Play-to-earn model next big thing in online gaming: 7Seas Entertainment

Play-to-earn model next big thing in online gaming: 7Seas Entertainment
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L Maruti Sanker, Founder & Managing Director, 7Seas Entertainment

Highlights

  • Play-to-earn model is based on the NFT gaming which offers rewards and revenue to the gamers for spending time by playing games.
  • These tokens (digital assets) can be further sold to other players or on cryptocurrency marketplaces to create an internal economy

How the players can earn money on the crypto gaming platforms?

Game developers emphasise monetising the game in two ways – trading NFTs or earning in-game rewards. They leverage the capabilities of cryptocurrency and get into NFT gaming. Instead of making a purchase that does not guarantee any economic return, the players invest in NFT characters.

Online gaming based on blockchain technology started capitalising on the potential of NFTs. Play-to-earn model is based on the NFT gaming which offers rewards and revenue to the gamers for spending time by playing games. These tokens (digital assets) can be further sold to other players or on cryptocurrency marketplaces to create an internal economy.

Even if a game shuts down, any purchases made in the game can be bought and sold on the existing blockchain protocols. These assets cannot be duplicated or lost, since they have their own records on blockchain. Play-to-earn model is still in a nascent stage and a lot of revolutionary progress is being made in terms of new games being introduced worldwide.

7Seas Entertainment Ltd is one of the leading game development companies in India. Focusing on diversified gaming platforms, it has multiple lines of businesses across the gaming ecosystem. It implements all gaming revenue models like freemium (pay-to-play), paid and play-to-earn, where the purchased items and paid upgrades in the game are offered.

Let us know about the evolution of online gaming from 'pay-to-play' to 'play-to-earn'? How is the acceptance of crypto gaming in India?

Traditionally, the gaming models were based on free-to-play, play-to-win, and pay-to-play revenue models, wherein the gameplay is free but additional features may require users to purchase specific items for a monetary price in the game (in-app purchases). Above 80 per cent of the mobile gaming market is driven by user spends and real-money games.

Gaming has come a long way since its inception, and has continuously evolved with time. Play-to-earn business model is the latest development in the games industry allowing gamers to farm or collect cryptocurrency and NFTs that can be sold in the market. This represents a new paradigm in the gaming industry because users are financially compensated for playing games.

With the integration of blockchain technologies, developers started to monetise the games in the most disruptive ways by offering gamers an opportunity to gain financial returns for their gaming skills and time invested. Blockchain technology powers Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies and is at the heart of crypto gaming.

What is the market size of the online and mobile gaming sector in India and particularly the crypto gaming segment? What is the projection in the next few years?

The gaming sector in India is growing faster than most media sub-sectors more than that of over-the-top (OTT), television and social media platforms. As per BCG-Sequoia India report, although the Indian gaming industry is currently smaller than that of the US and China, it is 1 per cent of the global gaming market, and it is turning into a serious business opportunity.

Gaming in India has been catalysed by smartphones, increased internet access, popular titles, influencers, and the global pandemic. Opportunities in this ever-growing gaming industry are immense in India. KPMG report says Indian online gaming market will reach Rs 29,000 crore, and the number of gamers would be 65.7 crore by 2025 from 43.3-crore gamers in 2020-21.

According to a report by Deloitte, India's online gaming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 per cent crossing over $2.8 billion by 2022-23. It further states, Indian mobile gaming industry would reach to $5 billion by 2025.

What is the current number of users on 7Seas gaming platform across the world? Going forward, what is the target ahead?

7Seas gaming platform has more than 1 million user base globally, and with the release of new games such as Treasure King and others into the market, we are targeting 25 million users globally in a time frame of two years. The new games will provide the players with the most entertainment and money for their time.

Let us know about the team. Are you planning to increase the headcount?

There is a rising demand for gaming professionals in this field, from artists to programmers to designers to audio engineers. There are many exciting job roles available, which are not just about playing games but about creating them. Our team comprises of concept artist, game designer, game developer, game modeller/ animator/visual artist and game tester.

7Seas is focusing on new games development with advanced technologies. We are looking at hiring new professionals in various departments and would reach team strength of 50 employees by the end of next financial year. The future of the gaming industry in India is bright thus it is the best time to build a career in this industry!

How many digital entertainment firms in India have crypto games on their platforms? How do you see the competition in the present situation?

Gaming companies and few startups are focusing NFT gaming and are developing their platforms. We need to wait and see the competition and quality of the games which will attract the gamers in near future.

Do you see any hurdles for crypto games in the long term?

Crypto gaming in India is here to stay and will transform the gaming industry. It will be more advantageous for the gamers. Presently in India alone, we have more than 50 million people who play games. This is signalling the market potential of play-to-earn NFT games.

Are you seeking any support from the government?

Both State and Central governments had been encouraging animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVCG) sector and supporting the companies with subsidies and other benefits. Telangana government is building The IMAGE (Innovation in animation, Multimedia, Gaming, and Entertainment) Tower, a one-stop shop for AVCG.

Recently, Central government had announced in the Budget 2022, setting up of a task force with all stakeholders to recommend steps for promotion of the AVCG sector to employ youth and build domestic capacity for serving Indian markets and the global demand. It is a good move to support our industry.

Apart from the above, the government has finally introduced crypto tax regime in Budget 2022. Income from the transfer of any virtual assets will be taxed at 30 per cent. But, it signals that the government will recognise the country's cryptocurrency in near future.

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