Please check out latest news, expert comments and industry insights from Coinspeaker's contributors.
ere are five promising play-to-earn projects that chart the evolution of crypto gaming.
Gaming and metaverse projects have come a long way since the launch of CryptoKitties in late 2017. That project proved to be ground zero for NFTs and crypto-based gameplay, paving the way for an industry that is increasingly sucking curious players into its orbit. And with blockchain-native startups now competing with gaming giants like Ubisoft, Bandai Namco and Netmarble, the gamified finance (gamefi) sector seems destined to continue its crazy growth.
If CryptoKitties was the standout of gamefi 1.0, there are endless candidates keen to plant their flag in the sand and showcase the advancement that typifies the industry’s evolution. The latest gamefi releases offer superior gameplay, greater customization, healthier ecosystems and a wider cast of playable characters, giving users the opportunity to kick ass in cyberspace and emerge with a healthy profit. Here are five promising play-to-earn projects that chart the evolution of crypto gaming.
Wonderman Nation is a soon-to-launch P2E game built on Phantasma’s high-speed, carbon-negative blockchain. According to the game’s developer team, the decision to build on the network was a response to the often crippling costs of transacting on Ethereum. In any event, Wonderman Nation is a colourful, addictive release that shares many similarities with Axie Infinity and Final Fantasy.
The object of Wonderman Nation is quite simple: players must breed creatures they find on a strange planet, utilize them in battle, and trade them on the market. As with the creatures themselves, various food NFTs, which are used to augment breeding, can be purchased within the game, and the same is true of spaceship parts which allow players to venture to other planets and source even rarer creatures.
Accessibility is a major USP of the game, which offers free-to-play and play-to-earn models. One unique aspect is its live creature marketplace, wherein players can ‘stake’ their creature by enabling other players to rent it for use in the game. Interestingly, no money needs to change hands in this arrangement. Instead, if a player wins a battle with a staked creature, rewards are divided between the victor and creature owner (the latter having set his profit-share terms in advance). Players can also play with non-NFT creatures, and while there are no $NKTR or NFT rewards in this stance, results still count towards ranking; as such, non-NFT players can earn monetizable rewards from weekly and monthly leaderboard challenges.
Having already raised a seven-figure sum from a slew of high-profile VCs, Wonderman Nation is gearing up for a triple IDO later this month. Dates for your diary are April 21 (ChainBoost) and April 28 (Polkastarter, BlokPad), when over $1.25m worth of native tokens go on sale.
According to Gamepad’s founders, “gamefi, play-to-earn, metaverses and NFT-heavy projects require a specialised platform to make them the next big blockbuster not just on token listing but towards an active, living, breathing ecosystem around their product.”
A dedicated launchpad for blockchain games, guilds and metaverses, Gamepad was thus created to empower developers, players and investors. The decentralized project operates as an accelerator/incubator and has quickly achieved a $25 million valuation since launching earlier this year. Last month, Gamepad received a $50,000 grant to accelerate gamefi and metaverse projects/infrastructure on the NEAR Protocol.
Naturally, the team brings plenty of experience to the project: CEO Eric Su is a veteran web2 product builder and serial gamefi investor, while COO Abhishek Rathod spent eight years building games with Krazy Studio. The latter says he wants Gamepad to become “Web3’s combination of Y Combinator, AngelList and Product Hunt.”
Sandstorm is a multi-chain platform that connects brands with Web3 builders, giving companies the opportunity to carve out territory in the burgeoning gamefi and metaverse world. Having started life as a weekly metaverse event, the venture has quickly built an impressively extensive directory of verified builders, architects and community managers which brands can browse to find the right fit.
Companies that don’t want to jump feet-first into VR/AR, meanwhile, can tap into the platform’s creative talent pool to issue their own one-of-one NFTs. According to CEO Steve McGarry, Sandstorm already reaches over 3 million users every month and has onboarded over 50 brands and 500+ builders.
A community-powered venture that harnesses the wisdom of the crowd, PathDAO is composed of several different pillars including a VC arm to invest in early-stage games, a ‘SuperGuild’ network of P2E gamers, and a dedicated gaming platform.
At the time of writing, PathDAO has attracted over 5,000 gamefi ‘scholars’ including alumni of Axie Infinity and League of Kingdoms, and partnerships with over two dozen blockchain game ecosystems have also been formed.
Recently, the project introduced Path Finance, a means by which blockchain gamers can obtain microloans without undergoing a credit check.
Throughout 2022, PathDAO plans to run community events (cybercafé tournaments, live streams, etc) to boost player engagement, release its gaming platform for web and mobile, and expand its financial services to include saving and insurance products.
Like PathDAO, Virtue Alliance is a decentralized autonomous organization focused on the metaverse and P2E. Developed to aid players in their pursuit of profits, the self-service platform gathers analytic insights related to the play-to-earn economy, information that can help users identify their shortcomings and enhance their productivity. Supported games include The Sandbox, Guild of Guardians, Axie Infinity, Illuvium and others.
Virtue Alliance expects to generate $2 million this year, and it’s easy to see that number scaling up as more full-time gamers enter the ecosystem.
The Last Laugh
Not too long ago, gamers faced societal pressure to put down the controller and do something productive. Thanks to the evolution of gamefi, those same people are joining guilds and DAOs, earning tokens in tournaments and battles, and pocketing profit from the sale of NFTs. Who’s laughing now?