Explore the best business model of p2e Games: three points are needed to achieve sustainable development

Published on 1 Weeks ago   145 views   0 Comments  

Author:arf. zth, the following is compiled by the way of DFI

How can p2e games become a sustainable business model?

I analyzed the most popular p2e games, such as axie and stepn, and some traditional games, such as fortress night and my world, to find out the best business model for future games.

Games are seen as the next frontier for cryptocurrency /web3 adoption, but the current p2e model is unsustainable.

Several common problems in current p2e games

In my opinion, the current p2e games have the following problems:

  • P2e game is equivalent to ponzinomics
  • Most p2e games are not fun
  • NFT traders are not gamers
  • Token economics encourages players to sell tokens
  • The emergence of NFT reduces the long-term profits of the game

P2e game is equivalent to Ponzi Economics

P2e games are troubled by "Ponzi economics".

Investors will choose to buy NFT assets in the game, and then these investors will hire professional scholars to play the game using the NFT. These so-called "players" earn dollar income by obtaining local encrypted tokens. final. Investors and professional gold diggers throw tokens to new investors.

Then there is the cycle.

This is a typical "Ponzi scheme", because it requires more and more new investors to join the game, so as to provide liquidity for existing investors to exit. As long as there is a steady flow of new capital, everyone will be happy.

However, this kind of game will eventually face a critical point towards the death spiral. SLP (axie's token) and GST (stepn's token) both encounter this problem.

Most p2e games are not fun

Why do people choose to leave the game when they can't make money for the vast majority of p2e games? In the final analysis, these games have not developed enough playability.

I think this problem can be attributed to two reasons:

  • Building a good game requires a lot of time and resources
  • Solid developers are not equal to creative game developers

NFT traders are not gamers

Because if you want to play a p2e game, you need to buy the necessary NFT, which requires a lot of upfront costs.

  • Most gamers cannot afford to start the game. Even A-3 games cost up to $70
  • Only businessmen / speculators can afford NFT
  • Professional gold diggers hired by investors play games only to make money

This leads to the most annoying and ridiculous part of p2e Games:

  • For ordinary players, they need to spend too much money to play a p2e game
  • For cryptocurrency whales, they are not short of money, they are short of time

When investors holding NFT don't really play games, game developers can't get feedback, the game will slowly fall into a death spiral, and the price of encrypted tokens and NFT floor will continue to fall.

Token economics encourages players to sell tokens

P2e game ecosystem specific tokens usually only give token utility (goods, NFT, etc.), and the team can obtain a certain handling fee from any transaction and hold a certain percentage of the total token supply.

But the problem with this token economics is that anyone who wants to make "really usable" money must sell the game tokens they want to get.

Why would I say that? Because the game's native token can only be used in the game. This means that the utility beyond tokens greatly exceeds the number of game tokens.

For example, I can only use sol and eth to buy NFT of one game. I can only pay rent, buy food and go on holiday in dollars. As a member of the development team, the only way I can pay tax on my expenses or business profits is to convert tokens into Eth and then into dollars.

In addition, if the only way for the development team to get paid is through the continuous appreciation of the token price, they need to sell their tokens into dollars to use in the real world.

NFT cuts the long-term profits of the game

There are currently two p2e modes:

  • Or create a very high entry threshold with expensive NFT
  • Or to strike a delicate balance between free NFT and paid NFT

For those games that are only allowed to buy or hold expensive NFTs, they prevent ordinary "free" gamers from experiencing the game and falling in love with it, which undermines the long-term growth of game users and potential micro transactions.

For those games that allow free and paid NFT participation, they will continue to reward players who pay to buy NFT, while trying to balance the game with free NFT holders. In addition, in this mode, in the life cycle of the game, players who buy expensive NFT must be considered in various cases.

Compared with the potential continuous revenue from the most loyal users through subscription or skin, old players can get these revenue for free. If you choose a non Web3 route, it will reduce the potential profit. NFT buyers want more value and utility than they pay for.

Three principles for p2e to become a viable business model

Well, how can p2e become a viable business model? They must follow three main principles:

  1. Put game design first, followed by NFT
  2. Monetize what cannot be monetized in web2
  3. Leverage collectability and reward loyalty

Put game design first, followed by NFT

From fortress night and my world to Eldon law ring and legend of Sarda, the most popular games have a common feature:

  • They are beautifully designed and fun to play with

Practical = interesting, that's it.

Fortress night is a free game without a payment mechanism. The reason why it can bring billions of dollars in revenue is that people like the game very much. They hope that their avatars can stand out with their unique clothes and cool actions.

I think "Fortress night" is to monetize the incredible game design.

Monetize what cannot be monetized in web2

Web3 allows players to own the assets they have accumulated, while enabling the game to monetize the transactions of these assets.

However, game companies must think carefully about what they will become NFT.

Why do I say that? For example, you can imagine that a game has released an open version of NFT skins. Before Web3, these skins were destined to be sold for 1million copies at a price of $10.

If this skin is NFT, it may still have 1million transactions, but 30% of them are second-hand. Now they make less money because the secondary market receives less than 100% of the primary sales royalties.

Here is a quick calculation method:

S represents the average price in the secondary market
R stands for royalty%.
S < 10 dollars. Because it is an open version, players can buy it directly with 10 dollars.
R < 100%
Web2:1million * US $10 = US $10million
Web3:700000 * USD 10 + (300000 * USD s) *r% < USD 10million
In this case, web2 gets more money than Web3.

Because game developers no longer control the market, the sales royalty of x% in the secondary market is no better than that in the primary market.

Perhaps in the long run, the secondary sales and the smaller primary sales are larger than the total primary sales. We need to analyze the cost-benefit rather than blindly think that "NFT is everything".

Here is a good example of using Web3. You can imagine that every player playing your game will get a free NFT at level 0. A player will upgrade to level 100 and decide to sell it. Games earn royalties on digital assets, but they cannot be monetized in web2. Players earn some money from their games.

There is another example, because in most games, players who reach level 100 just become a number item.

Now you have enabled some more positive behaviors:

  • Old players' game time is rewarded
  • New players save upgrade time
  • The game earned x% of the copyright fee

Leverage collectability and reward loyalty

Battle passes are a popular option that allows you to monetize your loyal players. As NFTs, once the season ends, they can be traded as collectibles.

You have once again tapped a new market and created value out of thin air.

Why would anyone want to collect multiple expired battle passes? Because they can increase real utility.

For example, anyone who holds a full year combat pass will be invited to an annual party so that they can meet other players, or they can participate in a tournament with cool prizes.


NFT is a very exciting technology if it can be used correctly and thoughtfully in p2e games.

However, the current p2e game experience is very poor, and the incentive structure in the game is meaningless. In addition, tokens in the game are not suitable for every p2e game.

"Earn" can be to sell a high-level NFT!

You must consider how to provide value to the various characters (investors, players and core players) involved in the game.

How will you use NFT in the game? Is there a sustainable and well-designed p2e game?

Please tellII like to discuss it with you.

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