A new breed of online video games are offering loyal players ways to make crypto tokens or earn rare artworks in the form of NFTs that have real-world value. Here is how you can join in
The phenomenon is called Play-to-Earn and it has seen a significant uptick in both games being released and the amount of money players have started earning. Until now, most careers around gaming were based around e-sports, influencing and developing. With the introduction of Play-to-Earn models, casual gamers can see financial rewards for the hours they spend on a particular game. This rise is partly fuelled by the rise of cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The value varies according to the popularity of the game, but early movers have a significant advantage.
How to get started
Getting started with a crypto game is a little more complicated than just a regular video game. You can’t just buy it and play it. Most crypto games are free to download and some are even free to play. They almost always have an elaborate registration process and, in some cases, you will also need to own a crypto wallet with tokens in them. The good thing is that most of these games have very detailed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and even step-by-step guides that can tell you how to get started. Some prior knowledge of how to buy cryptocurrencies is an advantage but not necessary for most games.
The path, as with anything that isn’t regulated, is a bit risky. First movers have a significant advantage in Play-to-Earn games. However, the crypto world is full of scams. Some projects are built only to accumulate investments from unsuspecting players after which they disappear overnight. A good example of this was the recent Squid Game token that exploded in price before the developers vanished with the invested money. Large scale projects like videogames also face development issues which often cause delays or even get scrapped over time. That said, for India specifically, the biggest risk facing the crypto industry is a potential ban and criminalisation of crypto ownership. There are significant rumours that the government is on its way to either ban or regulate crypto. While regulation would be good, a complete ban on crypto would mean that users will have very little time to disinvest or even face criminal charges for owning crypto.
Which games can I play?
There are a lot of blockchain-based games on the Internet and it is possible to find a game that suits your interest. Here is a list of the most popular games.
Upland is a virtual real estate game based on the real world. The game allots land blocks to players in the form of an NFT. The first block of land can be found at a discount; however, you aren’t allowed to sell it till you have become an Uplander with the correct amount of in-game currency. You can make money by playing the treasure hunt mini-game on the app or you can just buy some coins for real money. Upland is also very strict, you have to log in every seven days or your game gets reset especially if you aren’t an Uplander. The game doesn’t have much more than its treasure hunts in terms of actual gaming. That said, it is one of the few games that are available from the app store to play directly on your phone for both iOS and Android.
CryptokKitties is a fun game that has you collecting and crossbreeding kittens. Each kitten has a unique signature and players can breed them to make a wide variety of kittens with rare unlocked traits. The resulting kittens can be sold within the community and can also be used to play games in the KittyVerse. CryptoKitties are still very popular and unfortunately it is also a very expensive game to get into. You are looking at an investment of at least a few hundred dollars for a decent kitty with earning potential. They do look super cute though and the right kitty can go up in value very quickly.
Decentraland and its token called Mana got a major boost recently because it is a metaverse. Players can build whatever they like in Decentraland interact with the world and the people around them. The game is fairly easy to get into. It plays from your browser and you can participate in events and explore the different areas in the game. You can also use Mana to buy stuff, participate and modify your avatar in the game. The game works better if you have a graphic card in your machine, however, without one Decentraland will still work, just not as smoothly.
By far this is the most famous game on this list. You have to collect, battle and earn tokens using tiny creatures called Axies. Each creature is unique and has special attributes and belongs to a class. Axies can be traded and sold on the market place and that’s how you make most of your money. The creatures start at $65 each and you have to get a minimum of three to play. However, there are Axie Scholarship projects where players can give you an Axie in return for 40-60 per cent of the mined currency. You can find out more about the scholarship programmes on Reddit. Some players in the Philippines who adopted Axie early on have made enough money to buy houses and even pocket up to $400 a day.
The Sandbox is another game that benefitted from the Metaverse announcement that Facebook made. This game is similar to Minecraft and uses the same block structure to build its world. Minecraft players can also import their creations directly to Sandbox. The world in Sandbox is made up of land blocks and users can build games, museums or whatever they like in Sandbox. There is no coding required to build anything and you can instead download the Game Maker Alpha application to build stuff you would like.