Cover image
JAN 18, 2024

Redefining Gaming's Token Distribution

by Nova Research


The year 2023 has been a watershed moment for the blockchain gaming industry, not only for witnessing an unprecedented influx of over $750 million in funding rounds but also for the emergence of groundbreaking gaming infrastructure and titles such as XAI and BigTime. This surge of interest and investment has catalyzed a profound transformation within the gaming community: a shift from viewing players as mere enthusiasts to recognizing them as essential stakeholders. At the heart of this evolution is the burgeoning Play-to-Airdrop model. Seamlessly merging the passion for gaming with a robust ecosystem of testing, feedback, and community-building, this model is reshaping the landscape of digital gaming. As it rewards community loyalty, attracts fresh talent, and strategically distributes tokens, the Play-to-Airdrop approach is setting the stage to become the new marketing standard, intertwining the threads of NFTs and cryptocurrency with the very fabric of video gaming.

The Genesis of Gamer Rewards

Historically, gamers have devoted countless hours to their favorite digital worlds out of sheer passion and love for the game. They engage in early testing, offer valuable feedback, and foster vibrant communities. These players organize and partake in various social events, guild activities, and competitive tournaments, enriching the gaming experience for all involved. Yet, more often than not, the fruits of these communal labors have traditionally accrued to industry giants, leaving the actual players with little more than in-game achievements.
Web3, however, is rewriting this narrative. In this new era, every dungeon conquered and every quest completed can potentially yield real-world value for the players themselves. Gamers are now stakeholders, incentivized to engage and contribute to the game's ecosystem actively. This symbiotic relationship between player contributions and tangible rewards has birthed the Play-to-Earn model, laying the groundwork for its more targeted offspring — Play-to-Airdrop.

Defining Play-to-Airdrop

Play-to-Airdrop takes the Play-to-Earn concept a step further. It's a targeted token distribution strategy aimed at galvanizing the launch of a game's cryptocurrency. This innovative approach ensures that tokens are not just thrown into the open market but are earned by players through their in-game achievements and activities.
In Web3 games, the opportunity to win, earn, and own digital assets is not just a perk but a central component of the game's economy. Rewards are not randomly scattered; they are earned through dedication and skill. Players who commit time to farming, crafting, and leveling up within the game are acknowledged and compensated with eligibility for airdrops. This merit-based system not only jumpstarts the game economy but also lays the foundation for robust Play-to-Earn and Play-to-Airdrop mechanisms.
The Industry's New Meta
The gaming industry is witnessing an unprecedented surge in Web3 game launches and technological advancements. As market conditions mature, more games are unveiling their plans to launch tokens. However, the traditional token launch strategies employed by other crypto protocols may not cut it for game studios.
Creative game studios are leveraging Play-to-Airdrop to carve out a dedicated niche in the Web3 sphere. These events and the promise of token launches have proven effective in attracting and retaining players. The excitement of potentially earning tokens, NFTs, and other in-game content keeps players engaged and provides developers with invaluable feedback.
However, it's not all smooth sailing. The success of a Play-to-Airdrop campaign is not guaranteed for every project. It's often the most hyped or well-funded games that capture the lion's share of attention. Moreover, a Play-to-Airdrop event must be carefully structured; it should enrich the gaming experience, not overshadow it.

Success Stories and Ones to Watch

Several games have already reaped the benefits of implementing Play-to-Airdrop strategies. For instance, certain pixelated farming games have seen user numbers and engagement skyrocket following the announcement of token rewards for top players.


Pixels, a leading social-casual MMO with over 100k Daily Active Wallets, skillfully executes its P2A 2.0 campaign, blending rewards for experienced players with opportunities for newcomers. The campaign promotes $PIXEL, the game's governance token, aligning player activities with community growth. After successfully distributing $BERRY, the game's utility token, in its first airdrop, Pixels now ensures inclusivity in its second airdrop. The leaderboard highlights the top 7,000 players for the $PIXEL airdrop but also introduces a chance mechanism, allowing 1,000 players, including NFT landowners new to the game, to qualify for $PIXEL by surpassing a score of 3,000. This inclusive and innovative approach incentivizes dedication and offers a fair chance to all, making the P2A 2.0 campaign a balanced and engaging initiative for the entire Pixels community.

Nifty Island

Nifty Island, a metaverse platform enabling users to craft unique spaces like games, social hubs, or NFT galleries, is launching a significant Play-to-Airdrop (P2A) campaign for their ISLAND token on January 17. This initiative rewards players with ISLAND tokens for active participation, offering additional bonuses to NFT holders, especially those with Nifty Island Palms, for an earnings boost.
Key features of the P2A campaign include:
  • Collector Tiers: Earnings are tied to Collector Tiers, determined by players' NFT holdings, with special modifiers for partner NFTs based on floor price.
  • Legendary Palms & Tier Boosting: Legendary Palms are exclusive assets during P2A, elevating players' Collector Tiers. These can be won through quests or purchased.
  • Quests & Engagement: A variety of quests, open to all or specific partner communities, provide chances to win Legendary Palms and progress through tiers.
  • Security & Fair Play: A strict policy against cheating ensures a fair P2A experience, with emphasis on interaction only through official Nifty Island URLs to maintain security.


The third-person arena shooter Farcana is set to launch a Play-to-Airdrop campaign for its FAR token. Players are required to actively engage in the game and fulfill specific missions to qualify for the FAR token airdrop. These missions are designed as social quests, encompassing activities such as creating accounts and making social media posts. The amount of FAR tokens earned will be directly proportional to the effort and commitment players invest in these quests. Detailed information about the quests and their requirements is available here.


Saga is an emerging gaming-centric network, aiming to redefine the crypto gaming landscape. With a focus on enabling developers to launch their own blockchain-based games, Saga emphasizes scalability and user engagement, offering a unique infrastructure for a new era of gaming.
Currently, Saga is capturing attention with its play-to-airdrop campaign, designed to integrate users into its ecosystem ahead of its mainnet launch. This campaign rewards players with potential SAGA tokens for engaging in games on Saga's testnet, incentivizing participation through a series of gaming competitions and social quests.


Apeiron, an original NFT game—billed as a hybrid of the “god game” genre and “roguelite” games with card-battling elements—launched its “play-to-airdrop” campaign on Tuesday, offering players in-game incentives that can lead to earning ANIMA tokens in the future.
Players can garner airdrop points by engaging in various activities within Apeiron's current battle demo, including ascending the in-game leaderboards, completing daily quests, engaging with social media, minting and owning NFTs, and participating in the closed beta test. These accumulated points are set to transform into ANIMA tokens during the token generation event (TGE) scheduled for February.
Apeiron's airdrop campaign is inclusive, welcoming both seasoned and new players. The game is accessible through the Epic Games Store and Mavis Hub, marking its position as the first third-party IP launched on the latter platform, aside from titles related to Axie Infinity.


The Play-to-Airdrop model is set to redefine the engagement strategies of the Web3 gaming world. As the market conditions evolve, we're likely to see a surge in games adopting this approach, each vying for the attention of a growing, game-hungry audience. The key to success in this new arena will be a harmonious blend of incentivization and captivating gameplay. For players, the draw is clear: the chance to play not just for fun, but for potential gain. For developers, the challenge will be to balance these incentives to cultivate a lasting and deeply engaged community. The game has changed; welcome to the era of Play-to-Airdrop.
At NovaResearch, we anticipate the emergence of more groundbreaking applications as developers begin to explore and leverage SPL20 inscriptions. Although we are witnessing just the nascent stage of this technology, its potential to revolutionize the digital asset landscape is undeniable and highly anticipated.
🌐 Website — ✖️ X — 🤖Discord- 🎯Zealy- 📊Dashboards
⚠️ Disclaimer ⚠️ : Nova Research is an independent research entity and is not affiliated with any organizations mentioned in this article. This report is not a paid promotion or endorsement and is conducted solely for research and informational purposes. Nova Research maintains strict adherence to its core principles of impartiality and independence in providing insights and analysis. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and due diligence before making any investment decisions or engaging with the mentioned entities.
To comment, please sign in.
Article has no comments yet.