Additional reporting by Michael Mislos
Play-to-earn gaming hype reached its peaked in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic. During the crypto bull market, onboarding players into P2E games that time was as easy as inviting a friend over for dinner as everything just goes up. However, now that we’re in the bear market, onboarding players and investors into games became a challenging task as they have become more cautious and wary with all the ups and downs of the market.
In the recent Bitcoin, Beer & Bitstories co-presented by BitPinas, Don Papa Rum and Delysium at the Draper Startup House Manila in Makati City held last August 25th, the play-to-earn game community and builders shared their experiences regarding onboarding P2E games in the new normal.
The State of Play-to-Earn
The panel was composed of Jake San Diego, the Co-founder and chief business development officer of decentralized blockchain platform MetaverseGo, Eli Becislao, the COO of gaming guild Coin Sessions Entertainment (CSE.GG), Hermie Cornejo the general manager of gaming community Limitless Guild, and Matthew Dy, the Business Development Manager of GameFi guild hub BlockchainSpace. The moderator of the talk was Bernadette Misia, the co-founder of non-fungible token (NFT) rental marketplace Playdex
“The crypto or the blockchain industry has already gone through a lot of ups and downs for the past decade, but GameFi (gaming finance) – it just boomed or it happened during the height of the pandemic. And now we’re experiencing the bear market, again. And the events of the bear market highlighted a fundamental contradiction between these two verticals; gaming and finance. Gamers want to play games to have fun but other people participate in the space also to be able to earn money, or to participate in that financial incentives. Again, the narrative has changed since then,” Misia started the conversation.
Player Differences During the Hype and the Bear
In the perspectives of the gaming guilds Limitless Guild and CSE.GG, which were both founded during the Axie Infinity hype, they noted that there was really a difference with the players now compared to a year ago.
“We want to empower scholars, we want to empower players and even change the scholar narrative. Start to call them as aspirers, start to hold them as players and not just scholars. The scholar term is no longer applicable now. The majority of the player who came in to earn purely has now been wiped out. Because, again, for Axie Infinity, the SLP (smooth love potion, a token convertible to fiat) is like on the rents. So the majority of the people starting to come in now are playing for fun,” Hermie stated.
He also noted that there was a major imbalance of players in the space as the majority of the percentage of players are playing for money and not for fun. He stated that Limitless Guild wants to support the current change and shift in the players, make a fun environment and encourage the movement. (Read more: Limitless Guild Bets Big on Axie Infinity V3, Aims 10K Scholars)
“This is the thing that people don’t understand, most people play for the earnings, because of the hype. That is not where true believers are born. True believers are born in the bear market. This is the best time to get on board,” Becislao stated.
He shared that CES.GG started in 2015 and they have been in more or less 5 bear markets already. He shared the journey of the community throughout the year such as partnering with universities and providing them blockchain education, providing scholarships academically and through Axie Infinity and many more. In fact, last May, CSE.GG successfully raised $1.5 million in a funding round to expand, grow, and further develop the guild’s Gaming Autonomous Organization (GAO) platform. (Read more: Filipino-led CSE.GG (Coin Sessions Entertainment) Raises $1.5M Funding)
“That’s why I mentioned earlier that bear markets breed the true believers, because that’s when you know that they are in it for the long run and not just for the money,” he added.
The Future of Guilds
When guilds first started in web3, it was for a way for players to access expensive NFT assets used to play these games. But with NFT prices dropping, what is still the essence of guilds?
“For as long as there are multiplayer video games, there’s going to be guilds,” says Jake San Diego of MetaverseGo. A veteran in the gaming industry, San Diego was previously with Level Up Games, which was responsible for publishing the gaming phenomenon Ragnarok in the Philippines.
According to San Diego, as with every game, guilds arrived as a sort of a hub where like-minded individuals gather to discuss, band, and play together.
“Fast forward to blockchain gaming, guilds primarily existed as a financial org – the source of assets – investing in it so that others can use it for free.”
San Diego said he is excited about the future now that the industry seems to focus more on the fun aspect of blockchain gaming first above everything else.
“There seems to be a turning of the tide based on what has happened in the space of web3 gaming. When it’s not as financially rewarding for guilds anymore or even the scholars, for anyone in general. The silver lining is it’s going back to its roots where the focus should be on proper game design and well-grounded game economy.”
“One thing’s for sure, there’s always going to be guilds,” he concluded.
This article is published on BitPinas: [Event Recap] Play-to-Earn in the Bear Market
Disclaimer: BitPinas articles and its external content are not financial advice. The team serves to deliver independent, unbiased news to provide information for Philippine-crypto and beyond.