Sustainability has been a hot topic in GameFi over the past year—and rightly so. Games have the opportunity to onboard billions of players to Web3 through fun and rewarding experiences. However, that adoption will not happen without game developers iterating on existing play-to-earn models.
Building a sustainable Web3 game economy begins with designing meaningful, interactive experiences for the playerbase to engage and bond with. These serve as the basis of the player's desire to play the game (fun) and means to transact around (earn), via trading and collaboration. A game players enjoy for its intrinsic, experiential value affords opportunities to spend and be rewarded for efforts in-game.
From meaning, comes value; from value, comes earning. We believe the solution to creating a sustainable GameFi economy where players can earn in all kinds of ways must be built on 3 foundational principles:
- 1.Create a game that rewards players for dedication and skill, not solely how much they are willing to invest financially in the game. By actively playing the game, and investing their time and efforts into a Genopet, their NFT can appreciate as a result of their hard work; and can be freely traded within the game’s marketplace economy, with capital flowing from other players willing to pay for a head start. This leads to non-linear, skill-based earning, not dependent on increasing fungible token emissions.
- 2.Facilitate the creation and transaction of value between players in a marketplace economy where players must continually make choices on how to earn. Genopets fuels a creator economy of players transacting in-game items for their enjoyment of the game and the potential to earn. In this way, the viability of the economy rests on daily active use of the game as players buy, sell, or trade to play. As a game publisher, we define what can exist, but it’s up to players to make it happen and assign value to the items they create.
- 3.Create experiences (and NFTs) worth paying for! This allows for deflationary sinks to stabilize the in-game economy. Players are willing to pay for cosmetic items in Web2 games purely for their aesthetics; many other items are prized for their social proofing or emotional value. Web3 games have the unique opportunity for this value to be recognized in real, meaningful terms for player-creators, who will be empowered to create and sell game NFTs for a potential profit. A player reinvesting earnings in customizing a Genopet’s wings, tail, colorway, or other augments could be monetizable attributes, with rarity increasing marketplace value.
We posit that designing a game following these basic principles will create a sustainable in-game economy predicated on transaction of value between players rather than earning derived from unsustainable growth and inflationary fungible token rewards. A marketplace driven game rewards players for dedication, thrives as a result of daily active use, and grows with players enjoyment of the game.