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Play to earn games offer a quick way to access tokens, usually aiming to create a simple game and invite a mass audience. This approach created the first boom in P2E, which saw the rise of Axie Infinity, Pegaxy and other games of various size and quality.
Usually, P2E would use a simple game or even an idle background process as a way to receive crypto tokens. In some ways, the game resembled some of the old phone-based mining for token airdrops. But some types of games extended the P2E model for specific actions requiring more creativity.
Move-to-Earn: Trending with NFT Collectibles
Move-to-earn games range from athletic fitness trackers to idle movement, mixing real world and metaverse. Move-to-earn was made popular by apps like STEPN (GMT), which were also aggressive in their NFT sales. The move-to-earn model ensures a more sustainable pathway for the game, with rare NFT earnings and a way to avoid bots while requiring a real action.
Learn-to-Earn: Motivation for Educational Games
Binance had an earlier idea to pay in crypto for completing beginner courses in trading and holding coins and tokens. Demy Games takes the concept a step further, by making a gamified hub for crypto-related questions and answers.
Recently, Animoca Brands also announced plans to add educational games to its portfolio. Animoga Brands has signaled its NFT game will go beyond crypto education and into general topics.
Create-to-Earn: Content Economy Returns as Game
Content creation has found a niche in being reimbursed through crypto tokens. Now, there are new hubs for content creation where posting and rating are tied into a crypto economy.
The creativity model has been tried on platforms like Steem, which resembled social media. However, bot activity and coordination drowned out real creativity. Create-to-earn also encompasses music and metaverse creations, most recently coming to Second Live.
Build-to-Earn: Extending the Sandbox Model
Many games offer free sanbox-style creation. Build-to-earn projects move a step further, awarding ownership for complex structures. Mobox will soon introduce a home-building feature, though not a full build-to-earn model.
The building games are highly specialized and are starting to offer complex interactive NFT items, a step beyond avatar art.
Solve-to-Earn: Tapping the Popularity of Puzzles
Solve-to-earn extends the model of puzzle games and offers a mix of daily challenges and earnings. Solve-to-earn copies the wild success of Wordle-like games and other puzzles.
Games are now specializing into this model, as a driver of engagement and a good spot to keep users returning.
The invention of additional token earning models is happening at a time when the monetization of games may be more difficult. Projects are trying to return to a fun-first approach, building up a user base and quality products even when there are warnings about a bear market for cryptocurrency token prices.