Play 2 Earn games, are they always doomed to fail?

By akohad Nov9,2022


What exactly are play-to-earn games, or more exactly how do they work? Let us try and find out, shall we?

Most of these type of games starts off with a big bang and fanfare. There are usually a lot of people who are looking to get in early and start to earn. And this is very similar to how most normal computer or console games work.

They usually have their peak of players at the launch or close the launcher. For it to then taper off over time. And eventually, the game will be declared “dead” if it is a PvP-focused type of game.

Because if the player base drop below a critical mass it is no longer profitable for them to keep the game running. Not to mention that cue times tend to be horrendous for the few players that remain.

And it is also very likely that most play-to-earn games will have a similar trajectory of players as “normal” games have. But they probably will have a much more prolonged curve. This is due to the allure of “earning money”.

This will keep the influx of new players last much longer than with a normal game. And because of that prolong the curve and postpone the inevitable downturn. At least in my humble opinion.

One more thing that will lead most of these games to fail as well, is the fact that most of them are built on a Ponzie-like payment scheme. And what I mean by that is that unlike they are an external source of funds put into the project. The players can only ever take out what the players put in. Well minus the dev fees of course.

So as soon as the first batch of players starts to withdraw their earnings this will start to deplete the available funds for other players to earn. And with an ever-decreasing influx of new players, that brings new money with them. The system will eventually shut down. And no longer be able to sustain itself.

This is the exact same “problem” you run into with a Ponzi Scheme. Eventually, you run out of new money to pay the old investors. And when the new investors want their pay, it all comes tumbling down like a house of cards.

Well in a sense yes. There are however mitigating factors that can prolong the life of a game. And that is if the gameplay is soo good that people will want to continue to play the game. Despite having the option to cash out. But so far I have yet to see any game getting anywhere close to this.

There are also other types of play-to-earn games. And that is games that get external funding, either completely or as a supplement to player-based funding. An example of this is RollerCoin.

I would guess they earn a fair bit of their income from external sources like banner ads and from the offer wall. And with those funds added on top of the funds the player puts into the game. It can, if not indefinitely, at least sustain the game for much much longer.

The drawback to these types of play-to-earn however if the odds of you getting rich by playing them is so slim it is virtually impossible.

The most important thing I would say is to do your research and figure out what type of play-to-earn project it is you’re dealing with. How long has it been up and running? Is the game popular, and is there still a high influx of new players.

Is the player base increasing or decreasing, very important to keep track of for considering the viability of a play 2 earn game

All of these is factor you need to take into consideration before deciding to invest your time and money. So in a sense, it is just like any other investment. But this one probably will take up more of your time. As it often is a correlation between spending time or money to reach goals in these games.

Well, the conclusion would be if you plan to play a pay-to-earn game. And have the goal of using it to earn rather than as entertainment or a time sink. Then you need to get in as early as possible in order to maximize your chances of being able to cash out.

Preferably you get in from day one. Just as well all Ponzi type of projects. And please do not get lured by other players saying they have earned X or Y. As if they already have been able to cash out, this is rapidly diminishing your odds of repeating the same feat.

These are just my thoughts on this topic, and yours may vary. Please do share your thoughts on it, do you have any good or bad experiences with play-to-earn games? Please share them and your thoughts on this topic in the comment section down below. And do not take this as financial advice in any way, it is just the ramblings of an internet madman. ^^

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See you on the interwebs!

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By akohad

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