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Reddit Co-Founder Says Play-To-Earn Crypto Games Will Be 90% Of Gaming Market In 5 Years

Alexis Ohanian predicts the shift will come from gamers wanting to be "properly valued for [their] time."


Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is the latest industry figure to express excitement about the concept of play to earn games. The serial entrepreneur, who has now turned his attention mainly to blockchain and crypto-related projects, is optimistic about the promise of play to earn, predicting that it will dominate the gaming world in just a few short years.

As reported by Business Insider, Ohanian discussed the potential uses of blockchain tech in gaming on a recent episode of the Where It Happens podcast.

"90% of people will not play a game unless they are being properly valued for that time," Ohanian claimed in the podcast. "In five years, you will actually value your time properly, and instead of being harvested for advertisements, or being fleeced for dollars to buy stupid hammers you don't actually own, you will be playing some on-chain equivalent game that will be just as fun, but you'll actually earn value and you will be the harvester."

Play to earn games generally use crypto tokens instead of a regular in-game currency, meaning that players can theoretically exchange their in-game earnings for real-world currency. The most popular title in the category at the moment is Axie Infinity, a Pokemon-like game where the titular Axies can be bought and sold for RONIN cryptocurrency.

Axie's in-game economy is already running into issues according to a Business Insider report, which claims that player returns from the game are slowly diminishing over time due to players cashing out earnings instead of investing them back into the game. The game also has a minimum buy-in of around $300, a high barrier to entry for many players, with lower-level players often earning well below minimum wage.

Other industry figures who have expressed interest in the concept of play to earn games include Take-Two head Strauss Zelnick, EA CEO Andrew Wilson, and Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, whose comments on blockchain games sparked controversy when he predicted that gamers would move away from what he called "play to have fun."

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