“X” to “Earn”: current status of the track and ideas for breaking the game

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We selected 10 more representative projects from different x modes and compared them from four dimensions: project background, progress, mechanism and track positioning. Therefore, we hope to examine the x to earn ecology from a macro perspective, think about the entry angle and significance of the x scenario, understand the necessity and innovation of the earn model, and the differentiation of different projects and StepN in economic models.

Project comparison table

"X" to "Earn": Track Status and Breakthrough Ideas

The “X” of X to Earn

1. Classification of x

In the above table, the representative projects and their mechanism interpretations under each x mode are listed. After Axie’s play to earn (playing while earning) and StepN’s move to earn (running and earning) mode came out of the circle, the x mode gradually evolved into a state of “everything can make money”:

  • Eat, learn, walk, bike, sex, etc. under daily activities;
  • Search, like/make small videos, etc. in Web 2 behavior mode;
  • Gamified contest answer, card battle, etc.

Judging from the ecological panorama summarized by GameFi_Chill, the projects at this stage are still exploring in a move to earn mode, trying to get a share of StepN’s target users.

"X" to "Earn": Track Status and Breakthrough Ideas

Image credit: GameFi_Chill

2. Logic/pointcut behind x

Thinking from the starting point, x to earn is the project party’s encouragement for certain behaviors of users – eating, reading, writing, curating, interacting, etc. In many cases, the project party may design a scene and “deliberately” encourage users to participate, but such incentives are often difficult to sustain and are not conducive to increasing user stickiness. The project party may wish to think about what is the behavior that people are willing to participate in from the psychological level :

  • Subconscious/fit habits embedded in everyday life: How many people take a photo of their food before eating at a restaurant? Perhaps following this idea, the x in Poppin is the act of letting users feed their virtual pets by sharing photos of food. Bike to earn is not a subconscious act, but it is an activity that can be embedded in people’s daily life without extra time.
  • Addictive behavior: Instead of developing a habit, make x an “addictive” behavior, which could be chasing dramas, pets, etc.
  • Satisfaction/sense of achievement: The scene of x can be combined with immediate satisfaction, such as learning a language, answering questions correctly, and other platforms to realize skills realization.
  • Idealized vision: The vision that originates from life but is higher than life is also pursued by modern people, such as Hivemapper, which aims to create a decentralized map by individuals through driving recorders.

In addition, x to earn has a wider narrative space than play to earn – for example, the Bike to earn type of project proposes that carbon emissions will be realized and returned to the economy, and by reducing carbon emissions, the real value linked to carbon emissions will flow back into the economic system. , or a decentralized map created by Hivemapper using a driving recorder. There is a lot of room for developers to continue to imagine behaviors that can be used as x and monetized in real life or on the Internet.

Although the core of x to earn is the behavior of x, many projects have added elements of social-Fi . Here, the elements of social-fi can be understood as a strategy to encourage user growth. At the same time, the elements of social also need to fit with the behavior of x to increase user stickiness and create a vibrant ecology. For example, users in EyesFi can get token rewards by following each other and sending gifts, or increase the wisdom value to accelerate token earning, which is closely related to the curation and like behavior encouraged in EyesFi.

The element of social can also be “non-interactive”, but a one-way display. For example , the reward in quest3.xyz is an SBT (Soul Binding Token) NFT that cannot be traded or transferred, for users to record themselves , and added a sense of accomplishment and remembrance.

But as far as the current behavior model is concerned, the x-mode does not have subversive innovations. It more reproduces human daily behavior (such as Move advocated by StepN), or reshapes entertainment addiction under the existing Internet model (such as Rocket Video positioned as the Web3 version of Tiktok).

X to Earn 的「Earn」

1. The long-term operation of the project relies on two aspects: internal economic cycle + external positive benefits.

  • Inner loop: iteration of game mode, adjustment of values, etc.

Putting the core of x to earn above the behavior of earn does not seem like a wise choice. Although the x-mode can attract a large number of users who are driven by profit, under the Pond’s economic structure, if the project economy is to be sustainable, it is inseparable from the doll-style pulling new actions. It is precisely because of earn that the price of the project’s currency has fallen, just as the Internet has canceled/reduced user subsidies. Axie Infinity and StepN are facing the second stage of new and stock solution problems. The two have chosen different strategies to increase the “internal value cycle”.

Due to market factors such as the drop in token prices, the hacking of the Ronin sidechain, and the imperfect economic model, Axie’s DAU is experiencing a significant downward trend, and users have begun to lose users on a large scale.

"X" to "Earn": Track Status and Breakthrough Ideas

Image credit: NAAVIK

The version iteration of Axie Infinity chose to use game playability as a breakthrough. On April 7, 2022, Axie launched a new version, Origin . The new version lowers the user threshold, and new players can receive 3 initial Axies for free for trial play; on July 1, Axie launched the virtual land staking function . Different land pledges can obtain different AXS income every day, which to a certain extent can be understood as an improvement of the earn model, and the user’s profit method in the game can be expanded. 

"X" to "Earn": Track Status and Breakthrough Ideas

Image credit: Axie Infinity

StepN upgrades the Game Economy by adjusting the game values. According to the announcement , StepN’s initiatives include, such as dynamic cost adjustment through GST value (Dynamic Minting Costs), increased shoe synthesis mechanism (The recycling mechanism of sneakers and gems), cross-chain energy sharing (The cross-realm energy bridge), etc. . Of course, cross-chain energy sharing can be understood as a multi-server form of traditional games. After Solana and BNB chains, StepN will start supporting Ethereum on July 16 and call it APE Realm. BAYC holders will get a chance to get a free mint shoe; that is to say, StepN is not only targeting the traffic of the Ethereum ecosystem, but also the traffic owned by the NFT blue-chip projects themselves, as a way to open up new users try. In addition, STEPN also chooses to use 5% of quarterly profits for GMT buybacks and burns , reducing token supply to adjust the economic model.

  • External benefits from narrative structure adjustments and collaborative projects

Reaching the internal value cycle is a process that requires continuous adjustment. At the same time, the project party can also think about how to increase the external value. We believe that there are two sources of growth in externality value: brand marketing/narrative, partnerships.

Observing STEPN’s later adjustments in narrative and brand marketing, we can see that the project side has gradually shifted users’ attention to health, as well as awareness of the connection between people and nature through exercise. In addition, the project party also strengthens its brand concept through auction donations.

In addition, the cooperation between the project and Web2 enterprises can also increase the external value, such as the NFT running shoes jointly launched by STEPN and ASICS, and some users have left messages under STEPN Twitter expressing their desire to see the joint name with Supreme.

2. Projects with “earn” as the core have no innovation in technology, operation or economic model for a while

On the whole, these projects take the “earn” model as a project innovation, but there is nothing new in terms of creativity and operation mode. One is the imitation of Axie/StepN, and the other is simply labeling the off-chain behavior/game/social model as a token-incentivized profit. This means that for the project party, players attracted by making money gimmicks can neither empower the project nor create a high degree of stickiness to the platform. Such a business model is already full of controversy when Internet platforms rely on subsidies to trigger rounds of money-burning wars. More importantly, when the project parties focus too much on the earn model, the long-term nature of the project ecology is disintegrated . After all, under the traditional chain game/Internet model, users also have a variety of ways to make money. Although x to earn has broken the boundaries of the network and has a more open and transparent economy; but with more capital (such as tokens/NFT) in circulation, the stability of capital value is more likely to be out of balance. The effectiveness, sustainability, and monetization of earning methods are all in the exploratory stage.

3. Lack of popularity and digging depth, the project has very limited customer acquisition channels

x to earn is still an “experimental phase”. When the project mechanism is not mature enough, not special enough, and not attractive enough, a small number of users means an absolute disadvantage. Taking the most intuitive Twitter followers data as an example, StepN followers are about 639.6K , and Axie Infinity has 945.4K ; while most of the items summarized in the chart are only about 10K followers. A sustainable monetization model is the first indicator that attracts most users to the game. From a marketing point of view, these x models are not innovative in terms of topic heat and depth, which also means that their traffic ceilings are very low, and they can neither attract new users into the ecosystem, solve user pain points, nor maintain existing customers.

Take PlotX, a quiz money-making project that started in 20 years, as an example. Although the project party has established contacts with major events and organized related quiz competitions, users have never been grasped and their real needs cannot be met. For traditional players, there is no substantial difference between participating in the quiz game on the chain and the Internet quiz game, but the income is changed from legal currency to a token with a floating price. We believe that project parties often imagine a “pseudo-demand” and expect users to be interested and involved in it, putting the cart before the horse .

After the StepN craze has subsided, it may be difficult to see the next project that combines “the right place and the right person”.

How to innovate the x to earn model?

In order to break through and enter the next stage of the x to earn model, the following elements must be considered:

According to the project stage, the breakthroughs and innovations that the project party needs to make :

  • The ” radical expansion” of x to earn at the beginning of the project is worth trying . The way to aggressively expand may be to provide a short payback period, or even burn money to create enough gimmicks to attract users to perform x behavior. For example, Paypal gave users a $5 reward in the early days of its business, thus ensuring an exponential growth of more than 2% per day.
  • In the stage of project development, there will inevitably be a stage of shrinking market value and screening participants, but this is not equivalent to a “death spiral” . Although the token price of Axie Infinity has dropped by more than 90%, new users are still emerging. Fang is also insisting on building in the bear market , so it seems that the fair value of this game is continuously accumulating/discovering.
  • No matter what kind of development model PAKA Labs mentioned in the article – “krypton” to support “play”, “lazy” to support “diligence”, punch-in mode, “network” to support “points”, and traffic to be realized, x to earn needs to find sustainable economic sources to achieve the second growth curve .
  • From a macro point of view, the project should build an ecosystem around x , and there may be sponsors, advertisers, traders, collectors, loyal fans, gamers, gold players, etc. in this ecosystem. Through the production and exchange of multiple parties in the ecology, a closed-loop economic system is realized.

On the other hand, we are seeing some Web2 companies take x to earn as a brand new business model and marketing concept, opening the door to Web3 exploration .

When Multicoin Capital launched the fund Venture Fund III, it pointed out that it will focus on the concept of Proof of Physical Work in the future, that is to use the economic system on the chain to stimulate the “verifiable” work off the chain, so as to take a step closer to the chain. The form of capital formation and people’s cooperation are extended to the off-chain (for example, Multicoin participated in the drive to earn project). In fact, it seems that Proof of Physical work is a kind of classification in x to earn, that is, the scene of x occurs off-chain.

Just because x to earn interestingly connects off-chain behavior and on-chain economic model, x to earn forms a bridge between Web2/Web3. We found that traditional Web2 enterprises are making bold attempts, trying to use their own x advantages, using the x to earn model to attract users and promote their own product iterations.

Zhiji Automobile, which is owned by SAIC, Pudong New Area and Ali, proposed the “Rough Stone Valley User Data Rights and Interests Plan”. The essence of this plan is to drive to earn. On the one hand, users can mine “raw stones” by authorizing the collection of formal data. The “rough stone” not only represents data rights, but also can be used to exchange the specified hardware of the car, and the software will bring real feedback. On the other hand, for products, more and more data drives the iteration of products. In addition, from a brand perspective, “allowing users to own the data rights generated by their own products” is indeed a new concept that has never existed in Web2. The concept helps attract investors, consumers and more.

At its core, in the x to earn model, x is the starting point of the project narrative, the value of the cold start of the project, and the solution to the real needs of human beings; and earn is a universal selling point that can attract users in the Web3 field. A profit model and a stable economic cycle are some necessary conditions for the long-term development of the project . earn should not be the goal of x; instead, x and earn, which cannot be stripped individually, should be done in parallel. In other words, only when users can feel fun and attractive in the x-mode, can earn be the icing on the cake and provide life for the long-term operation of the project.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/x-to-earn-current-status-of-the-track-and-ideas-for-breaking-the-game/
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.

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