Unlike ad-supported games, play to earn games create revenue for game companies while delivering real assets of value to players at the same time. In many parts of the world, blockchain game players are uniquely motivated by income, meaning that the play to earn possibilities are what draw them to blockchain games in the first place. Because that’s the main driver, blockchain game developers can safely assume that so long as players are able to earn a profit, they’ll also be willing to invest some portion of their winnings toward earning more in the long run.
It’s important to understand that play to earn is still a relatively new model on the gaming scene. There may be fewer people engaged so far, but those who do join the play to earn fray are better primed to invest modest sums, either up front (as a cost of entry) or incrementally (as a percentage of their trades and sales, for example).
There are a few major distinctions here. The first is the difference between paying real money for digital items you do not own, and paying fractional costs to personally own and control real digital assets. The second distinction is between paying to enhance entertainment value (through IAP items), and paying as an investment toward earning actual income.
Axie Infinity is a wildly popular blockchain game that uses the play to earn model. Players must convert cash into cryptocurrency to buy Axies, NFT creatures that they use to interact in the game environment. Through battles, breeding, sales, and trades, players can collect increasingly powerful Axie NFTs and earn Axie Infinity Shard (ASX) and Smooth Love Potion (SLP), in-game tokens that can be converted back to fiat cash.
Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese studio behind Axie Infinity, monetizes by requiring an up-front investment from players who buy Axies and taking a percentage cut of each subsequent transaction in the game, like when players sell their NFTs. As a result, the valuable assets that make up the gaming environment stay in players’ hands (or crypto wallets). As players trade and exchange those assets amongst themselves, the game company earns revenue without limiting ownership.
As more players become familiar with the concept of play to earn and are attracted by the idea of accumulating income while gaming, the blockchain games category will only continue to grow. Because of that trend, the play to earn category represents a huge opportunity for game companies. Making the most of that opportunity requires an experienced partner. At dSphere, we help game companies increase average customer lifetime value and improve customer retention and engagement using proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence. Get in touch today to learn more.