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Play-to-earn (gaming)

Play-to-earn (gaming)

Play-to-earn is a gaming concept in which a game platform allows players to earn in-game assets that can be transferred to the real world.


Play-to-earn games are video games in which the player can earn rewards of real value by completing tasks or reselling something earned in a computer or mobile game. These can include in-game objects like weapons, property, wearables, loot boxes, and skins that allow gamers customize their characters with new outfits and equipment. Play-to-earn games use blockchain technology to create these in-game items and rewards that are also provably unique and transferable.

These rewards can include native digital currencies that can be traded outside of the game, collecting NFTs which can be traded for currencies in or out of game, and, in some games, players can earn through staking for the game. These games have caused concern from some that they are a "house of cards" likened in some cases to fraud schemes driven by hype and speculation. However, players of popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity have already been able to earn a small income. For example, a player in Vietnam was able to earn the equivalent of €136- €170 a month playing two hours a day.

However, outside of players who work to use play-to-earn games as a main income earner, most play-to-earn games offer a chance to engage in an activity many users will already engage in, but earn an income at the same time. As well, many of the games are built to allow players to play without worrying about earning any income. Play-to-earn games have also driven engagement with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as players can come to the game without prior knowledge and learn about these technologies in order to engage with the games properly.

NFT utility

For play-to-earn games to work, they generally require a simple-to-understand economy and enough of a player base to make game items worth playing for and trading. And most importantly, they have to remain engaging to keep players interested.

For in-game items, the NFT items have to be usable and have in-game utility. If they are only skins or cosmetic features, players may ignore them, which can undercut a portion of the in-game and out-of-game economy for those items. However, if the items span features, such as in-game avatars, in-game perks, play-to-earn features, staking, lending, and more, and the game can introduce different monetization options, it can create the various experiences that can keep players engaged with the game.

Play-to-earn games


March 23, 2022
Argentines prefer "play-to-earn" crypto games over normal jobs amid record inflation.
March 21, 2022
Better graphics and more intense gameplay promise to revolutionize play-to-earn gaming.
March 19, 2022
Heroes of Mavia taps Tribe Gaming to make competitive play-to-earn gaming viable in eSports.
March 17, 2022
Alpha Metaverse Technologies announces entry into play-to-earn gaming and partnership with BetU ICO Corp.
March 9, 2022
Pacmanverse announces play-to-earn games.
March 3, 2022
Aussie-founded play-to-earn game SolChicks raises $77 million and announces plan to launch mini-game.
March 2, 2022
vEmpire DDAO launches blockchain-based play-to-earn game.
March 1, 2022
Axie Infinity players push back on fee hike as play-to-earn economy lags.
February 23, 2022
Warner Music Group adding play-to-earn games with Splinterlands partnership.
February 22, 2022
Axie Infinity crypto metaverse game reaches $4 billion in NFT sales.

Further Resources


[HOT🔥] -BitHotel - NFT Play2Earn metaverse project where you can own your real estate!


February 1, 2022

GameFi: How to Earn Crypto Playing Games Online

Annika Feign, Ollie Leech


September 3, 2021

How to Pick the Right Play-to-Earn Game for You

Joe Cortez


January 28, 2022

Play-to-earn business model: How it works, where value comes from

Shalini Nagarajan


January 23, 2022

Play-to-earn crypto games: Legitimate income or 'house of cards'?


February 18, 2022


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