Play-to-Earn (P2E) gaming is a major trend, with Axie Infinity, one of the largest in the space, recently reaching 2 million daily active players. Some may see an entertaining and profitable game as a dream come true, but traditional gamers are less than satisfied with blockchain-based versions of their beloved entertainment. The difference in the motivation mechanisms used by your favorite games is to be thanked, at least in part, for this division.

A college student playing his PS5 at home is looking for something completely different than a Filipino playing Axie to put food on the table. While the P2E space is expanding, many of its current design practices work as a roadblock preventing it from entering the mainstream gaming market.

Work hard or play hard?

P2E gaming exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in low-income countries that suffered from ongoing lockdowns, such as the Philippines. The Philippines’ GDP fell 9.6 percent, the biggest drop in more than 70 years, causing many to lose their jobs and seek alternative ways to feed their families.

According to the team behind Axie, in March 2020 alone, over 29,000 people downloaded Axie Infinity in the Philippines, while internationally, the game gained 70,000 users that month. This distribution hints, among other things, at users’ hopes that their gaming winnings can offer a stable source of income, especially when others ran out. The Axie community even offered scholarships to people in low-income countries: Players who own a lot of Axie NFTs rent them out to beginners, saving them the initial cost of getting into the game, but claiming a portion of their winnings.

While a sizable portion of P2E gamers use gaming for an additional income stream, traditional gamers are in for something completely different. About 66 percent of gamers play to relax and decompress, and 51 percent want to escape through entertainment, according to Statista.

To put it more bluntly, traditional video game players simply enjoy their penchant for intrinsic experience, which has little to do with profit, an extrinsic factor in relation to the game. In any case, there is even some evidence, albeit apparently inconclusive, that extrinsic motivation and enjoyment do not usually go hand in hand. So the opportunity to make money (P2E’s biggest selling point) as such lacks appeal to gamers who aren’t playing for a tangible reward in the first place.

While P2E gaming is in many ways all about transactions, the traditional gaming community has already had a rocky history with microtransactions since they were released in 2004. Video game fans weren’t shy about expressing their anger at the option to pay for digital items. to advance the game or images, sometimes in addition to payment in advance. The loot boxes, which contain rare digital items that cannot be purchased with cash, have specifically sparked a great deal of controversy, with player disapproval snowballing into multiple class action lawsuits arguing that these purchases are ” illegal gambling operations” run by gaming companies.

Player disapproval of these monetization tools has led to the complete collapse of several titles. Xaviant Games The sacrifice it closed its servers after the developers unsuccessfully introduced microtransactions and failed to raise enough funds. Disappointed players saw this as an “unfinished cash grab”, with some calling it “the worst ‘pay to play’ feature ever”.

Since then, other games have managed to integrate microtransactions into their gameplay, some in the form of paywalls that monetize different stages of the game. This also sparked controversy among game fans who feel the games interrupt the experience. Some players have accepted other types of in-game purchases, such as League of Legends’ in-game currency Riot Points, to unlock more digital cosmetics for their characters. Every game is different, and so is every player, but overall, microtransactions have given game developers a lot of revenue after some much-needed trial and error, with well-regarded, established games. total earnings.

Traditional gamers are clearly skeptical of developers’ efforts to monetize their hobby, especially in the case of P2E games. To meet the standards of mainstream gamers, game makers need to address the specific motivating factors that can attract non-crypto enthusiasts to the P2E space. Or, in simple terms, make your games more fun.

Ensuring that P2E gaming is not just a means to an end

P2E is popular mainly due to its ability to generate revenue, unlike non-blockchain video games, which have to work on many other factors. Users who play Axie Infinity are often motivated by financial considerations and less incentivized by enjoyment as such. On the other hand, conventional players do not aim to make a profit, but to gain emotional satisfaction from playing the game. Therefore, user experience is the most crucial way to bring mainstream gamers into the P2E space.

Unlike blockchain-based games, gamers have a plethora of traditional games to choose from, and there is a competitive market for aesthetically pleasing designs with rich stories. Sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto allow users to escape from reality and become a completely different person in a new world, with minimal limitations. Instead of being a student, a cashier, or even an influential lawyer in real life, video games give people the opportunity to put their mundane lives on hold and become heroes or villains in a captivating story. Players can also socialize through multiplayer, competitive leaderboards, and other features.

Dedicated gamers already spend hours playing video games on a regular basis, and the average play time is growing. P2E developers have the opportunity to usher in this hesitant consumer sector, but must cater to the connection and emotion-driven segment, broadening the focus beyond existing P2E players who are already sold on the concept. Traditional gamers value an escape from their lives and a connection with other gamers, without feeling like they are being monetized in the process. Eye-catching graphics development, user-friendly game interface, compelling narrative and advanced world creation will attract traditional gamers to the world of P2E. UX features that incite emotional reactions, like competitive player scores or memorable gameplay moments, will keep them.

In non-blockchain games, the economy is just one piece of a larger puzzle, built from story, world building, combat mechanics, and a myriad of other mechanics that meld into an engaging experience. . For P2E games to expand their consumer base, developers need to consider the various motivators to play. Incorporating a compelling user interface and emotion-evoking user experience in P2E ecosystems will give users the best of both worlds, bridging the gap between two unyielding groups of gamers.

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Guest post by Jaden Lee from Monoverse

Jaden Lee is the CEO of Monoverse, a blockchain-based game developer founded in 2019 and the creator of Frutti Dino, a play-to-win NFT game. Jaden has extensive experience in full-stack programming, web and mobile design, blockchain mainnet development, cryptocurrency exchange, and smart contracts. He started in the gaming industry in 2007 as the lead developer and CEO of Superbee before heading up the Frutti Dino project.

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This post Opinion: To win over traditional gamers, P2E games must offer more than a cash grab

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