Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and a longstanding NFT supporter, has reiterated his belief that “play-to-earn” gaming is the future, despite the recent decline of Axie Infinity, a leading play-to-earn game.
Ohanian, the founder and General Partner of venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, took to Twitter to defend his stance, claiming that most gamers will demand proper value for their time spent playing within the next five years.
Within the next 5 years, the majority of gamers won't play games unless they are being properly valued for that time.— Alexis Ohanian 🧠 (@alexisohanian) May 31, 2023
The model is called "play-to-earn" and it will become standard for video games in the future.
Let’s talk about why ↓ pic.twitter.com/vPWlWmmK4a
Ohanian’s unshaken conviction in play-to-earn gaming
While some industry executives and developers have emphasized a fun-first, gameplay-focused approach over token rewards, Ohanian remains steadfast in his conviction that play-to-earn gaming will prevail.
He pointed to the successful six-figure sales of virtual assets, such as the early 2000s game Entropia Universe’s Club Neverdie and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skins, as evidence that games will inevitably adopt the play-to-earn model on a broader scale.
Play-to-earn games reward players with crypto or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in exchange for their gameplay achievements, wins, or time invested.
These rewards hold tangible value as gaming crypto tokens can serve as a store of value, allowing players to accumulate virtual assets and resources that possess real-world worth. Furthermore, these assets can be freely traded, sold, or utilized across multiple games, enabling players to monetize their gaming expertise and investments.
Although the play-to-earn economy of Axie Infinity suffered a significant downturn in early 2022, with token prices plummeting, Ohanian continues to believe that it serves as a trailblazer in the industry.
Axie Infinity has amassed over $4 billion worth of NFT trading volume. While the game faced setbacks, Ohanian maintains that play-to-earn will become an obvious choice as crypto and NFT technologies scale.
As an investor in Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis and a backer of Horizon Blockchain Games, the developer of the NFT-based trading card game Skyweaver, Ohanian has consistently championed the integration of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into video games. He has also supported various web3 startups and has a personal collection of high-value NFTs.
Industry divided over play-to-earn gaming’s sustainability
Despite Ohanian’s strong advocacy, many crypto executives and game developers have voiced their disagreement recently, arguing that the play-to-earn model may not be sustainable for the industry.
Responding to Ohanian’s Twitter thread, industry professionals expressed skepticism about the notion, suggesting that monetary value derived from games should be considered a bonus on top of the primary value metric of enjoyment.
While the response to Ohanian’s tweets leaned predominantly negative, some crypto industry members questioned the timing of his message, as the industry has largely shifted away from using the term “play-to-earn.”
This is a terrible take— Phin ⚡️ (@Phin_totten) May 31, 2023
Gamers have never measured monetary value pulled from a game and they shouldn’t start.
Monetary value coming from a game is a bonus on top of the the main value metric of enjoyment
As the debate surrounding the future of play-to-earn gaming continues, industry stakeholders eagerly await further developments that will shape the evolving landscape of crypto-field video games.