The Great Blockchain Gaming Dilemma: For Fun Or For Income?

5 min readMar 14


Nice to see you again, people! Evrik is back, and today I want to muse upon one thought that has been bugging me for months. Have you noticed that the majority of play-to-earn fans are literally obsessed with chasing profits and earning as many tokens as possible? We witnessed so much cheating in P2E projects that we completely forgot gaming was supposed to be FUN!

So, which part of the Play-to-Earn concept is more important — play or earn?

The name of this concept completely reflects players’ approach to games: they play with the purpose of generating income. Game mechanics in play-to-earn platforms are similar:

  • Players need to perform certain tasks and actions every day in order to maximize income
  • As the price of a native token grows, it gets more difficult for new players to enter a game Such thresholds as $100 and $200 are already large enough to repel potential users
  • Players are encouraged to buy NFTs to boost characters and improve gameplay

All in all, play-to-earn games rely heavily on in-game purchases and initial investments. But at the end, players suddenly lose their savings when a project ceases its logical development and token price fails. It happened with Stepn, Axie Infinity and other projects, so the crypto community has nearly lost its trust in P2E.

When it comes to NFT gaming, we have pretty controversial trends. On the one hand, NFTs can be viewed rather as collecting activity because the majority of tokens have no utility application. Their role in games is limited by representation of objects or characters, which makes purely NFT games pretty boring. On the other hand, when NFTs become an integral part of blockchain games, they can greatly enhance user experience.

Undoubtedly, as the number of NFT use cases is growing, they will become an indispensable part of metaverses, playing the role of:

  • In-game objects and characters (avatars)
  • User-generated content
  • Special rewards and bonuses
  • Means of trading and exchange

Evidently, NFTs alone are not enough to comprise a full-fledged game that would be viable in a long time span. However, tokens can refine blockchain games by a mile.

At first glance, the border between play-to-earn and blockchain games is blurred — they seem to be one and the same thing. Having pretty much the same principles and mechanics at its core, any crypto-related game allows players to complete certain tasks and get rewards. However, unlike play-to-earn projects, blockchain games emphasize fun and user experience over revenue generation.

This approach has certain benefits:

  • Blockchain games are made to last in the long run, so players can count on token price growth and safely store their assets.
  • Instead of trying to complete all the tasks by a schedule, blockchain game fans simply enjoy the process and play when it pleases them.
  • Blockchain games are more complex and engaging than play-to-earn and NFT games — they incorporate thought-through mechanics, storyline, challenges and ensure a more superb gaming experience.

In other words, blockchain games use tokens and NFTs as additional attributes — not as revenue drivers. It allows users to focus on playing experience and game progress.

While shifting gamers’ attention from earning to enjoying experiences, blockchain gaming also adds new motivations to stay engaged in a virtual world. Here is what attracts players to metaverses and blockchain games:

  1. The possibility to work, play, connect, and engage with the community of like-minded people
  2. The opportunity to realize creative and commercial ideas
  3. Engaging with brands by attending virtual lifestyle and luxury events
  4. Using their virtual identity as an extension of their real-life selves

And let’s not forget that gaming was initially created for fun, and Newzoo’s report shows that earnings are still not the biggest motivation for P2E users:

Other interests also include immersive shopping, booking, learning, traveling, and socializing. Of course, one and the same user will explore metaverses for a number of purposes. The same applies to blockchain gaming, as well. It’s not just a way to kill time — players fulfill a multitude of needs by emerging into virtual realms.

So, what is more important — playing or earning? I see that gamers’ interest is shifting from earnings to multi-faceted gaming experience. Blockchain gaming is expected to fulfill a bigger gamut of needs — it appeals to players’ desire to explore something new, brainstorm, socialize, and acquire knowledge of the blockchain industry. And this is a great trend because we are likely to witness an influx of new-generation projects, one of which is, of course,