Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, is the latest figure in the industry to express his enthusiasm for the concept of playing to earn games. The serial entrepreneur, who has now turned his attention to blockchain and crypto-related projects, is optimistic about the promise of play to earn and predicts it will dominate the gaming world in just a few years.
As reported by Business Insider, Ohanian discussed the potential use of blockchain technology in gaming on a recent episode of the Where It Happens podcast.
“90% of people won’t play a game unless they’re well-rated before then,” Ohanian claimed in the podcast. “In five years you’ll really value your time, and instead of being harvested for advertisements, or looted for dollars to buy dumb hammers you don’t actually own, you’ll be playing a similar game in the chain that will be just so nice, but you will earn real value and you will be the reaper.”
Games to earn games generally use crypto tokens instead of a regular in-game currency, meaning players can theoretically exchange their in-game earnings for real currency. The most popular title in the category right now is Axie Infinity, a Pokemon-style game where the title Axies can be bought and sold for RONIN cryptocurrency.
Axie’s in-game economy is already running into problems, according to a Business Insider report, which claims that the game’s player returns are slowly declining over time as players pay out their earnings instead of investing them back into the game. The game also has a minimum buy-in of around $300, which is a high barrier to entry for many players, with lower tier players often earning well below minimum wage.
Other industry figures who have expressed an interest in the concept of playing to earn games include Take-Two head Strauss Zelnick, EA CEO Andrew Wilson and Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, whose comments about blockchain games sparked controversy when he predicted. that gamers would move away from what he called “playing to have fun.”