The Unfolding Direction Of Play-to-Earn Gaming
The growth of Play-to-Earn (P2E) games is a trend that has been picking up steam in recent years, primarily due to their ability to offer players the opportunity to play for free and earn in-game rewards or credits.
According to DappRadar’s Blockchain Game Report for October 2021, more than 100,000 unique active wallets (UAW) have connected to one or more P2E games, accounting for about 55% activity of the entire blockchain industry.
Popular P2E games like Splinterlands and Axie Infinity laid the foundation of the GameFi economy, effectively representing ecosystems that merge the best attributes of gaming with finance. Within these games, players are granted full ownership of their in-game assets through the use of NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which they could easily buy, sell, and exchange across secondary marketplaces, even outside of the game, to generate a potential income stream.
Following the hyper-growth of first-generation P2E games, hundreds of new games flooded the market. These new P2E games further expanded the utility of NFTs, giving players more reasons to participate in them. Here are a few P2E gaming projects that are heralding a new era of GameFi.
Providing The Infrastructure For P2E Tournaments
The eSports industry is ranked among the fastest-growing sectors, with a market valuation of more than a billion dollars at present. However, the existing infrastructure isn’t well-equipped to facilitate large-scale eSports tournaments.
To solve existing problems related to lack of transparency, centralized control, delayed payouts, and several others, Ignite Tournaments, a well-known P2E infrastructure provider, is developing the world’s first P2E eSports tournament organization and streaming app for iOS and Android-based mobile games.
As an end-to-end infrastructure for organizing mobile eSports tournaments with payouts in crypto and NFTs, Ignite Tournaments supports many valuable features, such as streaming and live chat, sponsorship prizing, on-chain consensus voting, automated match adjudication, Guild management, and more. Ignite Tournaments is backed by some of the biggest names from the blockchain, Web3, and P2E gaming spaces, including YGG, Ascensive Assets, Animoca Brands, Rainmaker Games, Infinity Venture Crypto, Yield Guild Games, Battle Saga, Moonbeam and Moonriver, and Thomas Vu’s Moon Holdings, among others.
In this context, it is critical to note that “Guilds” are a vital component of the expanding P2E ecosystem. Guilds are communities of like-minded gamers, just like “clans” in Call of Duty or other traditional games. However, there’s a significant difference: while clans are usually led or owned by one or two individuals, guilds follow the concept of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations).
Guilds lower entry barriers for new players, especially for P2E games that require an initial investment. These “guilds” often consist of players who empower the entire community by educating each other and creating a self-sustainable economy. Furthering the concept of DAOs in P2E games, Balthazar, a P2E NFT gaming platform, aims to make it easy for everyone to earn and invest in GameFi. Additionally, Balthazar also provides the infrastructure to launch full-fledged NFT games.
The platform has developed a multi-game portfolio across prominent ecosystems like Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polygon, Hive, Solana, Ronin, and Tezos. As a result, it supports a wide range of P2E NFT games across multiple blockchains. With the Balthazar DAO, community members can deploy their assets most profitably and, by extension, benefit themselves, other community members, investors, and the DAO.
Launched in 2021, Balthazar already commands more than 1,500 active scholars on the platform, with a backlog of more than 50,000 scholars on the waiting list. The Balthazar community has experienced substantial growth momentum within this short period, adding more than 70,000 Discord members, over 18,000 Twitter followers, and above 20,000 Facebook page members.
A New Wave Of P2E Games
Battle Drones is an upcoming PC-only play-to-earn game built on the Unity engine. It features in-game NFTs and the native $BATTLE token, powered by the Solana blockchain.
According to the team behind this unique P2E game, Battle Drones is a multi-stage project focusing on a PC 3D isometric shooter-style gameplay paired with fun and immersive game mechanics. With its gamer-first approach, Battle Drones also offers an enticing reward system, incentivizing participants while at the same time encouraging long-term participation.
Founded in July 2021 by a team of developers, artists, and designers from leading organizations like Netflix and Centrality, Battle Drones recently secured a pre-seed investment from the Solar Eco Fund, one of the leading venture funds in the Solana ecosystem. While the mainnet release date for Battle Drones has yet to be announced, the community is already showing promising signs of growth.
Legacy game development studio XAYA, known for its involvement in the blockchain game development since 2013 and credited for introducing the first-ever blockchain game called “Huntercoin” in 2014, is back with a new game. After years of research and development to build its proprietary scalable and permissionless blockchain, XAYA is all-set to facilitate the next wave of P2E games.
Marking its re-entry into the blockchain gaming scene, XAYA has partnered with GeekyAnts to bring the classic sports management game to the blockchain. Dubbed “Soccer Manager Elite,” this game is built on XAYA’s fully open-sourced blockchain gaming platform, featuring full asset ownership, DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), and DEXs (decentralized exchanges). In addition, Soccer Manager Elite also introduces “fractionalized NFTs” paired with the Play-to-Earn (P2E) model.
Next, we have Silks, the first-ever P2E metaverse featuring derivative NFTs that reflect a virtual replica of the real-world thoroughbred horse racing industry. In the Silks metaverse, each horse born in the real world is tokenized as an NFT and sold to the interested player. Each NFT represents and tracks the real-time performance of the horses in the offline world and accordingly rewards its owners with tokens that can be applied to different activities within the Silks metaverse.
A non-inflationary pair of tokens power the Silks ecosystem to ensure a stable economy. At the same time, all of the in-game Silks NFTs are organically scarce, which means that while other P2E games can mint as many NFTs as they want, Silks NFTs are delimited by the number of actual horses born in the real world.
Singapore-based company Affyn has also launched its Metaverse project, featuring a free-to-play, play-to-earn mobile game with integrated AR and geolocation capabilities. Powered by NFTs and the in-game token $FYN, Affyn’s NEXUS WORLD metaverse is mapped to the real world, allowing players to explore, play, and participate in activities and earn rewards.
Mobile geolocation-based gaming is on the rise, as is evident from the success of mainstream games like Pokemon Go. Affyn’s NEXUS WORLD takes mobile geolocation-based gaming to a whole new level by integrating it with AR (augmented reality) and blockchain technology. Additionally, unlike most P2E games, where NFTs from one game can’t be employed in another game, Affyn’s NEXUS WORLD’s NFTs can be transferred to other games of different genres. Furthermore, the in-game currency can be used to pay for real-world expenses.