Reddit Co-Founder’s continued support for Play-to-Earn Games receives criticism

Reddit Co-Founder’s continued support for Play-to-Earn Games receives criticism

Amid backlash for his stance on play-to-earn games, Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, insists that the gaming industry’s future lies with this model. His unwavering conviction has resulted in heated debates on social media, with critics suggesting that his perspective is outdated.

Can the Play-to-Earn make it?

In the aftermath of the decline of the play-to-earn phenomenon, many executives and developers in the crypto game industry, including the Axie Infinity team, have shifted their focus to prioritize the fun and gameplay aspects rather than token rewards.

Ohanian, however, a notable supporter of NFT games, remains steadfast in his belief. In a recent tweet, Ohanian stated:

“Within the next five years, the majority of gamers won’t play games unless they are being properly valued for that time. These games may face hurdles to adoption as the wider public adjusts to crypto and NFT trading, but as these technologies scale, play-to-earn becomes a no-brainer.”

The former Reddit co-founder backed his argument by highlighting the six-figure sale of virtual assets, such as a nightclub in the early 2000s game, Entropia Universe, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) skins.

Facing backlash from gamers and crypto enthusiasts

Play-to-earn games offer players a tangible return on their investment of time and skill, usually in the form of a crypto token or NFT, earned through gameplay hours or achievements. Ohanian identified Axie Infinity as a pioneer in this arena.

However, this assertion was quickly met with skepticism. The novelty of Axie Infinity’s success, which generated more than $4 billion in NFT trading volume, faded after its economy crashed and the protocol was hacked back in 2022. The game’s SLP reward token plummeted by 99.5% from its peak, and the AXS governance token’s value decreased by 96%.

Despite these significant setbacks, Ohanian, an investor in Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity’s creator, and Horizon Blockchain Games, continues to support crypto-based games strongly. He is a known collector of high-value NFTs and has backed numerous Web3 startups.

Can play-to-earn be sustainable?

But not everyone shares Ohanian’s optimism for the play-to-earn model. Several crypto executives and game developers have openly disagreed with him, arguing that this approach is not sustainable for the industry’s future.

Among the critics are Azra Games CEO Mark Otero, who confessed he is “not a fan” of play-to-earn games, and Solana Games General Manager Johnny Lee, who contended that play-to-earn games are more DeFi products than actual games. In other words, play-to-earn games are DeFi protocols with a gamified interface built on top.

Ohanian’s recent Twitter thread drew largely negative responses, with many questioning his decision to advocate for a concept that many in the industry have largely abandoned. “Did my guy leave this tweet in draft for 2 yrs,” quipped Magic Eden COO Zhuoxun Yin. Wildcard Marketing Manager Phineas Totten was more direct, labeling Ohanian’s perspective as “a terrible take” and emphasizing that the gaming industry should prioritize player enjoyment over monetary value.

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