Why crypto games must level up: On chain gaming pros and cons (Play to Earn vs. Play and Earn)

Why crypto games must level up: On chain gaming pros and cons (Play to Earn vs. Play and Earn)
4 min read

Crypto games stand to be the next  big thing in the gaming world,   revolutionizing digital ownership and the way  players interact with in-game items and economies. And yet, the primary reason that people  play crypto games is still to profit from   the project’s native token, rather than for  the thrill of new, immersive experiences.

This begs the question: does something   need to change if crypto games are  truly to become the future of gaming? Nicole Lazzaro, an industry expert in player  experience design, states that games are different   from other forms of entertainment because they  create emotion from interaction.

Games that   captivate a player’s attention with a different  series of emotions are the most successful.  So how can a game do this  while also remaining “fun?”

Well, according to the Birmingham School of  Computer Science, the magic formula is cohesion,   variety, and good user interaction. But Crypto users seem to have a different   opinion when it comes to games.

FarmerNash,  a Twitter personality and crypto gamer,   recently hosted a poll about Axie  Infinity, the biggest play-to-earn game. Why crypto games must level up: On chain gaming pros and cons (Play to Earn vs. Play and Earn)Over 70% agreed the price of Axie’s SLP token is  the most important part of the game, not the fun,   or social aspects.

This also seems to be the  same attitude towards other play-to-earn games.  Does this mean that crypto games  themselves are not offering a   fun experience, or are token rewards  changing people’s approach to gaming?

With traditional console and PC games still being  significantly more immersive than crypto games,   it’s going to be difficult to bring  traditional gamers over to blockchain. Right now, the focus of crypto games is  almost completely on their play-to-earn   aspects, with less thought being  given to the playing experience.   If blockchain gaming is to go mainstream, it’s  important to find a balance between the two. 

Crypto games need two things to succeed  in the long run: they need to be enjoyable   regardless of their play-to-earn aspects,  and they need an ecosystem in which players   want to spend the game’s native token.

Imagine if Counter-Strike skins were NFTs   and only buyable through the game’s own token?  This would offer real digital ownership and   the option to be ported across multiple games.  Would the appeal of the game itself change? No,   but the introduction of NFTs and a token  would elevate the product to a new level.

So what’s an example of someone doing it  right? The metaverse project Sandbox has   been releasing videos showcasing a variety  of custom maps inside the game itself,   each offering different playing styles.

Much like in Roblox, a popular online   game creation platform, real players create these  maps in The Sandbox and are a direct part of the   ecosystem. This means users are incentivized to  use the $SAND token to enhance their experience,   just like with Roblox’s own currency, Robux.  It’s easy to imagine playing these custom maps   regardless of their eventual play-to-earn aspects.

If Sandbox can bring traditional gamers over into   the blockchain gaming world, it would  mark a whole new era for crypto games. It seems there’s a long way to go before the  worlds of crypto and traditional games merge,   and it may also require an evolution  in philosophy. Perhaps both crypto   game creators and players need to  raise their voices and encourage   more investment in the creative  aspects of blockchain games.  

Jacob Enderson 2161
I'm a tech enthusiast and writer, passionate about everything from cutting-edge hardware to innovative software and the latest gadgets. Join me as I explore the...
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