Play to Earn NFT Game Growth: Seachampion Rewards vs Other Games

Sea Champions shows it’s possible to combine play-to-earn gaming with environmental conservation.


Ever wanted to make money playing video games? That’s the promise of NFT games, which could soon take over one of the world’s largest gaming platforms.


In October, 2021, the world’s second largest online gaming store, Epic, announced it would open its doors to play-to-earn games featuring non fungible tokens (NFTs). Barely a few years ago, NFTs were largely unknown in the gaming world, but are quickly gaining popularity in the $90 billion industry. Already, around 60 percent of game developers exploring the use of blockchain and NFTs, according to a recent study from Stratis. So what are NFT games, and how have they become so popular, so quickly?


What is an NFT?


It’s impossible to understand the opportunities offered by these games without first knowing how NFTs work. In short, NFTs represent a kind of virtual fine art market based on blockchain. Any digital asset, like an image or video, can be bought or sold as an NFT. Of course, it’s not just images: audio files, tweets — pretty much anything virtual can become an NFT.


Most NFT markets are hosted by Ethereum, and can be traded in a similar manner to cryptocurrency. The difference, however, is in the name. Cryptocurrencies are fungible — that is, all currencies of the same denomination are equal. One eth is worth one eth. NFTs, on the other hand, are non-fungible. This means each NFT has a unique value. For example, in March 2021, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sought to sell his first tweet for US$3 million. You too can sell your tweets, though don’t expect them to have the same market value as Dorsey’s.

What is an NFT game


NFT games all offer some combination of NFT creation, collection, trade and sale. Take one of the most popular NFT games, Axie Infinity. An early trailblazer in NFT games, Axie Infinity will immediately look familiar to anyone who grew up with Pokemon. Players must collect Axies, magical creatures that can battle for their trainers. It’s heavily PvP focused, with players able to get the upper hand on each other by cross-breeding their Axies to create even stronger monsters.


Each Axie has its own in-game genetic sequence, making them all unique. Unlike Pokemon though, players can ultimately make real world profits off their eugenic tinkering by selling their Axies on an Ethereum-based marketplace. The most expensive Axie ever sold went for 300 eth, which at the time was worth around US$1.5 million, and that’s hardly an outlier. In fact, at the time of writing annual Axie trading volume was valued at around $6.44 billion. That means the market for tradable Axie creatures is worth more than the entire real world economy of the nation of Montenegro.


What is a play to earn NFT game?


Axie Infinity is just one example of a play to earn NFT game, and there is broad variety in how games offer players the chance to make real money in-game. Take MetaWars, a popular sci-fi RPG where players explore distant galaxies with customizable fleets of battleships.


Unlike the competitive mood of Axie Infinity, MetaWars is more about multiplayer cooperation, where the collective actions of players influence how galaxies evolve. By completing scripted missions, players can earn NFTs, which can then be traded at an in-game auction house. The more combat focused CryptoBlades, on the other hand, gives players the chance to create, trade and battle with their own unique weapons. Meanwhile, soccer game Sorare functions in a similar manner, allowing players to buy and sell teams and players.

Each player is a real life soccer star with official licensing for the game, meaning that players can own a piece of their favorite real world soccer team. On the other end of the spectrum are games like Splinterlands, which is more based around fast rounds of card games with a heavy PvP focus.


Most of these games are based on the Ethereum blockchain, and some offer in-game rewards with actual eth. Others may reward players with in-game currencies, which can be used to buy NFTs, or in some cases, traded for harder cryptocurrencies.


Saving the Seas with NFTs?

Along with offering the chance to win unique NFTs or currency, some NFT games are even making an impact in the environment. Take Sea Champions, an early access battle card game with an ecological twist: funding clean water solutions around the world.


Ten percent of every transaction using the game’s associated currency, SeaChain, goes towards not only improving the blockchain, but also funding river barriers. These barriers block the flow of trash from river systems into the ocean. The trash collected by these barriers can then be recycled.


The start up has future plans to track the flow of river pollution, clean 1000 of the world’s most damaged waterways, and ultimately prevent a ton of plastic from reaching the ocean. However, decisions aren’t just made by developers themselves; the game has an in-built, democratic governance system, where all players can vote on how to spend SeaChain tokens that accumulate in a shared community wallet.


The community wallet is already being used to pay out a an auto staking system, under which 5 percent of all transactions are distributed back to token holders. That is, simply by owning SeaChain, players automatically make a small profit each time someone else buys, sells or trades within the game.


Unlike games like Axie, Sea Champions also allows players to put their cards on an in-game market for rent. It also offers a 5 percent reflection from holding rate, and a 312 percent APY token staking. Axie offers neither.


The only competitor which comes close is Block Monsters, which only offers 4 percent reflections and a 15 percent APY — a rate 20 times lower than that of Sea Champions. Meanwhile, other popular card games like Splinterlands and CryptoBlades offer their players no card rental fees, reflections from holding or token staking.


This all means that Sea Champion players have more ways to play to earn, even passively; while, at the same time the community as a whole is contributing to the wellbeing of our waterways.