Why Blockchain Game Cradles Focuses on Play-And-Earn and not Play-To-Earn
The rise of blockchain gaming has never been more visible. Twitter crypto these days finds that the Dapp scene is encroached on by gaming Dapps — jostling with pure decentralized finance (DeFi) apps as the go-to utility application on blockchain.
There’s no denying that these games have revolutionized gaming as a hobby and activity for billions of gamers all over the world. Before, your hours spent online would result in little more than a completed game, an experienced character of high level or a collection of in-game items. And even when players could trade items for in-game currency (which you could also convert out to fiat money), all of this happened on a centralized marketplace owned by the game developers.
Why Play-To-Earn is so popular
Essentially, the only way you could really earn money was by spending inordinate amounts of time to try and beat others to find the best and rarest items. This itself was usually in a hugely imbalanced power structure, where players who had the best items and skills (themselves paid for with in-game purchases) would be best positioned to win those rare and valuable items.
But with the so-called “Play-To-Earn” or P2E sector, almost anyone with an internet connection and often without even a little crypto could get a good head start, playing games, earning points and crypto that they could then put towards breeding or mining or creating unique character of items represented by non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Since all of these are on decentralized networks, players truly own the in-game products they created, and can freely sell them to others on P2P marketplaces.
Thus, P2E introduced a way for players to literally play to earn, while retaining true player ownership of the content they produced.
Gaming tedium and a deterioration of experience
However, with the explosion of P2E games, there is a growing trend of games that are set up purely as a tokenomics app, where developers put the bare essentials of a game in place, dedicating their attention instead to the token economics model in the game.
So instead of creating new and creative gaming ideas, each new P2E game appears to try out different supply models, different pricing models, varieties of mining and minting — all in an effort to attract players to come and earn more.
A quick look at blockchain gaming reviews reveals the same pattern, with almost every review found online having ratings dependent on the earnings per hour instead of actual gameplay and experience, or music and graphics.
Some even completely ignore the gaming aspects and read less like game reviews and more like token investor guides, telling users where to get the best earning ratios, where to sell the NFTs they earn from the game, and which have the best referral models.
Very quickly, P2E games now are virtual copycats of each other, differing only in graphics and token economics. As games, they offer little new experiences to the gamer, each reflecting a mindless hack-and-slash grinding mentality. And developers aren’t incentivized to improve this aspect either since the gamers there are only looking to make money.
For the gamer, this is a terrible situation, especially given that many long-time gamers are already tired of traditional gaming and believe that commercialism has led to the industry becoming little more than factory-churned cash grabs.
Capitalism has triumphed in P2E, but gaming has yet to benefit long term.
Cradles as a Play-And-Earn enterprise: a focus on experience
Acknowledging this, Cradles: Origin of Species sees itself first and foremost as a gaming project, with a desire to provide true innovation in gaming, giving fresh experiences that wouldn’t have been possible without blockchain technology.
It doesn’t sacrifice the ability to earn, either, with a dual token model that promises great token rewards to players who complete activities in the game. In Cradles, however, players are encouraged to make new discoveries on their own and contribute to the upkeep of the game metaverse, earning substantially more for doing things or discovering new content.
Using a new NFT technology built on the EIP3664 protocol, Cradles will feature for the first time in any blockchain game modular NFTs: items, characters and elements that can be crafted, modified, combined with each other or taken apart, resulting in unlimited possibilities of customizable game products that players can trade.
These ever-evolving NFTs are what will make possible a metaverse that allows players to experience “increasing entropy” whereby the world around them changes continuously, breaking down if players don’t help to upkeep or maintain them. For example, weapons must continuously be cared for, and buildings must be repaired, for them to keep working.
Cradles founder T.Y. reflects: “We’re very excited about the potential of EIP-3664 as a modular NFT because the ability to utilize NFTs as actual practical articles would change the current perception of NFT as a mere static digital image. As an early demonstration of EIP-3664, we launched Dragontar Club, a community mascot project for our game Cradles.”
In conclusion, Cradles will be a blockchain game that allows players to earn. But instead of a simple Play-To-Earn concept, players will join a Play-And-Earn gaming environment.
Because in the end, games are all about fun experiences and that’s the only way games can truly be successful.
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