Play-to-Earn Games and their Business Model

The latest innovation in the gaming industry is the development of play-to-earn games, a platform for earning huge profits from game playing. This P2E model allows an open economy where the game players can make real-world value in the form of cryptocurrency. In an open economy, players are not just mere users; they are more like investors who can get returns as stakeholders in the business.

This new business model has a gaming technology for video games that have also evolved to support best play to earn games. Earlier games years ago focused more on arcades and machines in game centers. Gamers need to get some quarters with which they can compete with others. Years passed, and we entered the era of video games with different features to appeal to the younger generation. 

Related: Play-to-Earn Games to Watch in 2022

The next trend was the days of using smartphones that make it possible to play games on the go. People can now get busy with games even when in transit or taking a short moment for themselves. Similarly, we continue to crave a more profound experience on a personal computer or setting up a home console. Keep going, and you can arrive at the present model. 

Play-to-Earn Games and their Business Model

The foundation is the Free-to-Play model

Every game has one form of purchase or the other where the player needs to acquire a premium game. The method is first by getting a license from a digital store online or buying the game from a local physical store. Meanwhile, the financial commitment is at the discretion of the game developer. It depends on the time of the release of the game. At times, it may also depend on the developing company’s stature and the industry’s size.

No doubt, the free-to-play gaming model has come with many benefits that allow the game player the platform for the financial commitment. On the one hand, there are free-to-play or freemium versions of the games that anyone can freely download. They also give the players a limited avenue for such experience. And if they want to increase the pace of the progress or use special features, they may have to pay for the premium game versions. 

Players may sometimes have to subscribe to unique game features such as characters and cosmetics. However, many play to earn games still have free features available to new players. When it comes to cosmetics such as game skins and themes, players can use them to customize their gaming environment. The biggest and most popular games in this category are the League of Legends and Hearthstone, which are freely available.

However, it doesn’t remove the developer’s initiative to be creative with the content and cosmetics. Some of these games have also raked in several billions of dollars and keep increasing in value. As a result, this gaming model has evolved dramatically, and the remaining part is adding monetization to it. 

Play-to-Earn Games and their Business Model

What about the Play-to-Earn Gaming Model?

The play-to-earn games provide players with stakes of game ownership in the form of different assets. Moreover, they can increase the value of the in-game assets by engaging with the game consistently. The play-to-earn games also have some key components that are unique to them. Game playing has a growing momentum that allows the players to build a robust economy.

As a result, the players and the developers can gain much more than the initial investment. Some of the rewards of participating in the game involve completing regular tasks, winning battles, and combats. Some of the winning strategies may imbibe some free-to-play game features. In comparison, play-to-earn counterpart games offer players the opportunity to earn money and other valuable digital assets. 

The winnable digital assets range from cryptocurrencies to other tokenized resources. Moreover, the play-to-earn games model has been synchronized with the crypto world for the best results. Every player’s effort and time in this gaming model is rewarded with these cryptocurrencies. For example, if you choose to play the Axie Infinity, you can earn the Small Love Potions (SLPs).

These peculiar tokens are required to breed Axies, make them more robust, and get more in-game value. In addition, they can also sell these tokens to other intending players who have just been introduced to this game place. Other examples of such games based on the P2E models are League of Kingdoms, and Sorare, a fantasy football game. 

Play-to-Earn Games and their Business Model

Invest and Get more value

Enjoying the play-to-earn games depends on the players’ participation and the ability to increase the value of the game. At a glance, one would expect that many of the games on this model should also be free to play. But, that is not always the case. For instance, to begin to play Axie Infinity, a new player must first buy three Axies before they can start to contest in the Lunacia. By the way, the Lunacia is the virtual world of the Axie Infinity environment. 

As for the Sorare fantasy football game, it requires the players also to invest some money to start the game. The first investment is buying the player cards and then participating in competitions. At the end of every week, the players can earn more cards from the weekly contests. On the other hand, playing the League of Kingdoms and Chainz Arena is entirely free. But idle gameplay mechanics and other limitations may force gamers to consider an investment. 

On the developer’s part, creating a new game costs some money and should be a profitable business. Developers can start a business model that has value and can grow. Suppose the game player needs to invest to acquire some in-game items. In that case, it can be seen as a mere investment with the expectation of valuable rewards. Gamers can start digital assets that they can resell at any time. Like Sorare, playing cards are sellable; axies in Axie Infinity can also be sold. 


In conclusion, all items that a player acquires from play-to-earn games have the potential to increase. These items have an exsiting value, but such value can also increase as the player completes more tasks and wins more battles. Consequently, all parties within the game are stakeholders and can continue to earn for the game’s growth.