The final form of sustainable GameFi: Is it to play or to earn?


Block chain game concept was born long ago, but this year only to attract more attention. Chain tour has been one of the biggest wave of encryption, and encryption has attracted hundreds of millions of currency new user influx, we are beginning to try in many games.

The type and style of blockchain games are the same as mainstream games. Based on turn-based strategy, survival simulation, battle royale, or sports, you can find them on almost all networks, including Bitcoin’s Lightning Network .

The final form of sustainable GameFi: Is it to play or to earn?

Data source of the number of users in different areas of the blockchain: dappradar

Most existing blockchain games are completely built on the blockchain, and every interaction in the game is a transaction.This is a common infrastructure model, and it is easy to see when the traffic of chain games in the past few weeks has continuously refreshed the highest point in history.

However, some games only use the blockchain in certain parts of the game environment, and most of the interaction in the game occurs outside the blockchain. For example, imagine FIFA 22 with NFT player cards and a market where these cards can be traded.

The most popular type of blockchain game is GameFi, which is a combination of games and decentralized finance . In addition to having fun in the game, players can also obtain valuable digital asset rewards (tokens, NFTs or other digital assets). Assets, etc.)-We call this model P2E. The characteristic of the GameFi project is that the main purpose of the player is to make money.

The popularity of the GameFi field is also due to the emergence of L2 and some high-performance L1 public chains, which provide the necessary infrastructure to support blockchain games-fast transaction speed and low cost, thereby making the user experience better.

Combining the blockchain and the game, the core is logical; game players are proficient in technology, familiar with digital currencies, and understand the value of in-game assets, such as characters, collectibles or skins.

According to, there are currently more than 210 games running on the Binance smart chain, with an average daily user volume of 890,000 (assuming a 10% overlap between players of different games in the past month). On BSC alone, the market value of the top 10 games reached nearly $1 billion.

BSC is currently one of the best blockchains to verify GameFi’s new business model and test chain games. There are quite a few games that can stand out here, continue to attract users and maintain stable economic benefits.

In the blog, we shared several key views and suggestions, discussing how to build a sustainable GameFi project from the perspective of currency economy and gameplay.

Currency Economy in GameFi

Games on the blockchain can create a micro-economy based on tokens issued by themselves. These tokens will be used as currency in the game, such as the gold coins of Warcraft or Runescape’s GP, as energy in the game for battle or spellcasting, or as a payment currency in the market. The possibilities are limitless, and diversified economic models will emerge as the times require.

Currency (token) economics, which observes and analyzes a series of factors that affect the characteristics of the supply and demand of tokens and their value and utility, and aims to design a sustainable, fair and attractive economic model.

For some games, economic models do not play an important role or any role (if they do not have tokens), but for GameFi, a good economic model is essential to the success of the game.

In addition, GameFi has made the economics of tokens a step more complicated by adding game modes with circular and self-sustainable economies.

Multi-currency/single currency model

The single currency model can be understood as the use of one token to do everything-governance, the currency of the in-game circulation, and so on. The contradiction of the single currency model is that if players want to make money (tokens), they must first spend money to buy tokens. If the token price is too high, the player may hesitate; if the price is too low, the player will lose interest in playing.

For these reasons, more projects have begun to establish dual/multi-token economic models in the game. In the case of the dual-token model, the primary tokens are usually governance tokens and secondary tokens in the game. Secondary tokens may not even need to be chained (ie virtual currency).

If only the primary tokens are traded on the exchange and denominated in fiat currency, we can reduce the impact of the secondary market on the in-game tokens and the game itself. If implemented properly, the dual-token model allows players to play games without being affected by the price and fluctuation of primary tokens.

The multi-token model also creates an opportunity for different types of games to interact with each other, such as sub-token conversion and token mixing to create characters.

According to our observations, whether it is a multi-token or single-token model, a sustainable token economy can be established. The key factor is still the distribution of tokens and its role.

Fixed pricing vs oracle pricing system

An oracle is a node that provides data from an external system for the blockchain, allowing smart contracts to execute commands based on the input and output data under the real-world chain.

In GameFi, in a sense, the fiat currency price of in-game tokens can be anchored by the transaction situation in the game.This means that the cost of tokens for in-game interactions will fluctuate based on the USD price of the tokens.

The oracle pricing system helps keep the currency price low and stable because it is linked to the value of legal currency, but because the reward payment (tokens in the game) is also linked to the value of legal currency, it will affect the gameplay during volatility.

If a fixed pricing system is used, it is easier to predict the player’s earnings, but if the price soars, new players will lose interest.

It is worth noting that several high-profile bankruptcies in GameFi rely on oracle pricing. However, GameFi’s pattern is maturing, and which pricing system is more suitable remains to be seen.

Key considerations in the token economic model

Token distribution

The token distribution mechanism is the core of a sustainable and fair token economic model. Token assignment is how the game tokens distributed between the different stakeholders – development team wages, public offering and privateinvestment , operators costs and benefits player.

The final form of sustainable GameFi: Is it to play or to earn?

As shown in the two distribution diagrams above, token distribution can basically be divided into profit-oriented and community-oriented. Game A allocates most of the tokens to the team and sales, while Game B allocates 50% of its tokens to the player’s reward pool.

It should be noted that poorly structured or unfair token distribution may cause irreversible damage, collapse the entire project, and harm players and the community at the same time. Once the tokens are distributed, it is difficult to change the economic model again without adverse consequences or affecting the community.

Rule 1: There is a fairer distribution mechanism that tends to the community, which tends to get more support and player loyalty. Community is everything-games cannot be successful without a strong community.

Token value/utility

Rule 2: The value of tokens can be affected by many factors, but the main driving force of token value should be its utility.

The utility of tokens can be achieved through variable gaming methods to ensure that the tokens have a wide range of usage, whether in the game or outside the game. The tokens in the game can work like health bars or energy, maintain the activity of the character, serve as currency in the game, or allow to be exchanged for other tokens or NFTs.

Most games already have multi-functional game tokens. But the difference is: how attractive the game is for players to hold, buy or consume tokens. Some examples of attractiveness include enabling token pledges to earn NFT rewards, or expanding the scope of token usage, extending it to other games or even a wide range of Metaverses.

Practicality can be increased in creative ways over time. There are already many game projects that expand the utility of their tokens and make their economic models more sustainable.

Release cycle

The release cycle is like a time lock of tokens, usually used for private sales and investment.

The token release cycle should be compatible with the roadmap of the project, the sustainability of the project, and the reward rights of the team. The shorter release period may reflect poor confidence in the project. In the worst case, this may lead to delisting or large-scale selling, which will trigger market panic, lead to a downward spiral in the price of the currency, and ultimately the project will fail.

Rule 3: Set a longer release period for project team members and investors to keep them consistent with the interests of game players. We usually see GameFi projects with a lock-up period of 1 year and a release period of 2-4 years.

It is usually unpleasant for the project team to sell tokens directly . It is a good practice for the project team to determine the transaction mode (such as OTC) with partners such as DAO , big players or guilds to cash out.

Gameplay and player experience

Gameplay and player experience determine the success of the game in the long run. No matter how good your token model is, if the gameplay is average, there are many repeated operations, and the player experience is mediocre, the game will either fail or it will only become a tedious time killer.

Focus on the game world view and settings

Rule 4: Blockchain games should be fun and interactive, instead of attracting players just by saying “you can make money”.

If gaining revenue is the main reason for playing the game, then this game may easily become more and more players to play in the future in order to maintain the economic operation of the game. When the new player’s income gradually decreases and eventually becomes zero, it will cause the entire game to collapse.

The most popular game is not the game with the best rewards or the most intense competitive matching, but the game with a strong world view and game settings. A good world view and setting are the key factors that attract gamers. The world view includes the background story of the game, and the game setting includes its environment design, character design, music and other elements.

These elements add depth and richness to the game, extend its story beyond the main plot, and allow players to better understand and feel the game and its protagonist.

Free games vs paid games

Some game projects have added a free-to-play model to their paid games to attract new players who may be interested in the game but don’t want to just try and not spend. Players can start with free, and then decide whether to continue playing free games, but there is no chance to earn rewards, or switch to paid games and start making money. There is another model that compromises, called “free-to-earn”, where players can play games for free, but their earning potential is limited.

Rule 5: Projects that adopt the free-to-play game model show the confidence of their team. They believe that the gameplay is attractive enough to acquire new players and does not need to rely on P2E. This model is essential for attracting players on a large scale.

Thetan Arena is a game on the BSC chain that has both a free mode and a paid mode. Thetan Arena has more than 1.2 million daily active players, and more than half of them play in free mode.

Cooperate with the guild

A guild is a community of players who play together and help each other grow by sharing NFTs, knowledge, and other skills.

Cooperating with the guild will give you the opportunity to contact a large number of players and attract players’ confidence in the game. This will also help the game get a good breakthrough and more players.

Some active guilds, such as Avocado Guild Games, GuildFi and Crypto Gaming United, have thousands of players, in addition to many other game guilds.

in conclusion

Developing games is difficult; developing successful games is even more difficult. If we look at the mainstream game industry, there are hundreds of games released every year, and only a few have become successful works. According to data from, in the United States alone, the value of the video game industry reaches $85 billion. However, most of the profits ended up in the pockets of a few super successful games. Of all the games that went into production, only 4% saw profits, and almost 80% of the published games were forgotten and suffered losses.

The game industry started in the 1970s and has come a long way since then. Although GameFi is built on 50 years of innovative technology and knowledge in the game industry, it is still exploring a new field.

Blockchain games are currently in their infancy, and it will take us a few years before we have the opportunity to experience double A-level games on the blockchain. Whether as a player or a developer , we should keep this in mind and admit that there will be failures and mistakes along the way.

Based on the opinions shared above, we can conclude that blockchain games, as the name suggests, should mainly focus on game elements, followed by DeFi elements .

The reason why players like a game and keep coming back should be the game itself. Think of games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Mario, and many others that have been loved and enjoyed by entire generations of people around the world. They don’t have a profitable factor, but players have invested hundreds of thousands of hours to play these games.

Successful blockchain games, especially GameFi, must provide a powerful and attractive player experience in order to maintain the participation and return of the community. The economic model in the game should be mainly used to maintain the player experience and maintain sustainable development. In a sense, the economy should support games, not the other way around.

The DeFi feature adds a unique “feature” to the gaming industry, allowing players to monetize the effort and time they spend in games and turn them into valuable assets. This provides players with additional reasons to play the game and at the same time be able to enjoy the game. It also allows game developers to explore new possibilities for monetizing their games and obtaining funding.

After all, community is everything. If game developers want to build successful games, they must focus on building a stable and supportive community. Players are more inclined to play games that can become a part of the community. In addition to the game experience, they can also get a positive social experience.

Finally, we leave a question for everyone.

Is it to play or to earn?

Case study- Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a game inspired and developed by Pokémon. Anyone can earn tokens through game battles and contributions to the game ecology. Players can collect and raise pets (called Axies), and use them to fight to build a kingdom of Axies. Currently, players can start the game by buying Axies from other players in the market. All game assets and Axie-related data can be accessed by third parties, allowing community developers to build and experience their tools in the Axie Infinity universe. The goal of the project team is to build a platform that includes social networks and work, which includes a strong community and opportunities to make money by playing games.

There are two kinds of tokens in the game-$AXS and $SLP

1. Axie Infinity Shards ($AXS)

Players can stake their tokens in the game in exchange for weekly rewards, which have a release period. Staking also gives players more in-game rewards.

The NFT market also accepts AXS as currency. For certain official sales and auctions, you may need to hold a certain amount of AXS tokens.

$AXS will be used in Axie Infinity’s governance system.

2. Smooth Love Potion ($SLP)

SLP tokens are obtained in the game and can be used in the game to breed new Axie or participate in official events and competitions.

Whenever an Axie is born, the $SLP token will be burned, and each Axie needs more SLP each time it reproduces.

The value of $SLP is closely related to the reproduction of Axies in the game; the greater the number of reproduction, the higher the value of $SLP.

The $SLP token is a secondary token because the project team realized that Axie Infinity is unsustainable by relying solely on the $AXS token.

Ownership economy

All expenses and income generated by Axie Infinity are placed in the Ministry of Community Finance and managed by AXS holders. AXS tokens provide shares in Axie Universe (similar to company shares). It will enable players to share the economic benefits of the game.

factor of success

Network effect: The scholarship mechanism (sponsoring them by lending assets in the game to new players) is an important factor in attracting new players. This also attracted strong community support, which further aggravated the network effect.

Ownership of game assets: Since players own the items in the game, this means that they can sell game assets to others and are happy to own “parts” of their favorite games. The concept of this P2P market is different from traditional games. In traditional games, the items purchased by players in the game cannot be resold.

Core risk

Still need new players to settle in to maintain economic stability. This is a key risk for most “P2E” games at present, and its sustainability depends on the growth rate of new players.


Axie Infinity has never stopped innovation. With the rise of the game, the team quickly realized that the single-token economic model would not work. They quickly adjusted and issued the $SLP token, and thought of creative ways to increase the utility of the token. Continuous adaptation and innovation (plus a good roadmap) are often the key reasons for the long-term sustainable development of the game.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

Like (0)
Donate Buy me a coffee Buy me a coffee
Previous 2021-12-31 22:47
Next 2021-12-31 22:49

Related articles