What’s The Difference Between Play-To-Own And Play-To-Earn

Author: Mustafa Mulla

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Mustafa has been writing about Blockchain and crypto since many years. He has previous trading experience and has been working in the Fintech industry since 2017.

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Blockchain gaming is an exciting vertical in the cryptocurrency industry. It can help players make money from playing video games through the play-to-earn model. However, various developers explore play-to-own opportunities, elevating the industry’s appeal. 

The Rise of Play-to-earn Gaming

One of the more prominent cryptocurrency trends in 2021 is blockchain gaming. The play-to-earn model has attracted tremendous capital from investors, VCs, and gaming enthusiasts.

In addition, popular titles like Splinterlands, Axie Infinity, and others have introduced new revenue streams for those who can afford to make an upfront investment to explore the gaming ecosystem. 

Play-to-earn gaming has tremendous future potential. Players control the in-game assets they purchase or acquire through playing the game.

Players can sue assets to advance in the game, upgrade characters and gear, or sell them for real-world money. It is an appealing concept and provides rewards and incentives for players to come back for more.

While not everyone might be able to quit their job in favor of blockchain gaming, the opportunities are out there. Moreover, it is a solid way to introduce more people to the concepts of blockchains and cryptocurrencies without introducing a steep learning curve or unnecessary bells and whistles.

That said, the play-to-earn model is under pressure. Most in-game rewards are inflationary, reducing their prices and overall appeal.

As a result, games need new mechanics to keep players engaged and attract a non-crypto audience. Solid concepts and fundamentals will facilitate that transition, and play-to-own is one possible solution.

Play-to-earn Vs. Play-to-own

The concept of play-to-earn gaming is exciting. However, it should not be the primary selling point of blockchain games, even if it is a nice feature.

Being able to sell in-game assets for real-world money is a bonus and not the main attraction. Instead, players need a solid gaming experience and engaging content to return for more. Moreover, developers can establish open economies to create self-sustaining blockchain games.

Under an open market, players will continue to contribute time and effort. Influencers will still talk about the game and how engaging and fun it can be to play.

However, the market will determine value in the game rather than a reward emission schedule and the dire need to recuperate an initial investment.

Play-to-own blockchain games will still retain the play-to-earn mechanic. In addition, players can still unlock rewards by progressing through the game, but they will have new use cases for these assets.

It is essential to give players options on how to spend their in-game rarnings beyond upgrading a character, buying more pets or armor, or converting it to real-world money. 

A blockchain game – or any video game – should never rely on centralization or its community to thwart inflation or support in-game asset prices.

Instead, the users will determine the value as it should be. Creating more value for the game will yield better community engagement and help improve the value of in-game rewards.

Value creation and value distribution set play-to-earn and play-to-own games apart.

Examples of Play-to-Own Games

Various blockchain games embrace the concept of play-to-own today. They all feature earning mechanics in the game but enable users to explore more options to use their newly-acquired wealth without default going down the beaten path. 

Monkey League (eSports)

Monkey League tackles eSports gaming by empowering players to create, play, compete, and earn. Players can create their ultimate team of 4 monkeys to play against the environment or other players.

In addition, spectators can influence the gameplay by cheering for a winning team token and increasing the team’s gameplay.

Another option to engage in the game is for players to acquire a Stadium and host games. They will earn in-game currency from every game played in their Stadium, 

The game used a dual-currency approach, with $MBS being used for in-game consumables and assets and $CORE serving as the governance assets.

Users staking $CORE will see their assets’ value increase, including a higher chance of being selected for hosting a game.

The $CORE token cannot be bought or sold but only farmed by early $MBS token holders. Through the governance tokens, users engage in play-to-own mechanics and either gain more rewards or elevate the value of their assets. 

Plutonians (MMORPG)

The play-to-own concept can gain tremendous traction in an MMORPG setting. Players often play an MMORPG for weeks or months on end, contributing a lot of time and effort.

Moreover, there needs to be fun and exciting content to prevent rehashing old quests and concepts. Plutonians helps players own, trade, and swap in-game items and unlocks various use cases for in-game tokens.

Players looking to take on bigger transport missions need to burn fuel tokens to travel with larger ships. Additionally, the game will feature free expansions, which players access by burning tokens.

Speaking o content, players can own their experience by building new worlds, stories, and assets. They can either share that content for free or monetize it through the marketplace, empowering users in multiple ways. 

Jelurida (Ardor Blockchain)

The play-to-earn industry has embraced the Ardor blockchain, developed by Jelurida, as it provides a unique infrastructure. It is a blockchain-as-a-service solution for developers leveraging a functional decentralized ecosystem.

The main Ardor chain handles security and decentralization, whereas developers can build on a child chain to explore various use cases. One such example is Mythical Beings, a P2E card collection game.

Players unlock cards they can collect, trade, and explore other features in the game. Combining fun with a competitive element and earning money creates an exciting environment where players can own their experience and shape it to their liking.

Ownership comes in many forms in the digital world, and personalized gameplay and experiences are crucial for transitioning from play-to-earn to play-to-own.

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Mustafa Mulla

Mustafa has been writing about Blockchain and crypto since many years. He has previous trading experience and has been working in the Fintech industry since 2017.

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