Play-to-Earn May Be ‘Dead’, but Gaming Tokens Aren’t and Pixels Will Prove it

"I'm hopeful that $PIXEL will perform well and I believe if it does, it'll spark a renaissance of gaming tokens in the same way we saw the meteoric rise of metaverse tokens like $MANA."

Play-to-Earn (P2E) and gaming tokens will never be the same, and that’s a good thing. We do not want mindless “games” that call for the player to click once per hour to earn a token. That isn’t gaming — honestly, I’m not sure what it is. Unsustainable? However, this isn’t to say that earning from games is dead nor, necessarily, that playing a game to earn money is either. It sounds contradictory, but it isn’t.

The P2E era, as short as it was, saw what could be at best classified as mini-games, rushed to market for the sole purpose of having a token (and sometimes NFTs) that sell. We’re past that now. However, genuinely enjoyable games that have tokens implemented in the game’s economy will rise to prominence and we might have the best use-case of that on the horizon.

Toward the end of last year, I wrote the article, Web3 Game Pixels on Ronin is Blowing Up and the Stats Reveal a Lot. Ronin, the ecosystem famed for the herald of P2E gaming, Axie Infinity, opened its doors to other blockchain games in what was likely a move to diversify. It was a stroke of genius as the first game across the threshold was Pixels.

The Rise (and Rise) of Pixels

In the November article, I looked at how the game’s Unique Active Wallets (UAWs) had gone parabolic in the space of about seven days, breaching 100,000. The problem with those sorts of numbers is that sadly, in current blockchain gaming, it’s typically indicative of a bot problem. With Pixels, it wasn’t though.

If you want a breakdown of the numbers, click that above-linked article. Let’s move up the timeline three months to the present day. Was Pixels a flash in the pan? Again, no.

Pixels token UAW playerbase
As you can see, in the past three months, the UAWs have been continuing to rise, with a high of nearly 186K on the 23rd January 2024, and as I write this, UAWs are still up by 50% since the November article, with 155K yesterday.

Then, in the past 30 days, Pixels has managed $5.23M in trading volume, up 14.64% from the month before, and some of the NFTs for the game that have sold have been for significant amounts.

Via DappRadar

In addition to the above, Pixels has had a slew of big-ticket sales in the past 24 hours, with the top 10 all above $5K.

These statistics, while impressive, only inform the overarching point: That gaming tokens can be a hot commodity, and Pixels could put them firmly back on the map.

Pixels’ Token, $PIXELS, and the Resurgence of Gaming Tokens

Gaming tokens PIXEL token Pixels Ronin

To start, I’m going to quote my article from last November: “So, Pixels has two tokens, $BERRY and $PIXEL, and $BERRY is a sort of workhorse, central to all gameplay. $BERRY is used by players to buy and sell items, resources, and so on.” $PIXEL, the game’s other token, wasn’t released back then, and soon $BERRY (which was not an on-chain currency) will be retired for $PIXEL, with an exchange rate of 1,000 $BERRY for 7.6175 $PIXEL. In fact, it’s being launched on the 19th of February and the launch itself is a bit of a masterclass.

Firstly, the $PIXELS token is being launched on Binance. The game’s founder, Luke Barwikowski, told Decrypt:

“The fact that we’re launching on Binance… the fact that all of this stuff is happening and we’re reaching the full expression of launching a token is pretty amazing … Now the fun starts, right? I just view this as literally day one of everything that we’re working on. We have stuff that’s releasing, but now it’s a long road ahead of us too.”

— Luke Barwikowski, Founder of Pixels (Via Decrypt.co)

The second half of the masterclass is the 10 days of airdrops to players. We’ve just seen the Jupiter exchange on Solana airdrop a small fortune in its native token to its users and the buzz it generated was phenomenal (and matched by the execution might I add.)

Airdrops were an interesting thread to the past bull run, and now it feels as if they might have overtaken their previous relevancy. Airdropping $PIXEL to the players is both a fantastic way to reward your early adopters and die-hard fans, and to generate some buzz around your game — which it has.

I am not a financial analyst, trader, or markets guy, so I have no earthly idea what the price of $PIXEL will be or if it will go up. I’m also — to double down — going to say that this isn’t financial advice and that you ought to do your own research. With that in mind, I’m hopeful that $PIXEL will perform well and I believe if it does, it’ll spark a renaissance of gaming tokens in the same way we saw the meteoric rise of metaverse tokens like $MANA.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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