Web 3.0 education could be the next big focus for the blockchain gaming industry amid dwindling earnings and a crypto winter, industry participants told Forkast.

Yield Guild Games (YGG), a pioneer of gaming guilds in the Philippines, is working to upskill their gamers as they are earning considerably less than before from play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity, its co-founder Gabby Dizon said.

Speaking to Forkast at the IVS Crypto conference in Okinawa, Japan, Dizon said YGG is focusing on educating their gamers “so that they’re not just reliant on scholarships as a form to earn money.”

“We’re looking for people that are willing to learn first,” Dizon said. “People are turning full-time in different ways,” he added. “Some of them are content creators. Some of them become scholarship managers. Others become writers, streamers or e-sports players.”

YGG operates some of the most active game guilds for play-to-earn games — a community where players and in-game asset owners agree to split the profits.

Since its establishment in 2020, YGG has offered so-called scholarships, essentially in-game asset lending programs, to many unbanked and underbanked people throughout Southeast Asia, allowing them to earn anywhere between US$300 to even upwards of US$1,000 a month in a play-to-earn game. 

In Axie Infinity, players need to hold at least three “Axies” to start playing, a practice many cannot afford in developing countries. That’s where YGG comes in with their scholarships, lending out such in-game assets to players.

“We do a revenue split of any value earned in the game with 70% going to the player, 20% going to their community manager, and 10% to YGG,” Dizon said.

However, as the crypto industry steps into what many call a crypto winter, coupled with a hack Axie Infinity faced in March, players are earning a lot less given the shrinking asset value. The price of Axie Infinity’s in-game currency, known as Smooth Love Potion, or SLP, once stood at US$0.3462 in July 2021, but traded at US$0.0040 in late evening trade in Asia, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

See related article: Axie Infinity’s latest fix to tokenomics has players up in arms

Albert Takagi, Axie Infinity’s Japan Ambassador, told Forkast that a third of the Filipino gamers in a guild he owns have left for other day jobs, and most of the remaining players no longer play full-time.

“One scholar is probably only making about US$30 to US$60 per month now compared to many months ago, when one scholar used to make about US$300 to US$500,” Takagi said.

“At this point, I know they don’t really make much money, so I adjusted the revenue with 80% going to the scholars and 20% to myself,” Takagi added. He used to take 40% of the revenue share.

“From one player, I’m probably making US$1 or $2 now,” he said. “It’s not about the money at this point. I just want my scholars to be happy and have a great experience from playing Axie.”

As a result, Web 3.0 education is something YGG is focusing on lately to get their players to do something more than play. Dizon said Luis Buenaventura, Country Manager for the Philippines, has released a series of Web 3.0 tutorials on Nas Academy, an online course platform founded by vlogger sensation Nuseir Yassin.

Dizon added YGG is mulling a “big partnership” with Nas Academy on crypto education, which the gaming guild plans to announce within the next four to six weeks.

Hong Kong-based blockchain venture capital firm Animoca Brands is also betting big on education amid the crypto winter. Last month, Animoca acquired TinyTap, a platform for user-generated educational content, where educators can create and distribute interactive content while earning a usage-based revenue share.

Gen Kanai, Animoca’s director of strategic partnerships, told Forkast that some of the company’s most successful investments were made during the previous crypto winter.

See related article: Play to live: GameFi drives a Southeast Asian crush on crypto