What Are NFT and Metaverse (Play-to-Earn) Games?

04/26/2024, 04:43 PM

What Are NFT and Metaverse (Play-to-Earn) Games?

Play-to-Earn games allow users to earn cryptocurrencies or NFTs that can be traded on crypto exchanges.

About 50 years ago, the first video games appeared on the market.

As with most new products that hit the market, video games were considered by many to be a fleeting hit that would not leave a big mark.

Today, along with movies, books, music and other forms of media, video games are an important part of pop culture. The gaming industry is expected to reach a value of 256 billion USD by 2025.

The video game industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and it's doing so by experimenting with the best available (and popular) technology.

The gaming industry has often implemented new technologies and over time popularized them among the masses.

In the last few years, he has been experimenting with blockchain technology and NFT projects and is trying to enter the Web 3.0 sphere.

Through blockchain technology and tokenization, games are gradually evolving into gamer communities where certain financial gains can be made for playing.

This model in the gaming world is also known as "Play-to-Earn".

What Are Blockchain Play-to-Earn (P2E) Games?

Play-to-Earn (P2E) is a term that describes a model that combines video games, blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and NFTs into one entity.

In this model, the central part is made up of games developed on blockchain technology.

The whole philosophy of the "play-to-earn" model is that users actively participate in the game, and the digital content they acquire while playing can be sold for real money or continue to be improved with the hope that it will achieve greater value over time.

Unlike traditional games where digital content (trophies, weapons, gear, coins, cars, etc.) function solely within the same game, in P2E games, digital content becomes a digital asset.

Many Play-to-Earn games also have their own tokens.

With the help of these tokens, you can buy in-game content, and you can get it as a reward for passing certain levels.

How Do Blockchain Play-to-Earn Games Work?

Blockchain Play-to-Earn games reward users through two methods:

  • Digital NFT items that can be sold on the NFT marketplace.
  • Tokens from the game that are used to purchase digital items. Tokens can also be sold on cryptocurrency exchanges for fiat currencies (EUR,USD)
The illustration shows the selection of an avatar within a video game.

1. NFT buying and selling in Play-to-Earn games

In Play-to-Earn games, digital items (cars, weapons, maps, clothes...) and even characters function as part of the NFT collection.

Each NFT is different and the person managing it can prove their ownership thanks to the fact that this data is stored on the blockchain.

If a person continuously upgrades their NFT character or some piece of digital equipment through the game, there is a chance that that NFT will achieve a higher value.

When it reaches the desired value, it can be sold on the NFT marketplace for a certain number of tokens. Tokens can be sent to a cryptocurrency exchange and sold for fiat.

Of course, the value of an NFT within a game is also determined by how popular that game is and how much its token is worth in the market.

2. Cryptocurrencies in Play-to-Earn games

In addition to NFT items, players can also receive a certain amount of tokens that are used within the game.

In most cases, tokens are obtained after passing certain levels or challenges in the game. Many games also introduced the possibility of earning money through "staking".

Staking in blockchain games works by staking your own character or a specific NFT item on the in-game marketplace.

Other players can “rent” your characters or items, and you can earn extra tokens that way.

Traditional Video Games vs Blockchain Play-to-Earn Games

When you play a traditional video game, all characters and equipment (weapons, cars, clothes, etc.) that you use to enhance your character are valid only within that game.

In Play-to-Earn games, the equipment you've used and even your character have real-world value.

Currently, every form of digital asset within games most often appears as an NFT (NFT projects have the greatest application in the gaming world).

Take for example the currently most popular P2E game Axie Infinity.

When you start playing Axie Infinity, you first need to buy 3 Axies (Axies are the main characters in the game. They are often compared to Pokemon because of their appearance).

Each Axie is actually an NFT that has unique characteristics. Thanks to blockchain technology, when you buy Axie, the ownership information will be stored on the blockchain network.

In addition to keeping Axie pets as part of the NFT collection, you can improve them by playing and even use them for "breeding", i.e. growing new Axies.

Play-to-Earn games are also decentralized.

This means that the company or group of people who made the game do not have full control over it, but the community that actively participates in the game has the right to vote regarding certain changes that will be introduced in the game.

The economic value created in Play-to-Earn games is perhaps even the biggest difference compared to traditional games.

Are Blockchain Play-to-Earn Games Free?

Before starting any of the Play-to-Earn games, you should be well informed.

There are many NFT and crypto video games that are free to play. They work in such a way that you get a starting "hero" or a set of gear and level up in the game.

However, in most cases, such heroes or equipment that you get at the beginning are not NFTs that are stored on the blockchain.

The game will ask you at some point to buy an in-game token or NFT hero to get the ability to earn in-game.

Let's take the previously mentioned Axie infinity for example. If you want to start playing, you need to buy 3 Axies.

Since the game has become universally popular, which was also reflected in the price of Axie tokens, the initial purchase could cost you up to several thousand kunas.

After purchase, you can start playing and upgrading your Axies.

Before you choose the desired blockchain game and start playing, you need to pay attention to several important things.

Most blockchain games use their own tokens and NFTs. This means that buying certain tokens and NFTs carries a risk because their prices are subject to large changes.

Always read the whitepaper or other document issued by the developers or company that created the game.

Try to find as much information as possible about the team behind the game, as well as the tokenomics, that is, the way the token will be used in the game.

The illustration shows an orange video game console.

How to start playing Play-to-Earn games?

There are 3 steps required to play blockchain Play-to-Earn games.

To begin with, you need to create your own digital wallet.

Most users for blockchain games use Metamask wallet. With this digital wallet, you will also connect to the game (*you will not have to go through the process of creating an account and creating a password).

Depending on which game you choose, you can download it via Google Play or the App Store, or you can play it directly on the official website.

Before starting the game, you will often need to buy a certain number of game tokens or NFTs, otherwise you will not have the opportunity to earn.

If you're not sure which blockchain P2E game to start with, check out the list of the most popular games.

Axie Infinity NFT game cover.

1. Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is one of the most popular Play-to-Earn NFT games.

In this game that draws inspiration from the Pokemon series, players can collect and breed Axia's digital pets.

Each Axie has unique characteristics and acts as an NFT.

You can trade them on the NFT marketplace, and the price an Axie can achieve depends on its rarity and unique characteristics.

Players can participate in PVP battles, perform various tasks within the adventure mode, for which they can receive a Smooth Love Potion (SLP) token.

The game also has another token called Axis Infinity Shard (AXS) which functions as a governance token within the Axie Infinity game.

You can see more about the Axie Infinity game on their official website.

Cover and logo of the NFT game Gods Unchained.

2. Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is one of the most popular crypto games. It is a free Play-to-Earn card game where every card functions as an NFT.

The goal of the game is to put together a good combination of cards and use them in direct combat (PVP) with other players. Great emphasis in the game is placed on strategy in drawing cards and fighting with other players.

Cards can be obtained by winning skirmishes with other players or by purchasing them from other players. Every card in the game is actually an NFT (acts as an ERC-721 token).

This means that you can trade cards on the NFT marketplace within the Gods Unchained platform.

Players can also sell their tickets, for which they will receive a GODS token, which is used as a means of payment in the game.

You can read more about the game on the Gods Unchained official page.

NFT card collection in the Splinterlands video game.

3. Splinterlands

Splinterlands is a card game based on the Hive blockchain that has similar features to Gods Unchained. Each ticket acts as an NFT that you can trade and sell.

The difference compared to Gods Unchained is that you first have to buy a starter pack of cards worth around $10.

By participating in various in-game battles and tournaments, players can earn Dark Energy Crystals (DEC) tokens which are used as in-game currency.

You can see more about the game on the Splinterlands official site.

Il layout del metaverso di The Sandbox.

4. The Sandbox

Sandbox is a Play-to-Earn game that became popular after the metaverse concept came into public focus.

Namely, the game has its own metaverse where players can create digital items and sell them on the Sandbox marketplace.

The concept of the game is reminiscent of Minecraft and Roblox.

The unique feature of this game are tools with the help of which users can create and animate digital objects that they can then use in the game.

Every creation is actually an NFT.

Within the Sandbox ecosystem, the SAND token is used with which players can make transactions. There is also a LAND token that is used to purchase virtual lands.

You can find out more about the game on The Sandbox official page.

Gioco di carte NFT con elementi di finanza decentralizzata - Alien Worlds

5. Alien Worlds

Alien Worlds is a game that combines elements of decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs, and the metaverse.

Gameplay includes features such as space exploration, quest solving and other activities through which players can obtain various NFT items as well as the original game token Trilium (TLM).

A unique feature of this game is that it contains numerous DAO organizations (they are shown as planets in the game).

Each player who has a certain number of Trilium tokens can participate in determining the course of the game and making important decisions.

Also some players can run for planet leader (DAO organization). Each planet can have several leaders at the same time.

You can find out more about the game on the Alien Worlds official page.

Layout of the metaverse environment in the Decentraland game.

6. Decentraland

Decentraland is a game that is based on the Ethereum network.

It is conceived as a metaverse VR platform where users, with the help of their own avatars, can participate in various games, sell or buy digital things, real estate, etc.

Over time, the platform has integrated payment applications, peer-to-peer communication into the game to improve the gaming experience.

Two types of tokens are used in Decentraland:

  • LAND - token with the help of which the ownership of virtual real estate in Decentraland is determined
  • MANA - token with the help of which digital things acquired in Decentraland are bought and sold.

You can find out more about the game on the Decentraland official website.

NFT collection of digital tanks in Spider Tanks game.

7. Spider Tanks

Spider Tanks is a classic PVP game created in collaboration between Gala Games and Gamedia studio.

Spider Tanks aims to position itself as one of the leading blockchain esports games.

The gameplay is similar to the famous title World of Tanks in which the goal is to configure your own tank with better weapons in order to be more successful in the battle with other players.

In-game digital items (tanks, weapons) are actually tradable NFTs, and their properties will affect the overall value.

The main token in the game is Gala (GALA).

You can find out more about the game on the Spider Tanks official page.

NFT cards of famous footballers from the game Sorare Fantasy Football.

8. Sorare Fantasy football

Sorare is a fantasy football card game developed on the Ethereum blockchain where players collect or buy football player cards to participate in various competitions and thus get a chance to win rare cards in the form of NFTs.

Football player cards are divided into 4 categories: common, rare, super-rare and unique.

The game is free and players receive a pack of randomly selected football player cards upon registration.

However, in order to advance in the various contests and get a chance to win prizes, users will at some point have to buy rare tickets on the NFT marketplace for a certain number of Ethereum cryptocurrency.

Sorare currently holds licenses for over 200 world football clubs, including famous pop names Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, etc.

You can find out more about the game on Sorare football's official website.

NFT Market in the Star Atlas game.

9. Star Atlas

Star Atlas was one of the most anticipated AAA-grade blockchain games and it is based on the Solana blockchain network.

The gameplay focuses on space exploration, mining, and developing your own space fleet.

Players have the flexibility to create their own starships, crews, avatars, and place mining stations throughout the universe.

The starships also have combat capabilities, allowing players to engage in direct skirmishes and fight for resources and control.

Most of the game's digital content functions as NFTs.

You can find out more about the game on the official Star Atlas website.

Cover of the NFT game Illuvium.

10. Illuvium

Illuvium is an "open-world" RPG developed on the Ethereum network that resembles Pokemon in many ways.

The goal of the game is to explore a digital world filled with rare and unusual creatures called Illuvials.

Illuvials can be captured and then trained for combat.

The game is free, however there are elements within the game that players will need to purchase in order to be able to claim rewards.

Along with Axie Infinity, Illuvium is one of the most valuable games on the market.
You can find out more about the game on the official Illuvium website.