Recently we’ve done research on the pillars of the token game economy together with our readers and asked them to share their thoughts.  We’ve got lots of informative and thoughtful answers on how to build sustainable and long-lasting in-game economic processes.

Below we’d like to share with you some of the chosen answers (we’ve preserved the grammar and spelling of the original answers). If you’re still on the fence about building valid ones, this article might be to the point!

User Ranoah replied that the community needs staking and burning token systems.
And this is quite fair on the notion of inflation equilibrium. The more utility the publisher has brought to the in-game currency, the more profitable and sustainable it could be for the ecosystem.

Jielsch identified six following ideas for efficient token economy:

1. The balance between inflation/deflation is an essential marker as the economy can quickly swing from one state to another.

2. Trying to not create a bubble effect to prevent volatility, eliminate risks and set a predictable frame.

3. New users based on marketing – while % of revenue is dedicated to acquiring new users.

4. Giving utility to tokens & NFT states for robust game attributes.

5. Rewards staking with governance and rewards for users to shape existing systems or decide on their change. Such a system reflects decentralization and democratization ideas for blockchain allies. 

6. Don’t try to fight bots but manage to deal with them.

Crypticgamer: Economics Flows. For one person to gain, another has to lose.

That means if Developers are taking a cut of income, there will always be a negative force on markets, and all these systems eventually come down.

The way to enhance this – partnerships.

If you have good partnerships, you can tap into other projects and add value to your user base at the expense of other systems. For something like the Dark Country game, this allows other projects to host NFT and token tournaments with their prizes on Dark Country, for example.

That way you can ease the money leaks slightly. This is essentially the same as allowing external sponsorships for tournaments and monetizing your reputation for gains that benefit a whole economy.

In the project I am working on, all assets are generated by math, so get them good enough and I can sell not only ownership but also access and usage rights. What I am getting at is the only way an economy does not implode is if it taps into neighboring systems. You have to ask, can our project pull money in from neighboring systems.

Now there are other things we have to make sure in: your economy is fair to new players.

Now new and free-to-play users are important, and we know that we do not want the investors to sponsor a gravy train for players, so balance is good. But you also do not want systems where new players are immediately out. 

RPG systems are often like this. You have a leaderboard, and your earnings are based on your power. That’s okay because it rewards the best with the most, but it is bad if it excludes the weaker players completely. You have to create a metric of rewarding the effort. It’s often what will draw in large numbers of people looking for a break, even if it’s a small amount. Delivering a better NFT experience, setting of long-lasting user acquisition, and retention increases the chance of loyalty of any entry-level users.

To me, that is the way you build a lasting economy:

  • You make sure there’s always something for the little guy;
  • Investors will thrive if the players are happy and demand for assets rise anyways;
  • There will always be economic leaks.

You need to find ways to tap value from systems around you.
Otherwise, you create a dependency where every person can only make money as long as another is willing to spend. Thus, you tend to build an unstable economy based primarily on speculative investors which is not an effective decision.

But what if you could leverage what you have into other platforms so that your users can earn externally? Two great examples of this were: RPlanet and Boost Tokens.

You are essentially tapping external systems which allow your user base to thrive. I would say that more or less the two things I know to be true. I’m using Dark Country as a metric because I know it’s close to home.

Partnering with other projects is likely the key. But for that, you also need to be the bigger partner so that your users come out on top. It’s also not about exploiting other projects, rather a fair value exchange where you put a good reputation up next to a small one which could bring some rewards to the system. By doing that you could find ways to replenish the play to earn pools.

Muphasas says: A lot of us have been excited about the growth of NFT gaming in the World. But there’s also the inner chimp within us that gives anxiety and concerns.

What if the value becomes insignificant? Is this worth an investment?
How much do I have to invest to obtain a ‘decent’ ROI?

We all want that assurance that a play-to-earn NFT-game economy is sustainable! Actually, big game studios build games to sell to their audience and then build an in-game economy where the players are encouraged to spend money to buy items. Crypto NFT-based games flip this concept on its head. Gamers can not only be in charge of the game but the game economy itself and stand to make millions of dollars in the process. The spike of popularity in play-to-earn plays a major role in cryptocurrency adoption on the whole.

The opportunity to earn decent money through Play2Earn games can be a life-saver for people in developing countries like the Philippines for instance. The crypto environment gamification makes it easier to accept the Defi ideology, which is bound to advance the way of doing business and our everyday life.

With a growing community of gamers across platforms actively entering the blockchain ecosystem, it seems likely that gaming studios and publishers will soon be wanting to claim their slice of the pie by developing their crypto games based on popular franchises.
It remotely resembles a situation we can observe in the NFT collectibles realm.
By illustration, collectible cards from Godzilla, Nimoy, Atari, and StreetFighter are the root of the topic. Gamers are already starting to see the benefits of playing online games for profit, and the forming community urges them to continue the transition to a decentralized world.

Now. Talking about possible solutions for sustainability:

  1. I think it is important that the game developer of the NFT-game serves as its Federal Reserve. Where the Fed has various tools it uses to influence the economy, the developer can adjust the game’s token issuance rate to keep the NFT-game economy healthy.

    Just like a real economy, digital economies have to consider the effects of inflation:

    Cryptos (and also FIAT) have been flowing into the crypto-games due to the high demand for in-game NFTs.
    → Increased demand for NFTs has led to rising NFT prices.
    → Higher NFT prices have made playing these games profitable,
    → leading to a rise in the game’s tokens prices.
    → With rising NFTs prices, playing becomes more profitable, encouraging others to join. A powerful positive feedback loop no doubt.
  2. With the already existent NFT-games and the multitude of play-to-earn games on the horizon, it’s clear that this trend has legs. With Defi, NFTs, and crypto gaming, we’re rapidly evolving past the original crypto killer app of speculative trading and into a universe of expressive new apps and models. It allows reaping the benefit of an already heated network while building a new sustainable ecosystem.

We’re in fascinating times as crypto’s utility phase marches forward!

Robert shared a couple of things that seem to help the token.

  • Staking tokens gives a raffle ticket for a distinct amount of staked tokens.
    And each week a drawing is held to receive game items. Also, holding a certain set of game items gives a raffle ticket.

    Hold tokens → increased demand → increased prices.
  • Some game tokens are given as rewards for providing liquidity to liquidity pools. Maybe having an NFT that can be improved with better abilities or stats over time and then sold.

Mrsorips’s take: One thing is to give actual value to the in-game token, like treated as currency, meaning future drops get sold for the token instead of WAX or even make an in-game marketplace where people use to trade with it. It stands by token utility increasing. Then of course you got to give it deflationary uses, but meaningful ones so that people want to spend that token instead of trading for WAX. Thus, if a project’s currency has a utility, its supply reduces, and the token becomes deflationary by default.

Its in-game value outweighs the WAX value (still, many people will choose to dumb it but players won’t). Always adjusting game features to keep that balance ( not = but > ) I think can make a valuable game with a long-term span.

So, there are lots of ideas and moves to be used to bring a sustainable token economy to life, and we’re happy to have such an educated and thoughtful audience. For sure, we’ll take some ideas for our own projects. And what would you take for yours?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

Best Regards,

Dapplica Team