From the early days of the video game industry, developers have sought to create worlds as compelling as real life. While technological advances in graphics, computation, and more have certainly helped bridge the gap, games still lack many of life’s fundamental incentives, like the ability to earn a living, for the vast majority of players. But GameFi, an emerging crypto-gaming category, may have the potential to make playing a full-time profession for the masses.
But what is GameFi, exactly? This article will answer that question — and many more — on the way to providing a clear picture of the innovative trend that could just be the future of gaming.
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What is GameFi?
GameFi — also known as “play-to-earn” — is the marriage of gaming and blockchain-powered financialization. Whether through quests, trading, or other mechanisms, GameFi allows gamers to earn digital assets for their in-game efforts. While traditional games have allowed players to accrue and trade digital assets for decades, they could lose their investment at any time if the publisher shut the game down or went out of business. GameFi games, on the other hand, keep their assets stored on a distributed network. These operate independently of any single organization, substantially derisking the digital assets.
How to start playing a GameFi game
The particular starter requirements of each GameFi title varies, but most games need their players to possess a funded wallet and buy a few items to participate.
Get a crypto wallet
Your wallet will house your crypto and NFTs and generally allow you to go about your digital business. It can’t just be any wallet, as there are several kinds, and they don’t all work with every crypto ecosystem. This means that you should definitely check compatibility before you start setting one up. The blockchain game Axie Infinity, for instance, was built using the Ethereum protocol, so you’ll need an Ethereum-compatible wallet, like MetaMask, to play.
Fund your wallet
In the case of games that don’t allow players to grind out their first few units of digital currency through play, users will need to fund their wallet in order to engage meaningfully. The particular cryptocurrency will depend on the game, and you may have to jump through a few hoops to get the token you need. To start battling in the GameFi game Cryptoblades, for example, you’ll need to fill your MetaMask wallet with SKILL — the game’s cryptocurrency. But to get SKILL, you’ll first have to acquire Binance Coin (BNB) and trade for it. Funding your wallet won’t always be so complicated, but it’s important to know that the process can be a tad confusing.
Buy beginner items
While you can download GameFi games free of charge, you won’t be able to play most titles until you invest in the world through some kind of purchase — often a character or an upgrade. These items can be expensive. To enter the world of Axie Infinity, for example, you’ll need to buy three NFTs that, even at the cheaper end, mean dropping around $600.
Top GameFi games
Employing GameFi mechanics like task completion and property trading in its play-to-earn mix, Axie Infinity has rapidly become one of the biggest blockchain games in the world. Players collect, train, and battle creatures — NFTs called Axies — to progress through the game. Axie Infinity can generate substantial earnings for dedicated players: the cream of the crop rake in hundreds of thousands monthly, but even average players can pocket $400 over that time frame. This income is supported by a burgeoning cryptocurrency, AXS, whose market cap exceeds $8 billion.
While Axie Infinity’s AXS used to be the top GameFi coin by market capitalization, that spot now belongs to MANA, the Etheruem-based cryptocurrency that Decentraland runs on. Decentraland is similar to open-world platforms like Roblox, but the integration of NFTs into the experience means that the digital property players create could have a huge financial upside. If the project’s rapid growth is any indication, investing time in this digital economy will prove profitable for many.
One of the first mobile GameFi games, Forest Knight is a turn-based fantasy RPG that hooks its users by giving them the chance to earn rare NFTs while they beat back the forces of evil. The game currently has three NFT item types — weapons, accessories, and skins — but the publishers will soon introduce numerous new types — like pets and property — to deepen the game’s economy and trading experience. Launched in September, the game’s native cryptocurrency, the KNIGHT token, boasts a fully diluted market cap of $75 million.
Interested in creating a GameFi crypto game?
What is GameFi? It’s not just the talk of the cryptocurrency world but all of gaming. Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, has stated that GameFi and NFTs are the “future of our industry.” Within a matter of months, GameFi has gone from a tweet to a potentially industry-changing trend. This represents an enormous opportunity for innovative publishers. Armed with the right game concept — and backed by the right partners — the sky’s the limit.
To help developers looking to break into GameFi, wappier has created a comprehensive NFT SaaS solution that makes it easy to build, launch, and optimize crypto-gaming projects. From launching smart wallets to creating an NFT marketplace, our platform will help you tackle every step of the GameFi crypto development process. If you’re interested in seeing if we can help turn your blockchain dreams into real-world revenue, then reach out. We’d love to help make you the space’s next success story.