Economics of Play to Earn Gaming Economy


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Play to Earn (P2E) Games is the new paradigm in video games that combines DeFi and entertainment to create a new game genre that allows players to make money while playing. There are more and more games and projects that aim to create economies that sustain themselves by feeding incentives that balance NFT and tokens’ utilities.

In this research we have delved into the concept of Play to Earn games. We started with analyzing the type of users, the incentives applied to these users and subsequently the project’s gameplay, and how these incentives work together. These games aim to become the new way we interact with the internet-economy by creating new ways to earn money and monetize our free time. This is aligned with the concept of a metaverse.

Twelve games were selected and analyzed taking into consideration the most different mechanisms, designs and game type. The research is divided into three main sections, a concluding part with recommendations on the most interesting models and an appendix with a small intro to the various games analyzed.

First, we analyzed the different personas and agents inside the game ecosystem delving into their incentives on taking part on the metaverse and becoming part of a community.

Then we used the usual framework to classify and categorize the projects defining the mechanism, the market, and the token design to understand the fundamental blocks of this new genre of game and finance.

Lastly, we analyzed how the design of a game affects the P2E economic model combining different research areas to identify pros and cons of the project and to make some considerations about the solution.

The research seeks to analyze the economics and user interaction aspects within games rather than the aesthetics of the game itself. The new trend of the metaverse, the potential of non-fungible tokens as a digital property right, the secondary and open economy and a market of 2.5 billion people are just the outline to understand how strong the interest in this sector is.

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