Blockchain games have risen from relative obscurity to become thriving ecosystems where some players can earn hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month while doing what they love best.
P2E games have truly arrived and they’re expanding rapidly across the world, and it’s all thanks to the evolution of crypto gaming guilds – blockchain-based organizations that bring investors and players together to help make the world of crypto gaming more accessible. As the industry evolves, they’re all set to play a critical role in its expansion into traditional gaming.
The First Gaming Clans
P2E gaming guilds evolved from the idea of clans and factions that first made their mark in traditional gaming. These original guilds, which are still going strong today, are alliances of players that formed to play games together, either as a group or in battles against each other.
The first guilds appeared in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) such as World of Warcraft and were mainly just squads of friends or players that met through the games. However, they quickly became more organized and many have since grown to include thousands of members with a broad range of structures and goals. These days, clans have expanded beyond MMORPGs and can be found in a wide variety of game genres, be it strategy games or first-person shooters. There are even some clans that span multiple games, while others have entered the multi-million dollar eSports arena, becoming professional video game players.
Today, many clans and factions have set up official websites complete with forums on platforms such as Discord where members can interact and discuss strategies with others in their clan. Highly organized, many clans offer awards and medals for members who achieve certain goals, such as contributing to clan victories and achieving a higher status.
The beauty of clans and their primary attraction is that they add another dimension to gameplay. The psychology of group dynamics applies to video games just as it does in the real world, so if a player within a clan happens to be slacking, or performing badly, they’ll be reminded of this by their fellow clan members and encouraged to up their game. Clans also offer a sense of inclusion or belonging for game players – to the extent they feel as if they’re part of a family, with real purpose. After all, no one wants to suffer the embarrassment of letting their clan down.
Video games have grown immensely as a result of clans because the competitiveness they foster makes them more enjoyable to play, increasing their user base. As such, many games have integrated official support for clans to encourage more players to participate.
One of the most clan-friendly games is Call of Duty, where gamers can form clans of up to 100 players and receive exclusive bonuses when fighting on the same squad as their fellow clan members. Special features include an organized social hub for clan members to interact, the ability to customize an emblem that all clan members can equip, plus unique rewards such as Calling Card Frames that are earned through Clan XP, an integrated experience system. They can also benefit from a 10% increase in XP to boost their player levels, weapons and more.
The importance of clans is reflected by their entry requirements. Many of the top clans in games will demand a certain level of experience, expert proficiency and consistent performance, and may even insist on the completion of certain tasks before a new member is accepted.
The Rise Of P2E Crypto Gaming Guilds
The success of P2E games owes a lot to clans as well. This new breed of crypto gaming guilds in P2E games is an evolution of the original clans. Guilds play a vital role in the P2E economy because many of the most popular games, such as Axie Infinity, require a big initial investment to get started playing.
Players are required to buy tokens or NFTs, or sometimes even both. The problem is those investments can be very costly, with some NFTs selling for hundreds of dollars. For those with a limited disposable income that can be an insurmountable barrier.
Crypto gaming guilds address this problem and give opportunities to hundreds of players, especially in lower-income countries. Similar to traditional gaming guilds, blockchain guilds are alliances of players but their primary motivation is that of business. Most P2E guilds have formed decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs, where members collectively acquire, manage and loan out P2E game assets such as NFTs. The most promising players are taken on as “scholars”, who are lent the required NFT to start playing on the condition they split the rewards they earn with the guild.
The revenue model tends to differ from guild to guild, with the lion’s share usually going to the scholar, a portion to guild managers and the rest going to the guild’s treasury. In the case of Yield Guild Games, which claims to be the biggest crypto gaming guild, its scholars get to keep 70% of their rewards, with 20% going to managers and 10% to the treasury.
Besides helping players, crypto gaming guilds can also unlock new revenue streams for even investors who’re willing to acquire NFTs with the sole purpose of renting them out. Take Balthazar, an up and coming guild that has recently established an NFT marketplace for investors. Within the marketplace, it lists recommended NFTs from some of the most popular P2E games. If an investor decides to purchase an asset through its marketplace, Balthazar will then find a promising scholar to lend that NFT too, ensuring the investor will generate an immediate income from that asset.
Crypto gaming guilds have been instrumental to the growth of P2E games, many of which would never have gotten as big as they are today if there was no way to overcome the barrier to entry.
Convergence of Guilds
For all of the attention, P2E games have received over the past year and a half, the industry remains dwarfed by traditional gaming. One of the main criticisms leveled against P2E games is that they’re not as much fun as blockbuster titles like Grand Theft Auto, where players can essentially put their own lives on hold and immerse themselves in a virtual world where they’re at the center of the story. The gameplay is on another level compared to Axie Infinity, which is struggling to retain players despite the incentives on offer.
However, the situation is changing fast and better games that make use of platforms such as Unreal Engine are on the way, targeting more traditional games. At the same time, the big video games developers are taking notice too. Earlier this year, Ubisoft, the maker of the popular Ghost Recon franchise, announced it was minting its first batch of NFTs, called Digits – unique items with their own serial number that can be seen in the game, with players able to track ownership of those items.
Ghost Recon’s Digits were really just an effort to test the waters, yet it speaks to what many have suggested is only a matter of time – a convergence between the traditional and P2E gaming industries, with some of the world’s most recognizable games incorporating crypto-based rewards into games.
If that happens crypto gaming guilds are sure to play a vital role. Nicholas Pouard, Ubisoft’s VP of Strategic Innovations, recently indicated as much in an interview with Finder, stating his belief that P2E guilds will become “the future of user acquisition”.
“If you build a good play-to-earn experience, those guilds will come to your game, and they will boost up your ecosystem,” Pouard said. “The net effect is that you need to engage the whole economy and community.”
One person who shares that belief is Balthazar CEO John Stefanidis, who discussed Pouard’s comments in a recent blog post. Stefanidis pointed out that Ubisoft’s traditional audience has little understanding of how NFTs and the crypto economy work. Crypto gaming guilds are in a perfect place to help Ubisoft’s traditional audience get comfortable with the concept of P2E.
“Platforms that make it easy are the ones that are going to come through as the strongest,” Stefanidis said. “Pouard knows this. Ubisoft knows it. And the reaction of mainstream gamers to the Finder interview should further reinforce the company’s belief that it needs to work with guilds.”
Guilds are already a proven recipe for success. The original clans and guilds in games like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty helped those titles to achieve legendary status in the video game industry. As P2E games evolve and become more enjoyable, guilds will once again play a pivotal role in their growth.
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