Play & Earn

Game First for GameFi. P&E > P2E


The global gaming market was valued at USD 162.32 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of USD 295.63 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 10.5% over the forecast period (2021 – 2026).” “According to data presented by, the total number of gamers hit over 3.2 billion this year, more than 40% of the world’s population.” In another report “Accenture (NYSE: ACN) estimates that the full value of the gaming industry now exceeds $300 billion, more than the combined markets for movies and music, driven by a surge in mobile gaming and an emphasis on social interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Numbers may vary but all reports agree that the gaming industry is big and it is growing ever faster with the pandemic.

The blockchain space on the other hand is one of the few candidates for a faster growth. A report published on Grand View Research estimates a higher CAGR for the blockchain sector during the same period: ”The global blockchain technology market size was valued at USD 3.67 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 82.4% from 2021 to 2028.

Gaming and blockchain are among the most attractive domains for investment. With the NFT boom the obvious is becoming real. Games are now joining the blockchain-NFT ride and vice versa. “Play to earn” is the buzzword of both domains in 2021. GameFi is the next big thing, they say in both realms. No one doubts, since it is the breed of the attractive parents, joining the two worlds which are meant to be together. We the gamers and coiners have always thought that gaming is a perfect use case for blockchain and vice versa. We easily grasp the use case of NFT for game items, unlike for digital content which can be downloaded and utilized freely.

The Problems

GameFi has the following benefits, each being a solution to the deepest problems of the gaming industry:

1. Ownership of digital assets via NFT’s: If you play World of Warcraft you don’t actually and legally own the heroes, items, land you purchased or earned. They all belong to the company which owns the game. You can’t sell them legally, easily and safely. With blockchain games you, the player, truly own everything you have bought or earned playing. You can buy, sell, and trade it freely, easily, safely and legally inside the game or on open markets.

2. Secure: Storing your precious NFT items on a blockchain does not only free you from the game developer but also provides the security of the blockchain technology, which is better than that of the conventional databases. Furthermore, NFT technology guarantees that your item is unique and authentic, leaving no space for fraud.

3. Easy to trade: The cryptographic algorithms utilized on blockchain platforms, makes money-asset exchange possible without needing to trust middlemen or risking losing your asset or money due to malicious counterparts. This has allowed the sector to build open markets to trade NFT assets and crypto exchanges to trade coins and fungible tokens. You may enjoy decentralized exchanges (DEXs) if you are into decentralization or centralized exchanges for convenience.

4. Interoperability: Thanks to blockchain technology it is now easy to have cross-game functionality, where any action in one game can trigger a response in another. These can be in-game actions linked across games; having the same tokens, or NFT’s with cross-game capabilities. Interoperability opens great possibilities for growth for any game and a path to metaverses.

5. Player economy: Blockchain technology provides cryptographic proof of ownership for anything valuable in games without the need for an authority. This makes the peer-to-peer trade possible, which is game changing. Now the economy can be driven directly by the players. Some GameFi projects even plan to provide governance via token staking by players. The players will enjoy taking role in significant decisions regarding the game. For the first time in history, players can be the masters of the game economy they drive.

Blockchain space has its own problems. Mass adoption failure is clearly among them. We propose a GameFi based solution with the Heroes Chained project.

The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed the global economy and devastated the poor countries, leaving millions of people unemployed. People from these countries started looking out for new sources of income. We see that the adoption of crypto currencies is comparatively high in the developing and underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, people started to see “Play To Earn” as a way of generating income, thanks to successful P2E milestones, like CryptoKitties, and Axie Infinity. Meanwhile, universal basic income discussion is going mainstream, globally.

The Problem with The Early GameFi Attempts

We see a GameFi explosion now in the crypto world. Evidence is everywhere: has recently opened a new tab named “Play To Earn” on its list, next to Cryptocurrencies, DeFi and NFT. We see Axie Infinity at the top of the list. It went from around 0.50 to over 80 USD in 2021. Its market cap is over 4 Billion USD at the time of writing. And yet its gaming experience could not survive in the gaming industry without play to earn. People pay hundreds and even thousands of Dollars to Axies not because it is fun to play but because it is good investment. Remove the NFT part, and its market will collapse. Another striking example is Star Atlas. They just completed IEO and IDO phases with demand dwarfing the supply so badly that it was applied as a lottery where winners cheered. “Star Atlas, CoinMarketCap data indicates that it started trading the same day at about $0.083 — nearly 60x from the IEO price — and registered an all-time high of $0.2719 two days later, for a price increase of over 196x.” The fully diluted market cap of Star Atlas is over 3 Billion USD at the time of writing, altough the game development has not started yet, and the release YEAR is unknown because the roadmap has no dates. 3 Billion Dollars for just a roadmap without dates and a presentation-level whitepaper is possible in this free market economy because GameFi is big, investment timing is historic, and the team (including the partners) behind the project is strong. There are projects on this list, reaching many-million-dollar market cap with just a road map, rough explanation about the game and no information about the team. Pick any project from the play-to-earn list and you will see the evidence that the next big thing is GameFi.

Dr. Serkan Toto, CEO and Founder of Tokyo-based Kantan Games Inc., an independent game industry consultancy, tells Inverse, “A lot of these games seem to be forced exercises in basically trying to use blockchain and digital ownership and monetization. There's no real fun inside many of these games. Making them fun is the hard part.” Check out the games in the play-to-earn list to verify that Dr. Toto is accurate.

GameFi is big even at its infancy and even with poor gaming experience because the future looks bright, based on organic metrics free from hype, bringing enough early crypto adopters and P2E players. Any GameFi project that can deliver the fun gaming experience of the traditional games, will bring millions of traditional gamers. That project will dwarf the current champion of the list. And like all hype, only the goods will survive, and the greats will rule, eventually.

Our Key Difference: Play & Earn > Play To Earn

Heroes Chained is developed by Inventuna Inc. We founded Inventuna to develop blockchain games providing both industries with the benefits outlined above while resolving the most fundamental problem in the GameFi industry. We don’t develop Play To Earn, we develop Play And Earn; and the difference is game changing. This whitepaper is the introduction of not only “Heroes Chained”, but also “Play & Earn”, as well. We believe Play & Earn will be a new distinct class of its own as a revolution against Play To Earn. The new GameFi projects that focus on game experience first will classify and announce themselves in this group. We may see games move from “P2E” to “P&E” and maybe see the term P2E dissolve in or evolve to P&E, eventually.

GameFi for Game First & Game First for GameFi

We say “game first”. We were gamers before blockchainers. We still are. We want the players really want to play the game. We know they won’t without state-of-the-art gaming experience. For this reason, we develop Heroes Chained; a great fun to play game; a metaverse players want to be in; a metaverse linked to other metaverses, an organic economy based on first the game itself and then the benefits of blockchain and DeFi.

Play And Earn is greater than Play To Earn, because both types make players earn the same way, and P&E is more fun to play than P2E by definition. P2E brings players from coiners, people playing to earn. When we compare the metrics like daily active users of P2E to gaming, we see that that’s the tip of the iceberg even though the modes are play-to-earn vs pay to play/win. P&E adds the real gamers to the list, onboarding the entire iceberg.

fun(P&E) > fun(P2E) => economy(P&E) > economy(P2E)

Wait, there’s more! Like Gaming, Blockchain is great on its own feet as well, thanks to the benefits it brings to finance. It has not achieved mass adoption because it is not easy to learn, and use. Heroes Chained combines P&E with gamification in a unique way to solve that problem. This will add more icebergs of non-coiners and non-gamers to the economy.

Team First

(game first & (team => game)) => team first

We, the game developers, know making great games is a tremendous task that cannot be left to blockchain enthusiasts. Great games are developed only by great GAME developer teams. So, Team First. Unlike P2E projects we see on the list, we start with the (game developer) team, then the game and finally the blockchain components of the project. So, we recommend the reader to pause here and jump to the Team Section of this document, before moving on from here.

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