Adventures In The P2E Gaming & NFT World: How People Are Making Money Playing Online Games

Adventures In The P2E Gaming & NFT World: How People Are Making Money Playing Online Games

Recently, my fantasy football team earned me 0.01 ETH (roughly USD39). It’s an online game that’s found the sweet spot between my multiple interests: sports, making money, and crypto.

I now spend a couple of (fun!) hours a week researching football stats, tinkering around with my team, and strategising how I’m gonna buy my next Liverpool FC NFT (non-fungible token).

In a locked-down world, Blockchain + NFT gaming became my muse. I think we’re on the cusp of something magical, so I’ve dived in and done some exploring.

Here are valuable things I’ve learned from my adventures.

When I was growing up, you had to pay to play computer games (legally). Yes, I know that sounds a little odd today, because we live in a world of free apps.

We’ve gotten used to this modern version of gaming: You get to play the game for free, but if you wanna access premium features (e.g. buying a tuxedo for your game hero), you pay.

The newest trend in gaming completely flips this around. Instead of paying to play games, you play games to earn money . Sure sounds like a gamer’s dream, but is it too good to be true?

Last year, this CoinDesk article thrust ‘Play-to-Earn’ gaming into the media spotlight. In it, author Leah Callon-Butler describes how a Pokemon -inspired game called Axie Infinity helps unemployed Filipinos put food on the table.

In it, one quote by Gaby Dizon, the founder of YGG a play-to-earn gaming guild, stands out: “To a crypto investor, gaining USD300 or 400 a month might not mean that much, but for these people, it means the world.”

If you’ve ever explored the dream of being a full-time athlete/gamer/YouTuber — a profession based on passion — you might know how hard it is to go pro.

For example, taking data from common USA sports, this website calculates the odds of a high school football player (Americans call this ‘soccer) making it to professional-level is one in 5,768. That’s 0.017%.

The rest of us sports lovers live our dreams through weekly games with our friends and cheering our favourite teams on TV. But what if play-to-earn (P2E) games could provide another option?

Over here in Malaysia, USD300 to USD400 a month is already above minimum wage. So I’ll never become a pro athlete, but what if I could earn a reasonable side income playing online games?

“What’s the catch?”
“If it were really so easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?”
“Sounds like some kinda money game to me!?”

The catch is that we’re super early right now, and nobody can tell for sure if P2E will continue to be successful. Axie Infinity is really ‘patient zero, the first mainstream play-to-earn game.

Even then, Axie ‘s already made more than USD800 million in revenue this year, and will likely cross USD1 billion. That puts it in the same billion-dollar club with legendary games like PUBG , Fortnite , and Pokemon Go .

But there are big differences in the business models. In free-to-play games like Fortnite , most — if not 100% — of the revenue goes to the game publisher. For example, if I buy a special costume for my character for 20 bucks, this money goes to Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite .

Compare this to Axie : When you buy something here, you’re buying it from another player, not ‘Axie Infinity Private Limited’. In effect, Axie Infinity only takes 5% of in-game sales — 95% goes to the players. 95%.This is how players earn money, as opposed to previous business models, where gaming publishers earned the fat profits.I’ll bet you every competent gaming studio in the world is looking at the play-to-earn model right now and trying to figure it out. Yes, things might still fail or we might have to go through a few iterations to make the economics work — but a major shift is happening.(For a deep dive into Axie Infinity , I highly recommend Packy McCormick’s piece at Not Boring .)So far we’ve only discussed gaming, but this shift has the potential to improve our lives in many other ways.While Chris Dixon explained it best on Twitter, here’s me trying to explain in my own words:The Internet as we know it today is dominated by platforms — think powerful companies like Facebook and Google. We call this Web2. What’s interesting is most of the content on these platforms is actually created by users themselves. Scroll your Facebook feed and let me know if any of the important words/pictures were created by Facebook Inc?Nope, […]

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