Online gaming has been a go-to source of entertainment for the youth, for a long time now. Ever since the advent of digital technology, compounded with that of the internet, gaming has boomed massively and is increasingly becoming a lucrative career choice for many people. However, upto a time, gaming meant spending precious time on a device and resulting in the game developer making money. But, with the advent of metaverse games, the conditions have transformed from being a one-way traffic to a win-win situation for both the developers as well as the gamers. Now, you can earn money by playing games in the virtual ecosystem, or the metaverse. These games have popularly come to be known as Play-To-Earn (P2E) games.
Metaverse seems to be the buzzword in the booming and dynamic techno-financial space. Facebook has renamed itself Meta. But, what is the metaverse? It is fundamentally a digital imagination of our physical beings. With advancements in augmented reality and allied technologies like the blockchain, the difference between our real and virtual identities are getting increasingly blurred. The metaverse is the rendition of a fully virtual economy that enables us to digitally interact, transact, participate and indulge in activities like playing games.
Play-to-Earn is self-explanatory – gamers play to earn. These kinds of games are manifestations of very recent imaginations of how the internet and the digital economy should function. It is a product of the evolution of gaming experience and utility. Let us discuss some characteristics of P2E gaming.
P2E games are blockchain-based entities that are, by nature, decentralised. It means that unlike traditional video games, where developers had all the decision-making authority, P2E metaverse games decentralise the authority and distribute the decision-making power to all users. This is a major evolution in the player-developer dynamic. Players can undertake transactions which are not controlled or mediated by the developer.
In P2E, players can hold ownership over digital assets in the gaming metaverse. Unlike traditional games where every asset you acquire over the period of gaming, like guns, ammunition, gear, add-ons, power etc. is lost once the game is over, in P2E, your ownership of such assets remain intact.
The digital assets you own as a player have value outside the gaming ecosystem. You can buy and sell these assets and make money on the difference between the two. These are held in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) which can be sold in the open decentralised markets, enabling the players to earn free crypto or convert them into traditional fiat currencies.
The P2E games are modelled on the philosophy of rewarding players for engaging in certain activities. Players can collect assets throughout the period of gameplay from various events like completing a level, defeating an entity, winning a contest or simply being efficient. In traditional games, you score points for similar activities, but in P2E games, you can potentially earn cryptocurrencies. This acts as an incentive for players to constantly improve their gameplay and enhance their capabilities.
Metaverse games are also being increasingly seen as avenues for investment. In the game metaverse game Axie Infinity, you can own Axies which have become immensely popular. Such popularity of virtual metaverse assets have transformed them into robust financial assets which command high prices in the open market. You can also generate a healthy stream of crypto income from booking profits in the form of tokens from such high-demand assets.
This is the most conventional way of earning income from P2E games. Players can create their own customised content and command ownership over them in the form of NFTs. In metaverses like Decentraland, players can also buy and own virtual parcels of land through NFTs which financially operate in a similar way as actual real estate. Prices of such virtual digital assets depend on the demand and supply and owners can book significant profits by selling them in the decentralised marketplaces and earn cryptocurrencies.
Axie Infinity is a greatly popular metaverse game which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. It is inspired by Pokemon and developed by Vietnamese game studio Sky Mavis. In the game, the players can own pets or characters which are called Axies. You can buy Axies with the game’s native Ethereum-based token named Special Love Potions (SLPs). To get started, you need to link a supported Ethereum-based wallet. After activation, you can download and start playing the game.
Decentraland is built like a virtual world. It is much more immersive than a game, and allows users to get an almost replicable experience of the real world. You can purchase virtual parcels of land as digital assets through MANA, which is the game’s native Ethereum-based token. You can play either as a guest or using your crypto wallet. You have to create your own avatar and then you are free to explore the land as much as you want, browsing through virtual real estate while buying, selling and making money through them.
It is one of the most prominent metaverse offerings developed by the Pixowl studio. It provides you a visually appealing and comprehensive metaverse experience and offers you various monetisation opportunities resulting from the gameplay. It is also based on the Ethereum blockchain. Financial transactions in the game take place through the SAND token which is the game’s native token.