What is the play-to-earn trend? Why is this trend exploding now?

Recently, after the trend of non-fungible tokens (NFT) ended with an increase of up to several hundred percent of many tokens, a new but not new trend appeared, which is “Play-To-Earn,” which has been booming for a long time. Between the end of 2020 and mid-2021, this type of game has attracted the participation of millions of players around the globe.

What is the play-to-earn trend?

This is an emerging form of NFT gaming. Specifically, players will receive a benefit, a certain reward when playing, or collect in-game items to convert into cash later.

It’s been explosive for a long time, between late 2020 and mid-2021. That’s also when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic broke out. At this time, many city lockdowns have made many people unemployed and ready to make money through playing games.

The total capitalization of the NFT market increased from $338 million by the end of 2020 to the $22 billion marks by 2021. And much of it is being focused on the gaming industry, which has huge potential in providing games. Enjoy many opportunities to collect in-game items.


The trend has been around for a long time, but why is it booming now?

There are probably two reasons why Play-to-earn is exploding:

  • Using NFT technology as leverage for the Play to Earn game group
  • True ownership

Some games reward players with cryptocurrency, while others allow players to collect in-game NFTs that can then be sold for potential profit. Blockchain provides decentralization, giving control back to gamers.

For traditional games, the game companies own all the control. They made a lot of money from in-game transactions, but they never actually owned the items they bought. However, blockchain games are changing this. If you buy an item in a blockchain game, only you own it, and you can do with it as you wish. Many blockchain game projects are springing up thanks to the boom of NFT, signaling that this could be the future of gaming.

NFT gaming has actually been around for a while with the launch of CryptoKitties in 2017 when players could only buy or hatch eggs to hatch NFT cats. Then came the appearance of the second generation of games that we are playing, typically The God Unchained and Axie Infinity; now, players can bring their NFT to fight with other players, greatly increasing the character game interaction. In the Philippines, Axie Infinity has become a pioneer project when it has seen a growth of up to $ 2 billion thanks to the combination of online games and Blockchain.

In the next generation of games, games will solve the limitations of current games to bring better experience and game quality to players. Players will be able to experience the gameplay better, do not need to meet too high requirements to participate; the experience in the game is also fast and smooth.

All of the above advantages help the Play to Earn model really shine; users can confidently consider playing games as a real job to help generate income for themselves.

The real-world applications of NFT economies

Currently, a new project is on track to become the second unicorn in the “Play-to-earn” sector. In it, Axie Infinity is a prominent name in recent times.

  • Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is an Ethereum-based blockchain game featuring adorable creatures called Axies that launched in 2018. No two Axies are alike. Each type is unique, with strengths and weaknesses based on its genes.

The game allows players to earn Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) tokens while playing. AXS is an in-game governance token that gives players the right to vote on important decisions. It also acts as a currency on the Axie market. Soon, game players will have the opportunity to bet AXS and get more tokens.


Axie Infinity has really made waves in the Philippines. Low income and effects from Covid-19 forced them to look for another source of income, and Axie was like a lifeline for the Filipino people. At the moment, the AXS price has risen to $46, up from a low of $3 at the end of June 2021.

  • ALICE – My Neighbor Alice

My Neighbor Alice is a blockchain-based, multiplayer play-to-earn game built on the Chromia network. The mechanism is straightforward. You can purchase virtual islands in the game, collect in-game items, and interact with other players in its digital world. You can also pursue your quest or help your neighbor, known as “Alice,” to earn rewards. You can use these rewards to purchase other in-game assets, which you can later sell on supported NFT markets.

These NFTs can be anything you find in the game. This can be a house, animal, plant, or any other decorative item that the player places in their virtual land. Users can trade these items if they want, but they can also rent them out to others.

ALICE is the utility token used for the game. It’s an ERC-20 code that users can use to join the game or collected as a store of value. ALICE is the currency used by users as a medium of exchange and to purchase NFTs represented as in-game assets.

  • CryptoKitties

It is one of the earliest blockchain games, released in November 2017 by Dapper Labs. It allows users to breed and collect virtual cats on the Ethereum blockchain. After players build their collection, they can participate in matches and solve puzzles at KittyVerse. When comparing CryptoKitties to Axie Infinity, it’s still a heavyweight, up to $30,000 in daily sales, according to data from NonFungible.

  • Sorare

Sorare is an NFT play to earn fantasy football games. Instead of playing traditional fantasy football games, you can switch to Sorare, where you will earn prizes for beating other managers. You will have the opportunity to build and manage your own virtual team consisting of digital playing card NFTs. The cards are officially licensed and represent a real-life soccer player for a specific season.

The developers of Sorare are Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort. The game was released in 2018. Sorare is a popular Ethereum-based NFT game with total daily card sales reaching around $159,000.


Above are just a few of the current standout play-to-earn games. There are many similar games on the market. The games all have different themes, but they have some things in common such as combining with DeFi products.

For example, players must stake tokens or NFT to participate in-game features, or stake admin tokens will have the right to vote for desired features and earn valuable rewards. In addition, with some NFT games, how long it takes to pay back is also partly based on luck. For example, buying eggs that are lucky to hatch with good animals or lucky to collect valuable items can be sold for many times the amount of money spent.

Finally, when you have joined and experienced the game, follow the project’s community is active. Next, if you follow the project to see if the project can do as the roadmap, you can judge for yourself which projects are potential. Then, in addition to playing to earn, people can buy tokens on the exchange and hold them when they believe in that project.

Play to Earn Blockchain Games | Source: Coin98 Analytics


The world is observing the current crypto and NFT hype and questioning what will happen in the next 12 months. The play-to-earn and NFT game trend is predicted to last until the end of 2021. Investors can consider buying tokens on the exchange and then waiting for the price to go up or directly participating in the game to receive rewards and earn profits through in-game purchases of NFTs.

And finally, joining early will give you many advantages because the more scarce the NFT in the game, the more valuable it is, and the more players there are, the more scarce the NFTs will be. In addition, besides coins that have been appreciated a lot like AXS, you can look for potential projects that have not yet been appreciated much or are about to have new products soon to have a nice entry point when buying tokens.

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