In 2020, YGG funded the award-winning mini-documentary “Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines,” which tells the story of a small community in the rural Philippines that earned a living by playing Axie Infinity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The story of Yield Guild Games tracks back to 2018, when gaming industry veteran Gabby Dizon began to lend his own Axies to other Axie Infinity players who couldn’t afford to buy their own. By October 2020, it was clear how this was helping Filipinos create another source of income during the pandemic while doing something they enjoyed.
It sparked the idea to create a global network of players and investors who would help each other get started with NFT games. With fintech entrepreneur Beryl Li and developer Owl of Moistness joining Gabby as co-founders, YGG was brought to life with the mission of onboarding millions of people into the play-to-earn revolution.
Play-to-earn is a new category in video gaming that rewards players for winning battles and completing tasks with tokens or other cryptocurrency-based rewards, which they are free to use in-game or trade on an open market. This represents an important shift in the gaming world, which has traditionally kept in-game assets confined to centralized platforms that did not allow transferring those assets externally.
An NFT is a unique, immutable, and verifiable representation of a physical or digital item on a blockchain. This technology allows important concepts of physical ownership, such as provenance and authentication, to be transferred digitally. In video games, NFTs also open up the potential for in-game assets to be interoperable with a range of different games and platforms.
In NFT games, in-game assets are wholly owned by the players—not the game’s developer. These gaming-based NFTs may include characters, plots of virtual land, weapons, and so on. They can be used inside blockchain games to earn yield in the form of tokens or other rewards, which can be used in-game or traded on an open market for other cryptocurrencies or fiat money.
In decentralized game economies, there is an entire ecosystem of players who buy, sell, and trade in-game items between each other. They are able to do this because NFTs and cryptocurrencies provide the players with digital property rights for their in-game assets. Thus, the players actually become part-owners in the game and get to share in the value that the community creates.
The Metaverse refers to an expansive, interconnected virtual world wherein people can recreate many of the things they do in real life and more. These activities include building, buying, selling, owning, socializing, entertaining, working, learning, and so on. The Metaverse is available to anyone who would want to enter it, which can open up opportunities to people from all parts of the world regardless of race, gender, and socio-economic status.
The most popular play-to-earn game, Axie Infinity, is a card-based strategy game similar to Hearthstone.
YGG has invested in and partnered with various play-to-earn games, including car racing games F1® Delta Time and REVV Racing, virtual worlds such as The Sandbox, RPGs such as Guild of Guardians, MMORPGs such as Ember Sword, and the grand strategy and space exploration game Star Atlas, among others.
Rising NFT prices have made NFT games cost-prohibitive for some players—especially those who are new to play-to-earn. Scholarships are revenue-sharing programs that allow new players to borrow or rent NFTs, so they can play the game without having to spend any money.
Any resulting in-game rewards are shared between the player and the owner of the NFT, with the player taking the largest cut. Some scholarship programs provide additional benefits such as training and mentorship to help players improve their skills, in-house tournaments, and upgrade incentives.
Learn more about scholarships in our Medium post.
A guild is a community of players who regularly play together and collaborate for mutual benefit.
YGG is a gaming guild that coordinates players around the world to earn crypto-based rewards in play-to-earn games. It also invests in NFTs, such as in-game assets and virtual land, and makes them available for guild members to borrow. YGG is made up of different community members, players, and contributors who help each other get onboarded and earn income through play-to-earn.
Community Managers are active guild members who recruit and train new players. Under the scholarship model, Community Managers usually receive a commission on rewards and revenues generated by the player(s) that they manage on an ongoing basis.
Community Managers also provide ongoing training and mentorship to help players improve their skill and better understand important concepts in play-to-earn gaming. Managers also help new players learn how to safely and responsibly manage their earnings in cryptocurrencies.
Some players in the Philippines have been able to earn two to three times the local minimum salary by playing the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity. However, the amount of money that can be earned depends on several factors, including the player’s skill, how much time they spend playing the game, their win rate, and the price movements of in-game tokens and assets on the open market.
Many people play NFT games to supplement their income.
A decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, is a blockchain-based protocol with rules enforced by smart contracts, which are programs stored on a blockchain that run when predetermined conditions are met.
DAOs can have several purposes, but their main function is to provide an automated way to carry out governance decisions voted on by its members using a governance token. A DAO’s activities are borderless and entirely transparent through the blockchain.
A mobile device or laptop/PC, internet connection, crypto wallet, and the NFT asset required to play the NFT game. See this BitPinas article on how to set up a crypto wallet like MetaMask.
Participating in NFT gaming comes with risk, so it is important that you do your own research and build awareness regarding how to use crypto safely, securely, and responsibly.
BitPinas, the Philippines’ leading cryptocurrency news publication, created an in-depth guide on how to secure your play-to-earn accounts and crypto wallets. Read it here.