The Gaming Industry has been around since the 1970s with games like Pong and Space Invaders being some of the first commercially successful games. Online Gaming is an extensively successful industry, with Tencent, one of the world’s largest video game vendors reaching a valuation of 1 trillion dollars. It has been estimated that the gaming industry would reach a valuation of 340 billion dollars by 2027. Usually, gaming is powered by three modes: consoles, PCs/Desktops and Smartphones. These modes differ both in the games that have been made for them as well as the experience that they are able to offer. Lately, AR and VR technology have also been incorporated by game developers and publishers to offer a more exciting, immersive experience to users.
But perhaps no development has been as monumental for the gaming industry as the development of Play and Earn Cryptocurrency gaming. Play and Earn, also known as P2E or Play To Earn gaming has completely revolutionised the gaming industry by flipping the script and changing the scales of power to create and usher in a new reality for the industry. Formerly, the gaming industry operated in a simplified manner. Game Developers and Publishers would produce games, Gamers would spend money to purchase them, essentially paying money for the privilege of playing those games, invest time and energy into those games, purchase in-app purchases such as skins and skills and required items to level up, and with either the game becoming obsolete because of an updated version released by the developers, or because the developers killed the game and stopped releasing updates, all the in-game progress would be lost and the gamers would be stiffed with nothing to show for the time, energy and money they spent on the virtual character they were playing with in the game.
However, P2E gaming functions much differently. First of all, P2E gaming is made possible only because of blockchain technology. In blockchain technology, the use of DLT or distributed ledger technology allows for a ledger to be created at every node, or user in the chain. This enables the information storing structure to be decentralised, making it impervious to concentrated attacks at a single node. Furthermore, all the transaction records are stored with an immutable cryptographic signature known as a hash. These transactions are bundled together in a block, and the block is mined by other nodes to validate and authenticate it. This adds the block to the chain, making the chain longer, increasing its security, as a hacker would need to alter all the blocks in a chain to add a fake block.
P2E made use of blockchain technology by making all in-game items such as skins, skills, coins etc NFT’s, essentially minting them on a blockchain, and ensuring that their records as visible to all the players of the game. This means that every ownership switch shows up on the blockchain, and the records of its origin can be easily verified. This means that in P2E games, when players invest their time, money and energy, they can actually recoup their efforts by trading their in-game items for cryptocurrency or fiat currency in marketplaces.
According to joystickgames.com, some P2E games also have a cryptocurrency as their in-game currency. This means that every time a player completes a mission or wins some rewards and earn in-game tokens, they are earning cryptocurrency. That cryptocurrency can be exchanged in exchanges for fiat currency, which means that essentially all gamers are playing in exchange for money, which is where the term play to earn comes from.
P2E games also have the added advantage of creating a creator economy around their game. A creator economy is what drives social media giants like Instagram and Youtube, and has been instrumental to their success. In a creator economy, creators such as designers, developers and artists can design skills, skins, costumes, NFT’s etc related to the game which could probably be used in-game. This has the effect of bolstering the game’s popularity by bringing more people into the game’s fold, driving revenue into the game and creating a self-perpetuating cycle, ensuring that the game keeps on living even without direct involvement from the developers. Finally, because all of these reasons show that P2E games can ensure that all functions of daily life can be carried out inside the game, it is currently viewed as a gateway to the metaverse, making P2E games the future of online gaming, and certainly one of the most exciting developments in internet technology.