What is the future of Play-To-Earn?

5 min readJun 20, 2022

There is an obvious decline in the cryptocurrency market. Everyone who somehow follows the news of this sphere, of course, noticed it. However, there are projects that go against the trend. And these projects are in an area from which no one expected it — games with crypto.

According to DappRadar, 398 blockchain games now have at least one functional wallet in the game for the previous 24 hours. This is 92 percent more than a year earlier. Over the past year, the total number of blockchain games, including inactive ones, increased by 71% and amounted to 1,179.

Gamers are increasingly playing games that allow them to earn money for their efforts, attention and time. But it wasn’t always like that. Let’s figure out how we came to this.

Console games

The advent of game consoles produced the first revolution. The Atari console was the first significant gaming event. However, the appearance of the Sega Dreamcast, that’s what started the boom that we see now, because this console for the first time had something similar to online gaming as we know it.

The original purpose of game consoles was to bring friends and families together to have a good time. However, with the advent of Internet games, gamers around the world were able to compete with each other anytime and anywhere. This led to an increase in competition and gave rise to the first prototypes of esports leagues.

But despite all its popularity, console games still have a number of limitations. In order to play them, you need to have at least a console, a TV and a place where you can play. Which somewhat binds the end user to the place. Moreover, a number of game franchises are released in the format of exclusives, that is, they are not available on all consoles. For example, Horizon Zero Dawn is available exclusively on Playstation, which limits gamers even more.

PC games

With the development of technology, personal computers began to capture their share of the gaming market. So steadily formed two pillars of the gaming industry, the two main camps of gamers — console vs PC. We talked about this in more detail in the previous article.

Mobile games

The arrival of smartphones has taken a significant chunk out of the console and computer games industry. The ease of using a mobile phone for most of our daily tasks has led to the widespread use of mobile phones for games as well. A smartphone is available to you everywhere, so you no longer need to sit in front of a TV or monitor, as is the case with a console or PC.

The explosion of mobile technology has changed the industry. In 2021, mobile games accounted for more than 50% of the global gaming market. Thanks to this revolution, new forms of games, economic structures and a whole range of gamers have emerged.

Despite the change of generations, the growth of competition or changes in the access device to the game, formally the games did not offer the user a fundamentally new economic model. The flow of finance still went only from the player to the game. Whether it’s Pay-To-Play or microtransactions in a mobile game. But that too has changed.

Play-To-Earn (P2E) model

The P2E concept has perhaps the most powerful psychological stimuli among all types of games. In addition to the entertainment that the game itself provides, the game process also implies that the player has the opportunity to receive financial rewards for the time and effort spent on the game. This became possible with the advent of blockchain and NFT technologies.

The basic premise of P2E is that as players spend more time and effort on the game, they become part of the in-game economy (tokenomics). Consequently, they create value for themselves, other members of the gaming ecosystem and developers. For which they receive digital assets.

Digital assets can be anything — a character, armor, guns, etc., taking the form of an NFT. Or players can be directly rewarded with cryptocurrencies and tokens of the game based on cryptocurrencies.

Mechanics and borrowings

The blockchain-based gaming industry is still at an early stage of development, and it is still centered around many concepts borrowed from traditional games.

For example, the NBA Top Shot is based on the “collect and exchange” model that has dominated baseball cards and other collectibles for decades. Axie Infinity, currently the most famous blockchain-based game, uses the “breed and battle” game model previously introduced by Pokémon launched in the 1990s.

The popular Splinterlands is generally a card game. Despite having its own mechanics and rules, the game still partially borrows the logic of Magic: The Gathering.

The future of P2E

So far, P2E is a very young concept in the gaming industry. It is only groping for the first stepping stones, which will lead to development further. However, the popularity of the concept attracts more and more gamers and investors, which has a positive effect on the speed of development of the model and the quality of the games released.

At the moment, most of the games are based on the release of their token as a game currency. Such tokenomics allows gamers to make settlements among themselves, receive rewards and acquire in-game assets. However, the cost of such tokens in comparison with the same Bitcoin often loses. Also, the number of such games at the moment is simply incredible, so a thorough check is required in order not to get into the game, the main model of which is Ponzi.

In search of safety and sustainability, developers are looking for new variations of the P2E model. For example, the developers of Farcana have patented the Play-To-Hash model. Within the framework of the Play-To-Hash concept, the game’s own coin $FARCANA is a means of mutual settlements between players and a means for buying game assets, while investments in the game coin go to Bitcoin mining, which players will be rewarded with as part of weekly, monthly and even annual tournaments.

Another feature of Farcana is that the developers claim it as an AAA shooter. Despite the popularity of P2E, there is no real AAA experience in the industry yet.

Obviously, the search for new ideas will continue. There will be new mechanics and economic models that will be different variations of Play-To-Earn. But so far, the AAA shooter Farcana with the concept of Play-To-Hash relying on Bitcoin has every chance to greatly spur the industry by creating something truly fresh and sustainable.




Farcana is a multiplayer third-person hero shooter powered by a Web3 economy.