Rubix Communities: Play to Earn for the Real World
What if you could earn more simply by supporting local businesses, spending where you normally do, or helping build true web3 alternatives to web2 big tech? In a nutshell that’s Rubix.
We are play to earn for the real world. Engaging, useful and sustainable.
Let’s take it back and start with:
What is Play to Earn?
Play to Earn gaming is a huge trend for web3 and crypto investment. In crypto terms it is where gamers purchase in game assets, either tokens or Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that are integrated into the game environment, and through use help the user to earn more tokens.
From a community point of view, it allows game developers to raise funds to help build their product (in web2 this would be akin to using Kickstarter to raise funds). This is a great use case of crypto and web3 — crowdfunding.
Why is Play to Earn kicking off?
It builds communities. These communities are vocal and engaged.
What better way to sell a game than telling the users that if they play it they will get richer? The key here to remember is that the value of the tokens and NFTs are directly related to the popularity of the game. That is, it is isolated and has increased risks — as has been seen in the case of Axie Infinity.
Note the information here has come from our user research with a number of Axie owners and “scholars” in the Philippines, which accounts for approximately 35% of Axie Infinity traffic.
What happened with Axie Infinity?
Axie is a NFT-based play to earn game where gamers can purchase cute creatures called Axies (about $300 each) and use them to play the game to get rewards. The ultimate goal is to earn more SLP tokens (which stands for “Smooth Love Potion”).
When launched there were three ways to gain SLP.
- Daily Quests — SLP rewards when players engaged daily
- Adventures — SLP rewards when players learnt to use the game itself (like a solo mode)
- Battles — SLP rewards for battling and winning against other players
When the SLP token was $0.30 in July 2021, players in the Philippines were earning nearly a replacement wage, leading to some calling in sick to school or work so that they could play the game all day. These earnings were achievable through both the high token price, and being able to earn through the ‘Adventure’ and ‘Quest’ modes which were relatively open-ended.
It then became clear that the Axie Infinity economics (called tokenomics in crypto) did not work.
All of the players that were earning significant token amounts were actually causing inflation. That means, the act of playing was actually reducing the unit token price, significantly.
That’s an issue. Every user was going backwards.
In response to the issue, Sky Mavis (the owners of Axie Infinity) stopped players earning on the Quests and Adventure games completely.
This was a massive change, meaning that overnight, Axie lost most of its appeal to the average player (these changes and general market weakness means the token price is now approximately 2c, down around 90–95% from its high last year) so earning potential has been fireballed.
The users have been impacted and importantly, community trust was lost.
How did this happen?
Now, the issue with Play to Earn games currently is that they are isolated economies. The only way to earn a token is to play the game. The only way to spend a token is to play the game.
Play to Earn has no real world value in the long term.
Therefore it is reliant on new users coming onboard, buying in game assets, and continuing to invest fiat into the game experience. It is up to the game developers to continually engage and ‘hook’ users to keep the economy going.
The ‘hook’ that Axie had in this instance was not sustainable. The gamers were earning just because the game said they could, and subsequently take it away at short notice.
As an aside, this is where the words Crypto and Decentralized part ways — a topic for another day.
How is Rubix different?
Raising funds for a Play to Earn game is akin to crowdsourcing. It is a great use case for web3, giving users the ability to directly participate in the success of a project, as investors.
At Rubix, we are taking this to the next stage. We are combining the best of web2 and web3 into something different.
Rubix is crowdsourcing time and energy, aligning incentives with those who create the value.
We are building the platform that allows users to earn by lending themselves to real world needs. The amazing thing about this is that real world needs are endless.
Instead of users playing a game within a circular economy, our community members can band together to create real world exports. We call this Contribute to Earn.
The driving force behind Contribute to Earn is to provide real value to the world and redistribute wealth.
Instead of paying money to Facebook for an advertising campaign, we want businesses to reward their community for contributing to their brand, after an action is completed (this is true attribution of marketing spend). SME’s in particular don’t have deep pockets to run generic brand campaigns, via the ‘spray and pray’ methodology.
Instead of using the forever increasing in price Google Maps API, we want businesses to use a crowdsourced POI API (Points of Interest API) that was built by the community. Then the community where the map is situated can benefit from its use, and are incentivised to maintain it in a sustainable way.
Instead of using a web2 survey product, we want businesses to reach out to their community and reward them directly for their input. Instead of paying money to the shareholders of centralised platforms, just redistribute it back to the users who are doing the work.
Across these examples, we are constantly looking for opportunities to return more of big tech, centralized profits back to the users in a sustainable way. It requires a community, it requires trust, and it requires web3.
It’s exceptionally powerful and we (contributors across 8 countries!) are excited that we are building it.
I’ll leave this here for future reference.
Users as Viewers was web1 (little real world utility, shareholder rewards)
Users as Content was web2 (real world utility, shareholder rewards)
Users as Investors is web3 (little real world utility, community rewards) — Crowdfunding
Users as both Content & Investors is Rubix (real world utility, community rewards) — Crowdsourcing