The electronic games industry has incorporated vast proportions of the entertainment market in digital postmodernity. According to matter of Forbes, in 2020 alone, the growth was 23.1%. This figure was unusually high, driven by the pandemic and the consequent high demand for entertainment and virtual games, linked to the launch of new game consoles.
In 2021, the market value of this industry reached the mark of US$ 176 billion. Since 2019, the average growth has been 7.2% per year. Projections are that the value will exceed US$ 200 billion by 2023.
In recent times, an unprecedented segment of this industry has gained additional prominence: blockchain games. What is new is in the distribution of capital: instead of all the money flowing towards game developers and distributors, players themselves can generate income by earning and trading cryptocurrencies and NFTs within the platform.
This new category has earned the nickname play-to-earn, or “play to win”. [dinheiro]”. The success and growth of the genre has been so great that the category has already surpassed the scope of dApps and independent developers: the game distributor Ubisoft already informed that it will incorporate NFTs in its next releases.
In this article, we bring information so you can better understand what blockchain games are, how play-to-earn works and which games to choose to start.
What are play-to-earn games?
Play-to-earn games, also called GameFi, comprise a genre of games that run within blockchains. When programmed by the developers of dApps (decentralized applications), these games become public, independent and self-managed applications.
They make possible a high level of in-game social interaction between players, as well as bringing a key advantage: NFT markets.
In games of different genres, such as MMOs, RPGs, simulators, etc, players collect and/or produce items, which blockchain can make unique and transferable through characterization as NFTs. Items, skins, and other unique objects can be traded for the in-game currency — in this case, a cryptocurrency — or on secondary markets.
Unlike traditional games, the in-game currency itself also has value on the outside, it can be traded normally inside crypto exchanges or used in staking, farming, providing liquidity, etc.
There are currently hundreds of play-to-earn games on the market, and even more are expected to appear in the coming years. Different games with different gameplay styles are available, bringing real winning possibilities.
Generally, starting a new adventure will require an initial investment, not only financial, but also time, so that you master the dynamics of the game and can grow your virtual wealth. Here are some of the most popular games at the moment:
This game belongs to the genre of creating, breeding and collecting creatures, in the best Pokémon style. In this game, you can battle other players using their pets, the “Axies”. You can also create and customize your avatar, perform daily quests and other in-game activities.
Each Axie is an NFT, so they can be traded between players or sold. The game is hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, and is based on Smooth Love Potions (SLP) and AXS cryptocurrencies.
They can be used to increase the stats of pets, to buy or create new pets, or be exchanged for fiat currency. At the moment, Axie Infinity has the third-largest market capitalization among games at $2.9 billion.
This is a game that was initially released for mobile platforms in 2012, but was redefined as a blockchain-decentralized metaverse-type game in 2021. The market capitalization is already the second highest among games at $3.4 billion.
Sandbox is based on the concept of a 3D virtual world, in which players exist as avatars. They can perform missions, activities and challenges to earn rewards in the form of NFTs and the crypto SAND. The main proposal, however, is for players to become creators, monetizing and trading their creations within the virtual environment.
The Sandbox works as a tool for creating other games, hosted within the metaverse, or even social environments and events. A notorious case is the participation of rapper Snoop Dogg.
The biggest game by market capitalization at $4.8 billion is Decentraland. It is also of the metaverse type, being a space for the acquisition of land, assets, digital real estate and items on the Ethereum network.
Trading is done through crypto MANA, which also gives governance rights in the DAO framework, and LAND-owned NFTs. The platform enables social interactions in augmented reality, events, advertising, exhibitions, creation of interactive games and experiences in general.
There are over 400 blockchain games online right now and finding the right game for each person will require a bit of research. The choice can be made, for example, based on player priority: investment in crypto, investment in NFTs, content creation, and/or the volume’s genre/gameplay mechanics.
Sites like DappRadar and CoinMarketCap can be good references to consult.
About the author
Fares Alkudmani holds a degree in Business Administration from Tishreen University, in Syria, with an MBA from Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Brazilian naturalized. Acts as Business Development Manager Brazil at Kucoin.