Deep Dive
November 17, 2023

Revival of On-Chain Gaming - Part One

Explore the ways how Paid Competitive Gaming revives on-chain gaming

Applying the Lessons Learned

In the previous blog posts, we delved into the major issues that the first wave of on-chain gaming grappled with, aiming to identify the core areas that require improvement before genuine on-chain gaming can flourish.

If you haven't read the previous articles, it's recommended to go through them to acquire the background knowledge necessary for a comprehensive understanding of the distinctions between the first wave of on-chain gaming and the solutions we will discuss in the following paragraphs.

#1 The First Wave of On-Chain Gaming - Recap

#2 Lessons from The First Wave of On-Chain Gaming

Reviving On-Chain Gaming

Following numerous unsuccessful attempts to establish meaningful and enduring games using blockchain technology, the approach toward on-chain gaming has adopted a defensive stance, particularly from the traditional gaming world and players. Learning from the mistakes of predecessors is the optimal strategy to rise above challenges and showcase what high-quality on-chain gaming looks like in the real world.


  • Introducing top-tier paradigm - “Easy to Learn, Hard to Master”
  • Core principle shift - Paid Competitive Gaming
  • Quality competition as the main focus

Studying the Leaders

Examining almost every major competitive sport, one core principle stands out—the simplicity of rules that everyone can quickly understand. Otherwise, introducing competition where fans can't fully grasp the rules would defeat the purpose.

The simplicity of rules makes games extremely easy to learn, even at a young age. However, learning the game is not the same as mastering it. It's the pursuit of game and skill mastery that makes the game enticing for both players and viewers. The never-ending process of pushing the limits keeps everyone engaged and at the edge of their seats, making the game extremely satisfying and emotionally engaging. This is how world-class games are created.

"Easy to learn, hard to master" encapsulates the core concept of every highly successful competitive game, with chess and football serving as prime examples. Chess is incredibly easy to learn, requiring only the memorization of a few different moves that each piece can make; however, mastering the game is an ongoing journey of improvement. The same applies to football, where the basic rules are extremely simple—put a ball into the opponent's net. However, it is the constant improvement, mastery, and unpredictability of football players that make this sport fascinating.

Examining the world of esports with titles like "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" or "League of Legends," we see the same concept—easy to learn and highly approachable learning curves that make the game widely accessible to everyone willing to try themselves in the arena. Yet, mastering such esports titles mirrors the endless journey seen in chess and football—a continuous process of refinement and advancement.

Applying Core Principle

To revolutionize the landscape of on-chain gaming, substantial changes must be introduced to the foundations of on-chain gaming itself. The First Wave of on-chain gaming relied heavily on a well-known Play-to-Earn design that closely resembled core mechanisms found all across the cryptocurrency world, where tokens issued by projects are often inflationary by nature.

The model embraced and thoroughly explored by Elympics is known as Paid Competitive Gaming. This new model can be seen as a novel implementation of the rules from the golden era of gaming, as discussed in the following blog post.

Read the post here - Arcade - Golden Era of Gaming

The Paid Competitive Gaming (PCG) model emerges as the foundational paradigm for the new era of on-chain gaming, drawing in players who value competitive gameplay through thoughtfully crafted monetization mechanisms and incentives aligned with genuine player competitiveness. Grounded in the golden days of gaming, PCG introduces fundamental changes to the core of on-chain gaming, establishing a robust environment where quality competition flourishes.

A pivotal change in this model is the elimination of any Pay-to-Win mechanisms that could disrupt gameplay by influencing the final outcomes. While the Pay-to-Win mechanism is not inherently negative and has found balance in the Free-to-Play game model, PCG ensures that the key principle of competitive gaming remains intact – skill mastery as the sole means to surpass opponents. An example of a balanced Pay-to-Win mechanism could be the implementation of graphical personalization in esports titles, where aesthetic improvements or social flexing do not impact a player's skillset or chances of winning the game.

In contrast to mechanisms relying on cryptocurrency economies that attract mercenary capital, PCG is exclusively focused on skill-based gameplay. This ensures that the only way to gain an advantage is through game mastery and skill proficiency, fostering an environment where everyone plays by the same rules.

Prioritizing Quality

Reviewing the First Wave of on-chain gaming reveals a lack of quality in terms of gameplay or competition. Finding any meaningful quality in that phase is a challenging task. Prioritizing quality is crucial, as a thriving on-chain gaming branch relies on competitive gameplay that attracts players driven by a competitive spirit, not just financial gains, as was predominant in the 2021 on-chain gaming phase.

The Paid Competitive Gaming model, mentioned earlier, tackles this issue by introducing a monetization model exclusively centered around skill-based mechanisms, mirroring the approach taken by world-class games and the entire esports industry. Imagine playing a specific esports title and being rewarded for your game mastery – that's precisely what PCG brings to the table.

In the world of esports, successful titles don't attract massive audiences by distributing tokens to players, as was often the case in previous web3 games. Instead, they provide accessible top-tier competition for anyone eager to test their skills in the arena. However, creating quality competition requires essential elements like Fair Gameplay design, balanced game mechanics, and the absence or careful implementation of an RNG system that enhances one’s skill rather than granting an unfair advantage based on pure luck. Teamfight Tactics, a game by Riot Games who’s known for being the developer of League of Legends, serves as a prime example of a well-crafted RNG system that is constantly being iterated with every in-game season. In this scenario, RNG is a crucial part of the game, but it doesn't dictate victory or defeat for players lacking the necessary skillset to navigate the situation effectively.

Final Words

In conclusion, it's important to emphasize that blockchain games don't represent a drastic shift from traditional games, but rather exist on a spectrum. Integrating blockchain technology into games doesn't necessitate that every aspect has to be fully on-chain or that every game must involve NFT assets. This spectrum allows for flexibility, such as storing match history on-chain while the gameplay itself is hosted on centralized servers, similar to professional esports, or receiving a collectible NFT asset for a victory in a game that is not entirely hosted on the blockchain. Taking it a step further, the evolution of gaming through blockchain technology is so seamless that players may not even notice the type of technology they are using.

This is how on-chain gaming is going to be revived and find its place in the broader gaming world.

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