Play-To-Earn (P2E) is a new acronym that has only started to gain popularity this year. Translated from English, it means: “Play and earn.” This is a site monetization system for players and developers.

The method consists in the possibility of exchanging game items for digital coins. But first I will talk about the advantages of the system, and later I will reveal the mechanism of work.

Benefits of Play-To-Earn

In addition to Play-To-Earn, there is Free-To-Play and licensing. The first approach (F2P) allows users to play for free, subject to high traffic. Monetization is based on in-game purchases and advertising, for example, buying skins in Dota 2.

The license is used by large developers. Access to the game can only be obtained for money. A combination with paid items and advertising is possible. A good example is Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Play-To-Earn games have their own advantages, which are listed below.

  • Blockchain is used. Part of the game’s programming code is based on a digital system. Thus, the ownership of the in-game inventory is secured. For comparison: on a regular server, you can delete or transfer an item. The blockchain does not allow transactions with the player’s property without his knowledge, even to the creator, and a unique id is assigned to each purchased item.
  • You can earn. The principle of Play-To-Earn allows you to earn real money while playing. Users receive rewards during the gameplay. In-game currency is exchanged for NFT items or vice versa. The player can sell models on marketplaces for cryptocurrency.
  • new gaming industry. The development of Play-To-Earn will lead to a change in trends for gamers. The logical continuation is the introduction of technology into existing large projects. So far, this has not happened at the global level. But already, for example, there are GTA LIVE servers with the introduction of NFT.

While analyzing the Play-To-Earn market, I noticed a kind of symbiosis. Developers attract new players with technology, and users get the opportunity to earn money on P2E projects.

Imagine that you receive money during your leisure time. I concluded: P2E monetization is becoming a new win-win trend for gamers and developers.

How Play-To-Earn Works

How Play-To-Earn works.  Photo: cottonbro / pexels.comHow Play-To-Earn works. Photo: cottonbro /


P2E projects use Blockchain technology. To store NFT models, games are based on coins.

In general, the gameplay of Play-To-Earn is no different from conventional platforms. The uniqueness lies in the implementation of the in-game currency.

  • The user connects to the server. It contains the information of game objects.
    Users who enter the service enter the platform system.
  • Quests are offered to earn game currency. Coins can be spent on unique items. In some projects, the Blockchain system is implemented directly through the game interface. Bonuses for completing tasks are immediately paid in cryptocurrency. An option in the form of NFT prizes is also possible.
  • Received NFT items can be modified. Information about models is recorded on the Blockchain. But the appearance of the object is generated by the server. Only the owner can use them.
  • In-game values can be sold. NFTs are in demand on exchanges. Many traders use models to profit from price speculation. All modifications from the player will be saved.

The concept is to create virtual market relations. A digital coin acts as a universal medium of exchange. Goods – NFT-models or game currency.

It is worth noting that developers do not pay just like that. You need to complete tasks and quests. Better yet, I will show specific examples of P2E games.

Top Play-To-Earn Projects


By the way, there is an interesting fact. Game developers issue their own tokens. And the initial promotion of such digital assets is called IGO (Initial game offering). They are based on popular coins.

Like other tokens, game tokens have their own capitalization and value. According to the characteristics, you can track the demand for the project among players and traders.

I will make a list of the three most capitalized games. The more tokens are bought, the more interesting the site, according to the majority. By the way, the total size of the Play-to-Earn market is almost $34 billion.

Axie Infinity (AXS)


“Axie infinity” is a game where you need to capture the territory. The main character is a pet created by the player.

During the gameplay, users receive rewards for the development of “Axi”. By the way, these pets are NFT models. They can be developed and sold on marketplaces. There are three more ways to make money on the game:

  • participation in battles, a reward is provided in the leaderboard;
  • resale of rare species “Aksi”;
  • earning a love potion token for completing tasks.

The game has already gained wide popularity among other P2E games. Capitalization is almost 9 billion dollars. The project comes first.



Decentraland is a metaverse where every player is critical. What is interesting is not the opportunity to earn money, but the implementation of the gameplay. The game has its own features:

  • virtual reality based on Ethereum with the MANA token;
  • trade in virtual land plots and NFT items;
  • smart contracts; all transactions are carried out only after confirmation:
    voting; when in-game changes are made, a survey of all participants is conducted.

Imagine being able to invest in virtual real estate. This became possible, since the main way to earn money in Decentraland is to resell land.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a P2E sandbox based on the project of the same name. Here you can build your own virtual worlds and monetize your gaming experience.

The project is very similar to its predecessor. Here you can also create and modify items. The difference is that it is now tokenized on the Blockchain. The SAND coin is used.

Metaverses and Play-To-Earn

From the games presented, it was possible to notice something. All the described projects use the new concept of the metaverse. In short, it is a virtual reality where people can interact with each other.

The platform where market relations are built can be called the metaverse, these include: “Axie infinity”, “Decentraland” and “The Sandbox”.

By the way, on October 28, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg renamed his corporation “Meta platforms”. His goals now are the development of virtual reality glasses and the introduction of holograms to create a metaverse. He was inspired to get ahead of his plans by the increased popularity of P2E.