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How Play to Own is taking over Play to Earn Gaming, and the Differences

Gamers worldwide have become familiar with the Play to Earn (P2E) gaming concept but may have not yet heard about Play to Own (P2O) games. 

While the concepts might sound alike, there are some significant differences. P2E is what took the world by storm first, with $4.8 billion raised via investment funds during 2021 just in the United States alone. 

Even though the P2E world has experienced a boom, it doesn’t come without flaws. These flaws have led to many gaming startups in the web3 space experimenting with new ideas to make crypto gaming more sustainable. 

In this article, we will dive into the problems surrounding P2E and how P2O is making strides to improve the scene.

The challenges surrounding Play to Earn gaming

Even though P2E sounds like the perfect concept, there are some things that heavily get in the way of mainstream adoption and continued growth. 

What Are Play To Earn Games? Here Are The Top 3 Upcoming P2E Games!

Source: CryptoTicker

One major problem with P2E games is that they support inflationary models, and tokens earned in P2E games possess too much selling pressure. 

This means that once a gamer receives the game’s crypto tokens, they usually sell them immediately to gain profit. This obvious flaw can only result in a bad supply and demand structure, causing the in-game token to plummet in value. 

There are also P2E games that do not have enough ways for players to spend the tokens they earn, which often turns into players dumping them quickly, eventually making the crypto tokens worthless.

Even games that offer plenty of ways to spend tokens can fail. This is often seen in games where players don’t earn enough while playing, making them jump to other games quickly. Without a healthy player base, it can be tough to succeed with The P2E model, as assets have a high chance of becoming worthless in a short period of time. 

An example of how quickly things can go south is Axie Infinity. Despite being one of the biggest and most popular P2E games , its SLP token recently fell in value and saw Axie’s player base steadily shrink. 

Additionally, a series of hacks and security flaws eventually led to Axie Infinity seeing their once loyal community steadily decline in numbers. This is a prime example that just because a game is at the top, it doesn’t mean it will always be.

Source: Axie Infinity

Even big P2E games run into tough challenges, which is usually enough of an indicator to point out that there are some significant flaws to be aware of.

What are the differences? Play to Earn vs. Play to Own

Unlike P2E, P2O puts a higher emphasis on the ownership of in-game assets (NFTs). The primary focus is on these owned assets, while there is little focus on earning a crypto token. 

While the main focus of P2E games is to own a game’s NFTs for higher earning power, the P2O model mainly focuses on players getting to own the NFTs by playing the game. 

The difference might sound insignificant, but it is actually a major shift. The root cause of the problems stemming from P2E games is that the developers focus too much on creating an in-game economy through the crypto tokens, which often ends up sacrificing a fun gameplay experience. 

One way you can think of how these are different is that in a P2O model, players will be rewarded for playing the game and being good at it. Maybe they’ve just cleared a really hard boss and are rewarded with a rare sword NFT. Now they feel accomplished and will keep progressing onward to earn more NFTs while enjoying the game.

In P2E games, the focus tends to be more on the earning factors of the game. Here is where you’ll see gamers purchase expensive NFTs to obtain a higher earning rate or other distinct advantages. Most of the time, the players don’t care how fun a game is; they only buy these NFTs to gain monetary rewards. 

With P2O games, developers can focus more on creating a game that makes gamers want to come back for more, as they play towards owning NFTs instead of buying one purely to make significant gains.

Source: Crypto News Flash

Is one better than the other?

The honest but boring answer is that it’s currently too early to tell if the P2E gaming model will prevail over P2O or vice versa. In the end, both models are associated with a genre of game that is rapidly evolving. 

The only way to create a successful crypto game, regardless of earning mechanics, is to make something that keeps players coming back. Without that, developers will quickly experience players moving on to the next “hot” game. 

Even though the P2E concept might have its issues, it still has plenty of potential to grow – especially if the major issues are fixed. As P2E and P2O models continue to evolve, it will be interesting to follow if either of these will prevail and become the industry standard.

Right now, we are still in the infant stages of web3, which means that everything can and will change; and that goes the same for gaming. 


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