GameFi, which combines gaming and decentralized finance, is here to stay; more than that, it is here to disrupt the traditional gaming industry. Through the implementation of the play to earn (P2E) business model, GameFi has continued to gain mainstream adoption while re-engineering the existing traditional gaming experience.
Prior to the inception of GameFi, legacy game studios, especially Triple-A (or AAA) developers and publishers, were reluctant to adopt blockchain technology, citing massive barriers to entry as a major hindrance for its integration.
While this concern is understandable to a certain extent, it stems primarily from the fact that blockchain technology is still in its infancy, and many elements were, and even still are missing.
For instance, if legacy blockchain technology like Ethereum were to be embraced by traditional game publishers, it could potentially create a number of disturbances for existing users. These issues would likely arise from problems related to high transaction fees, slow throughput speed, and price volatility.
In this case, the various setbacks could potentially ruin the otherwise flawless gaming experience that traditional gamers enjoy.
With blockchain and crypto adoption remaining stagnant among “typical” game developers, there was ample room for the emergence of ‘GameFi,’ which has since introduced a new side to the gaming experience.
Arguably the most attractive aspect to GameFi is the ‘play to earn’ approach which technically describes an in-game economy that incentivizes players to participate and accomplish certain challenges, battles, or missions, depending on the model’s application.
P2E in-game economies are equipped with decentralized marketplaces that facilitate trading activities between players, creating an avenue to exchange or trade native tokens for other available crypto assets.
With GameFi growing in popularity, largely thanks to the P2E in-game economy, players have not only become interested in actively participating in the games and their networks, but have also tended to find a sense of belonging along the way. And so, on the cusp of a gaming revolution, here are the top 10 play to earn projects to watch out for in 2022, in ascending order.
10. Bomb Crypto
Coming in at #10 is Bomb crypto, a play to earn blockchain gaming project hosted on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Here, players manage a group of cyborg bomber heroes programmed to search for BCOIN, the native crypto token of the Bomb platform, and must subsequently fight several monsters along the way.
Player are tasked with assembling and managing a team of ‘Bomber Heroes’ whose job is to mine BCOIN tokens. Currently, BCOIN tokens sell upwards of $0.34, and can be obtained across various exchanges hosted on the Binance Smart Chain, including PancakeSwap, BKEX, LBank and so on.
Based on the EOS public blockchain, the Upland property trading game enables users to buy, sell, and trade virtual properties mapped to real-world addresses.
Technically, as a player, you can own a property in your favorite city, albeit virtually. For instance, through Upland you could scoop up a digital property in Brooklyn and build your own online empire. You can also act as a collector, and trade the proceeds from your in-game ventures.
According to its whitepaper, Upland’s ultimate goal is to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to the general public through a gamified experience. As such, the GameFi project’s core value proposition is rooted in the true ownership of all digital assets, made possible through the use of blockchain technology.
In summary, Upland is out to create a sound economy that blurs the boundaries between the real and digital worlds while providing a decentralized marketplace on which stakeholders can directly interact.
This particular play to earn project is fostering the next generation of collectible card games. Splinterlands notably allows players to buy and sell digital cards with unique identifiers.
Currently, players can collect from a pool of over 500 NFT cards which can be otherwise used in various battles. To become an active player, users must first secure Splinterlands’ native cryptocurrency known as ‘SPS.’
Once acquired, SPS, which also doubles as the project’s governance token, is further integrated into the Splinterlands game by facilitating an increased level of decision-making and providing control over the products available to players, asset owners, and other stakeholders.
With growing interest among investors and GameFi enthusiasts, Splinterlands is one of the most in-demand play to earn projects to look out for in 2022.
7. Axie Infinity
Perhaps the largest, and certainly one of the fastest-growing GameFi projects around, Axie Infinity should be high on your list of priorities of GameFi projects to watch in 2022.
Axie Infinity is unique by nature in the space given that it is both owned and operated by its players who are tasked with purchasing NFTs of cute monsters, and subsequently pitting them against each other in battle.
Through gameplay, Axie Infinity players can earn ‘SLP’ and ‘AXS,’ Axie’s native token, which can then be traded for real cash across a variety of supported exchanges. In addition to this, by acquiring AXS tokens, players obtain the right to participate in the platform’s decentralized governance, and ultimately contribute to the platform’s growth.
Axie’s in-game economy, which accommodates Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies, is perhaps the largest, currently boasting a monthly trading volume over $1.1 billion, and a daily engagement average of over 120,000 players around the world.
6. Alien World
Alien World is another interesting play to earn project to watch out for in 2022. Just as with other NFT metaverse gaming projects, Alien World allows players to compete in various missions using unique digital items in the form of NFTs.
By competing with one another, players who complete their missions earn Trilium (TLM), the in-game economy’s native token, which may then be used to take part in special Alien World missions that take players to various planets throughout the game.
Players can alternatively decide to form a group with which they can collectively take on different missions, build NFT drops, strategize about planetary politics, or create their own custom missions or games.
Another unique attribute of Alien World is its cross-chain bridge feature which enables players to leverage Metamask as a medium to teleport to and from other blockchain networks, including the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and Ethereum.
5. Second Life
In this play-to-earn project, players, who are referred to as ‘residents,’ can create a virtual representation of themselves. These avatars, the character created by each player, can interact with those of other players, along with the locations and objects present in the metaverse, especially those created by themselves or other players.
In other words, Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual world in which every avatar represents a real person, and every place is the creation of one of the residents of the virtual world. In many ways, just as the name implies, Second Life offers countless opportunities just like the real-world would. For instance, it’s almost impossible for residents to run out of places to explore with virtual music clubs, roleplaying communities, cinemas, and so much more available.
Beyond merely the entertainment aspect, Second Life also bridges the gap between the physical and digital world. Where distance has often been a barrier for corporate communication, users can make use of the platform as a virtual hangout space which offers a more immersive experience than the typical Zoom alternative we have gotten used to in recent years.
There are several ways to earn in the Second Life metaverse, in fact, residents are encouraged to utilize their creativity to design their own economy. For example, users can build a Cinema and monetize ticket sales just like in the real world, or trade collectibles such as NFT items, among other things.
In this way, the Second Life marketplace is categorized by interests, such as animals, animation, art, audio & video, business, real estate, services, vehicles, and so on.
Commonly described as being a decentralized protocol that seeks to incentivize a global network of users to operate a shared virtual world, Decentraland is designed to be an ecosystem for creators.
The virtual ecosystem plays host to a variety of activities ranging from buying and selling, to trading, gaming, and social interactions to mention a few. However, one of the highlights of these activities is the play-to-earn economy which enables users to design and play mini-games and subsequently win MANA (the platform’s native token), NFTs, and cosmetic items in return.
For instance, creators can create a casino in which other participants in the metaverse are able to compete and earn various collectibles in return. Afterwards, the proceeds generated from the activities can be traded for tangible profits.
Since its public release in 2017, Decentraland has since gained widespread adoption and has grown in popularity. The platform even made major headlines after a parcel of land sold for an estimated $2.4 million, which in turn further attracted a host of celebrity investors including Snoop Dogg. This is undeniably one of the major projects to keep an eye on in 2022.
This list would be incomplete without the inclusion of Illuvium which experienced explosive growth in 2021, despite the fact that it is yet to launch publicly. Even so, that hasn’t stopped the Ethereum-based play-to-earn project from becoming one of the fastest-growing P2E projects on the market, ranking eighth in the list of largest blockchain gaming platforms with an approximate TVL of $275 million within its economy.
The virtual open world role playing game (RPG) has also been dubbed the very first AAA gaming title in the NFT crypto gaming space. More importantly than simply being an RPG title, Illuvium has integrated a range of crypto features, as well as a vast world to be explored by its global network of players once it finally launches this year.
One of the highlights of the game is that it enables users to create fleshed-out characters, and enjoy real-time gameplay within the large virtual world. By competing in various activities, players can earn NFTs as well as stake their assets within the in-game marketplace.
2. Yield Guild Games
Yield Guild games, or YGG as it is otherwise called, is one of the highest rated play to earn projects to have gained mainstream attention in recent times. The metaverse project is notable for bringing players together to earn through its various blockchain-based economies.
Unlike most play to earn projects, YGG is specifically designed to aggregate players interested in the P2E economy; the platform is thus constantly building a global community through which people can meet and interact to compete for in-game rewards.
In YGG’s services, players generate revenue by simply selling or renting their NFT assets, in addition to trading or exchanging their winnings for tangible monetary value.
At the very top of the list is DeFi Kingdom which, although it is a relatively new project, is positioned to become a tough competitor for established projects. DeFi Kingdom, unlike most play to earn projects, is designed to be incredibly versatile.
In addition to its GameFi offering, DeFi Kingdom will offer various DeFi services including a decentralized exchange (DEX), liquidity pool (LP) opportunities, and a market of rare utility-driven NFTs, all of which intertwine to ensure that the end-user has access to a seamless play to earn experience.
The platform offers its own native tokens as well as custom/programmable ‘Heroes,’ which are characters that players use to compete in various quests, thereby earning more tokens. While in-game characters are represented by these NFTs, players can enhance and equip them with better gear to boost their chances of completing a quest.
DeFi Kingdoms is now ranked among the top five fastest-developing play to earn projects by trade volume, boasting an average weekly transaction volume of at least $300 million, and 25,000 daily active users.