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With the proliferation of mobile and social games, a new type of monetization has emerged - play to earn. This model diverts some or all of the value that a player creates within the game back to them, providing an alternative to the traditional model where the game company keeps all of the value that a player generates. In this post, we'll explore what play to earn is, how it works, and some of the benefits and challenges associated with this monetization model.
In a play to earn game, players can generate in-game currency or assets that have real world value. This can be done through questing, completing achievements, or simply by playing the game itself. The value that a player generates is then theirs to keep or sell as they please.
There are a few different ways that this value can be realized. The first is through an in-game economy, where players can use their earned currency to purchase virtual goods from other players or from the game company itself. The second is through a secondary market, where players can sell their currency or assets for real world money (usually through an online auction house). And finally, some game companies have started offering players the ability to cash out their earnings directly for real world currency.
One of the major benefits of play to earn is that it aligns the interests of the player with those of the game company. In a traditional pay-to-win game, players are motivated to spend money in order to progress faster and/or compete more effectively against other players. However, this creates a tension between the player and the game company, as the player's desire to progress quickly clashes with the company's need to make money from microtransactions.
In a play to earn game, on the other hand, the player is motivated to generate value for themselves by playing well and progressing in the game. As such, there is no conflict between what's best for the player and what's best for the game company - both are interested in seeing the player do well in order to generate more value. This alignment of interests leads to a much healthier relationship between player and game company, and ultimately results in a better experience for everyone involved.