Is P2E Undead? And what the hell is Free, Own?

About a month ago TAGDesk wrote an article about the decline of the term P2E and some of the terms that have cropped up to replace it.

“How P2E Died and Why It’s Probably Not Coming Back”:

The article explores the rise and fall of the term “play-to-earn” (P2E) in the context of blockchain-based gaming. It argues that while P2E was once a buzzword that helped attract investors and users to these games, it has now lost its meaning and relevance. The article suggests that this decline is due to several factors, including the emergence of new terms and concepts (such as “play-and-earn” and “yield farming”), the saturation of the market with P2E games, and the negative associations with Ponzi schemes and scams. The article concludes that while P2E may still be used by some developers and enthusiasts, it is unlikely to regain its status as a defining feature of blockchain gaming.

Followed by a piece that asked what Guilds should do next.

“If P2E is Dead, What Should the Guilds Do?”:

The article focuses on the implications of the decline of P2E for gaming guilds, which are communities of players who collaborate and compete in these games. It argues that guilds should adapt to this changing landscape by shifting their focus from P2E to other aspects of gameplay, such as social interaction, strategy, and creativity. The article suggests that guilds should also explore new opportunities, such as organizing tournaments, creating custom game modes, and developing their own games. The article concludes that while the decline of P2E may pose challenges for guilds, it also presents opportunities for innovation and differentiation.

Building on our previous pieces about P2E, TAGDesk aims to provide a more comprehensive view of the current state of blockchain-based gaming by examining the games that still employ P2E as a marketing term. We will also explore a new term and concept that has emerged in the space, “FREE, OWN” and how it may shape the future of blockchain gaming.

Undead Blocks has emerged as one of the most vocal proponents of the P2E model. Our recent article highlighted that the game had announced the launch of its earning mode, and that it would be live on February 28th. Since that announcement the team at Wagyu Games have heavily leaned into the P2E terminology. In fact, the game’s social media accounts have even coined the phrase “P2E is Undead,” demonstrating the company’s commitment to this business model. Undead Blocks’ enthusiastic adoption of P2E is noteworthy and may be indicative of a broader trend of game developers re-embracing this model, despite its declining popularity in the wider blockchain gaming space.

The game is currently undergoing regular maintenance, making it challenging to assess the state of its P2E economy. While Undead Blocks’ commitment to the P2E model is commendable, it remains to be seen how successful it will be in creating a sustainable P2E ecosystem that benefits both players and developers. Nonetheless, the game’s solid gameplay mechanics and appeal to classic COD Zombies players make it an interesting game to watch in the space. The upcoming mobile release could mean this one has the potential to reach the masses.

FREE, OWN

Back in August 2022, a new term began circulating in the cryptosphere of Twitter – “Free-to-Own”. This term was coined by Limit Break, a Web3 gaming start-up that aims to develop blockchain-based MMORPGs. Since then, Limit Break has raised a whopping $200 million across two rounds, with investors like Josh Buckley, Paradigm, and Standard Crypto leading the way. While the company is currently in stealth mode, it’s clear that their business model is enticing to investors. However, what has really piqued the interest of the crypto community is their unique approach to gaming, the “Free-to-Own” model. This innovative concept has generated both interest and criticism in equal measure, as the lack of public information about Limit Break’s business model raises concerns about its sustainability.

Recently, the criticism intensified with the founders of Digi Daiku drawing ire for their $7,000,000 Superbowl Ad spend. This has led to concerns about the company’s business practices, particularly given the lack of transparency around the economy in the game. Some are questioning whether this level of spending on advertising is sustainable, especially if the game does not deliver on its promises. As with any emerging industry, there are bound to be growing pains, but it remains to be seen how these challenges will be addressed and whether “FREE, OWN” or “Free-To-Own” can be a solution.

Whether or not it will be sustainable to let everyone in for free is yet to be seen, but it is for certain the current meta. Planet Mojo just sold out its free mint in a matter of hours, and there are a huge number of upcoming free mints for games. Mech.com sold out 10,000 free bots back in November of 2022.

Magic Eden have 12 free mints over the course of March!

A shout out to Stache for alerting me to the Shrapnel free mint.

Last but by no means least, a thanks to Coop from Earn Alliance for explaining how he views the term Free, Own and pointing me to the Last Remains free mint.

It feels weird without adding a word from sparkc. In a recent Twitter thread, SparkC raised concerns about the current state of blockchain gaming and the poor performances of recent paid mints.

“Free, Own” has emerged as an interesting solution to the problem Sparkc mentions above. This model, coined by Limit Break, aims to offer players true ownership of their in-game assets by removing the need for constant purchasing and trading. While there has been criticism surrounding the lack of public information from Limit Break, the Free, Own model presents an intriguing alternative to the P2E and paid mint trend that has dominated the blockchain gaming space.

It remains to be seen whether “Free-to-Own/Free, Own” can deliver better results than the previous P2E model. Furthermore, it is still uncertain whether P2E is truly dead or undead as Wagyu claim.

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