The gaming industry has been seeing an upheaval of sorts lately. Estimates by experts predict that it could be worth 321 billion dollars by 2026. Tencent, the world’s largest video game company, approached a valuation of almost a trillion dollars in 2021. This goes to show how lucrative a business the gaming industry is.
According to joystickgames.com, a new revolution, known as P2E gaming, has emerged in the gaming industry, making a splash with its unique model and new experiences. P2E gaming is based on blockchain technology. This enables instant verification and authentication of information along with secure storage. Blockchain technology is also what enables P2E games to create assorted worlds that go well along with the main gameplay.
In a blockchain, information is stored in immutable cryptographic symbols known as hashes, and many hashes together form a block. These blocks of information together form a chain, which is where the word blockchain comes from.
This helps in P2E games because P2E games, also known as Play To Earn games, reward gamers for playing the game. This is made possible because in P2E games the in-game currency or token is a cryptocurrency, which can be converted into fiat money.
Since the platform is blockchain, in-game items and avatars can be traded on a connected marketplace on the same blockchain platform as NFT’s, or Non-Fungible Tokens. The blockchain helps verify the authenticity and veracity of the product by keeping track of its ownership and all related transactions since its origin.
What P2E games do is that they create a virtual world that mirrors the real world. Just like the real world, in P2E games, you trade your time for money, earning skills, levelling up your avatar, forming communities, engaging in transactions. Since an entire quasi-real world is created, much like reality, but digital, it is assumed that P2E games are the gateway to the digital universe, or metaverse.
P2E games also turn the balance of power into the favour of the gamers. Earlier, the way that the gaming industry was set up ensured that the power was all in the hands of the developers and the publishers. Game developers and publishers used to produce games, and gamers would pay for the privilege of playing them. However, this also meant that all the progress made and the time and money invested by the gamer was completely at the whim of the game developers and publishers. If an update is not released, or if a new version is released, the earlier version would lose developer support and the progress would be lost.
However, in the P2E model, gamers have an equal say, and the power imbalance between the gamers and the developers is rectified. It also leads to a much more involved gaming fraternity that is directly invested in the growth and sustenance of the game itself.
P2E games help in forming the gateway to the metaverse because they are the first example of virtual characters and avatars linking together all around the world to form virtual worlds. In a P2E game, a thriving, self-sustaining, self-propagating economy is built. This is because in the marketplace not only can you auction off your avatars, but also designs related to games, your video gameplay, your skills, tips, etc. This means that P2E games form a creator economy, adding value to the game, repackaging the product and selling at a premium. That, much like the idea underpinning the turning of the real world, is another reason why P2E games are thought of as the gateway to the metaverse.
An additional reason for P2E games being the gateway to the metaverse is the revenue from non-endemic brands. Due to the novelty of P2E games and the invested gamer base, non-endemic brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton have been releasing advertisements and promotional materials in P2E games to spread awareness about their products. These companies either collaborate with pre-existing companies or build in-house teams in order to utilise the model of P2E games to advertise themselves and convert a previously untapped customer base by associating themselves with their interests.