Forget Play-to-earn, ‘Play-and-earn’ Is Fixing GameFi

UniX Gaming is a gaming guild, community and launchpad with over 27 million stream viewers and 5,000 members


Blockworks Exclusive Art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Play-and-earn gives players the entertainment they want while also providing earnings and ownership
  • “Play-to-earn is basically a job. It’s not fun. You do something, and you get rewards. Then people cash out their earnings, over and over.”

The initial iteration of blockchain gaming in the form of a play-to-earn model has garnered a lot of attention. However, a new paradigm is emerging in the space; The play-and-earn approach refactors priorities and seeks an expanded audience with a more lasting effect.

Axie Infinity was the first blockchain-based game to put down a marker, with the Ethereum-oriented NFT game reaching $1 billion in sales last August, according to data from Cryptoslam! — rising to $4 billion by February.

From play-to-earn to play-AND-earn

Following the initial success of Axie, there has been a scramble to get similar games onto the market. However, while the play-to-earn gaming model is innovative, it loses sight of the core motivators behind gaming — playability and fun. Pivoting to a play-and-earn model seeks to address that, and it is this approach that is necessary to bring blockchain-based gaming to the mass market.

The play-to-earn and Axie hype was evident all through 2021 and continues into 2022. However, the hype and interest will hold only as long as the profits do. If the playability of a play-to-earn game is not of a high enough standard to attract and engage gamers organically without such financial incentive, it’s not likely to come anywhere close to matching the popularity of games produced by AAA games publishers.

In contrast, play-and-earn gives players what they want while also providing earnings and ownership. It’s an evolution of gaming rather than a complexification of investing. As Mirko Basil, founder and CEO of UniX Gaming, put it, “It’s never been play-to-earn, it’s always been play-and-earn. We’re adding crypto as an earning vehicle to gaming.”

The importance of community

UniX Gaming is very much seizing the initiative in terms of pursuing a play-and-earn approach. Basil said:

“Play-to-earn is basically a job. It’s not fun. You do something, and you get rewards. Then people cash out their earnings, over and over. They don’t contribute to the community, they’re just doing their tasks and getting paid. Play-and-earn is fun and rewarding. People spend hours, days and months playing and getting better, competing and collaborating and building a really incredible community.”

The emphasis doesn’t stop at a consideration of game playability: “Gaming is not only playing; It’s owning, building, sharing, chatting and more”, he explains. “In gaming and in crypto, the most important focus is community. The greatest feats of both industries are creating attractive and impactful communities.”

With a nod to the importance of community, UniX has established itself from the outset as a gaming guild — a gathering of gamers that play together, which has evolved to include business and social projects. This aspect of the evolution from play-to-earn to play-and-earn also has implications for other community participants such as streamers, game developers and investors.

With play-and-earn, guilds become organizations capable of great innovation and social change. Leading by example, UniX has organized itself as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), becoming itself just one group within a large symbiotic ecosystem it creates in gaming communities.

Gamers are empowered to use their voices and resources together with regard to what they want the landscape of play-and-earn to be. In recent weeks, UniX has been adding AAA titles to its ecosystem via its Initial Gaming Offering (IGO) Launchpad, and players have been forming investment guilds, development guilds, competitive guilds and more.

With early adopters in the blockchain gaming space such as UniX leading the way, it’s clear that this evolution in gaming is ongoing with the likelihood of mass gaming adoption in the not too distant future.

DAOs were said to be the evolution of the governance and organizational structure, and gaming guilds are the evolution of DAOs. 

This content is sponsored by UniX Gaming. To learn more about UniX, explore the website.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume


DeFi on Bitcoin is all the rage right now and Stacks is positioned to benefit