Play-to-earn video games and NFTs are definitely two of the hottest topics lately. Although there are some realities that already have staggering numbers (and earnings), there are still many people who don't quite understand these two concepts. With this article, we have decided to help all those who still have some confusion about it, so that we can shed light on issues that are becoming increasingly important and present in the gaming world.
What are play-to-earn video games?
Play-to-earn video games are nothing more than video games in which, as suggested by the wording, you have to play in order to have real earnings in exchange. These earnings can be of any type (weapons, armor, skins), including monetary rewards. But let's proceed step by step.
Play-to-earn video games are essentially based on blockchain technology (which we talked about in depth in this article). For the uninitiated, these are interconnected blocks and have the main characteristic of being composed of decentralized registers. As far as play-to-earn games are concerned, we can say that they are games where people can invest and earn real money thanks to the exchange of NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Users, therefore, can collect different objects or tokens which can then generate an income. And it is for this reason that it is very important to know that this type of video game is based on blockchain technology because it is precisely this that manages to guarantee the uniqueness and collectability of these objects or tokens.
The most important concept of play-to-earn video games is “digital scarcity”, or the fact that the resources present in these games are limited, causing them to acquire value over time. To earn with these games, you will need to deposit everything you have managed to earn (in the form of NFTs and cryptocurrencies) on an NFT exchange marketplace or on a cryptocurrency exchange.
How to start playing play-to-earn video games?
In order to start playing play-to-earn video games, you need to take a few steps. First, you need to open an e-wallet where you can store the NFTs and cryptocurrencies you earn by playing. Which e-wallet to rely on depends on what kind of game you intend to play. Second and last step, you have to buy the so-called “starter items”. In fact, in most play-to-earn video games, it is necessary to purchase NFTs in order to start playing. For this reason, therefore, this type of game requires an initial capital that can be invested in the purchase of starter items, which can be purchased through an e-wallet.
Some examples of play-to-earn video games
We can't talk about play-to-earn video games if we don't mention Axie Infinity. Axie Infinity was created in 2018 and is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The basic idea for which the entire game was created is precisely to promote the potential of the blockchain. In Axie Infinity players will have to raise pets called Axies which can then be used for multiplayer fights.
The Sandbox is another great example of play-to-earn video games. It was released in 2020 and also makes use of the Ethereum blockchain. The Sandbox is a real game world where players can build worlds (similar to Minecraft), craft items, and purchase NFTs. The purpose of the software house is to create a decentralized gaming community in which anyone can create and earn using the blockchain.
What are NFTs and how do they work?
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are certificates used to certify the authenticity, uniqueness, and ownership of a digital object. NFTs are registered on a blockchain and it could not be otherwise since they cannot be reproduced, certifying that a particular product is unique and cannot be copied. NFTs are represented by any digital content: photos, videos, audio, articles, gifs, etc; each of these objects is certified and it is as if there is an author's signature on them. To date, NFTs are seen as a kind of evolution of digital art, a sector that is growing dramatically lately with Crypt Art works sold at exorbitant prices.
Anyone who purchases an NFT does not purchase the work, but the possibility of claiming a right to it is guaranteed by making use of a smart contract (a computer protocol that verifies the execution of a contract). NFTs are created by digitally saving any content in the form of 0s and 1s, to then be contained within a hash sequence. The owner is the only one in possession of the digital document and consequently is the only one able to easily calculate this sequence. Finally, the hash is stored within the blockchain.
NFT in video games
One of the first software houses to expose itself in this sector was Ubisoft through Ubisoft Quartz with the creation of Digits, its personal NFTs. The experiment did not have a long life and was closed after a short time due to the poor results obtained. We cannot fail to mention Roblox which, despite still providing the classic microtransaction system, is also focusing on the use of NFTs. Any user, therefore, is able to create his own works which can also yield earnings in proportion to the money invested. These are just two examples but there are of course others.
At the moment, however, there is still a certain distrust of this new technology but it is clear that the gaming world continues to evolve rapidly and it is increasingly likely that various software houses will continue or start investing in this sector. NFTs, therefore, represent the future of gaming.