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Game publishers explore alternatives as Play-to-Earn thrives in NFT.NYC

The Play-to-Earn (P2E) business model may not be dead, but a panel at the NFT NYC 2023 said that game producers and developers are looking into other ways to replace it.

Chase Freo, the CEO of the gaming site OP Games, says that companies that called themselves P2E are changing their plans now that the prices of cryptocurrencies are going down. “It’s a model that is not sustainable at all,” he said, giving the example of how Axie Infinity changed some of its most popular games.

Speakers at NFT NYC 2023 discuss the downfall of Play-to-Earn business model

Minoru Yanai from Minto, a Japanese manga and anime design company, stated that game companies are now “looking at play and fun, and sometimes earn or swap,” adding that players can still earn tokens and rewards, but publishers and developers are concentrating more on being sustainable and adaptable.

Paul Flanagan, manager of business development at Estonian mobile game developer CM Games, stated that the fundamental issue with P2E models is that they are “zero-sum”

“As we all know, most of them are Ponzi schemes, so if you are putting branding sponsorship as a source of money that might work, but we still need to see that happening,” he said.

The panelists said that other options are growing in the industry, such as marketplaces and partnerships that let players return tokens to the game environment instead of playing and selling them.

“More companies right now are trying to make sure that the game has a really good core loop that enables these players to put back whatever they earn into the game. That’s very challenging […]. I don’t think Play-to-Earn is ever going to come back, but there will be variations of how it’s going to look like in the future,” stated Freo.

Following years of development, speakers noted that the Web3 gaming industry is releasing more tangible products on the market.

A better regulatory environment, particularly in East Asia, is also allowing Web3 gaming companies to raise more capital and pursue alternative business models and ways to enhance the player experience.


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