The buzz surrounding the metaverse — especially metaverse games — is showing no signs of slowing down. And for all we know, this could go on for a while until it becomes an inseparable part of our lives, as the internet is today.
A recent report by global consulting firm McKinsey echoed that possibility with some interesting figures. The report states that the metaverse industry could potentially be worth $5 trillion by 2030. It further stated that more than 50% of live events could be held in the metaverse by 2030, and “more than 80% of commerce could be impacted by something consumers do there.” You can download the full McKinsey report here.
One important point worth noting here is the growing lure of this emerging technology is being spearheaded by metaverse games. From play-to-earn games that reward players for their in-game activities to exciting virtual worlds — it is entirely possible that we are already witnessing the start of a paradigm shift in the broader video game industry.
If you’re intrigued by these prospects and want to experience it firsthand, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the best metaverse games that you might want to try out in 2022.
The level of anticipation, excitement, and confusion surrounding the metaverse is almost the same as how it used to be when the internet was still in its early formative years and promised to revolutionize information exchange and communications.
The metaverse is widely seen as the next stage in the evolution of the internet. However, it is not a competitor and rather builds on the internet.
Note that the term “metaverse” is not exactly new, either. It was first coined in 1992 by author Neal Stephenson in his sci-fi novel “Snow Crash.” In the novel, Stephenson described the metaverse as an all-encompassing virtual world that ran parallel to real life. However, it is still not clear if the metaverse in real life would have any resemblance with how Stephenson envisioned it in his novel.
Most of the metaverse today consists of metaverse games, but it promises to become so much more than just a gaming world.
Being the proverbial new kid on the block, the metaverse is yet to have a standard definition. Rather, it often means different things to people depending on what they’re aiming to achieve.
For example, Facebook’s Meta aims to revolutionize social networks by integrating elements of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR). The platform’s goal is to “let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.” Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Mesh aspires to become sort of a metaverse for work by integrating cloud computing, AI, and augmented reality (AR) into its platform.
Broadly speaking, the metaverse can be defined as a virtual world with simulated scenarios where users can share their experiences and interact in real time. In other words, the term “metaverse” refers to both current and future integrated digital platforms that use VR and AR to make users’ digital experiences more immersive and interactive.
In theory, it is not a single digital space, but a combination of multiple digital spaces. Each space in the metaverse will be designed to offer its own flavor of a realistic and immersive digital experience.
So, as you would imagine, the technology brings a slew of possibilities — from a superior gaming and social media experience to workplace collaboration, VR/AR-powered virtual events, and beyond.
We have compiled a list of some of the best metaverse games in terms of popularity and potential. Of course, it’s not an exhaustive list, but it will give you a general overview of what’s cooking in this nascent but thriving industry.
1. Axie Infinity — easily among the most active metaverse games
Starting the list is what could be arguably called the most popular metaverse game around today. Launched in 2018, Axie Infinity is also kind of a staple in the increasingly crowded NFT gaming arena.
The gameplay in this play-to-earn game is somewhat similar to that of Pokémon and requires players to collect, breed, raise, battle, and trade “Axies.” The Axies are adorable little creatures that also double up as NFTs. This means each Axie is indivisible and unique. Because of their unique characteristics, each Axie can potentially grow to have a high value and become a successful long-term investment.
Players earn rewards in the form of NFTs. Alternatively, you could also be rewarded in Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Sooth Love Potion (SLP), the two native tokens on the platform. You could trade these assets on a crypto exchange for fiat currencies.
You can earn rewards in the game by:
- Competing in player vs. player (PVP) battles to win leaderboard prizes
- Exploring the Axie Infinity universe by playing the PVE Adventure mode
- Breeding your own Axies and selling them
- Collecting rare Axies (e.g., Mystics and Origins)
- Farming Love Potions and selling them on exchanges such as Binance and Uniswap, among others.
The SLP tokens have very specific roles in Axie Infinity, and the game doesn’t provide liquidity for it. Neither does it sell SLP tokens directly to players. The best way to earn SLP tokens is to play the PVE Adventure mode (or buy them from an exchange).
AXS, meanwhile, is an ERC-20 governance token that you can stake and earn rewards in return. As of this writing, it has a market cap of around $1.19 billion and is trading at just over $14 per token (which is even less than one-tenth of its all-time high of $158).
2. The Sandbox — one of the best metaverse games for creatives
The origin of The Sandbox as a game involving virtual world-building goes back to the early 2000s. It marked its debut as a mobile game in 2010 with an interactive gameplay where players could create their own worlds and populate them with virtual characters and objects.
The game was acquired by Animoca Brands in 2018, which is when they focused on turning it into a blockchain-powered play-to-earn game. Around the time, it also bagged investments from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Republic Realm, HSBC, Gucci, and others.
In The Sandbox, you can buy and sell virtual real estate, hold events, and trade NFTs and other in-game goods. You can also use the built-in Sandbox Game Maker to create your own games. In addition, the platform also offers VoxEdit, an NFT creator, alongside a 3D model editor to enable users to create their own content. Users can monetize the content they create by selling it in an open marketplace.
At the heart of The Sandbox metaverse is the SAND token, the native asset on the platform. It serves throughout the metaverse by allowing transactions between users. SAND is an ERC-20 token that plays the dual role of a utility and governance token.
SAND is essential for all in-game transactions, including those for playing the game, modifying avatars, buying LAND, or trading ASSETS. For those uninitiated, LAND is a token that gives the owner rights over a virtual land plot of 96×96 meters. ASSETS, meanwhile, refers to NFTs created by The Sandbox users.
Additionally, SAND holders can also propose changes to the platform and vote on these proposals through a DAO.
You can also stake SAND to earn a portion of the platform’s advertising and transaction fee revenue. For more insight, check out BeInCrypto’s detailed guide explaining every aspect of The Sandbox metaverse.
3. Decentraland — one of the biggest open-world metaverse games
Decentraland is somewhat similar to The Sandbox on the ground that both these play-to-earn metaverse games involve a virtual world where you can buy and sell virtual land plots.
In Decentraland, you can buy numerous in-game objects, including parcels of virtual land called “LAND.” When you purchase a virtual plot of land, you receive the corresponding volume of LAND as an NFT (ERC-721 token). The non-fungible nature of LAND ensures that once you acquire it, no one else can make a copy of it. Even the game creators cannot bypass this arrangement, giving you exclusive control over the LAND you purchase.
There are several ways to play and earn in Decentraland. For example, you could purchase a space and then charge businesses to advertise on it. You could also build stadiums for people to hold concerts or other events. Alternatively, you could also hold onto these spaces (LAND) as long-term investments. Basically, the possibilities are endless.
Note that Decentraland has a limited supply of 90,000 LAND parcels for sale, and you need the game’s native asset MANA to buy them. Every time you buy LAND in the game, an equal amount of MANA corresponding to the value of the LAND is burnt. This makes MANA a fundamentally deflationary asset.
MANA has two main roles in the Decentraland metaverse, including:
- You can use MANA for buying LAND and other in-game items.
- MANA is also a governance token, which means MANA holders can participate in the platform’s governance decisions through a DAO.
At its peak in November 2021, MANA was trading at just under $5. However, the bear market that has since followed has impacted the MANA price too, and it is currently trading at $0.8 per token (approx) with a market cap of nearly $1.5 billion.
4. Somnium Space — a hybrid metaverse
Somnium Space describes itself as “an open, social, virtual reality world” with its own economy and currency. The game also brings along a marketplace, a social network, and virtual land ownership.
Launched in 2017, the Somnium Space metaverse is often touted as an improved version of Second Life. It is a VR world-builder platform supporting autonomous virtual real estate ownership and trading.
Players can buy and create custom experiences while simultaneously using their characters to explore the land of other users. Much like in Decentraland, the land in Somnium has multiple use cases, including, but not limited to, gaming, socialization, e-commerce, event hosting, and so on.
The game developers recommend the use of VR headsets to have the optimal experience in the gameplay. However, a VR headset is not mandatory, and you could start playing the game right on your web browser using the third-person mode.
CUBE is the native utility token on the platform that you can use to perform in-game transactions. For example, you can rent a piece of land from another player in exchange for CUBE. Similarly, you can also use it to buy tickets to a virtual music concert held on Somnium.
Additionally, you can also use CUBE tokens to mint unique avatars and sell them to other players as NFTs.
CUBE is currently trading at $1.57 per token with a market cap of more than $23 million.
5. My Neighbor Alice — perfect for newbies
My Neighbor Alice is unique in the sense that it allows even non-crypto native players to collaborate to construct, create, and play. It’s particularly easy for gamers with little to no prior exposure to blockchain, crypto, or NFTs.
This metaverse in My Neighbor Alice is located in the Lummelunda archipelago, a fantasy island where humans and animals share the same territory peacefully. Anyone interested in enjoying the serenity on the island can join the community by buying a piece of virtual land. Alongside, they will also require contributing to the community by performing various activities such as fishing, beekeeping, bug catching, and the likes.
Alice, the main character in the gameplay, lives on this island along with her friends-cum-neighbors — Beekeeper Bob, Björn the Bear, Shipwright José, and Ivan the Merchant.
Players can interact with these supporting characters while helping Alice perform her everyday tasks. They earn rewards based on the activities and time spent playing the game. Players can also design, decorate, and customize their properties by using in-game NFTs, which come in the form of buildings, animals, vegetation, and so on.
The ALICE token is the native cryptocurrency in the My Neighbor Alice metaverse. It is an ERC-20 token that you can use to buy in-game items, earn staking rewards, or participate in the game’s governance system.
At $2.14 per token, ALICE currently has a market cap of more than $65 million.
6. Alien Worlds — a space-themed NFT metaverse
Alien World is a free-to-play, P2E metaverse game with a decent fan following. While it’s free-to-play, you would have to make small purchases of the game’s native cryptocurrency, the Trillium token (TLM), to be able to complete missions and acquire NFTs.
The gameplay revolves around you traveling to distant alien worlds and mine TLM or NFTs that you find along the way. As you progress through the game and your inventory continues growing, you will have more resources to discover NFTs at a faster pace.
There are more than 300 different NFTs for you to collect, each unique in terms of value and rarity. Your objective in the gameplay is:
- To mine or acquire more than 300 NFTs
- Participate in nebula events
- Lease spacecraft to travel to distant planets
- Compete against other players and win
- Stake $TLM to earn rewards
- Contribute to the governance system of Alien Worlds
The market cap of $TLM currently stands at just over $65 million, and the token is changing hands at approximately $0.02495.
7. Blocktopia — more than just a metaverse game
Blocktopia is a Polygon-based decentralized metaverse that promises to combine a unique VR experience with the play-to-earn model. You can think of it as a skyscraper that serves as the hub of all your crypto experiences.
The Blocktopia metaverse enables you to earn money by playing games, advertising, buying and selling virtual real estate, and whatnot! The gameplay revolves around you (in first-person) and your perspective of the surrounding virtual world.
The developers of the project vouch that Blocktopia is much more than just a run-of-the-mill metaverse game. It is a virtual world in its true sense that you can experience in real-time, the platform claims.
The project is still relatively new, and we may have to wait until later this year before the full-fledged Blocktopia metaverse emerges. The game promises that there will be multiple revenue streams for players to earn money. These include, but are not limited to, passive income through staking and advertising.
The Blocktopia token ($BLOK) is the native asset in the platform. The market cap of the token, as of this writing, is just over $58 million, with each token changing hands at $0.00335.
With $BLOK, you can make any in-game purchase, such as real estate and NFTs, and gain access to exclusive events, presales, staking opportunities, and such.
The metaverse is only just kicking off, with better technology and ideas set to make it even more attractive. The biggest companies in the world are working on this, so one can expect more games and more expansive interactions to take place.
As such, those looking to get into the metaverse can take joy in knowing that what we’re seeing now is the tip of the iceberg. In a decade’s time, the metaverse may just become a dominant form of entertainment.
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Source: Crypto News