In 2021, there were 3 billion gamers worldwide, and the industry generated hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. An industry big enough for some countries to label gaming as an addiction, and big enough for governments to even limit gaming for teens.
In short, video games are a thriving industry.
Even though the industry is experiencing a bullish period, there seems to be a lot of video game growth on the horizon. Several factors are driving this growth, but a large part is due to the rise of NFTs, blockchain technology, and perhaps most importantly, the play-to-win gaming model.
What is play to win games?
The concept behind play-to-win games is simple: players collect cryptocurrencies or NFTs produced in the blockchain-based game. Players then generate income by selling in-game NFTs or earning cryptocurrency rewards, which can be exchanged for fiat money.
Another feature of play-to-win games centers on the idea that the more a user participates, the more chances they have to earn assets and increase the value of the assets they have already collected. As more players join and develop the game market, the value of the game increases for the community and developers.
Earning tokens and generating income also takes skill and strategy. It goes without saying that more talented users will acquire more assets than less skilled players.
Regardless of skill level, players from around the world are joining the decentralized gaming action.
The most popular play-to-win games on the market
It can be hard to imagine people leaving a 9-to-5 job to play video games for a living, but as blockchain gaming continues to develop and generate massive amounts of revenue, it starts to make more sense.
Of course, some games are more popular than others. Some select games are even shaping the gaming industry as a whole and provide massive financial incentives for players.
The first NFT game built on the Ethereum blockchain, Cryptokitties has legendary status because it paved the way for GameFi and play-to-win games. Released by Dapper Labs in 2017, Cryptokitties is a game where users collect, breed, buy, and sell these digital cats.
Each Cryptokitty is a unique NFT with different traits and rarity. Gamers used to sell and buy kittens on the Ethereum blockchain, but the growing popularity of these non-expendable kittens quickly overwhelmed the Ethereum network. Due to this frenzy in the Cryptokitties market, the developers eventually had to create a separate blockchain to accommodate all the digital transactions the game produced.
Today, this play-to-win game has over 100,000 players who have bred over two million Cryptokitties. These transactions total millions of dollars in Ethereum traded through Kittyverse.
Easily one of the most popular and successful play-to-win games to ever hit the blockchain, Axie Infinity is causing a stir around the world. Players collect digital creatures known as Axies, which they use to battle other Axies, breed Axies, and create kingdoms for them. The creators of Axie Infinity advertise the game as a digital nation that is partially owned and operated by its players, so while players can earn money from Axie’s activities, they also have a say in the direction of the game (sort of like a DAO and a game in one). ).
What sets Axie Infinity apart is that it has some of the most impressive numbers of any play-to-win game. With close to 3 million daily active players, the marketplace has traded over $3 billion worth of Axies and other in-game assets.
On top of that, Axie Infinity easily captures the spot as the number one Ethereum game for active users. The creators attribute much of the success to the game’s blockchain economic design that allows players to own their digital assets.
With plenty of incentives for players, and with the most expensive Axie on sale for $820,000, it’s easier to see why more people are joining the game in hopes of getting a piece of the game.
Over the past few months, The Sandbox has consistently been in the top 10 collections on the OpenSea marketplace. It sits alongside collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, and World of Women, making it one of the most popular NFT games out there.
The Sandbox is a virtual metaverse where players acquire virtual blockchain-backed tokens called $SAND, which players can then buy and sell LAND and ASSETS in The Sandbox metaverse.
One of the main attractions of this crypto game is that it encourages creativity. Players earn money from the experiences and games they develop, increasing the value of The Sandbox and its community.
Speaking of value, things are looking good for The Sandbox community. While it currently has a market capitalization of Ξ 564,764.65, it also has an average price floor of Ξ 2,199 that appears to be approaching bullish territory.
Another way to play to win comes in the form of digital trading cards. These cards are similar to how you might imagine Pokemon or Magic cards, but instead they use the power of NFTs and the blockchain to prove ownership.
Gods Unchained is one of the most popular NFT trading card games on the market. While it is free to play, Gods Unchained has a thriving market and plenty of ways for players to earn money. In terms of hard numbers, almost 7 million cards were created and 1.3 million card packs were sold.
The object of the game is to build decks of cards and strategically beat your opponents in player vs. player matches. Like the other games on this list, players own their in-game assets and cards, allowing them to buy, trade, and sell them.
In true DAO fashion that other crypto games are embracing, Gods Unchained also incentivizes players by giving them a say in future game development. Players with more tokens in the game ($GODS) get more voting power, which influences the development of the game.
Since the cost is low or free to start playing, the Gods Unchained model has gained traction as more players enlist and build their digital NFT decks.
The Future of Gaming
2021 was a great year for cryptocurrency and money-making games, and 2022 shows no sign of slowing down. This backlog of people entering the metaverse combined with advances in blockchain technology means great things for the gaming industry.
In addition, as play-to-win games continue to create growing economies, more people around the world will depend on play-to-win games as a means of generating income.
There’s no crystal ball to say just how far play-to-win games can go, but as digital property and gaming continue to develop, the possibilities continue to seem endless.