Blockchain-based gaming platforms enabling players to earn by playing are becoming more and more popular every year. The Play-to-Earn model combines game mechanics, elements of DeFi, NFT and metaverse. The first-of-a-kind projects emerged in 2014 (back then some online casinos had already accepted BTC deposits). However, GameFi has become especially popular in 2021.
How it works
In blockchain-based computer games, players can create their own characters, level them up, trade them with other players, as well as trade game weapons and other objects. Each object is a unique token - the NFT. Payment is accepted with in-game tokens. The internal currencies of popular GameFi projects have long gone beyond their platforms and traded on crypto exchanges.
GameFi is gaining more and more popularity as gaming and decentralized apps are rapidly developing. NFT is another driver for its popularity. However, tokens values correlate with bitcoin exchange rate. Generally the whole market fluctuates after the BTC fluctuations. That is why in 2022, along with BTC, GameFi-projects have significantly shortened. But this seems to be a temporary phenomenon.
How to get started and which game to choose
If you want to play and make money at the same time, follow a few simple rules so that they don’t make money out of you instead.
1. In order to sign up for a blockchain game, you need to carefully study the project and usually invest some funds from your wallet.
Important: There are a lot of scammers creating platforms and claiming them to be blockchain games, though in fact such projects are nothing more than pyramid schemes.
Before investing, check whether in-game tokens are traded on well-known crypto exchanges. If so, you can be 99% sure that the GameFi project is not a scam.
2. Examine the marketing strategy of the developers of the game platform and production. If the game is actively promoted, it means there will be more players and respectively more expensive internal tokens. In terms of production, it is better to test the game and check it for serious bugs, etc.
3. It is also worth considering the complexity of the game. Some blockchain games require players to have extensive knowledge of crypto and the crypto market.
Top 5 GameFi Projects in 2023
As of today you can find different GameFi projects and various ratings. Here is our rating.
Nine Chronicles is a RPG (role-playing game), where players battle each other and fight with monsters to get rewards and resources. The game focuses on leveling up a character by completing levels with monsters. To do this you need to craft powerful gears or buy objects in the game's marketplace for the internal token.
The game's token is NCG (NineChroniclesGold). WNCG is a wrapped version of NCG, which is traded on crypto exchanges such as Gate, KuCoin, Okex, and Sushiswap.
What makes this game different from other GameFi projects is that almost all of its actions are recorded in blockchain. In most cases, the developers of crypto games do not go further, they just create a NFT, and everything else is processed on their servers without blockchain involvement. In Nine Chronicles, almost all actions are recorded in the blockchain, which ensures the safety of data and makes the game transparent and honest.
Alien Worlds is based on the WAX blockchain. The game's internal token, Trillium (TLM), is released on the WAX, Ethereum and BNB chains. The game also has a marketplace for NFT items and real estate (lands, avatars, weapons, artifacts).
The story takes place in 2055 with Earthmen finding a cure from fierce epidemics. They discovered that the bitcoin mining algorithms had encrypted alien messages enabling them to travel to distant exoplanets.
Trillium's internal token is used to control the planets and make money. TLM is traded on the major centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges: Binance, Gate, Kucoin and Kraken, PancakeSwap.
It is a RPG game on Harmony ONE blockchain with a focus on DeFi and crypto trading. The project involves the game, DEX, liquidity pools, and a marketplace for rare NFTs. Your NFT heroes can build kingdoms, master professions, trade resources, participate in tournaments and get rewards. The game's internal token, Jewel, is used to create/trade characters, useful objects, and it also serves as a reward for battles. Besides, Jewel being management token means its owners can vote on game development issues.
The GameFi project is a popular metaverse built on the Solana blockchain. In the game, players explore the virtual world, build cities, and interact with each other in different ways. In addition to beautiful graphics and engaging gameplay, Aurory features a marketplace where goods, services, and crypto assets can be traded. Players can also earn AURY tokens by completing quests, participating in tournaments, and trading on the market.
AURY, like other popular in-game tokens, is on crypto exchanges. You can swap it or buy with fiat.
The game is on Ethereum, the in-game token is AXS (Axie Infinity).
The game developers were inspired by Pokémon and created a world where you have to breed cute combative and magical creatures, and use them for fights in arena battles.
All creatures are NFT. They all have different appearances as well as skills. Depending on how rare their skills are, the price can change.
You can earn tokens by breeding creatures, trading them, fighting in the arena, and completing quests.
GameFi Projects Security
We need to admit, that GameFi, as well as crypto exchanges and other popular DeFi projects, are also targets of criminals.
Axie Infinity is a prime example of it. In 2021, the game popularity increased drastically and it became the absolute leader in the NFT market ($3.5 - $3.85 billion), which obviously attracted increased attention from attackers.
In late March 2022, the Ronin Sidechain, or to be more specific the Ronin Bridge, used in the game, was under the largest hacking attacks in the history of DeFi. Hackers took out more than $625 million worth of crypto (173,600 ETH and 25.5 USDC). The theft was revealed only a week later.
The criminals accessed Ronin Sidechain nodes (with only 9 validators) by launching a successful phishing attack on one of the company's employees. 4 out of 9 nodes were managed by Sky Mavis (Axie Infinity developing company), and only 5 nodes were needed to confirm the legitimacy of the transaction. Hackers gained control over another Axie DAO validator due to management system vulnerability. Sky Mavis developers wanted to simplify the remote management, but made it easier for hackers to break in.
Sky Mavis architecture, which contradicts fundamental security rules, was a fatal mistake. Nodes in blockchains are normally controlled by different teams/companies. Thus, decentralization is maintained. Ronin developers, on the other hand, chose a centralized approach, and it ended very badly.
Many experts believe that the GameFi capitalization will steadily increase, with large investors accessing the sector. It is very likely that the GameFi sector will only grow and develop.