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January 11, 2022

What is GameFi and Play-to-Earn (P2E)?

Table of Contents

With the advent of popular play-to-earn (P2E) games, people often ask, “what is GameFi?” and “what’s play-to-earn gaming?”. Moreover, as NFTs represent in-game items in blockchain gaming, people wonder, “what are NFT games?”. Many are curious about being part of this thriving ecosystem of NFTs, NFT games, and new gaming models, such as play-to-earn (P2E), that integrate exciting earning opportunities through tokens.  

Platforms like Moralis make it easy for developers to create and mint NFTs, build an NFT trading interface, and develop NFT games. With the Moralis NFT API, creating a powerful dApp with all your desired features is easy. Plus, the ability to connect to Web3 and access blockchain data is straightforward. Moreover, Moralis’ NFT API supports both the ERC-721 and ERC-1155 token standards. Furthermore, Moralis is natively cross-chain, allowing you to build cross-chain dApps by default, so you never have to worry about compatibility issues. 

How does the Moralis NFT API work? It seamlessly pulls information from the blockchain about NFT ownership, details, metadata, historical transfers, and much more. In addition, support for multiple blockchains makes a developer’s job easier, allowing you to launch a dApp in record time! You eliminate the hassle of developing your node infrastructure, and you don’t need to go deeper than necessary when learning how to index the blockchain. Moralis handles your backend so you can focus on building an excellent frontend for your users. 

If you want to find an answer to the question of “what is GameFi?” and explore the topic of play-to-earn (P2E), this article will be highly beneficial. Moreover, as NFTs are related to P2E gaming, see the Moralis blog article called “What are NFTs?“. As such, you’ll understand what NFTs are and how Moralis’ ultimate NFT API helps connect programmers to the future of gaming. 

What is GameFi?

GameFi is a hybrid term combining the words “game” and “finance”. While many have already encountered the “GameFi” term, its meaning or what it involves is not clear.

If this is the first time you’ve encountered the term “GameFi”, you’re probably asking yourself, “what is GameFi?”. Furthermore, you would probably be curious about how it is different from regular gaming. The term implies it involves gaming and some financial elements. If you understand this general idea, then you’re not far off the mark. 

The truth is, GameFi can mean many things and has an origin that dates back almost as far as Bitcoin – in the early days of cryptocurrency. Its meaning and significance have also evolved with the industry. Today, people already associate it directly with play-to-earn (P2E). Thus, they often mention both and, in the same breath, they ask: “what is GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E)?”.

What is GameFi – Origins

Back in the early days of Bitcoin, people started to experiment with integrating BTC with early Minecraft servers. A website called “Gambit” and P2P services that allowed gamers to make money from mainstream gaming titles were among the earliest of such experiments. Further, a game called “Bombermine” also included financial elements (in the form of BTC) in its game. Hence, such efforts made up the first steps towards GameFi as we know it today.

Ethereum and GameFi

With Ethereum and having a Turing-complete platform for any blockchain developer to build on, the level of sophistication increased in the Web3 realm. Moreover, new high-level programming languages such as Solidity enabled smart contracts to flourish. (If you want to learn more about smart contracts, you may refer to Moralis’ extensive archive on the definition and use cases for Solidity smart contracts, as well as the various languages for blockchain development they are written in.)

What did Ethereum’s infrastructure mean for GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E)? It allowed on-chain storage and execution of programs. Thus, the whole world of decentralized applications, or dApps, emerged. Blockchain developers then learned how to build Ethereum dApps and change the face of gaming by adding new features to the experience. 

Furthermore, GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) gained steam through new communities and gamer followings. What’s more, with Ethereum, people came up with new token standards such as the ERC-20 token standard for fungible tokens. Moreover, it has enabled standards like ERC-721 and ERC-1155 to create NFTs or non-fungible tokens.

CryptoKitties was the first game to leverage ERC-721 in a major way. It captured a new gaming market and changed what GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) meant for new demographics and generations. CryptoKitties proved the monetization case for NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and transformed the idea of “what is GameFi” for the decentralized apps (dApps) and blockchain industry. However, some would argue that CryptoKitties’ gaming model fell short of proving long-term economic viability. The new games and models are changing that perception.

What is GameFi, Play-to-Earn (P2E), and How Does it Work?

The industry has come a long way from its starting point. Thus, different answers arise when someone asks, “what is GameFi?”. The thriving dApp, Web3, and blockchain gaming industry present numerous models of how decentralized gaming apps can help users earn. Today, there is great diversity in the type of gameplay as well as the mechanism of generating revenue.

The current perception of GameFi is largely tied to play-to-earn (P2E) games. This is because the incentives have become quite attractive to users, thus giving rise to large P2E communities.

New GameFi and Play-to-Earn (P2E) Incentive Models

GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) games create distinct models that balance gaming enjoyment with financial rewards. For example, games can be designed to incentivize you for achievements such as winning tournaments or specific battles between characters, breeding characters, trading digital property, or in-game marketplace trading. 

In connection with the latter, it will be interesting to learn more about how to create an NFT marketplace using revolutionary Web3 platforms such as Moralis. Creating your own NFT marketplace gives you an idea of the possibilities and value of NFTs as distinct digital objects. Furthermore, Moralis makes this project extremely easy and hassle-free by handling the extensive backend and reducing the process to a few simple steps. 

Top GameFi and P2E Games

To best understand GameFi and P2E and why it is taking the world by storm, we are going to examine some games that have a phenomenal impact in the Web3 space. Furthermore, by studying these games, you can learn more about their unique features and incentive systems.

1. Axie Infinity 

Today, one of the most talked-about and highly popular P2E games has to be Axie Infinity. It deserves the first pick herein, not just because of its massive following but because of its significance in socioeconomic matters. 

Interestingly, in developing countries such as the Philippines, P2E has become an alternative means of livelihood. This holds true, especially for those impacted by the pandemic. Hence, such developments should be carefully observed. It’s easy to dismiss GameFi and P2E as another fad or pure entertainment. However, these emerging models prove that entertainment is just the tip of the iceberg.

In Axie Infinity, participants can have different goals. Players breed creatures called “Axies” to gain profit. You can breed any two Axies for AXS tokens plus some SLP tokens. The combinations used for the breeding of these creatures determine the number of SLP tokens used in the transaction.

Axies mature and hatch within five days. Such new breeds can be characters you play in the game. You can also sell your new Axies on an NFT marketplace within the game. Another thing you can do is lend these creatures to Axie scholars. 

If playing doesn’t interest you, you can become a liquidity provider and earn. As mentioned, two key tokens play important roles in the Axie Infinity economy, namely:

  • AXS – a governance token.
  • SLP – a utility token.

The value of such tokens in open marketplaces is affected by the size of the user base and the market’s price of Axies.

Axie Infinity’s Play-to-Earn (P2E) Economy 

So, what is GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) in terms of Axie Infinity’s growing economy? As illustrated, you can do more than just play the game itself. You can hire other people to play for you and get a percentage of the earnings. Moreover, you can participate in the larger token economy and stake tokens. You can also hold the creatures themselves as NFT assets.

What is GameFi Game Scholarships?

By partaking in “GameFi Game Scholarships”, one can claim a percentage of their scholars’ revenues. Your share of such income can reach up to seventy percent (70%). This is a great idea for those who want to save time and allocate it elsewhere. 

Leveraging Growth in GameFi and P2E

Liquidity providers in the game can participate in liquidity pools. The most popular decentralized exchanges today, such as Uniswap and SushiSwap, are hosting SLP and AXS pools. The incentives here include trading fees and other incentives.

Furthermore, you can also stake AXS tokens and hold Axies, depending on the speculative climate.

2. Gods Unchained

Another type of GameFi and play-to-earn (P2E) model is trading card strategy games such as Gods Unchained. Those familiar with the iconic game “Magic: The Gathering Arena” are sure to gravitate towards this NFT gaming model.

What is GameFi in terms of the NFT trading card model? For starters, NFTs translate the cards’ uniqueness pretty well. They give them a digital presence. Such cards can sell for GODS tokens. Furthermore, the GODS tokens may be exchanged for fiat.

3. Splinterlands

Splinterlands is another NFT trading card game that adds novelty to the GameFi space in trying to redefine the answers to “what is GameFi?”. It’s built on the Hive blockchain and is inspired by classic games such as Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone. On it, you can buy, sell or trade collectibles. Furthermore, you can also earn rewards.

Moreover, the game uses Binance Smart Chain (BSC) for its governance BEP20 token called “Splintershards” (SPS). The game uses a DAO to manage its ecosystem. For more information on how to create a DAO to govern your dApp or P2E game, you can look into Moralis’ extensive content and resources.

4. Forest Knight

Forest Knight is all about unique protagonists or heroes with different abilities and weaknesses. The game gives you login rewards. Also, you can earn NFTs while playing. Moreover, the EnjinX platform has a special NFT marketplace for this game. 

5. CryptoBlades

CryptoBlades is a competitive P2E game. It redefines what GameFi is in an RPG setting. The tokens in this game are called SKILL tokens, which are BNB-based. Further, you pay a small fee in BNB to play. You earn battle fees in the form of SKILL tokens as an incentive.

There are many more games that deserve recognition. Unfortunately, we are trying to keep this list concise. However, the main point is that GameFi and P2E are enjoying a time of great creativity and growth and are a must-watch in the blockchain and Web3 space. 

What is GameFi – Top P2E Protocols

While Ethereum remains a top choice among dApps and P2E games, other blockchains are catching up. For instance, Polkadot, Solana, BSC, Wax, Polygon, and OEC each have their own GameFi and P2E ecosystems.

If you are interested in building games on any of these blockchain platforms, Moralis provides you with a fully supported and easy-to-navigate backend. Furthermore, Moralis Speedy Nodes makes this process a lot simpler by offering a top-performing infinitely scalable node service. Moreover, it supports Avalanche nodes, Polygon nodes, BSC nodes, Ethereum nodes, and Arbitrum nodes.

Moralis provides a natively cross-chain infrastructure that enables you to create phenomenal GameFi and P2E dApps. What’s more, it’s easy to build cross-chain dApps using Moralis as your platform. 

Getting Started with GameFi

To play and learn more about decentralized P2E gaming, all you need to do is set up a Web3 wallet such as MetaMask. MetaMask holds your gameplay assets. In addition, it is used for user authentication to let you into various GameFi ecosystems. The next thing you need to do is acquire any tokens, coins, or assets you need to enter the game. 

The Moralis NFT API

As a developer, you need the Moralis NFT API in your toolkit. Moralis’ NFT API is simply the best API out there to get started with on your GameFi and P2E project.

It is a manageable, easy-to-use indexed API that enables you to use short lines of code. You leave the rest of the heavy lifting on the backend to Moralis!

The Moralis NFT API allows you to retrieve the following data without a hassle:

  • Information about NFT ownership.
  • Contract types of the NFTs.
  • Time of minting.
  • Details about an NFT collection.
  • NFT metadata.
  • NFT historical transfers.
  • Token addresses, IDs, hashes, and URIs.

To learn more extensively about this groundbreaking API and why it’s simply the best in the industry to date, view the following video:

What is GameFi and Play-to-Earn (P2E) – Summary

GameFi and P2E is an exciting space that’s capturing the imaginations of developers and gamers alike. If you are a blockchain and Web3 developer, you will benefit from using the ultimate Web3 toolkit, Moralis.

Moralis helps you create new dApps, decentralized games, and P2E communities managed by DAOs with minimal effort. With support for major blockchains, including Ethereum, BSC, Polygon, Arbitrum, and Avalanche, you should be able to build seamlessly on your favorite blockchain. Moreover, you can seamlessly integrate the others in a native cross-chain architecture. 

To explore “what is GameFi?” and how it can benefit you as a game and dApp developer, all you need to do is register on Moralis. You will see how the Moralis NFT API changes the game for you and helps you build exciting GameFi dApps in record time. 

What’s more, the intelligent engineering behind Moralis’ platform helps you focus on a well-designed frontend, which is key to attracting new users for your game! 

Unlock the full potential of your NFT projects with this industry-leading NFT API! Fast, easy, and free.
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