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.
What caused #BlockchainGaming to run away from the term #Play2Earn?— Arcade 👾 (@arcade2earn) February 2, 2023
Is it that marketing for #P2E was about of Playing ONLY to Earn or the way #PlaytoEarn rose and fell in the early days of #GameFi which created this bearish sentiment?
Some were not convinced that P&E (Play and Earn) was any better if at all.
–> 🚩 Excessive Web 3 buzz words in Twitter bio— sparkc | WolvesDAO (@sparkcsays) January 30, 2023
–> 🚩 Claims to be P2E (P&E is barely better)
–> 🚩 Claims partnerships w/ businesses they’ve paid for services (AWS, Unity, exchanges that list them etc.)
–> 🚩 Running constant WL giveaways in discord for F tier projects
And GameFi did not fair much better. Had to laugh at “is on BNB”. This does often tend to be a red flag.
–> 🚩 Home page of the website is more blockchain and NFT talk than game talk— sparkc | WolvesDAO (@sparkcsays) January 30, 2023
–> 🚩 “Engage with this post TO BE CONSIDERED for WL”
–> 🚩 Is on $BNB
–> 🚩 Calls Web 3 gaming, gamefi
Content creator Spike took it a step further and called any game offering P2E to everyone as an option a scam.
Looks like I have my first hater. — Spike (@SpikeReacts_) January 15, 2023
P2E is a scam! There are 0 games that can guarantee everyone will make money.
Im sorry to say this but Web3 gaming isn’t only about making money. It’s about empowering gamers through digital ownership.
Brycent was just happy that the discussion had moved from tokens to gameplay.
Most legit Web3 gaming conversations have gone from tokens to gameplay— Brycent 🚀 (@brycent_) February 3, 2023
We are headed in the right direction for sure.
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.
Introducing Immutable Passport, your passport to the future of gaming 🎮— Immutable 🅧 – $IMX (@Immutable) January 31, 2023
We are developing Immutable Passport, the instant non-custodial wallet onboarding solution for web3 games. Designed to onboard the next billion users into web3 #onIMXhttps://t.co/A8WKmGUxlV pic.twitter.com/NOxmZl2vDk
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.