“X to earn” seems conceptionally flawed [not fun or predatory] – what am I missing?

All those Play/Walk/X-to-Earn products seem conceptionally highly flawed to me.

Someone always has to pay the bills (developer salaries, etc.). Standard games and subscription services, (xbox game pass, etc.) -> every consumer pays and hopefully gets a fun experience.

Free-to-Play; majority of consumers doesn’t pay, but whales pay so much that it makes up for it. Game is oftentimes made intentionally grindy and show-off-y so that whales will pay a lot of money to skip waiting portion and/or buy in-game items thay will let their characters appear superior.

Play-to-earn; it seems like this is just Free-to-Play squared because all participants have to be compensated for their engagement. This can only work one or two ways:
– a) whales take on an even bigger subsidy role -> game is likely made even grindier and show-off-ier than Free-to-Play titles.
– b) cost of entry through token requirements is set (and then potentially raised over time) so that early adopters can be paid with the entry fees of people entering later *cough ponzi cough cough*

Either scenario looks like a worse situation than what we currently have. What am I missing?

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8 thoughts on ““X to earn” seems conceptionally flawed [not fun or predatory] – what am I missing?”

  1. Play to earn works but earlier players get the better rewards and end up having an advantage over newer players. the entire purpose in play to earn should be to incentivise more players and maintain current players, it shouldn’t be to turn a profit and leave the game completely.

    Walk to earn is pretty much a pyramid scheme since the entire purpose is to earn money, you need to get new people in to have money for the older user wanting to cash out.

  2. You’re right that the forms it tends to take now seem flawed, I’ve looked into play to earn and it didn’t appeal much to me, but in theory it could work if they actually say, had a fun game, and instead of simply staking and earning like a lot of other coins it would be based on game xp or something.

    Maybe there could be some system in place to incentivize actually playing over buying but at the end of the day whales gonna whale (and honestly disincentivizing buying might not be good for “number go up” lol). I think it *could* work, I just haven’t seen that implementation yet. The fact that these things like x to earn and NFTs are out there, they just haven’t taken their best form yet, I just take as yet another sign that we’re still early in the development of these technologies.

  3. I think play to earn is decent because microeconomies like gcoin/gems/gold in-game are already well established. But yeah the rest seems so gimmicky.


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