11 Ways to Earn Money with Blockchain Games
This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.
For many decades, gaming was just for fun. With the rise of blockchain gaming, video games became much more than that. More specifically, blockchain technology enabled players to become owners of in-game content and earn money by playing games.
While this new type of gaming is still in its infancy, there are already many ways to earn money with blockchain games.
Here are the best ones!
1. Play Games to Earn Rewards
Each blockchain game has its own play-to-earn system in regards to what exactly players need to do to earn rewards and what type of reward they get. However, generally speaking, they all follow the same concept — players play the game and interact with its ecosystem and get rewarded for it. That can include battling other players, participating in tournaments and events, completing tasks, etc.
Most commonly, the rewards come in the form of fungible and non-fungible tokens. Typically, every blockchain game has its native token, or several of them, each of which serves a different purpose.
Let me give you an example of how the play-to-earn model works in a popular blockchain game.
In Plants vs. Undead, a game similar to Plant vs. Zombies, players need to protect a mother tree and fight off the undead. If they’re successful at this (or they complete other game tasks), players are rewarded with Light Energy tokens, which can be exchanged for the game’s native token, PVU. That token, in turn, can be swapped on exchanges for other tokens or fiat currency.
2. Breed Game Characters
Many blockchain games allow players to breed game characters. This is another way to earn money with blockchain games.
Here’s how it works.
In such games, game characters are NFTs, which means each of them is unique and has only one owner. By breeding two game characters, players can create a completely new and unique character and basically mint a new NFT. This brand NFT can be sold. Depending on the rarity level and the current market state, players might make a profit.
Here’s an example of a game that uses this model.
Breeding in Axie Infinity
In Axie Infinity, players can breed Axies — game creatures that are used for battles. While the breeding process enables players to get more Axies for battle, players can also sell them for profit to other players. When players breed Axies, genetics come into play, just like with humans or animals. Certain genes can be passed down to the offspring. To get an idea of which characteristics the offspring might have, players can use this breeding simulator.
By breeding Axies, players get the chance to get a rare offspring that will be worth a lot of money. However, that depends on which Axies are bred. In other words, which genes they have and how pure they are. Furthermore, AXS and SLP tokens are required for breeding, so it doesn’t come without a cost. Furthermore, the Axie Infinity market is quite unpredictable, which is another risk factor when trying to make a profit.
3. Buy Metaverse Land
During the last couple of years, we saw a boom in the virtual real estate market. Metaverse land has become a hot commodity — everybody wants a piece of it.
There’s a good reason for it. Owning metaverse land can be very lucrative.
Let me explain.
Games like Decentraland and The Sandbox brought the new, blockchain-based version of metaverse gaming into the mainstream. These games enable players to explore a virtual world, interact with other players, build, and create. But most importantly, these types of games allow players to become landowners in the metaverse.
In 2021, everybody went crazy for the metaverse and we saw many celebrities and brands buying plots of digital land for insane amounts. Because there was such high demand and the number of available land parcels is usually limited in such games, it drove the prices up. Thus, owning land became very profitable, just like it’s often the case with real-world real estate.
Furthermore, virtual real estate owners can not only sell their land for profit but also rent it to other players. This is another way to earn a passive income.
It’s important to note that land in the metaverse is an NFT. As I mentioned, trading NFTs can be very lucrative, depending on their value.
Here’s an example of a blockchain game where players can earn money by owning metaverse land.
Owning Land in Decentraland
Decentraland is one of the most popular metaverse games on the market. One of its main draws is the ability to own land in this virtual world. You can buy Decentraland land on the game’s official marketplace or secondary marketplaces like OpenSea. All purchases inside Decentraland are made with MANA, the game’s native token. There are several districts in Decentraland and the land price depends on which district it’s located in.
As the game becomes more and more popular and the limited land parcels become more scarce and exclusive, land owners can sell their parcels for a big profit or rent them.
4. Trade NFTs
As I mentioned before, game characters and in-game items in blockchain games are typically NFTs. That means owning them has real-world value. NFTs can include game characters, weapons, wearables, collectibles, land, etc. In some cases, players are rewarded with NFTs for playing the game and competing. However, players can also purchase them on various NFT marketplaces.
Regardless of how they got them, players who own NFTs can trade them and make a profit. It’s one of the easiest ways to earn money with blockchain games. The goal, of course, is to sell non-fungible tokens for as high a price as possible. That depends on many factors, like the rarity of the NFT and the overall state of the market.
5. Create and Sell In-Game Items
When it comes to ways to earn money with blockchain games, creating in-game items is also very popular. For example, you can create avatars, buildings, weapons, wearables, game art, etc., and sell them for profit.
This is particularly popular in metaverse games, as they rely on users to populate the land and create various experiences. For example, The Sandbox has its own 3D modeling tool called VoxEdit. It enables players to easily create avatars, tools, and objects, and import them into the game. After these items have been imported into the metaverse, they become NFTs.
To get an idea of what type of items are in demand, head over to NFT marketplaces and do some research.
6. Invest in Blockchain Games
Investing is also among the ways to earn money with blockchain games. You can invest in a game that’s still in development, or invest in existing games that you like.
The easiest way to do that is to purchase the game’s token. For example, if you like Alien Worlds, an NFT metaverse game, you might choose to buy Trillium (TLM), its native token. As the game becomes more popular, the value of TLM will grow and thus your earnings.
However, rather than just buying tokens and letting them sit in your wallet without being used, a smarter idea is to stake them. This is also a form of investment.
Learn all about it in the following section.
7. Stake Tokens
Staking tokens in a blockchain game means you temporarily “lock” some of your tokens and make a contribution to the blockchain network. In other words, you agree not to withdraw your tokens for a certain time period. Most commonly, the longer the user stakes tokens, the higher the rewards are.
Staking not only increases token value, as it limits the supply but also helps govern blockchain games.
In exchange, stakers can receive various rewards and perks. Usually, the staking rewards include additional coin and token rewards and the ability to vote in the game’s DAO. Furthermore, people who stake tokens hope that their value will increase with time. All this is what makes staking the perfect way to earn a passive income.
Staking in Illuvium
Here’s an example of how staking works in Illuvium, a popular blockchain game.
There are two pools where players can stake tokens — ILV and ILV/ETH. Both have a minimum 1-month lock and a maximum 12-month lock for the tokens. Naturally, the longer a user stakes tokens, the more rewards they receive.
According to the Illuvium website, “Users can claim these rewards as $ILV with a 12-month lockup period or $sILV2 that can be claimed and used immediately for gameplay and auctions such as the Land Sale and Illuvitars.”
8. Create Mini-Games in the Metaverse
Many metaverses allow players to create mini-games inside the game. That makes the whole metaverse experience richer.
However, it can also be an earning opportunity. If you create a mini-game on your land in the metaverse, you might be able to charge people tickets for it. Furthermore, this can potentially drive up the value of your land, which you can also rent out to other players.
9. Become a Host in the Metaverse
Did you know that there are virtual casinos in the metaverse looking for hosts?
According to Decentral Games’ Twitter account, the company’s Tominoya Casino in Decentraland is employing players to be hosts. The job of the host is to greet customers and help those who are new at metaverse gambling. The tweet claims hosts can earn up to $500 in DAI or the company’s DG token.
“The system allows customers to “be the house” and financially aligns the interests of our employees with our players, fostering a stronger sense of community not seen in the traditional gaming sector.” — Decentral Games
While Decentral Games is the first ever employer in the metaverse, there’s a high chance other companies will follow. That means there might be many more job opportunities in the metaverse.
10. Create a Club or Art Gallery in the Metaverse
There are many different ways to earn money with blockchain games when you own land in the metaverse, not just by selling it. Landowners in metaverse games can create various buildings and experiences on their parcels and charge other players for interacting with them.
For example, you can create a club in the metaverse and charge musicians to play there and other players to attend the concert. Creating an art gallery on your property is another potential passive income opportunity and it also makes your land significantly more valuable. Because NFT art is very popular, having a place to display it is a great addition to the metaverse. Plus, you get to show off your NFT collection.
Popular real-life galleries like Sotheby’s and various NFT marketplaces already have virtual art galleries in metaverses that are quite popular.
11. Become a Freelancer in the Metaverse
Did you know that you can offer your services to other players and essentially become a freelancer in the metaverse?
Granted, metaverse games are still young and this might take some time to become a viable income option, but there’s a lot of potential there.
Metaverse games have various freelance opportunities like creating art and wearables, 3D modeling, video creation, coding, game development, marketing, etc. For example, somebody could hire you to develop land in The Sandbox and create game experiences on it or to build an art gallery on the land. The possibilities are endless. To find these job opportunities, it’s best to check out the game’s Discord server. For example, Decentraland has a hiring section on their Discord.
Furthermore, freelance metaverse jobs are also available on traditional freelance platforms. For example, there was a recent job opportunity on Freelance.com to build a museum in Decentraland from a company that partnered with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Iran. Their budget was $20,000 to $50,000! So if you have a skill that could be useful in the metaverse, make sure to capitalize on it.
Summarizing Ways to Earn Money with Blockchain Games
Finally, if you want to go further than earning in existing blockchain games, why not create your own? Granted, that’s easier said than done. However, if you have some game development experience and can put together a great team, why not try it?
The blockchain gaming market is still young and ripe with opportunity, unlike the mobile gaming market, for example, that’s known for being oversaturated.