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Play-to-Earn (P2E) games let players earn digital money and items by playing. This concept isn't so new but it has been proven to work well with crypto gamers, as it is growing fast. Let's look at how these games work, some top games from 2023, and the good and bad sides of this trend.

What is Play-to-Earn?

P2E games are models where you can earn real money or digital items by playing. Here's how it works:

  1. Earning Rewards: Players get digital rewards like cryptocurrencies or NFTs for playing. They can either win these rewards when defeating rivals when reaching certain goals or just for playing the game regularly.
  2. Real Value: These digital rewards have real-world value. You can trade or sell them for actual money. So, it's not all just “virtual”. Your playtime can earn you real cash.
  3. Blockchain Technology: These games use blockchain, a secure way to record ownership. This ensures your digital items truly belong to you and can't be taken away or copied. These items, which could be NFTs or other game items, are literally in your own hands, meaning in your hot/cold wallet.

How Crypto is Changing the Game

Ownership of Digital Items

In P2E games, the items you earn or buy are yours. These items, often NFTs, are unique digital collectibles. On the blockchain, you can prove ownership and trade them. This is different from traditional games where the company owns everything.

Earning Potential

P2E games let you earn real money by playing. Instead of just playing for fun, you can make a living. This is especially helpful in places with fewer jobs. Imagine getting paid just to play your favorite game! Other than earning while playing, you can also sell your digital assets. If you've got an NFT character, that you've upgraded during the game, and now it's stronger and valued more, you can sell it for a high price.


P2E games are decentralized. No single company controls the game. This makes the games fairer. The rules can't be changed without everyone knowing, and your items and earnings are safe.

Community Building

P2E games bring players together to form strong communities. Players work together, share tips, and help each other earn more. These communities make gaming more social and fun.

Top P2E Games to Watch

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is a game where you collect, breed, and battle creatures called Axies. Players earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens, which can be traded for real money. Axie Infinity gained many players in 2023 and has a strong economy. The game is easy to start and has a supportive community, good for new players.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and make money from creations using digital collectibles and SAND tokens. Launched in 2023, The Sandbox is a place for creators and players to interact and create value. You can design your own experiences and sell them, great for creative minds.


Illuvium is an open-world game where players capture and battle creatures called Illuvials. The game uses the Ethereum blockchain and offers ILV tokens as rewards. Launched in 2023, Illuvium is praised for high-quality graphics and fun gameplay. It combines exploration and combat, providing a rich experience for players.

Star Atlas

Star Atlas is a space-themed game where players explore, mine resources, and battle for control. Players earn ATLAS tokens and digital collectibles, which can be traded. Star Atlas introduced new features in 2023, making the game more exciting and rewarding. It offers a mix of strategy and adventure, appealing to many players.


Mirandus is a fantasy game where players own towns, cities, and citadels. Players earn by creating and selling in-game items. Mirandus uses the Gala blockchain and introduced new updates in 2023, attracting many new players. The game focuses on player ownership and deep customization, making it unique.

Challenges and Opportunities


Rules and Laws

Governments are still figuring out how to handle P2E games and digital money. Different countries have different rules, making it confusing for game makers and players. These rules can change quickly, causing problems for the gaming community.

Price Changes

The value of earned tokens can go up and down a lot, affecting players' earnings. This price change is common in digital money and can impact players' finances. Players need to be careful and plan for these changes.

Safety Concerns

Keeping players' digital items safe is very important. Hacks and scams can hurt trust in P2E games. Game makers must use strong security to protect players' assets. Players should also protect their data and items by using safe wallets and being careful of scams.


Financial Empowerment

P2E games give players a way to earn money, especially in poorer countries. This can improve life for many people and families. By playing these games, people can get new ways to make money that they didn't have before.

New Game Designs

Game makers can create new kinds of games that use blockchain technology. This can make games more fun and rewarding for players. Blockchain lets game makers come up with new game ideas that weren't possible before.

Building Communities

P2E games bring players together to form strong communities. These communities help P2E games succeed by giving feedback and telling others about the game. A strong community can also help new players get started and learn the game.

The Evolution of P2E Games

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is the backbone of P2E games, ensuring transparency and security. Each transaction is recorded on a public ledger, making it tamper-proof. This technology also allows for the creation of digital collectibles, representing unique in-game items.

Integration with Digital Finance

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is merging with P2E games, offering new financial opportunities. Players can use their earned tokens in DeFi apps to earn interest or borrow against their assets. This integration boosts the earning potential of P2E games and generates a lot of interest in the games, as it adds another layer of complexity and interest.

Multi-Platform Play

Many P2E games are now available on different platforms, including mobile, PC, and consoles. This accessibility allows more players to join and participate, expanding the market and increasing the value of in-game items.

Examples of 2023 P2E Projects

Big Time

Big Time is an action game that mixes fast-paced combat with blockchain technology. Players can earn digital collectibles and TIME tokens by defeating enemies and completing quests. Launched in 2023, Big Time has attracted many players with its fun gameplay and earning potential.

My Neighbor Alice

My Neighbor Alice is a farming and building game where players can buy and own virtual islands, collect and build items, and meet new friends. The game uses ALICE tokens, which can be earned through various in-game activities. Launched in early 2023, My Neighbor Alice is popular for its relaxing gameplay and friendly community.

Guild of Guardians

Guild of Guardians is a fantasy game where players build a team of Guardians and battle through dungeons to earn rewards. The game uses GOG tokens and digital collectibles to reward players. Launched in mid-2023, Guild of Guardians is praised for its strategic gameplay and teamwork features.

Future Prospects

Mainstream Adoption

As more P2E games launch and gain popularity, mainstream adoption is likely to increase. This could lead to more traditional gamers trying out P2E games, further expanding the market.

Technology Improvements

Advances in blockchain technology, like better scalability and lower transaction fees, will benefit P2E games. These improvements will make P2E games more accessible and enjoyable for players.

New Ways to Earn

Developers are exploring new ways for players to earn money in P2E games. Some games are introducing subscription services or premium content, providing additional ways for players to earn and spend their tokens.


The Play-to-Earn model is changing the gaming industry by adding blockchain technology and digital money. Games like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Illuvium are leading the way, offering players new ways to earn and own digital items. As the P2E space grows, it will be exciting to see how it shapes the future of gaming.

By understanding the benefits and challenges of P2E games, players and developers can better navigate this new landscape. The future of gaming is bright, with P2E games leading the way in innovation and opportunity.


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