The blockchain has brought many innovations to the way we bank, save, invest and even interact. Perhaps one of the biggest innovations is in the gaming sector, through the play-to earn model, which has turned this field on its head to allow users to earn money simply for their engagement in the game, rather than for winning.
Play-to-earn first came to the forefront in the last year with metaverse games like Axie Infinity, Sandbox and Splinterlands which gave users the chance to earn from their overall engagement. This model is seeping into other areas of the blockchain too, with other projects outside of the gaming sphere incentivizing users for engagement eg. through the sharing of content and engaging with influencers in the social media space. The blockchain and the smart contracts deployed on it are responsible for this massive shift in the gaming revenue model.
State of the blockchain gaming sector
By the end of 2021, statistics by the Blockchain Gaming Alliance showed that blockchain gaming propelled by Play to Earn is a growing space, with the amount of Unique Active Wallets linked to gaming dApps up to 1.4 million, ammonting to almost 50% of the entire gaming sectors overall activity. Of this chunk, in-game NFTs represented over 20% of the total $23 billion NFT trading volume for the year.
Leading blockchain dapps like Splinterlands and Alien Worlds drew in over 200,000 daily UAW, while game NFTs represent 20% of the $23 billion in NFT trading volume of 2021. Meanwhile, for the year Play-to-earn based tokens were among the best performing cryptoassets, with GALA up over 31,500%, and AXS 20,800% from a year earlier. These highly desirable stats boosted by the Play-to-earn model has led to VCs and private investors flooding over $4 billion into blockchain-based games and infrastructure.
The leading players in play-to-earn
One of the founding members of the Blockchain Gaming Alliance is EDS (EverdreamSoft), a Swiss based company that started out in 2010 as a game studio and was one of the earliest to integrate blockchain into the gaming and digital collectible spheres.
EDS, through their mobile game Spells of Genesis, and the EverdreamSoft Crystal Suite, an integrated suite of tools allowing you to explore, create, share and manage "Orbs" - rare digital items (art, game items, collectibles) linked to blockchain tokens, pioneered the idea of "true ownership" of digital assets through NFTs, as the first ever made blockchain-based mobile game ever. Spells of Genesis bridges classic point and shoot arcade gaming with Trading Card Game (TCG) functionality and enables the player to Play to Earn with his BitCrystals. These are assets which act as game currency for Spells of Genesis (SoG).
According to EDS, The incredible craze for digital antiquities (vintage NFTs) led to its record "burn" of nearly one million BCY in September alone. The team at EDS said, "Every month we burn BitCrystals worth 50% of our sales revenue and we publish a Burn Report.
By burning BitCrystals, its total amount keeps decreasing and thus its scarcity increases."
Axie Infinity, which is currently the most popularly played game in the play-to earn genre shows rapid growth in users, and EDS's surprising and record breaking burn rate figure, demonstrate the popularity of the play-to-earn model and suggest that it is not going anywhere anytime soon.