This year, many folks decided to take a stab at different video games. In fact, data from Statista shows that there are approximately 3.24 billion gamers across the world. One of the many possible reasons for this growth is the emergence of so-called play-to-earn games.
Interestingly, this type of game is a smash-hit in the cryptocurrency world. But what really are play-to-earn games and why are they topping the charts and making the headlines at the moment? Let’s look into it.
Do you know someone who’s playing Axie Infinity? This popular game is an example of play-to-earn games that simply allow you to earn amounts of money by playing. In the cryptocurrency space, these games are most commonly known as non-fungible token (NFT) games.
An NFT is a unique and irreplaceable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. It’s a digital item that can come in any shape or form—whether it be a photo, video, or audio. To make each asset unique, it uses blockchain technology to create and verify public proof of ownership.
Simply put, NFTs are one-of-a-kind assets in the digital realm. But here’s the twist: these unique digital assets can be bought and sold like any other property or thing. This distinct feature of NFTs makes play-to-earn games fascinating to a lot of gamers, investors, and crypto enthusiasts alike.
To help you better understand what an NFT is, these are some of its characteristics for you to check out:
- It’s irreplaceable and inimitable
Each NFT represents something remarkable and unique. This means that you can’t interchange it with another NFT. The metadata or structured information inside each NFT is permanently recorded in the blockchain and is unalterable. The information may include what the token represents, its ownership history, and what transaction records it has.
- It’s very rare, making it a scarce asset
An NFT’s unique feature is what makes it appealing and sought-after. And because you can’t replicate an NFT, its value can increase over time. Let’s take the game CyptoKitties as an example.
In this game, you breed CryptoKitties that are one-of-a-kind, making them a collectible item. The adorable creature below, CryptoKitty #896775—most popularly known as Dragon—was sold for 600 ether (ETH), which was around 172,000 USD at that time. Who would’ve thought that you could sell Ethereum of that amount for an in-game character?
This non-fire breathing Dragon was sold only a month after it was born and currently, it’s still the most valuable CryptoKitty that was ever sold.
- It isn’t divisible
Remember what Bitcoin enthusiasts always tell you when you first got into crypto? “You don’t need to buy one whole BTC to get started!” While that line is undeniably true, the exact opposite of it applies to NFTs. These rare, unique, and irreplaceable tokens are indivisible. This means you need to buy, sell, or hold it as a whole unit—not a quarter nor a half.
Earlier, we’ve mentioned that NFTs are one-of-a-kind, but there’s more to it than that. Here are some of the many reasons why gamers prefer play-to-earn games instead of the typical ones.
NFTs give gamers a different kind of experience. With NFT games, you’re in-game items, characters, builds, and more aren’t barred in a single world. You can sell and transfer them to other players and earn extra cash on the side.
Another distinct feature of NFTs is that they live on the blockchain, often on the Ethereum network. Because of that, you don’t need to worry about losing everything you’ve built in case the game you’re playing suddenly shuts down. An NFT can’t also be altered or duplicated since its data are permanently stored in each upon its issuance.
With NFT-based games, everything is kept on the blockchain. Some game assets that NFTs represent are also interoperable across various gaming platforms and environments. This means some games built in the same network can support the same in-game items and assets.
If you’re a collector, NFTs are probably one of the most popular things to collect today. Since they can’t be replicated, their value can really shoot up over time. Aside from collecting, you also get to earn money by shifting your selling price for each of your digital assets.
Gone are the days when your in-game money is locked inside an adventurous fiction world. As we slowly walk our way towards the digital era, more innovations through blockchain continue to emerge. Now, you can spend time playing without worrying about making time for earning. With NFTs or play-to-earn games in the crypto space, you get to have the best of both worlds.
*The content of this article is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.