Play2Earn is Really Dead

It’s time that the Web3 gaming industry acknowledges some cold facts. There are nearly 1,000 projects that have gone up, some of them very fast. But almost all have crashed hard. The reason is simple, but the explanation is complex.

Play-2-Earn offers a unique opportunity to make money. Earn money from playing video games Naturally, this model is far more complicated than that. Money does not come from the sky! It must have value. P2E gaming has little value, except for Splinterlands or Gods Undechained. This is due to asset speculation. “Oh Ihave absolutely no use for that $2000 piece de virtual land. It is my wager that someone else will pay $10,000.

Yes, every ecosystem has had winners. Web3 games often have a low probability of success — there must either winners or losers. In the worst cases, only the developers who sold the project will be the winners. Everyone loses, because they gave up valuable capital to acquire assets that are worthless. I don’t mind being unyieldingly honest — my project, Draco Dice was started this way. However, there is a happy conclusion towards the end. Many consumers believed that there was an exit strategy. This allowed them to hold thousands of digital dice to ensure that the demand for the assets would increase. Although I tried to debunk the idea that my NFTs existed to provide everyone with profit, this illusion remained strong.

In the ideal scenario, Web3 ecosystem winners are the ones who were smarter than the rest. They knew the money would run down, that user growth would slow, and that everyone who remained would be carrying a useless bag. The smart ones jumped at the opportunity to exit quickly. I too have been humbled by this point. I foolishly believed that assets in my possession worth tens and thousands of USD would soar if I increased user engagement.

I am now justified in my belief in the future, having destroyed my own financial philosophy.

Regardless how offensive the term might sound, I am still a “gamer”. That is, a person who has a passion for gaming. However, the problem is that Web3 is slowly reducing consumer agency. Web3 gaming has many challenges. But, here are some lessons to help you get started.

What We Did to Get Here

First, physical media was owned by gamers. Compact Discs (and game cartridges) were first purchased by gamers. The steam and many massive platforms then took over digital distribution. The majority, however, of the games could not be manufactured anymore and were only available digitally. This license can be revoked at will and for any reason. The Game as a Services (GaaS), is now an industry standard. Consumers have even less rights. When developers decide to stop hosting the online experience, it can wipe out all your hard work.

The bottom line is that gamers have nothing other than their hardware (though even that can be debated due to EULAs, ToS supplied by OS or console producers).

I am deep and deep in the gaming hole. I have a dark skin and my eyes have become accustomed to the harsh blue lights of the screens. This is why it’s so obvious that the non-fungible tokens could have incredible potential. Imagine it: we could really own the game itself. You could actually ownassets you have earned or purchased in a video game. Then, you could even use them outside the game to gain additional utility. Developers could help us sell them instead of trying to arrange illegal transactions via black market websites (which I’m not ashamed of admitting I’ve done — we don’t have any choice). We could even resell games ourselves if they’re not ours anymore.

If you’re the same person who read my article and share my passion for games, then I hope this vision for tomorrow will excite and inspire.

Contrast this with the reality of Play-2Earn’s actions for us and you see that something is horribly, horribly wrong.

Fun-filled Reality Check

The P2E market should have learned that “the game should offer revenue first” and that fun should be the main focus. Web3 gaming is dominated by buttons-clicking token manipulation devices, except for those mentioned exceptions. And even then “fun” remains an afterthought of most Web3 game designs. It’s not because they enjoy the experience, but people have been playing this stuff. Everyone wants those sweet, sweet tokens. It’s rocket emojis with calls to HODL as usual in crypto.

The idea that you can make a living out of video gaming is not possible at this moment. It’s a scam and a fabrication. No survivorship bias, someone is going to make a good living and make a profit. It was a transformative moment for me to realize that there’s no way to market Play-2-Earn directly to gamers.

Believe me. Gamers can smell bullshit. Web3 has been smeared with scams and pump-and dumps. Rightly so.

We can see the hard benefits gamers can get from participating in a Web3 ecosystem. But ultimately, Web3 gaming must not be about Web3. There’s no Play-2-Earn for where we are going, but we can still give agency and generate revenue. You just have to stop selling them games like they are . is able to make money. STOP IT This is what you need to do in order to disrupt and transform the gaming market.

This is a goldmine, right there. Web3 can be used to build great games, and Web3 can provide useful Web3 utility.

I had promised a happy conclusion earlier. This is what me and my team have been striving towards. Although we do sell NFTs they don’t get the spotlight. They’re not the main stars. A game that players are excited about is the only one that will last. This is why I decided to take a loss on the short-term success of Draco Dice’s Draco Dice Launch — it’s not crucial. Important is what NFTs can offer players that are trying to play.

How to save web3 gaming

Draco Dice was my first venture. It was to create a standard that would allow gaming assets to be used in more than one of the games. This is happening within a matter of months. We have  both been simultaneously working on Draco Dice, Skirmish, and Draco Dicesweeper. Both can be played simultaneously with Draco Dice NFTs – providing real, undeniable value that’s unrivalled in the world of video games. So what’s next?

Web3 must approach gamers at their level. Gamers don’t care much about wallets and tokens or exchanges. Gamers are focused on the game. I’m not saying that we should hide Web3 technology — but I suggest we use the language gamers know. Gamers understand XP levels, battle passes, currencies, and even markets — but it’s on us to streamline the experience of interacting with Web3 to break down what would otherwise be considered barriers to entry — such as requiring the manual creation of a wallet on this — or that chain beyond the username/password/2FA structure to which gamers are accustomed.

Lastly, speculation needs to be stopped or curtailed as much as possible. Retail investors degrade the product’s purity, even though it is intended to be used as entertainment. A community with people who want to leave at a profit margin is not the same as one where people want to be notified when your next content update will be. The one is here to play. The other is simply here to make some money. It is imperative that retailers are not allowed to overvalue gaming NFTs.

To achieve this, it is important to reward gameplay rather than offer high-ticket items outside of gaming. While retailers can easily access high-value assets in a million other places, it’s not possible to make gaming profitable. Only players who have achieved skill, progression and participation should be granted that level of power.

If all this was necessary, then one would be inclined ask “How are there exceptions to Play-2 Earnn’s death?” The answer is that the exceptions are already heading in this direction. Splinterlands and Gods Unchained were built upon great gameplay. To stay afloat, do they have to continue selling new assets? Yes. It’s not like any other game company that has to constantly release DLC, battle packs, or other microtransactions. Revenue must flow.

Web3’s Play-2Earn has lost its way. There is money there today, and it will continue to be so tomorrow. Although the decline of P2E will be gradual, wise men have advised that it be seen as a “builder market.” However, the meat is already rotting. Flies should not be mistaken for health.

Web3 has the potential to build better products, services, and that is where future champions stand.