- While guilds have been a longtime phenomenon in the traditional gaming world, the reign of Web3 gaming guilds has gained traction amongst investors, managers, and players looking for supplemental income.
- Web3 gaming guilds represent an opportunity in a sub-section of the GameFi world, bringing together users in ways that foster socialization and communal earning - with the intention to mimic learnings and best practices from Esports' success.
- Guilds can help gamers navigate the high barriers to entry for blockchain-based play-to-earn games. Guild-gamer geolocation hotspots include the Philippines and South America.
- Until recently, blockchain gaming revolved around play-to-earn models, which many Web2 gamers found unappealing. Taking note, promising Web3 games like BFGioStone and Shrapnel have emerged with a focus on gameplay, lore, and leveraging NFTs while removing technical barriers to entry.
- YGG's Head of Partnerships, Sarutobi Sasuke, comments on the rumors around P2E's demise, "the rumors of my death have been much exaggerated."
Gaming guilds can help gamers overcome entry barriers to blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) games by creating communities that can pool together the costs of entry while presenting several other opportunities for investors.
The evolution of guilds from MMOs to blockchain-based P2E games
The concept of a guild, of course, isn't new. Guilds have been integral to gaming for decades, particularly in massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). They are loosely defined as groups of people playing a game together and forming their community.
While that definition may seem generic, its specific use cases have expanded in a number of ways. Gaming guilds are not solely built around communal play but also include communities working together to build virtual economies, trade routes, tech, and other social and financial systems.
P2E gaming, as part of the GameFi sector, has created an intriguing use case for guilds.
Consider how the first blockchain-based guild was started: Gabby Dizon, the founder of Yield Guild Games, recognized the high barrier of entry to P2E games like the wildly popular Axie Infinity. He noticed the game's popularity and decided to rent out his avatars, known as Axies, with a process he called scholarships.
The income Dizon generated from renting the Axies out was shared within the community of people he amassed, an eclectic mix of scholars, community managers, and other members.
Without fully realizing it, the first crypto gaming guild was born, providing interested folks access to P2E games (in this case, Axie Infinity) while bypassing the need for upfront capital.
How P2E gaming guilds work
Crypto gaming guilds are composed of investors, gamers, and managers who buy assets in the game — typically NFTs, ranging from virtual land to avatars or even wearables — then rent those assets out to the rest of the guild.
While such communities start small, a few have quickly grown to include hundreds or even thousands of players. That scale is possible in part because guilds make the metaverse economy more accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they can afford a game-based NFT or not.
As such, guilds can more easily onboard curious gamers into virtual economies they otherwise wouldn’t have the funds to join.
What’s more, those newcomers can earn from their experience in the guild — they get a percentage of the profits. As the guild generates more money, revenue is also distributed to the further development of the community as a whole.
Sure, this system has historically been most attractive to gamers who can’t afford to enter the world of P2E gaming without a helping hand, but how do guilds deal with fall off?
One way guilds can help limit that user leakage is by using part of their “rent” revenue to invest in the Web3 projects being supported or even created by their community — contributing to the overall health of the guild’s ecosystem and the benefit of the individual users while fostering a greater sense of community.
While some guilds split the profit 50-50 between players and guild owners, most follow the YGG model and split 10% to the guild as rent, 20% to the community managers, and 70% of the income to the scholars/actual players.
Exploring the top guilds in blockchain gaming
Dizon’s creation, Yield Guild Games, is a P2E guild that buys NFT assets on a number of different blockchain-based games in the metaverse, such as land in The Sandbox or League of Kingdoms … and, of course, accrues lots of Axies.
Within the guild, community managers recruit and train almost 5,000 members, often people distributed in various countries across the world. After buying the assets, they rent them out to their player base.
Then, as the guild generates money through the play of its members, it is collected and redistributed throughout the guild: Approximately 70% to the player, 20% to the community managers, and 10% to YGG.
Merit Circle, another notable crypto gaming guild, uses a decentralized autonomous organizational structure. The platform is similar to YGG, but it goes a step further to provide educational materials to gamers starting in the crypto gaming world while giving gamers a 70% of their earnings.
Gamers in Merit Circle can influence the governance of the guild, with voting privileges going to those who hold “MC Tokens.” They can also stake the token, earning money for providing liquidity, as well as receive other lucrative rewards for participating in the community.
The company is comprised of four verticals, Merit Circle Investments, Studios, Gaming, and Marketplace, which, when combined, creates a robust ecosystem for gamers.
Some other notable guilds include Avocado DAO, UniX Gaming, Good Games Guild, GuildFi, PathDAO, BlackPool, and Play It Forward DAO.
The opportunity posed by gaming guilds
Guilds provide a way to ease in to the world of P2E through Web3 gaming. Novices can explore and onboard into the world of cryptocurrency while generating income from what they love to do. Guilds also attract crypto gamers who want to benefit even more from being involved as community managers or buy in as guild owners and organizers.
In non-crypto games such as League of Legends, winning teams can score millions in payouts. Crypto gaming guilds take that monetization principle a step forward by democratizing the payouts, making it possible for even those early in their web3 journey to make money from playing.
Joining a Guild
There are a number of ways you can get started, but almost all of them begin with simply engaging with Web3 sub-communities.
Gamers can start by exploring the websites or social platforms, such as Discord, operated by the gaming guild they would like to learn more about (and potentially join). This is a great space to start interacting directly with community managers, who can show you how to get more involved.
Guilds pose a good opportunity for people interested in NFTs and gaming to get a crash course in crypto. Some guilds, like Unix Gaming, offer additional educational materials and a community of knowledgeable individuals that can help metaverse-curious players more easily find their path.