Web3, the latest iteration of the Internet, has radically changed the gaming business by integrating unique features involving blockchain, cryptos and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The question that arises now is whether Play-to-Earn, or P2E, games can offer an alternative to traditional wage employment for people looking to move out of their jobs, whatever be the reason.
The market is forecast to reach a readjusted size of $2.8 billion by 2028, expanding at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 20.4 percent during 2022-2028.
P2E cannot replace regular jobs
Ishank Gupta, advisor to IndiGG, the largest gaming DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) in India, says P2E games can be a potential second source of income, but cannot replace earnings through traditional jobs.
Gupta believes that emerging markets like India will drive the Web3 gaming adoption.
When asked to elucidate, he said mobile data was most affordable in India with the average cost of 1GB of 4G data at Rs 20. The country is also a “mobile first” nation with over 700 million smartphones.
India is expected to be home to 500 million players by 2024, creating a sizable (mobile-first) market for game creators, he said, adding that app install statistics show 17% of all game downloads come from India.
“In the world of Web3, where everyone is still at the starting line, we may acquire a head start and become first movers in the business by taking steps to establish an indisputable community that interacts with Web3 games and goods. When it comes to gaming, India is regarded as an important market,” Gupta says.
Experts point out that the future of work is being redefined by new technologies, with blockchain — a database that stores information in a digital format — being the most important development that happened in the past 10 years.
Back in 2021 in emerging economies, the first generation of games like Axie Infinity was able to replace ordinary jobs.
Driving a taxi or being a delivery driver made less money than a middle-level P2E Axie player.
However, the first generation of P2E has a lot of holes in terms of game depth, tokenomics, overall dynamics and aesthetics.
Corruption, inflation driving users toward Web3
Asked about the fascination with P2E games in emerging economies, Martin Repetto, CEO and co-founder of Mokens League, says rampant corruption, high inflation and depreciation of local currencies have created the perfect ecosystem for crypto to be the king.
“The combination of trying to escape high taxes with badly rendered services, inflation, and economic freedom, makes it perfect for Blockchain games and DApps (decentralised applications) to triumph. There is no coincidence that the most successful Play-To-Earn games came from emerging markets/economies/countries,” Repetto says.
P2E growth depends on per capita GDP
P2E is one of the ways to earn an additional income, but it may not work for all countries.
In Singapore, for example, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita reached a record high of US $66,176.39 in 2021. Even so, the cost of living is high and the P2E concept is harder to attract the 9-5 working class because it may not be able to pay even for their monthly groceries.
In Kenya, where GDP per capita is expected to reach US $1,550.00 by the end of 2022, P2E is viable.
In fact, in Kenya play-to-earn, when positioned well, can reduce the unemployment rate and increase overall GDP.
India will be the outsourcing factory for Web3
Anndy Lian, Chief Digital Advisor to the Mongolian Productivity Organization, says the revenue from Web2 gaming goes to the gaming companies, but Web3 gaming is better distributed.
“Users get rewarded for their efforts and their assets can be further monetized. NFTs are in-game assets, not in-game expenses, anymore because you can resell your NFTs in the secondary market; if you promote harder, you can command a higher price. The value of your assets is in your own hands,” he says.
He adds that India is very developed in Web2 and many users are transiting to Web3 and a big pool of developers will make India the biggest outsourcing factory for Web3.
Future of Web3 gaming
The platform’s development and level of user interaction will determine how well it does.
The platform will gradually attract additional developers, users, and practical outcomes as it goes through its motions.
Over time, the platform’s market valuation will increase as more users and developers join it.
P2E is an idea that is gradually gaining hold among gamers. However, it still has a long way to go before it can take the place of traditional jobs.
The platform doesn’t currently have the gamers and developers it needs to grow and succeed and will become more reliable and popular as it evolves further.
This will encourage other developers to produce their own games for the system, accelerating the growth of the metaverse crypto.
Saurabh Tiwari, a Pune-based Web3 enthusiast, and an avid gamer, told Moneycontrol that NFT-based games were previously a grey area, just like TikTok was initially.
“Playing games definitely can be a long-term career option if planned properly because the loyalty amounts, once a gamer creates his own community and followers, are huge.
Multinational companies are investing big in the space which only goes on to show they see huge potential here in the long run,” Tiwari said.
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.