#Play2earn: the present and the future of gaming

By Senzacervello | Crypto Vagabond | 18 Aug 2021

The growth of interest about NFTs seems to be not just another trend to be exploited by short term speculators, but it is opening the doors to a new way of looking at gaming, the so called Play-to-Earn games.

The ones closer to the cryptospace are for sure aware of the huge success that the leaders of this new industry are having: Axie Infinity is amazingly growing in player base, market asset values and income for the studio (Sky Mavis) together with its flagship token, $AXS. On February 1st of this year, $AXS was exchanged at 1 USD and, at the time of writing, to get 1 $AXS you have to invest 70 USD.

This huge success has encouraged a good number of developers to release much simpler games with the aim try to ride the wave and be part of the ones sitting at this table to get their piece of cake. It goes without saying that in a very dynamic environment and a completely new industry, the most of those projects have already failed if not rug pulled and the ones currently on the market do not promise to have long life cycles.

One could think that the problem is the "rush" to deliver a game and a token to cash a short term profit and it is not far from the truth, but - at least to me - this is only a part of the whole story because there is something more. Except (partially) for Axie Infinity, the vast majority of games playable today on the blockchain share the same lacks: the do not have width and do not have depth. It is a simple scheme where you rinse and repeat the same actions to farm their native token that you are going to dump to get more reliable ones. In the best scenario, for the games with huge hype, you can top up a capital gain if you are lucky enough to join early, but that's more or less it.

But, as I said, this is not the whole story. What is not immediately visible, though, is that the play-to-earn model is going to change dramatically the whole concept of gaming, including what players will be willing to play within the same game. Until today, games have been designed mostly in a way that forces gamers to play more or less the same game: everybody play as hero, as a town builder, as a shooter and so forth. Each and every player share the same goals: to be the best of the same kind when the game reaches its end.

Well, the play-to-earn model, when it will be seriously investigated by skilled teams, will change this and we'd better to be prepared to have fun with features that we could not even have imagined before.

Let's take a classic RPG adventure game as an example. In a pay-to-play system, you "buy" your character, you customize it and then you go for a set of missions (more or less dynamic) to level up and become the "winner" at the end of the game. In that kind of game there is only your kind of character (including variations like mages, battle mages or whatever) and one kind of goal. All the other characters (NPCs) are there only to provide you services, equipment or to trigger quests.

But let's think to a play-to-earn system. As a matter of fact, you could play easily as one of those Non Playing Characters and have your fun and profit.

Why to be necessarily a hero and go around to beat monsters and enemies? You could become a great blacksmith and forge the best swords of the game that "hero players" will be happy to buy from you. Or you could be a famous alchemist brewing the most powerful potions around, or a tailor or an armorer or whatever could cross your mind. The fact is that with a true play-to-earn model you could have almost endless opportunities to play the role you like and have your fun and earnings.

At first sight it could look weird, but think over the possibilities that a play-to-earn universe could open for players, especially if designed in synergy with a proper decentralized finance protocol. You could earn game resources by staking tokens or providing liquidity to a pool, then transform those resources into game assets and sell them to players playing the same game, but with a different goal. Or you could be a merchant and a trader, a landlord or a tavern owner, an explorer selling maps.

Not only: owning game tokens could give you the opportunity to participate to the governance of the game and decentralization could make it possible to have a set of dynamic rules, proposed and approved by the community, making the game a living environment. A play-to-earn game is potentially a game with no end.

Possibilities are pretty much endless and the game experience offered could be much deeper and wider than the one offered by games developed in a pay-to-play system because nobody would ever wish to be a smith in game where you accumulate tokens/coins with no value.

It is only an example of what we could expect when this new model will finally take its share of the market, but I am ready to bet that this will be the future of many type of games.

This industry is still in its infancy, but will become huge. There is no reason to think it will not and it could make the entertainment industry not something you pay for, but an opportunity to earn from.

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Crypto enthusiast. One day fiat will be only for collectors

Crypto Vagabond
Crypto Vagabond

My life in cryptospace among blockchain games, NFT, promising projects and whatever catches my attention. In this blog I only write my own opinions and they are not financial advises for any reason. Always do your own research and never put at stake what you can't afford to lose

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