What is Play-to-Earn (P2E): Conceptual Characteristics

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale February 2, 2022
Updated 2022/02/02 at 3:39 PM
What is Play-to-Earn (P2E): Conceptual Characteristics

Play-to-Earn (P2E) means that the player does not have to pay to download, install, or access the game. However, he can pay for the actions and items he needs.

Many popular online games today are built on this model and bring their creators billions of dollars every year: Dota 2, Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends. Thus, the concept is fully “matured.” It’s time to think about new mechanics.

Features of the new Play-to-Earn model:

  • Players create value for players and developers.
  • As a reward for their in-game actions, they are rewarded with digital assets that can later be used in-game or sold on the free market.
  • The concept works well with blockchain technology; anything can be used as a reward, especially cryptocurrencies and NFTs. You can buy eth to buy an NFT token for that currency afterwards.
  • Usually, to enter  gameplay, the player needs to buy a character. Some money will have to be spent at the start.

Developers reward players for putting time and effort into the game. The advantage of the P2E business model is that the gamer always creates some value. Even a character or item bought at the beginning can be sold.

The role of NFT tokens

NFT technology is closely related to blockchain-based games. Many gaming assets are represented in this format. There are usually marketplaces to buy and sell them. NFTs can be used as proof of ownership of a particular digital asset. NFTs have become a popular way to claim ownership of digital art.

So, too, using NFTs to coin in-game items allows them to be traded with more certainty. Each in-game item is unique in some way and can have either a high or low degree of rarity. The latter, of course, are valued higher.

Characters from “Axie Infinity”

In Axie Infinity, one of P2E’s most popular games, players collect, train, and use Axie creatures for combat. Each Axie is represented in the NFT. Axie can be sold by converting it into cryptocurrency. It is better to store cryptocurrency in the trastra app. Or combine them, trying to breed rarer and more expensive individuals. In other games, the gameplay may be different, but the common thread is that the main game assets are represented in the form of NFTs. They validate the user’s ownership.

Why do most P2E games function on a blockchain?

Such applications combine perfectly with cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Paying rewards in fiat would entail a lot of legal complexities and obstacles.

What role do NFTs play?

Non-exchangeable tokens are mainly used to indicate the user’s ownership of game items.

How much can I earn in blockchain games?

You can create new objects or characters in the form of NFTs and sell them in an embedded marketplace. You can get rewards for winning tournaments and other in-game activities.

What P2E projects are worth checking out?

Mobox, Alien Worlds, SprinterLands, Cryptoblades, and many others.

What is the future of the Play-to-Earn concept?

Games with the ability to earn money are already very popular. Therefore, new projects appear regularly. At the moment, developers are also paying attention to improving graphics and simplifying interactions with protocols.


The open economic model ensures that players who participate in developing the game world are financially rewarded for doing so. Next, a domino effect kicks in. Seeing how other users are earning, more and more new participants come to the game. There is an upward trend in the market. The near future of the industry looks favorable.

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