How P2E died and why it’s probably not coming back.

To understand how the term P2E died you must first know how it began.

The origin of the term “Play-to-Earn” (P2E) has been debated with some dating it back to as early as 2013 or 2014 with the first game resembling a blockchain game, Huntercoin. Others argue that the ethos of P2E extends even further back, referencing the sale of houses in Ultima Online on platforms like eBay. Despite differing opinions, there is no dispute that Axie Infinity brought the term P2E to prominence in the crypto gaming space.

The marketing boost for games that added the hashtag #P2E was evident during Axie Infinity’s heyday. Copycat games and slight variations on the concept cropped up everywhere, with every game being labeled as P2E without any objections. Funds flowed in from both venture capitalists and retail investors to anything that promised to be the next big P2E game, with many of these games explicitly mentioning the term in their white papers.

However, the first signs of the downfall of the term P2E came from within Axie Infinity itself. The game’s token, SLP, was being minted at an unsustainable rate, forcing the game to take drastic measures such as drastically cutting the daily SLP earnings. Along with this cut came the dampening of future expectations and a shift towards a PvP-only model. This single change marked the end of P2E as a term.

It is unclear whether the team at Sky Mavis recognized this at the time, but it is evident that they soon realized it. All mention of P2E was removed, and a new term was born: “Play and Earn” (P&E). There was a brief debate about whether this was just a semantic change or if it was truly warranted. P&E became a temporary solution for some, as most made the switch simply because Axie Infinity had done so.

Guild leaders, DAO founders, and content creators all weighed in on the issue over the following months, sometimes in Twitter spaces and sometimes in detailed threads. A consensus slowly formed that P2E was a term that potentially attracted the wrong types of investors and money to the table. Many agreed that P&E was better, but expressed concerns that the word “earn” itself was the issue.

Some were not convinced that P&E (Play and Earn) was any better if at all.

And GameFi did not fair much better. Had to laugh at “is on BNB”. This does often tend to be a red flag.

Content creator Spike took it a step further and called any game offering P2E to everyone as an option a scam.

Brycent was just happy that the discussion had moved from tokens to gameplay.

Jinkirin was celebrating the rise of what we think at TAGDesk should be the new term.

From my personal, extensive research, I have found that the most solid-looking and well-funded Web3 gaming titles have very little to no mention of Web3 or crypto-related terminology on their websites or Twitter accounts. Two examples of this are The Wake Game (https://twitter.com/twakegame) and The Bornless (https://twitter.com/TheBornlessGame). Both keep that stuff tucked away on the back-end for those who want to find it, and prioritize onboarding and gameplay at the forefront. This trend is further supported by the systems used by games like Skyweaver and BigTime. The upcoming Immutable passport further points to this seamless onboarding process being key before anything else.

We at TAGdesk are extremely positive about the future of web3 gaming and blockchain technology in the gaming industry. We believe that the integration of these two technologies has the potential to bring a new level of innovation and excitement to the gaming world. Additionally, we also see great potential for web3 technology in the esports industry. The decentralization and transparency that comes with blockchain can bring a new level of fairness and trust to the competitive gaming world.

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