Reconfiguring systems to create a deeply tokenized player owned ecosystem
The traditional gaming market has evolved many times over the years with technological advancements driving the evolution. The current market is structured around “Free to Play” and “Microtransaction” models which in most cases block content access or progression through monetization of their users. In many cases this comes with an exponential cost increase for diminishing return on progression rate per dollar spent, as seen with titles such as Diablo Immortal.
Despite current industry narratives, GameFi and Play-To-Earn do NOT solve this problem. Almost every game that has trading or inter-player loot systems is effectively “Play-To-Earn” already without being on blockchain. The differentiator is traditional studios do not want to facilitate earnings for their player base as it goes against their core revenue models.
This doesn’t stop players or farming groups from earning a living selling things such as WoW gold or items in Escape From Tarkov. While “GameFi” and “Play-To-Earn” aimed to “solve” this model, we have yet to see a meaningfully valuable method to decentralize video game economics. Which doesn’t invalidate the goal to do so but showcases a need for rethinking how economic systems in games work.
The starter yields and 1-2 token systems of today are nothing more than gimmicks aimed to capture value from user hype. I believe these systems are unsustainable and fail to achieve the goal they claim to accomplish by not properly implementing blockchain accounting into their ecosystems and instead relying almost solely on transaction fees of assets and “staking yield” disbursements which generate a promise of future value from the great beyond.
To solve this, we must throw the broken GameFi model away and NOT reinvent the wheel of Game Monetization but rather reconfiguring systems which already work to create a deeply tokenized player owned ecosystem on games that are most importantly FUN TO PLAY. By introducing a web3 game economics model which tokenizes every asset and action of the games and pairing the creation of in-game resources we can calculate a user’s “time-value” through their assets, consumables, time, and efficiency.
Through these calculations we can also leverage traditional micro transactions or models in which players must contribute or “sell” their time along with the assets they create to allow for a spender to save that time. We can then charge a spender on traditional exponential time saving scales, provide the baseline revenue on a market-made basis to users which provided their time into the system and then capture the delta between the baseline cost and exponential cost of time saved by a spender, feeding that revenue back into the globalized ecosystem of players and game stakeholders.
This is a model which all games regardless of platform will be able to follow if their web3 infrastructure can support the high throughput transaction speeds required to accomplish such a feat, such as what is provided by Sortium’s DoubleHELIX. The added benefit of such an experience engine will be allowing for the creation of AAA quality tokenized games playable on Web, Mobile and VR but also additional ecosystem monetization opportunities for users by outsourcing the networks excess simulation and AI computational resourcing which is generated by users to third parties. This will bring in an additional layer of revenue opportunities to players by productizing the decentralized network infrastructure that has been created.
The combination of remodeling and decentralizing traditional video game monetization methods with productizing the networks created from user gameplay will allow for sustainable and scalable game economic systems in which players and stakeholders are encouraged to capture the benefits of their time and investments into a game. None of this however will make up for a game that just isn’t fun to play.