Play-to-earn gaming is set to explode now that projects are using Ethereum competitor blockchains and cross-chain bridges to avoid high fees. Here are a few that could shine in 2022.
The rise of blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) gaming was one of the leading stories in 2021 as games such as Axie Infinity exploded in popularity and players realized that they could make life-changing amounts of money while also having fun.
According to data from Footprint Analytics, the Ethereum network remains the leader when it comes to the number of games launched on-chain, but persistently high fees and network congestion have pushed a growing number of players to layer-2, cross-chain, bridge-supporting networks and competing blockchains that offer lower-cost transactions costs.
Here’s a look at a few non-Ethereum blockchain networks that are gaining traction for their P2E offerings and some of the games that are attracting the largest number of users.
According to data from Footprint Analytics, the most active blockchain network in terms of daily volume is Harmony, a protocol that uses random state sharding to help the network scale and facilitate the creation and use of decentralized applications.
As shown in the graphic above, the Harmony network has been processing a daily average of $22.26 million worth of transactions as compared to the $14 million being conducted on the Ronin sidechain, which is home to Axie Infinity.
The most popular game on Harmony is DeFi Kingdoms, a project that combines the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) with P2E gaming and nonfungible tokens (NFT) to offer a unique playing experience.
Similar to Axie Infinity’s dominance on Ronin, DeFi Kingdoms is currently the main gaming option on Harmony, but the protocol’s ability to handle the high demand that the game places on the network could help attract other projects in the future.
Polygon is another leading option for fans of P2E gaming, and the layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum is currently processing an average of $10.35 million in daily volume for its gaming community.
According to data provided by DappRadar, the most popular game on the Polygon network is Pegaxy, a free-to-play mech-horse racing game where users enter mythological creatures called Pega into player-versus-player races to compete for a chance to win monetary rewards.
Some of the other popular games on the Polygon network include the DeFi-focused NFT game Aavegotchi, Arc8 by Gamee and Revv Racing.
Binance Smart Chain
Following closely behind the gaming activity on Polygon is the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which has a current daily volume of $7.26 million transacted within its gaming community.
According to data provided by DappRadar, the most popular games on BSC include Elfin Kingdom, Bomb Crypto, Metaverse Miner, Alien Worlds and Mobox: NFT Farmer.
Mobox: NFT Farmer is one game that may soon see a significant jump in coverage and demand because the most recent data that has not been factored into the analytical averages indicates that the volume transacted on the game surged from $439,500 on Feb. 7 to $47.16 million on Feb. 8.
Related: FarmVille developer Zynga set to release first NFT game this year
Up-and-coming networks and top user rated games
The volume of gaming activity on other popular blockchain networks has a noticeable drop off once Ethereum, Polygon, BSC and Harmony are accounted for, but there are several communities that are looking to gain traction.
Algorand and Solana are two of the more popular up-and-comers, with each currently averaging $138,095 and $98,099 in volume, respectively.
It’s also worth noting that even though the network only processes a current average daily volume of $38,424, data from Footprint Analytics shows that Wax has the second-largest community of gamers and is the fifth-ranked protocol in terms of the number of games launched on the network.
When it comes to the games that gamers rate the highest regardless of which network they are on, the Hive network-based Splinterlands card game has consistently outperformed the field and is followed by the Wax-based Farmers World and the EOS-based “Upland.”
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