Crypto gaming is a brand new sector that started drawing public attention roughly one year ago. Nevertheless, this young sector is witnessing a steady decline in interest as most gamers quit playing once they are able to cash in on their earnings. The bad market conditions recently also make things worse.
As such, it’s time for crypto gaming to either adjust and become a trillion-dollar industry or die.
Having to spend thousands of dollars just to play a video game is stupid, but that’s the common entry fee of crypto games these days.
In fact, this standard of investment come from the NFT market. The boom of the NFT trend in 2021 has pushed the “floor price” of NFT in-game assets to an absurd level. People still rush to buy these NFTs at exorbitant prices and hope that the number went up.
This situation adds significant stress to the in-game economy because the earnings now have to justify this huge entry cost. In order to help players to get to ROI as soon as possible, other people need to put more money into the ecosystem, or they have to benefit from ponzinomics. Besides, large initiative investments are making players sweat instead of actually enjoying the game.
Some might argue that renting and scholarships are a solution here. However, the point of crypto gaming is to get full ownership of your gaming assets, so borrowing NFTs to play is senseless in this situation. The most possible way out now is to remove speculative thinking inherited from NFT markets.
Perceptive investors might realize that the first wave of crypto games is essentially a marriage of NFTs and DeFi. While many players buy in-game NFT with the hope of “price going up” like how it works in the NFT market, others expect that they can buy a game’s token and earn passive yield from it without playing the game via staking pools.
It’s true that copying those paradigms helped crypto gaming kick-started efficiently, but they’re now actively hurting it.
In particular, staking in most crypto games tends to be implemented in one of two ways: take the governance token to get more of the governance token, or stake the governance token to get a share of in-game revenue. None of these models really make sense, because they reward DeFi people with deep pockets instead of actual players. Besides, the first one even causes massive inflation in the reward currency which will eventually cause its value to collapse.
Of course, new mechanisms of DeFi space are not always harmful to Crypto games. They just need to be applied in more selective and innovative ways. Recently, I read about the idea of giving staked governance tokens the voting right in Elpis Battle. In other words, stakers can take part in the process of developing gameplay. This would be an excellent case to watch and learn in the coming time.
As already mentioned, most players come to crypto games with high expectations of great earnings. Unfortunately, no game can keep increasing everyone’s earning potential without having some massive inflation.
For crypto games to be sustainable, the expectations need to be shifted from P&E games being something you can quickly make huge profits, to games that are actually fun to play and able to cash out some of your work.
DOTA 2 is a prime example of this model. Although it isn’t a crypto game, the assets in the game do have value in their in-game marketplace where you can sell your rewards to someone else and take some profits. However, most players end up spending more than they earn and still enjoy playing it.
In short, crypto games need to change from play-to-earn to play-and-earn terminology first, before thinking about building a sustainable game economy.
Most gameplay of crypto games now is considered as bullshit work, doesn’t have any actual gameplay.
All players need to do is click and breed, so a person or guild with a ton of capital can buy up many of the assets, start a breeding operation, and have a huge influence on the market without really having to play the game. Moreover, it’s the fact that no one wants to play these games when they aren’t making money from them. Therefore, they’ll run for the exits and dump everything at the first sign of market trouble.
As a result, crypto games need to be primarily fun with a side of earning in order to develop sustainability. The earnings should come from activities closer to “play” than repetitive clicking.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean all “clicking games” are bad, just that they should have a decent strategy and tactical layer attached to them. There should exist some tradeoffs. Elpis Battle, for example, is an interesting strategic turn-based game that requires players to learn about game assets, positioning, or diversified skills to calculate the optimal way to play.
This was a bit of a brain dump in the crypto gaming sector right now. A steady decline in interest in P2E gaming is being witnessed as most gamers quit playing once they are able to cash in on their earnings. However, it’s also a timely break for the market to look back and improve existing fundamental problems.