Play-to-Earn: Web3 Games Gaining Market Momentumby@hcss11
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Play-to-Earn: Web3 Games Gaining Market Momentum

by Caleb SimmonsJune 6th, 2023
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Blockchain technology enables gamers to create trustless and permissionless virtual worlds within Web3 environments. With NFTs and in-game tokens transferable into real-life assets and profits, Web3 games are set to take the gaming world by storm - but need greater community and airtight tokenization to do so.
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Competitive gamers are as hungry as ever for opportunities to hone their game and not only collect rewards but profit from their skills. In no other context is this more possible than with NFT video games built in Web3 environments. Using blockchain technology, players can make both passive and active income from gaming in Web3, leveraging NFT and token rewards in-game to profit offline. Ownership and control are the big value drivers here, especially when it comes to decentralization - no single locus of control combined with real-life profitability is what gamers are looking for today. This shift is attracting players looking to make gaming their living by playing in Web3.

Credit: CNBC

Though some say NFT games have fallen out of fashion, statistics say different: the play-to-earn market grew 18% last year and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as the $37.6B NFT market and $2.86B Web3 technology advance, growing more prominent, and converge on each other more every year. In-game currency has become turnkey for NFT-based games, given the video gaming and E-sports industries have long suffered from a lack of in-game currency redemption for real-life use. More players are seeing the profit potential and want to partner with their favorite game studios for events, demos, and tournaments. Web3-based play-to-earn gaming is the reason why.


Game studios and large gaming companies are terrified: they’re now competing with customizable blockchain-based substitutes that have transferable in-game currency and are controlled by consumers. It’s simply a better value proposition. While Web3 gaming gives players distributed ownership over their characters and in-game assets, mainstream-style games only have self-contained value and are controlled by centralized servers, which can crash, sustain attacks, or be deactivated if a game doesn’t profit over budget. With NFTs and in-game tokens transferable into real-life assets and profits, Web3 games are set to take the gaming world by storm - but need greater community and airtight tokenization to do so.


While today’s top gamers mostly monetize their gameplay through winning large tournaments and streaming on platforms like Twitch or Youtube, this is far from an optimal arrangement for the players, with Twitch taking 50% of streamers’ profits and Youtube forcing streamers to pay for reach (and thus followers). It’s a double-sided problem: even the most dedicated gamers make much less than their training and competition would otherwise bring in, and the streaming platforms fail to generate revenue streams due to short-term profit orientation. They are driving gamers away.

Image: Crypto Jobs List

Blockchain technology enables gamers to create trustless and permissionless virtual worlds within Web3 environments. Gamers are empowered to take control and ownership of not only their in-game assets but their characters as well, which means that control is in the hands of gamers, not centralized in inaccessible corporate servers. This creates an ecosystem built on not just control but also distribution. Blockchain technology is open-source: all players can trade character NFTs and exchange in-game currency and characters. Web3 games create virtual communities of gamers, digital collectors, and competitors around cultivating in-game assets, optimizing self-created characters, and trading with each other online or offline.

Everything in Web3 games has value. One example is Samurai Saga, a futuristic game where gamers play as samurais defending civilization. Set in a Japanese mythology-based, multiplayer battle royale environment, the game combines the Unreal gaming engine with an ecosystem based around staking character-based NFTs and NFT collections and harvesting its $GENKI token, at once the game’s central currency, reward, and power-up mechanism for battles and leveling up. The native in-game value monetary value system runs on $GENKI, which is pegged to the company’s revenue and thus stable. Different characters enable gamers to both accumulate $GENKI and stake and mint NFTs based on each character type.

4 character classes and a world awaiting.

Cyborg Samurais are the core generators of $GENKI tokens and harvest the largest pool of $GENKI tokens in the game. Onna-Bugeisha (“female martial artists”) both create Teen Samuraiand are able to harvest $GENKI tokens. The evil Kaijus, a monster-based class of characters, in addition to being able to harvest, also gain progressively more $GENKI tokens by accumulating battle victories. Finally, The Fallen - samurai resurrected by Kaijus - each have different complementary and supplementary sets of attributes and abilities, making parties of Fallen devastating to competitors and highly profitable for community-based gaming collectives. Doing well can unlock different NFTs of higher or lower value, and indeed, the token itself is community-based. In Web3 games like Samurai Saga, players stake and play to co-create real-life value in the environment of the game.

In a time when the objective value of NFTs is generally questioned, fighting to earn the privilege of staking your own NFT is a huge motivator to any Web3 gamer. Investors will be delighted to take advantage of opportunities in this space, given NFTs are not only a highly lucrative alternative portfolio option but also given the international scale of this token-and-NFT-based incentivization model as games take material from all cultures and all corners of the globe. Gamers, put on your headsets and bring out the arcade stick - the space is ripe for both new entrants and new personalities.