As Web3 gaming continues to evolve, more and more people are shifting to innovative models like play-to-earn games (P2E). In fact, the main hook for seasoned gamers is their ability to merge the thrill of playing and winning with earning money.
With the new Web3 landscape, the entire gaming dynamic is shifting: from one that was purely creator-focused to being player-focused. For the first time ever, gamers now have opportunities to own in-game assets that later can be sold for profit, while earning real rewards for their success within the game.
Play-to-earn is a perfect example of the tremendous value blockchain can bring to traditional gaming. Simply put, Web3 is packed with new innovative technologies unlike anything we have ever seen before, and it feels like another big leap for humanity. I’ve been working on a Web3 gaming platform that aims to become a hub for players to own in-game assets in the form of NFTs. Here’s what that experience taught me about the potential of Web3 in the gaming community.
The challenges with Web2 gaming
The structure of Web2 gaming lacks true democracy. Players have little to no say in the future of Web2 games, as decisions are left to game creators, and said decisions are typically influenced by what is most beneficial to the gaming corporations.
Gamers are also limited when it comes to the privacy of personal, business or financial information. To access a game, users typically must agree to a long list of terms and conditions that skew the balance of power from the get-go.
Moreover, traditional gaming structures do not have an open economy that allows users to earn revenue. Gamers will spend thousands of hours on a game simply as a means of entertainment.
That’s where Web3 comes into the picture. To be competitive, it needs excellent products that are every bit as entertaining as its Web2 counterparts. But it is also craving decentralized and supportive platforms for P2E builders to experiment and innovate.
As important as decentralization is, it’s also important to have checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of the project. This safeguards the community by preventing bad actors from, for example, buying up a majority of governance tokens and voting in unhealthy changes.
The Web3 advantage
Activity in Web3 gaming grew by a whopping 2000% from 2021 to 2022. This period brought astonishing growth for Web3, with more active developers than the gaming industry has ever seen before. Maria Shen, a partner at Electric Capital, explained that many Web2 developers are now migrating over to Web3 technology because it offers much more flexibility to get started.
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Aside from the benefits that developers are leveraging, there are key primary factors that make Web3 attractive to gamers across the world.
Asset ownership: Player-as-owner
Traditionally, digital items earned during gameplay are controlled and owned by game developers. Now, Web3 models enable a framework for player-as-owner rather than player-as-consumer.
The danger here is violating the users’ trust. This year, many NFT and crypto gaming projects were fundraising campaigns in disguise, promising more than they could deliver. Community is such an important aspect of Web3’s success that once that trust has been lost, the project as a whole isn’t far behind.
P2E: Earn while you play
Distributed ledgers make it possible for gamers to earn money while they play. Simply progressing through a game or completing certain tasks allows gamers to generate revenue. Because ownership of assets is tied to each individual player, they can sell their assets to players within the game or even in a different virtual environment.
Sky Mavis’ massively popular game, Axie Infinity, is a perfect example of allowing players to earn money through gameplay. Players can breed, battle and trade digital pets and earn cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It’s currently one of the largest Web3 games available with thousands of players earning cryptocurrency every day.
Interoperability: Control to the players
Blockchain technology allows the means for exchanging, storing and programming information. Web3 being integrated with the blockchain opens up avenues for sharing and moving assets, such as avatars, among various platforms.
It’s a similar concept to how platforms like Facebook grant access to use external applications once they’ve logged in. With Web3 though, it’s the players who retain control and choose what to engage with. Players own their identity and choose who to share that identity with, with no terms and conditions necessary.
Freedom: Changing the game
Many people concur that traditional gaming has far too much corporate control. Web3 is changing this by allowing players more freedom and power to take control of their gaming experience.
But, Web3 projects have at least one big obstacle that Web2 doesn’t. The advertising space has been very strict with the blockchain gaming industry, and for good reason. Yet, for accelerated adoption, the big ad space providers will have to enable frictionless, effective distribution mechanisms.
Another way to further adoption amongst a non-crypto audience would be to keep the project’s messaging simple and accessible even to those not exposed to the world of crypto. Instead of speaking to only crypto enthusiasts, projects can have dedicated knowledge resources to educate non-crypto users and take them through the fundamentals of the community and steps to get started.
The future of the internet is here
Web3 is certainly diversifying the gaming world. In fact, some media outlets have reported the gaming industry to have outgrown both the movie and sports industries in 2020. Fast forward to 2022, reports say blockchain games brought in $2.5 billion in Q1 alone.
Prior to P2E gaming, the average gamer would say that they enjoy playing video games simply because they’re fun. Now, Web3 adds a completely new dimension to their original experience. Gaming is now seen as a means of earning while interacting with people all over the world. It’s more than just having a fun way to spend time. Perhaps for some, it’s becoming a lifestyle.
Tamara Yannay is the CEO and founder of Meta Brothers, the creator of the House of Legends NFT collection.
This article was published through Cointelegraph Innovation Circle, a vetted organization of senior executives and experts in the blockchain technology industry who are building the future through the power of connections, collaboration and thought leadership. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Cointelegraph.