P2E games short study, conclusions, market evaluation and top-40
It seems that the number of games with a REAL economy has increased dramatically recently. You can see tons of topics, ads, discussions, and dialogues in the gaming industry, something like “NFT is the next big thing for the game development industry. We decided to form our own opinion and double-check everything. In the fall of 2021, there were 596 project links with the “complete list of P2E games”, so here is my little research on this.
P2E – in this topic means “Play-2-Earn”, all differences from RCE (Real Cash Economy), Virtual Worlds, etc. are ignored. P2E in this case means that “players can place some currencies and valuables in the game world by direct exchange for real money, use these values in the game, and then turn these values back into real money.”
First, let’s take a look at the platform:
- PC/MAC app — 89 projects (14.93% of all games have PC/Mac clients).
- Browser Play/WEB – project 507 (85.06% of all games can be played in a web browser)
- Mobile game/interaction – 123 projects (20.63% of all games have a mobile client or extension)
Thus, one can easily conclude that WEB games practically dominate.
Let’s make some charts. First, which games are the most popular:
Figure: “Similar web DNS tracking, September 2021 total visits.”
This figure is not directly convertible to “Audience” but can be used as a proxy, for example, if we see 128.5M sessions for PlantVsUndead and 25.97M sessions for AxieInfinity we can just infer that PVU is around 5 times more popular than AIl.
There are quite a few rumors that P2E began to flourish after the widespread adoption of blockchain/crypto/NFT technologies. Let’s try to form a game diagram that does NOT use blockchain technologies:
Interestingly, the Entropia Universe game was not included in this list, which is probably a mistake or a missed conclusion. But in general, we can observe an interesting observation: the most popular games without blockchain technology inside are on average 5 times less popular than games with blockchain technology inside. Here is the place for some quick hypotheses – for example, it may be easier to advertise games with cryptocurrencies rather than real money, due to the rules and restrictions on gambling.
Lets bring some more data to walk through, top 40 P2E games:
|Link||Traffic 09.2021||CryptoGame||Mobile Play/Interaction||WEB||PC/MAC App||In Development|
Who play P2E games?
At the moment there is no specific social data to create user profiles, but according to different sources and rules of game design, we should just expand the list of players, and not just “people who want to make some money”:
Hardcore gamers looking to up the ante. Much more “real emotions” when every action (and mistake) in the game costs you something. If you have something to lose, you will appreciate it more.
Casual vagrants are people who didn’t really intend to play the genre but ended up finding one game and just exploring and being interested.
- Hardcore gamers, who want to raise stakes. It is much more “real emotions”, whenever every and each action (and mistake) in the game cost you something. If you have something to lose, you will value that more.
- Casual Roamers – people who did not actually intend to play that genre, but eventually found one game and just surveyed and wondered.
- Gamblers – people, who see that games as a complex “slot machines”
- Earners – players, who actually intended to earn some real money
- Investors – people who believe in future development in one game and try different approaches to investments.
This is probably not the best group analysis for such a complex question, I just wanted to emphasize that there is NO ONE UNIVERSAL type of player, and they should be divided into several categories to study them in more depth.
How many people play these games?
Based on the amount of traffic on the Dataset gaming sites in September 2021, there were: 296,381,514 visits.
Based on September data for a sample of 596 games, if we consider audience overlap of at least 50% between all projects (and exclude the tops of the tops to reduce averages closer to the medians), then we would number as “at least 80 million gaming non-overlapping sessions per month”, the following assumption says that the summDAU to MAU conversion rate is 1:10, this will give us the raw statement: “at least 8 million people around the world played games with P2E gaming features last fall” . . According to the volume of advertising and announcements of new projects, you can add the words “and growing.”
The assumption is: that “at least 8 million people around the world were playing games with P2E features at the end of 2021, and this number is growing.”
Why such strong growth in recent years?
One well-known hypothesis suggests itself: For many years before the active spread of cryptocurrencies, the main factor in the development of this subgenre of the gaming industry was LEGAL RESTRICTION.
A good example is Mind Arc (mindark.se), which, to run their Entropia Universe game effectively, had to create a BANK in which all user payments are fully reserved for the time the funds are on the player’s balance in the game. . And they are monitored by a bunch of regulators, and they operate under the jurisdiction of Sweden, known for its liberality with “gambling projects”.
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