Blockchain gaming and the play-to-earn model were all the rage in 2021, but over time, the model declined as a few kinks were revealed and the wider nonfungible token (NFT) and crypto market hit a few speed bumps. It’s safe to say, the sector is “down, but not out” and it’s entirely possible that blockchain gaming could see another 2021-style surge once the market regains its momentum.
On Friday, NFT Steez, a bi-weekly Twitter Space hosted by Alyssa Exposito and Ray Salmond, met with the founders of Crypto Raiders to discuss the state of blockchain gaming, and the future of play-to-earn-based projects. According to the founders, Crypto Raiders is an NFT-based dungeon crawler and in the episode, each agreed that the current blockchain gaming landscape should focus on sustainability and “fun” first.
Can the play-and-earn model work in Web3 gaming?
During the interview founder Nick Kreupner spoke about the adoption of “hybrid-models” for play-and-earn gaming and Kreupner stated that the current sentiment is more so, due to the nature of humans being “short-term reactive” and quickly believing that they should be dismissed.
However, Kreupner acknowledges that while it’s a natural tendency to assume the worst, in reality, “the [P2E] model needs tweaks and multiple attempts, before it actually works.“
In fact, the team at Crypto Raiders has been hunkering down and sorting the possibilities of hybrid models and how that can function as an interplay of gaming done on and off the blockchain.
Kreupner said that it’s important to denote:
“Where do the [player] earnings come from?”
This sentiment stems from the current landscape of play-and-earn models that generally derive their earnings from new players, which is why it’s often seen or portrayed as a ponzi.
According to Kreupner, a hybrid model would appear as both pay-to-play (P2P) and free-to-play (F2P). In this hybrid model, new players could easily enjoy the game for free but would need resources, or in this case, in-game assets farmed by the P2P players to progress.
Fun over “financialization” is the path to mass adoption
When asked about concerns of fun and gaming being monetized, Crypto Raiders recognized that traditional and Web3 gamers are each worried that the monetization of gaming mechanics could tarnish their hobby.
As a solution, Crypto Raiders prefers “play-to-own” rather than “play-to-earn” as a way to drive home the value players receive with provenance compared to that of AAA games. Although many gamers have expressed their desire to have more ownership and autonomy when it comes to gaming, Kreupner states that it isn’t surprising gamers think negatively of Web3 gamers.
“Gamers really push-back against microtransactions” so when it comes to NFT-gaming, the backlash is expected but interestingly, many gamers would love the opportunity to be in the gaming sector “while making money doing it,” says Kreupner.
While traditional gamers appear to have a distaste for Web3 games, David Titarenco emphasized the importance of the game being accessible when it comes to adoption. In terms of onboarding and the success of a Web3 game, Titarenco framed the idea process as:
“Get your grandma in the Midwest to play it.”
Tune in and listen to the full episode of NFT Steez!
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