Future of Gaming: Play To Earn

For dedicated gamers who don’t have the desire to play e-sports nor be a streamer.

Adelene
ILLUMINATION
7 min readJul 19, 2021

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gaming
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Dedicated gamers: players who spend a lot of time playing their favorite games. Also called semi-serious gamers.

Imagine that you can sell your rare collectible in-game item, where you spent months to clear a fight to get it. Now, you have little attachment to the game due to real-life matters. Wouldn’t it be cool to have the choice to profit off your hard work?

The catch is that you don’t want to sell your account. It is your digital avatar in the online gaming world. Containing memories with your online friends and achievement points.

It hurts to even delete it, let alone selling it.

If I say, that there is a way to keep your digital character and get rewarded for your hard work. Would you be ecstatic? I certainly would be. I used to pour in hours of grinding and farming on MMORPG. I know I would want to have the option of reselling digital collectibles without outright selling off my account.

Play to earn gives options for dedicated players to thrive off their hard work by giving them the option to sell their in-game items.

streaming-games
Photo by ELLA DON on Unsplash

Old Methods For Making Money in Games

Previously, we have limited options to earn money from games. These options were:

Streaming — Twitch and/or YouTube

The streaming market is oversaturated. Competition for eyeballs is high. Competing for viewership with streamers with an established fan base is extremely difficult and slow.

Consequently, video game streams usually last over 40 minutes on average. It is okay to get into it if you like to try out streaming and you are comfortable on camera. However, for most people, it won’t be profitable.

Do it for enjoyment, or you will burn out fast.

Play to earn option is a good alternative to streaming. You don’t have to capture views. Just play your game well, and you will profit in the future.

Play Games In Beta Development

I scoured the website for methods to make money online. One of them is beta-testing games. Players play unreleased games. They report bugs and errors they found by playing the game to the game developer. It aids in polishing the game, allowing it to be less buggy on the official release.

This is the closest option to play to earn. However, if you couldn’t care less to report bugs then you might not like it. Play to earn allows players to enjoy their favorite game without concern about bugs and errors.

Competitive E-sport

No joke. The only way you can earn money in competitive e-sport is to be the 0.01% of top players. You don’t just have to be good. You have to be really really good. Think of professional e-sport competition as hard as a professional sport. That is what it takes to succeed in this space.

Play to earn is suitable for anyone who dedicates their time to the game. You don’t have to be a pro on it. You just have to be good enough to get a valuable item and sell it to someone willing to buy it.

So what allows play to earn to be achievable?

The introduction of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) into unique gaming assets.

What is an NFT?

Non-fungible token (NFT) is a token of ownership for assets like art, videos, photos, in-game items, and more. Non-fungible because one NFT cannot be exchanged for another NFT. Their value is not equivalent. For example, can you exchange a chair for another chair with a similar design? No, because they are not equal. The same concept applies to NFTs.

Previously, when players purchase an in-game item, we accepted that it be tied to that one account only. With the introduction of NFT, it is possible to transfer ownership. The in-game item is not tied to your account, it is tied to your crypto wallet.

You own the gaming asset.

Enjin — Gaming Centric Ecosystem

Enjin have an ecosystem focused on gaming applications. It is built on the Ethereum network, using ERC-1155 consensus. ERC-1155 allows both fungible tokens and NFTs to co-exist in gaming.

Wait, I thought NFT makes “Play To Earn” possible. Why are fungible tokens introduced on gaming items?

Not all items need to be unique. For instance, health potions should be easily available to players. There is no need to create NFT of health potions as they are often held in large quantities. Think of your gaming inventory. Items that are “stackable” to 99 would be fungible tokens, while items that take up a whole slot would be NFTs.

Only unique gaming items need to be NFTs.

Okay, I get it, it’s very cool.

So… how do I determine the value of gaming assets?

Gaming NFTs price would be determined by the forces of demand and supply of in-game economics.

Supply

Difficulty of Obtaining

The harder it is to obtain a particular item, the lower the amount of player base that has it. This is the “supply” constrict. An in-game item that is extremely hard for the majority of the player base to obtain is more valuable.

Scarcity (Time-limited item or not?)

Is the item time-limited? Is it only available in certain seasons, or is it a limited-event-only item that will not be obtainable after that event? The more scarce it is to get the item. The higher the value.

Transparent scarcity (no need for 3rd party tools)

I vividly remember the moment my team and I cleared an extremely difficult fight in-game and got an in-game mount as a reward. The first thing we did was to check the number of players that owned the in-game asset. We used third-party tools to aggregate all the data from the player-base with a relatively good degree of accuracy.

Rarity matters for gamers who like to collect gaming assets and achievements. NFT gaming asset lives on the blockchain allow them to check these factors with transparency.

Demand

Aesthetics

Humans like beautiful things. That applies to in-game items as well. The more aesthetically pleasing the item is, the more players would want to have it.

Emotional Attachment to players

Do players need to go through a lot of hurdles to obtain the item? If the player needs to clear several hard stages with their teammates. This increases their emotional attachment to the item. It is a representative of their time in the game. The higher the emotional attachment to the item, the less likely they are going to sell it.

How to gauge demand?

Forums, hype, community interest. The number of people participating to get the item. Demand is harder to track compared to supply, it can be guessed by gauging community interest.

playing-games
Photo by Axville on Unsplash

Play To Earn

If NFTs are well-implemented in games, players can have the option to make profits. This can be done by selling their digital assets.

These can be:

  • Farm for in-game items and selling them for a profit.
  • Clear difficult stages and sell the reward.
  • Unlock rare achievements items and profit it off.

Gamers can earn a good amount of money without much competition. As long as the digital item is slightly hard to get, there is a good chance someone will be willing to pay for it.

Players can probably get a decent amount of money in exchange for their time.

It is different than being a streamer on Twitch because we are not gaming to grab people’s time. It is a peer-to-peer marketplace that has more buyers. What’s more likely? Getting thousands of views on gaming streams, or selling your semi-rare item to someone who is willing to buy it.

I bet it is the latter.

Play to earn is a viable monetization for dedicated gamers. Gamers who pour in hours to be good at it, but not that good to be considered top players. Furthermore, it allows gamers who like non-e-sports games to earn money.

How great is that?

Conclusion

The old methods of making money by gaming are very hard. The most probable way to make a decent amount is to be a beta-tester. NFTs allow players to own their in-game products. The value of gaming assets is governed by supply and demand. The higher the difficulty of obtaining a product the fewer players will be able to obtain it, hence lower supply. The more scarce it is to obtain it, the lower the supply.

Play to earn allows gamers to earn a decent amount of money. They only have to be dedicated to getting a unique item and find a buyer willing to purchase it. It allows semi-serious gamers to earn money in the future.

Want to know more about blockchain? Every Sunday, I share about blockchain basics or projects at comprehend.substack.com

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Adelene
ILLUMINATION

Crypto enthusiast. Privacy and security advocate. Obsessed about productivity, self-development, and finance. Learn about crypto on comprehend.substack.com