Play-To-Own – Paving the Way for the Next Generation of Games

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The gaming industry has come leaps and bounds since the introduction of the Magnavox Odyssey back in 1972.

We have progressed through Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and are now entering the new age of the internet with Web 3.0 – and with the evolution of the internet comes the evolution of gaming.

Blockchain technology has revolutionized the gaming industry, bringing transparency to games and complete ownership to players – something that was always missing in Web 2.0 gaming experiences.

We have seen many Web 3.0 games and publishers get the green light from venture capitalists and investors, such as Fenix Games and BLOCKLORDS, as the technology gets recognition outside the realm of finance.

Over the last few years, most Web 3.0 games have boasted the play-to-earn model, where players earn tokens, or in some cases NFTs, which can be sold on the open market for real gain.

While this has done some good by giving those in less fortunate circumstances to earn a living, the execution of most P2E games has been poor from a tokenomics standpoint, leading to an unsustainable growth model, and exponentially devaluing the tokens earned.

When a financial incentive is added, the motive behind playing and the experience of playing the game are drastically changed, moving everything away from fun – which is why we play games in the first place.

This is where play-to-own shines.

What is play-to-own

P2O (play-to-own) is another Web 3.0 gaming model, which is much better aligned with the intention of Web 2.0 games.

With a focus on longevity and fun, play-to-own games encourage players to hold onto their in-game assets, using a range of game mechanics that give assets unique and dynamic traits that depend on the actions of the player.

The result is that any one player’s experience is different from the next and gives real value to the time and effort invested.

This is something that is missing in Web 2.0 games – even though you can obtain items and level up characters, as a player, you do not own them, and they can be taken away from you as fast as you can log in.

Creating a gaming ecosystem where unique experiences can be harbored and owned by the players brings us one step closer to the perfect gaming experience.

The play-to-own model essentially utilizes Web 3.0 technology in a way that brings the focus back on fun while also keeping all the draws of Web 3.0 gaming intact.

Which is better – play-to-own versus play-to-earn

Each model has their place and ultimately serves different purposes in gaming. For diehard gamers, play-to-own is the most familiar in terms of play style and intent, as the experience resembles that of Web 2.0 games.

Players can play with the sole purpose of enjoyment, and items aren’t just there to be sold but to be a part of the experience for the long run.

This model will likely lead the charge when it comes to onboarding the biggest games onto Web 3.0.

Although the play-to-earn experience isn’t conventional gaming, the wider economic impact cannot be denied. It has provided those in less fortunate situations to earn a living off of something they truly enjoy a rare occurrence in the game of life.

Something like that cannot be knocked, as the value added to society is more than just a few bucks earned. Games and fun should be available to people from all walks of life, and if it can help them in an economic sense, who’s to say that is wrong?

Play-to-earn has its place in the space – but maybe not in the same conversation as the future of blockchain games as a whole.

The sustainability of the play-to-own model is what sets it apart from other models, and for Web 3.0 games to compete on the stage as the biggest Web 2.0 titles – or get them on board – longevity must be a focal factor.

The future of play-to-own – 2023 and beyond

The play-to-own model seems like a perfect fit for many genres such as MMORPGS, adventure games and more, due to its focus on longevity and the overall gaming experience.

As the Web 3.0 space grows, we must ensure that the experience for users is as similar as can be to Web 2.0, enabling a seamless transition into the next generation of the internet.

For gaming, it’s the same story. To onboard Web 2.0 gamers into the Web 3.0 gaming ecosystem, a feeling of familiarity must be produced – and here is where play-to-own will take center stage.

Centered around fun, play-to-own encompasses everything gamers currently care about while using blockchain technology to create games that create experiences that players can own for themselves.

Currently, it is hard to truly own your experience with centralized authorities holding the keys to fun, being able to turn the lights off with the flick of a button. Web 3.0 gaming, utilizing the play-to-own model brings an end to tyranny and gives power to the players, creating an experience like no other.

Ramsey Shallal is the founder of GeloCubed, a Web 3.0 growth agency. He’s been in the space for the last few years and firmly believes in everything the space stands for.


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