If you do not want to join Mark Zuckerberg in Metaverse, I have bad news for you: you’re already there. You do not need a VR headset to enter the virtual world. People have been painting reality since our distant ancestors first painted cave walls. If TV, radio, books or newspapers gave you access to events you did not actually attend, you have already experienced a kind of metavers.
Sports and games are another fact that we often participate in – in the stands or behind a screen – when we are not on the field.
So it is no coincidence that games so far have dominated what most people understand as the metaverse, or more broadly Web3. Our innate love of the game, our understanding that entire matches depend on rules and structures, and our willingness to add value to the events that unfold in them, are an integral part of our cultures, from football to chess to roblox. They are also an important part of the economy: the global sports market reached almost $ 400 billion in 2020, even after closures due to pandemics and estimates in the video game market of $ 178 billion annually.
So it is only natural that games will probably lead the way to more immersive and interconnected barriers. It is also likely that games will continue to provide economic benefits to consumers, businesses and countries in their meta-reality. Microsoft’s recent attempt to buy Activision Blizzard for money certainly highlights this point.
It remains to be seen how large online game franchises will be integrated into the Web3 meta-verse, but blockchain-based games such as Axie Infinity, Decentraland and Alien Worlds will already have a prominent place. These games were groundbreaking for the Play to Earn (P2E) model, which provides a glimpse into the future.
The use of non-fungible tokens and digital currencies in the game allows players to create assets in these games, trade them in the form of tokens and convert values into real currencies through cryptocurrency exchanges. An attractive development for both players and non-players is that rather than the brand owners (Facebook / Meta, Microsoft, etc.)
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In the last year, stories have already begun to emerge about communities in the Philippines earning income from playing Axie, and they have received so much attention that government officials have proposed taxing income from the game to make money. This phenomenon provides an insight into how the emerging crypto-economy can create opportunities to expand access to financial services. But the rise and fall of one of the game’s currencies, Axie, reveals the challenges involved in developing sustainable economic models for gaming, as well as the practical reality that for metavers in a game to succeed, it must be more about gambling. it than to make it. Money.
This is not symbolic
For example, Axie Infinity is a game that features digital pets called Axes. When players contribute to the game’s ecosystem, they earn tokens. But first they have to buy their first Axie, an NFT that can go up in value compared to the game. The game contains two tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and the aptly named Smooth Love Potions (SLP). SLP is earned in the game and is required to “generate” new hubs (do not ask how).
In the gaming world, a number of factors can affect the price performance of a digital asset such as SLP Axies. The way the token is distributed, the supply rules, the mechanisms for price stability, how they are managed and of course the strength of the expectations of the gaming audience themselves – all this is important. But usefulness can be the most important factor in the code that keeps the game going. Simply put, do the assets allow the owner to gain the necessary experience? This may include aspects of play, community status and earning potential. If players feel the value, they will keep it or even buy more. Otherwise, as with any asset, people will sell and invest time and money elsewhere.
In Axie Infinity, the advantage of the SLP design is that it allows players to create new Axie pets that can produce more SLP and create extra value for the player. This positive feedback caused SLP prices to skyrocket in the summer of 2021, but they have since fallen by 94%. This means that people appreciate more what they can get by selling an SLP than owning and “breeding” more shares. In other words, they chose to make money instead of continuing to play the game.