Remember those good old days playing video games thinking this is using up all of my money, and wishing it was the other way around? Wish no more, the days of players making money have arrived. And we’re talking about real money—that can you can use to buy real food and pay your phone and internet bills with. Not just digital in-game money for digital vegetables for your digital avatars.

Welcome to GameFi, one of the fastest growing fields of video game industry in the 21st century. 

Back up, you say. What is GameFi? GameFi stands for Game Finance, and it refers to games built on blockchains that offer economic rewards to its players. This is done by players receiving in-game rewards such as crypto coins, virtual assets (land, weapons, costume/skins), and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), by completing quests, battling other players or enemies, and progressing through the game levels. These in-game rewards can then be sold off outside of the game. In this way, players are able to earn cash out of their in-game assets.

This positions players as not just consumers and spenders, but rather, owners. This is revolutionary in gaming because it gives power to the players, versus the traditional model of power being held by just the gaming company on their centralized server. In the traditional model, the gaming company can shut down the game anytime by shutting down their server. If they do so, then where does that leave the players? Stranded, having spent a lot of time and money, and having nothing to show for it.

That’s the radical difference with GameFi products. Players have true ownership of their hard earned in-game assets, and with that ownership they can buy, sell, and play their way to economic advantage.

If all this sounds unbelievable to you, check out some of these successful blockchain games. The top one is Axie Infinity, where players can choose and customize their own Axies to battle and win SLP (Smooth Love Potion) coins. Players can sell SLP for Axie Infinity Shard tokens, the currency within the game, or they can sell it on crypto exchange platforms (for example Binance, Tokocrypto, etc) and withdraw fiat currency (Rupiah, etc) from there. As of mid-2022, there are 1.48 million active users of Axie Infinity, and it’s largest following is in the Phillipines and Vietnam. At its peak, these user players were earning thousands of dollars a month for playing the game.

Other successful games include Decentraland with it’s MANA coins, and The Sandbox with its SAND coins. Of course, GameFi is still in an adolescent stage, and much maturing work needs to be done to make it more sustainable as opposed to just being another Ponzi scheme at the end of the day. This is the exciting work that industry leaders and players are investing in now, with high hopes that players can benefit all around.