling game with Pokémon-style graphics that was released in 2018 by independent studio Sky Mavis, is by far the most popular play-to-earn title. Players in the game collect cartoon creatures called Axies, which are represented by NFTs; each Axie has distinct strengths and weaknesses, and players can adventure, combat, and breed their Axies as they play. Axie Infinity Shard (AXS) tokens are used to vote on choices relating to the game and its future development, whilst Smooth Love Potion (SLP) crypto tokens are awarded to players as rewards for winning battles.

Axie Infinity has grown to be one of the most popular play-to-earn games, and in nations like the Philippines and Indonesia, people are even using the game to support their families. It boasts 2.8 million daily players and a $3.8 billion total trading volume. The ability for Axie owners to lend their NFTs to other players has also arisen thanks to “Axie scholarship” programs like those provided by Yield Guild Games.

Aleksander Leonard Larsen, a co-founder of Axie Infinity, claims that play-to-earn gaming is also promoting the use of cryptocurrencies. He estimates that 50% of the game’s users had never used a crypto application.

However, there are expenses associated with the game, and you must first buy three Axie NFTs, each of which can cost hundreds of dollars. It’s really difficult to start playing Axie right now, according to Larsen, who admitted the difficulties in acquiring new players for the game. To solve that issue, Axie intends to release starting Axies for free that have less earning potential to introduce new players to the game.

What are Play-to-earn games? or Definition of Play to earn games

Games that allow players to earn rewards with real-world value are known as “play-to-earn” games.

While people have been earning money from video games for many years by engaging in techniques such as “gold farming” and unauthorized marketplaces for in-game items, the advent of blockchain technology and NFTs have essentially transformed the gaming sphere.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are cryptographically unique tokens that can be used to establish ownership of information such as photographs or music. They enable users to assume ownership of in-game assets such as virtual apparel or plots of land in blockchain games.

Unlike conventional games where in-game things are stored on walled-off data networks and are the property of the game’s developers NFTs allow players to acquire ownership of the unique goods, they spend their money on.

Additionally, unlike ordinary games, once you have acquired an NFT, you are free to sell it outside of the platform where it was generated.

Therefore, NFTs corresponding to in-game goods can be bought and sold on any NFT marketplace for fiat money. They also have real-world worth because those NFTs are scarce.

Regular games just provide pure fun as a reason to play. You pay for the game, and unless you’re a professional esports player or a streamer with a large audience, you will never be able to earn money from your gaming time. 

Contrarily, blockchain gaming gives users the chance to make real money.

Players can transfer value and receive payment for playing regardless of who they are or where they are in the world because blockchain technology allows users to transact from anywhere.

How does the game-to-earn approach work?

The concept behind play-to-earn games is simple: players earn cryptocurrencies, native crypto tokens, or NFTs as rewards or presents by completing in-game tasks, competing with other players, winning contests, and progressing through different game levels. You can earn real money by playing these games because the awards can be exchanged in an exchange or NFT marketplace.

Although getting started with play-to-earn gaming is simple, given the enormous number of title options available to gamers, you must first choose the game and gaming experience you want to ensure success. To assist you to understand how to get started with crypto gaming, below is Axie Infinity’s player onboarding process.

  • Construct a Ronin wallet
  • Purchase three Axies from the official market. If you don’t want to buy the Axies, you can apply for a scholarship to play the game for free and see how you like it.
  • Then, on the Axie official marketplace, you must establish an account and configure your email and password.
  • Finally, install Axie Infinity and begin playing. The game is available in both desktop and mobile versions.

Even though many play-to-earn games have varied steps in their player onboarding processes, basic components such as wallet integration and account creation stay the same.

It is worth noting that play-to-earn games are also known as crypto games because the majority of them allow users to earn bitcoin through gameplay. 

However, players can receive incentives in the form of NFTs and the game’s native crypto assets. Let us go over these benefits one by

Native cryptocurrency

In the form of tokens, a game may have its cryptocurrency. These tokens function like standard cryptocurrencies and are worth money in the real world. Axie Infinity is the best illustration of a play-to-earn game using native crypto tokens, as it rewards players with both AXS and SLP native tokens (built on the Ethereum blockchain). Native currencies’ values fluctuate, just like those of other cryptocurrencies. Players may buy and sell these tokens anytime it is advantageous to do so based on current market conditions.

SAND from The Sandbox and MANA from Decentraland are two other well-known native 


Non-Fungible Tokens

NFTs are another sort of prize offered by some games. In-game NFTs can take a variety of various forms, from in-game characters and weaponry to skins and virtual property. These digital collectibles are one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable, and very well-liked by players. They are not kept in the games where they exist, but rather on blockchains. Some of the more well-known play-to-earn NFT games are Alien Worlds, Zed Run, and Gods Unchained.

Existing Cryptocurrency

Many games give their players incentives using currently traded cryptocurrencies like Cardano, Bitcoin, Eth, and others. And for this reason, several games have names derived from the cryptocurrency they employ. Here are two well-known examples: Bitcoin Pop and Bitcoin Tycoon. To make it clear that they are play-to-earn games, some titles even include the word “crypto” in the title. CryptoKitties and Dragons in Cryptocurrency are two examples.

Play-to-earn crypto game types

1. Metaverse video games

A metaverse is a virtual world where users can communicate with other players, play, create, own, and profit from their experiences there. Games like Decentraland, Alien Worlds, and Sandbox are well-known P2P metaverse games.

2. Trading games

NFT trade cards are digital collectibles with a finite quantity that function exactly like traditional trading cards. Their worth varies according to their scarcity, usefulness, and ownership. Trading card-based games match perfectly with NFTs because they are tradable items that may be in short supply. Gods Unchained, Sorare, Splinterlands, and other well-known metaverse P2E games.

3. Role-Playing Games (RPG)

In-game, characters with distinctive traits, weapons, and abilities can be controlled by players in role-playing games. To advance in the game and get greater power and better weaponry, players must perform assignments and gain experience. Blockchain-based RPGs use non-fungible tokens to produce in-game assets, in contrast to conventional games.

Action-based RPGs, Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), and other subgenres of role-playing games are examples of RPG games. Axie Infinity, Blankos Block Party, and other well-liked play-to-earn RPGs

Is Play-to-Earn NFT Games Free to Play?

Do the players in these games simply receive NFTs, you might be wondering. Isn’t it 

This is subject to the developer.

Free-to-play video games are created by some developers. As a prize for merely participating in the game, players in certain games can acquire NFTs. Simply invest some time and effort in it. Some request more than just time.

To even begin playing a game, some developers require an initial payment from the player. More specifically, they must buy NFTs from other players. These games also go by the name “pay-to-earn” games.

These games belong to the same category despite their variations. Players can create value in both that has the potential to be profitable.

Play-to-Earn Game Ownership by NFT

NFTs belong to the players. not that of the creator, the game, or anyone else. The players still control them even if the game ends.

So what can players do with NFTs once they get them? It is completely up to them.

In most cases, players will exert all reasonable efforts to raise the value of their NFTs. Therefore, people must participate in the game and make a commitment to it for a time.

They may swap or sell them when they determine the moment is right.

Players can sell their NFTs in various specialized marketplaces outside of the game. They will be paid in cryptocurrencies if they are successful in selling them.

What makes play-to-earn games unique in the gaming industry?

In the first quarter of 2022, play-to-earn NFT games saw a user base growth of over 2000%, according to a report by DappRadar. 

Play-to-earn games are unusual in the gaming business because they give players money incentives that are profitable in real life.

The market for play-to-earn NFT games is predicted to increase to USD 3618.4 million by 2028, according to a Statista analysis. Play-to-earn will undoubtedly become more popular in the future, as significant firms in the gaming business have already begun to investigate the untapped potential of this type of gaming.

Because so many existing play-to-earn games reward players with NFTs, players can also own distinctive virtual assets and sell them for a profit in-game or in an NFT marketplace outside of the game

Noting that the inclusion of NFTs in video games has truly changed the game for both gamers and producers. It has opened up a new source of revenue for players. Additionally, for game producers, it means increased player engagement and increased demand.

The potential of blockchain technology in general is also demonstrated through play-to-earn gaming. As an illustration, no centralized platform like Google or Facebook offers people significant digital assets to utilize on or off of its property. But in play-to-earn games, participation is rewarded with things that have financial worth.

Blockchain technology has expanded the realm of what is feasible in the gaming industry and enables us to envision a world in which people may do extraordinary feats like playing interactive games in a metaverse’s virtual reality or making a living through gameplay. It provides a way out of the centrally controlled dystopian society where we spend all of our time in an area outside of our control.

Is it safe to play pay-to-earn games? How secure are they?

Players may feel uneasy about the security or dependability of play-to-earn games because they involve money. They, therefore, want to know if these games are secure and how secure they are before playing. Because the currencies and NFTs that players earn for their talents and efforts in-game don’t truly reside within the game’s ecosystem, play-to-earn games are safe to play. 

On a blockchain, they are kept. The NFTs and crypto tokens you earn through play-to-earn games cannot be tampered with because it is nearly hard to edit, replicate, or erase blockchain data. They are therefore protected against theft and harm. 

Immutability, one of a blockchain’s distinctive qualities, aids in establishing ownership, scarcity, and legitimacy of the assets.

Traditional video games don’t have this level of security because they are frequently the target of hacks and other security flaws.

What is the Future of Play to Earn Crypto gaming hold?

Gaming guilds are one of the latest and unique methods to play and earn money while playing games.

Because some popular blockchain gaming titles necessitate some investment, crypto game developers or the gaming community are establishing gaming guilds structured as DAOs to assist new gamers with everything from onboarding to lending the necessary in-game assets for a new player to enjoy and earn from the game.

Many game studios and developers are still hesitant to implement a play-to-earn business model due to worries such as blockchain being a slow backend for storing assets, sharing their game’s economy and assets with other games, and so on. 

Integrating blockchain technology into existing games is difficult.

Several gaming studios, including Ubisoft, have already begun to incorporate blockchain-based assets into their games. The future seems bright for play-to-earn games, but in order to become a long-term economic model, they must outperform the enjoyment and engagement levels offered by traditional gaming models.

Play-to-earn games, like free-to-play and subscription-based games, will find their place in the gaming ecosystem and become a dominating model in the future.

Final Thoughts

The definition of work in the twenty-first century is unquestionably changing. 

They are shifting away from conventional methods of earning to cutting-edge alternatives like play-to-earn games that provide satisfaction and pleasure in addition to financial advantages. 

Even if most of us still work for centralized companies run by people, it’s possible that in the future we’ll all be employed by decentralized companies that operate more like cooperatives than businesses.

 It is logical to believe that there will be greater justice at work and greater job satisfaction under such a decentralized system where rules, regulations, and promises are all enforced by smart contracts. Games with a play-to-earn component unmistakably portend the start of such a profound shift.

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