There are over three billion gamers spending valuable resources interacting with their favorite gaming platforms, including ecosystems incorporating play-to-earn (P2E). P2E systems incentivize engagement by distributing valuable fungible or non-fungible tokens or both. These tokens are often gamer-controlled and have utilities. Through internal or external marketplaces, in-game NFTs, some of which are scarce, and the game’s native token can be converted to other liquid crypto assets or cash.
Despite the crypto markets in the doldrums and leading digital assets cooling off from recent peaks, gaming developers are tirelessly building great games with P2E models to cater to the increasing blockchain game audience.
According to statistics, the number of P2E games doubled in 2021 to almost 400. At the same time, unique crypto addresses interacting with known blockchain games’ smart contracts rose to 1.3 million in 2021, rising over 40x from 2020. During this time, crypto venture capitalists zoomed into blockchain gaming, realizing the developing space’s potential. They have strategically invested over $4 billion to fast-track game development and infrastructure building.
Top-3 P2E Gaming Projects on Cardano
More game developers across the globe, especially in the U.S. and U.K., are fast-adopting P2E models in dynamic blockchains like Cardano to give true ownership of in-game items to billions of gamers. Cardano is peer-reviewed and adds smart contracting on proven architecture anchoring the Bitcoin network. Accordingly, the platform offers more advantages like transaction fee predictability, absent in competing blockchains like Ethereum or the BNB Chain.
If you are keen to explore to Cardano-based P2E models, these are the top three platforms to check out:
- Drunken Dragon
Drunken Dragon is a 2D simulator massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) with Inns and Taverns that grandmasters and adventurers can visit. Inns and Taverns are player owned and exist as Cardano NFTs, represented as high-quality isometric pixel art built using the Unreal Engine inspired by the Octopath Traveler Game. The game is built by Drunken Dragon Entertainment, and their primary objective is to release “the most epic fantasy universe” that brings people together and allows them to enjoy meaningful experiences absent in centralized gaming platforms.
The Autonomous Fantasy Franchise and the Decentralized Intellectual Property are central to Drunken Dragon. The Autonomous Fantasy Franchise is an iteration of the popular Decentralized Automated Organization (DAO) structure. It is designed to ensure that franchise development is effectively decentralized with attractive incentives for creators and development studios to create high-quality products based on the Drunken Dragon IP. Meanwhile, the Decentralized Intellectual Property works with the Autonomous Fantasy Franchise. It ensures that all assets within the Drunken Dragon universe are identified, authenticated, and available for creators and gaming development studios as free-to-use content licensed under Creative Commons. All tagged items belong to the DAO and are archived in their Digital Assets Vault. Dragon Gold ($DG) is the platform’s governance and utility token allowing holders to stake for rewards or vote on developments. Creators and development studios will also receive incentives in $DG.
Drunken Dragon is a unique play-to-earn (P2E) game and has released the first version of Idle Adventures, a dApp and a gamified adventurer staking that will be a testing ground for features set for adding to Drunken Dragon’s Inns and Quests. Their reward system will adopt a different approach, and gamers will receive Dragon Silver tokens which already have value in the secondary market. To accomplish their goals, they have partnered with 01X, a consulting firm that reviewed their tokenomics and advised on the Drunken Dragon’s NFT mint of the Adventurers of Thiolden collection NFTs, to be listed on JPGStore.
Cornucopias is a MMORPG game that blends multiple “earning” functionalities ranging from playing, learning, and building on the Cardano blockchain. The decision to cater to gamers, learners, and builders is by design. The metaverse developer reckons that all are critical participants contributing to the platform’s success. The platform is a well-designed metaverse built using the graphically enhanced Unreal 5 engine. It also combines exciting gaming and real-world commerce elements where participants can mint assets into NFTs and sell them to other players. As with other platforms, when they plug into the vast metaverse and complete tasks, gamers are rewarded with valuable cryptocurrencies and NFTs with real-world value. The Cornucopias metaverse is zoned into various themes. Players can explore the “Wild West”, opt for the “Farm Life”, or even join the “‘Age of The Samurai’ zone, depending on their needs. In these zones outside the pre-built city, they can participate in mini-games where they stand to win cryptocurrencies and other in-game assets. A distinguishing addition in the Cornucopia’s gameplay is the ability to purchase custom items (incentivized under the build-to-earn (B2E) model) conceived and minted into the “Island Blueprint”. These items can be bought by players, gathered, and incorporated into the gameplay as unique NFTs.
- Outlaws Brawl
The game is a first-person shooter (FPS) NFT project where factions of outlaw bikers, Hyenas versus Coyotes, compete for dominance. It shall resemble the Counter-Strike or Battlefield 2 PC games but with a larger map size, offering more profound experiences and up to 60 players for one given map and with scaling increase up to 10,000 players simultaneously at a later stage of development.
The Outlaw Brawls broadly consist of Hell’ Hyenas Motorcycle Club (HHMC) and Outlaws Brawl Game. There will also be a marketplace and the HHMC token ($HYN) for governance. The HHMC is a 3D game built using Unreal Engine 4 and 5 and was the first project launched by the team as an Alpha test game in April of 2022. Essentially, it is a collection of NFTs integrated into an FPS game. Meanwhile, Outlaws Brawl is a multiplayer game with NFTs that grants holders access to the platform’s broader ecosystem. NFT holders play a special role in the game and receive rewards to be able to unlock new weapons and skins as players rank up within the game.
Outlaws Brawl will be a P2E game with its economy, reward system and smart contract integration. At a later stage, players are also able to participate in live tournaments in order to win various prizes in the spirit of E-Sports gaming. In-game token $TBC and governance token $HYN will be listed on several exchanges, including Genius DEX.
Blockchain, smart contracts, and crypto opened up new opportunities for players and gaming developers to have fun and make money through exciting models such as P2E. As gamers’ psychology changes and players demand more roles in development, more gaming creators are incorporating P2E into their gameplay to attract and retain users. This will massively aid in accelerating the adoption of blockchain and crypto solutions in top platforms like Ethereum and Cardano.
It’s not easy to get traction in a competitive environment, that’s why projects like Drunken Dragon and Outlaws Brawl are accelerated by the Genius X program, that fosters innovation on the Cardano network and empowers Web3 startups to build impactful and scalable blockchain-based companies. Genius X accelerates and scale incredible projects on Cardano and Web3 through their advisory, mentorship, and growth experience.
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