As of 2022, the Play-to-earn industry is undoubtedly one of the fastest growing sub-segments of the crypto industry. At the time of writing, the market cap of “Play2Earn” tokens, aimed at rewarding players of P2E games, was over $21 billion. Such a massive market size shows the traction that the industry has experienced among both hobby gamers and professionals.
However, as many thought leaders and industry experts have pointed out, the play-to-earn space has some quite unique characteristics compared to its sister industries. For instance, during the recent ‘World of Web3’ Summit 2022 in Dubai, P2E executives such as Serdar Senay from Mad Metaverse have pointed to the immense opportunities play-to-earn games could bring to people in developing regions, such as Africa or Asia.
For example, in the Philippines, P2E games provided much-needed respite during the pandemic, which severely impacted its economy. Recent studies indicate that the pandemic pushed over four million Filipinostowards poverty. The success of P2E games is evident from the fact that 32% of respondents said they would choose to play P2E games full-time if such an opportunity was available. As Serdar Senay perfectly sums up, “P2E means financial inclusivity and empowering communities.”
Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits that the play-to-earn industry offers, and how it came to be as popular as it is today in the first place.
Axie Infinity’s rise: The turning point for P2E gaming
The rise of Axie Infinity coincides with the increasing popularity of NFT gaming. In 2021, the most popular P2E game surpassed $3.5 billion in NFT sales, which majorly benefited players in many third-world countries. The SimilarWeb data suggests that over 50% of Axie Infinity’s traffic is from the developing world. For example, the Philippines accounts for over 40% of traffic, Venezuela for around 7%, Argentina for over 4.8%, and Brazil for over 3.6%.