Play&Earn is here to gamify Life!
When you look at the bright variety of Play2Earn games, you would think that this is the pinnacle of Web3, and there’s nothing beyond. However, something always follows, and the present is a future prototype. Therefore, P2E is just the tip of the iceberg hidden under an ocean of uncertainty.
What will change in the gaming universe where you can earn? A glimpse into the future?
The emergence of Play2earn games was predictable. Years before Huntercoin, you could buy gold from players in WarCraft, go on a paid excursion to the best places on the map, or pump up your character. The exact mechanics were found in WorldOfTanks and dozens of other games. With the advent of Blockchain came the answer to making money a part of the gameplay.
How did the P2E era begin?
The first P2E game appeared as an experiment in the not-too-distant past, in 2013 — namely, Huntercoin. A non-trivial task was presented to the player — to walk around the map and find coins of the same name. Afterwards, players collected goodies to exchange for other cryptocurrencies and get fiat.
Huntercoin was one of the first independent altcoins (not the clones that emerged from Bitcoin’s forks). The creators intended to support the game for one year to see what Blockchain technology could do.
However, the experiment was so successful that the game survived more than one update. And even the sad death of Mikhail Sindeev, the code’s developer, did not prevent it from developing — the fact that the game was decentralised from the very beginning helped a lot.
What killed it? The bots swarmed in and quickly collected all the coins by meeting the conditions of the simple game mechanics. That said, support for the game continues to this day, and the attention to bots is getting increasingly intense.
P2E’s Heyday and Crisis
Huntercoin’s success and popularity led to the rapid growth of the P2E games segment and then to an equally rapid decline due to the Bitcoin collapse in 2013. Blockchain’s reputation was shaken, and many projects folded.
However, in 2017, along with the subsequent rise of Bitcoin — P2E blossomed in a new capacity, along with the re-emergence of NFTs.
The first game combining the two technologies immediately took off in the charts. It was CryptoBots. Each NFT from the 10,000 total release was a character with traits and abilities that helped him fight other CryptoBots in space battles.
That’s when the first mobile game, Spells of Genesis, also debuted. For completing quests, players received cards that could be turned into NFT — the first recorded case of minting.
NFTs rocked the P2E world in a big way, turning games into what we see today. However, their rise was also halted by the Bitcoin crash in 2017.
P2E had a particular rise in adoption during the pandemic when, suddenly, earnings in the game became comparable to regular salaries in many countries. This is how Axie Infinity became successful in the Philippines.
The current crypto winter is again exposing the weaknesses of the tokenomics of some games, and they are collapsing under the pressure of the Ponzi Scheme.
What makes them Ponzis?
No P2E games are conceived as pyramid schemes. How, then, do they turn into Ponzis?
You have to buy an NFT to start, play and earn in proportion to your investment. The game pays the expected dividends, which attracts new players. However, with the occasional crisis in the market — the whales withdrew their savings, and newcomers stopped getting the expected results. And that’s it — it turns out that the Ponzi trap has closed.
Any game — even the steady Axie Infinity — is not immune to the Ponzi Scheme problem. If players play for profit, with the high volatility of the crypto world, they will quickly withdraw what they have won at the first bear market.
However, if they play with pleasure, the winnings will be an excellent addition but not an actual target. And that’s the insight of this crypto winter, the application of which has the potential to take P2E to a quality and sustainable level.
Play&Earn instead of Play2earn
Huntercoin, the Play2earn segment attracted primarily those who wanted to play and collect coins, as well as many scammers and bots, which many developers are already successfully fighting against. However, if the game does not have exciting gameplay, it will fall to the fate of a financial pyramid!
Tomer Warschauer Nuni, the Head of Marketing at Kryptomon, thought about this before writing the tokenomics:
“In general, ‘play to earn’ is never sustainable and is mostly a Ponzi scheme. That’s why for example we said a long time ago that we are creating a ‘play AND earn’ game — where players will be first PLAYING AND ENJOYING A GAME, while having the opportunity to earn money — and not WORKING in a game they don’t enjoy to make some cash”.
It seems more like an excuse — no one guarantees winning. So play, and you’ll earn something there. However, this approach fundamentally changes the case.
First and foremost, the game strives to be engaging, constantly challenging artists and game designers to create something new and valuable.
Exactly as Stepn’s blog states:
“It is apparently possible for P2E games to be sustainable and ethical at the same time through well-designed tokenomics and value creation. The state of its health is dependent on market forces and user sentiment. It will take some time for P2E games to shed the association with Ponzi Schemes, but with constant oversight and agile management from game developers, P2E games can easily maintain their longevity and stay equitable for all players.’’
In other words, if your game is valuable and engaging, it will be sustainable in the market, constantly attract new players, and there will be no mass exodus at the first bitcoin failure. And here, the sceptics might argue:
‘What if you dismiss the fascination with the game as mere paranoia…’
‘What value will the player get, if not the winnings?”
Gamification of Life
Stepn is valuable because playing motivates a person to keep active and monetizes every step he takes that he hasn’t received a dime for before.
“STEPN’s focus is on bringing both intangible and tangible value to users, positioning the app so that users are rewarded for performing a core activity they would already be doing — moving around.”
This allows Stepn to call itself a Move2Earn game.
And what can P&E do next?
Of course, this is already the world of SocialFi, combining offline and online tech. For example, CryptoBaristas and Cookin’ Burgers teach the player how to make coffee or burgers virtually and give ways to develop the success of your food outlet so that these recipes will also be helpful in real life.
And some games, on the contrary, take the skills of an expert and monetize them in the form of a game. Such is the game Banksters.
“Banksters is a web3 game that rewards users for understanding trends in the crypto market.”
The game is for everyone who knows much about market movements but is tired of depending on its quotes for prediction. Traders always wanted to influence the colour of Japanese candles but everytime find themselves under the pressure of the almighty market. This leads to stress and panic attacks.
Banksters turns trading into an exciting game where players battle, not with the intangible market, but with each other. It allows traders to find out who is the better trader — because few traders will show the worth of their portfolios or admit what start-up capital they started with. Moreover, they have no goal to compete with anyone in trading.
And here, you are welcome to participate in trading with others, making bets for the fall or rise of this or that coin, according to your predictions. The game is directly connected to the crypto market. And if the forecast comes true, the player gets in the lead. If the situation is not in his favour, the bankster has a set of abilities that can change his position on the market to a positive one. However, to apply it correctly, one has to be skilled.
Of course, today, all these games are individual manifestations of a vast ecosystem, which will turn our Internet into 3D, i.e., a meta world, and auguments reality. And then processes from the web will affect what is happening around us even faster.
The obvious outcome will be the gamification of all life. All of its processes will become game-based. This will lower the degree of seriousness in world politics and economics and, hopefully, conflicts will be a thing of the past forever.
After all, as Bernard Shaw wrote:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
And may the planet be young for everyone to have enough room to play, preserving the Earth’s ecosystem for future generations.
Banksters is one of those projects that combines the old, the current and the future of Gaming. The Game itself introduced unique features, options with a new vision.
Stay tuned and become a beta tester and be the first one to experience the ‘’New Era or Gaming Projects’’.