08 Nov 2021 · 4 min read

Three Can’t-Miss Play-to-Earn Projects Driving the Gamefi Sector

Disclaimer: The Industry Talk section features insights by crypto industry players and is not a part of the editorial content of Cryptonews.com.

The blockchain gaming industry is still in its infancy, yet the attention it has garnered to date suggests a highly prosperous future. In recent months, scores of gamefi projects have rolled off the production line, enriching both early investors and the players and guilds clever enough to take full advantage of their integrated defi mechanisms.

Prominent releases like Axie Infinity, CryptoBlades and Sorare have highlighted the appeal of the play-to-earn (P2E) model, wherein gamers strive to earn and collect in-game items with real-world value. Through inbuilt marketplaces and cryptocurrency exchange support, these coveted collectibles – representing weaponry, clothing and other commodities – can be bought, sold and traded, with prices reflecting their utility and demand.

Clearly, the gamefi market is ready-made: what avid gamer doesn’t like the idea of earning money from his virtual endeavors? The sector can be a little daunting for newcomers, though. After all, with so many platforms and networks to choose from, how do you know where to start? Here are three play-to-earn gamefi projects worthy of your attention right now.

Splinterlands

Collectible card game Splinterlands is one of the hottest properties in gamefi, having amassed over 410,000 users and racked up 3.26 million transactions to date. A skill-based game previously known as Steem Monsters, it features an array of colorful cards (monsters, dragons, robots, etc) that confer various skills and powers, and players must battle others and complete quests to earn card packs and Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), a crypto-asset that can be exchanged for items in the game’s integrated shop.

Built on Hive’s decentralized blockchain, Splinterlands features many nifty elements that enrich the gameplay – the ability to purchase booster packs, for instance, or progress through tiered leagues (Novice to Champion) to earn better rewards. As more players FOMO into the game, the demand for its NFT cards are only likely to increase. One gamer claims to have turned a USD 10 buy-in into a portfolio worth USD 17k.

Another refreshing aspect of Splinterlands is its recently introduced VOUCHER distribution mechanism, which helps protect the integrity of the game from scalpers, whales, and bots.

Stratis

One of a handful of well-known blockchains from the old days of 2016-17, Stratis resembles a sleeping giant re-animating amid another, more sustainable boom. As far as gamefi is concerned, the platform has created both a lite wallet and Software Development Kit (SDK) for Unity gaming developers to implement blockchain into their releases.

One promising title that has emerged from this tie-in is Red Runner, a Mario-like coin-collecting game developed by BayatGames. Through deployment of the SDK, the release features a play-to-earn mechanism, a non-custodial wallet, and the ability to mint NFTs, with RedRunner Tokens (RRT) awarded to players who achieve milestones in the game. 

A recent blog post, meanwhile, suggests Stratis is dedicating energy and capital to “developing reference game examples, utilizing the Unity Gaming SDK and various Stratis Smart Contracts in C#.” As well as Red Runner, the expanding gamefi suite includes NFT Knives, a one-touch game, and Dawn of Ships, an RPG where players manage their own pirate fleet. Stratis is also busy developing the industry’s first zero-fee NFT marketplace.

MonkeyBall

MonkeyBall is a Solana-based P2E game whose founders recently raised USD 3 million in a seed funding round. The premise is essentially soccer – only with combative monkeys taking to the pitch rather than humans (obviously). Often described as a cross between FIFA Street and Final Fantasy, the release sees players compete to earn MonkeyBucks ($MBS), which are paid out after victories and also when players ‘host’ games in their own stadiums.

Three gameplay modes are offered in MonkeyBall: Player vs Environment (training mode); Player vs Player (a classic match, with gamers controlling their whole squad a la FIFA); and Team vs Team (individual gamers control individual monkeys). Of course, not all monkeys are made equal: it’s up to gamers to boost their chimps’ ability levels and performance by training them, elevating their morale, and introducing special elements – all of which depend on the human player’s NFT deployment.

As well as upgrading their soccer-playing monkeys, players can enhance their stadiums by “building and acquiring special facilities, as well as creating unique competitions and special events to attract more users.”

Built on the aforementioned Unity game engine – which enables gameplay on all platforms including mobile – MonkeyBall is currently looking ahead to its IDO on the StarLaunch platform. Watch this space.

Well, there you have it: three P2E projects claiming turf on the blockchain. Of course, given the sheer number of releases, players might struggle to find enough time to sample them all. Between metaverses (Kawaii Islands, Decentraland), mobile RPGs (WonderHero), and racing games (F1 Delta Time), gamers looking to earn a crypto crust are quite literally spoiled for choice.