social social social

What are NFT Games? An intro into P2E gaming

Polygon Team
Polygon Team
Jun 2, 2022
Untitled design (9)

The crypto and non-fungible token (NFT) space have taken the world by storm with Play-to-Earn (P2E) emerging as the next big model. 

Play to earn is exactly what it sounds like, video games where players have the ability to earn revenue while they play. Unlike normal console or PC titles, P2E games give gamers the opportunity to earn revenue just by playing a video game. 

P2E is beginning to catch the attention of gamers with new titles and genres constantly being developed all designed to appeal to the various tastes of many.

For example, consider action dungeon crawlers like Diablo, Etrian Odyssey, and Torchlight. These are titles that most are familiar with, but are you earning any sort of revenue?

This is where play to earn is changing how we view gaming. Let’s say that an indie studio developed a P2E dungeon crawler that introduced NFTs. Players can now earn revenue while playing a genre they love! 

The mechanics of Play to Earn games

To understand P2E gaming a little better, a good start is to understand the mechanics behind these games. While they might seem completely normal on the surface, there are certain mechanics in the back that separate them from normal games and allow players to gain value from playing, other than just entertainment.

Earning revenue through these sorts of games is usually connected to non-fungible tokens. An NFT is described as a purchasable unit of data stored on a blockchain represented by digital art. These NFT collectibles are perfectly suited for the digital world as they can represent characters, items, or even land.

NFTs are one factor where value comes in P2E. It’s not always necessary to own an NFT to earn in P2E games, but in most cases, this is the way to maximize your earning potential. It’s also possible to earn without actively buying NFTs for a game, but this will limit the earning power.

It can be said that by a player owning NFTs in a game, he/she owns an actual stake in the virtual world itself. The NFT represents a part of the game that you actually own. Since every NFT is unique, this digital item is yours until it’s sold. 

As players grind away, they’ll be rewarded with the game’s native cryptocurrency. These crypto tokens are built into the game’s tokenomics and virtual economy where they’re automatically awarded through the game’s smart contracts. 

Winning PVP battles, completing quests, solving puzzles, and selling items, are just a few ways players can earn. As players continue to earn revenue in a P2E game, they’ll, at some point, want to either cash out or reinvest. 

Both options are possible, it’s just a matter of choosing which the player prefers. Cashing out can be done through a crypto exchange where the funds are converted to fiat or converted to another cryptocurrency. The earnings could also be reinvested into the game by buying stronger characters, items, etc. 

Are NFT games an investment?

Playing NFT games often means investing more than just time. As many titles require players to purchase NFTs to start playing, these games have more at stake than usual. This raises the question, are they an actual investment?

In a way, NFT games are an investment because players are able to own parts of the game through NFTs. By owning an NFT its value will be affected by how well the title performs. If it ends up being a big success with many active players, then the NFT should see an increase in value. On the other hand, if it’s a flop, then players might see themselves stuck with a worthless NFT or need to resell at a lower price than they bought. 

Another way to invest in NFT games is through its native token. Axie Infinity is a great example of a game with a highly-valued currency. In Axie Infinity, players will come across a “governance token” ($AXS) and the in-game token ($SLP). With the AXS token, players are provided with the ability to vote and influence the direction of the game and, thus, have a say as an investor. 

For the SLP token, it's used in the game to breed Axies. This token is earned through playing and helps players become stronger and more capable in the game.

In the case of Axie Infinity, both tokens are essentially ways to invest in the game aside from purchasing and using NFTs.

NFTs are quite expensive, but you can still play

What often holds people back from diving into NFT games is the fact that it can be expensive. While this is true in many cases, you actually don’t have to be loaded with money to get into NFT games and here’s why. 

For those who aren’t ready to invest a lot of money, the power of scholarships comes into play. A scholarship is something that players can seek from gaming guilds that allow them to rent NFTs enabling them to begin playing and earning.

When becoming a “scholar” at a gaming guild, the player agrees to contribute a portion of their earned revenue to the guild from the game(s) they play. In this exchange, the gaming guild supports new gamers by knocking down barriers caused by expensive NFTs and, in return, the player contributes to the guild some of their earned revenue. 

NFT gaming guilds have become popular in countries where citizens seek new opportunities in web3, such as the Philippines and India. Some noteworthy guilds include YGG, IndiGG, and YGGSEA. 

Popular NFT games on Polygon 

So, the question that really remains is – where is the best place to start your NFT gaming journey? The NFT gaming space can be a bit of a jungle at times, so it's important to take your time and always do your research. 

The Polygon ecosystem continues to have substantial growth in the NFT gaming market, with many new players and projects building on our blockchain. Thanks to Polygon’s scalable infrastructure, cheaper gas fees, and faster transaction times, it has become a preferred blockchain by crypto gamers and game devs. 

While it’s important for new players to find games they like, here’s a quick list of some of the popular Polygon games of interest: 

With this introduction to NFT gaming, we hope that you’re ready to jump into the metaverse and start exploring. It’s a new world that’s meant for exploring and figuring out what your own preferences are. Right now is the perfect time as the space continues to expand. 

Sign up for our Newsletter

More from Polygon blogs