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Build NFT-Based "Play-to-Earn" Games Using Unreal Engine

By: John Bailey


The gaming industry never remains stagnant, as cutting-edge tech developments are constantly disrupting this sector and elevating it to levels beyond our wildest imagination. This results in maximized engagement for the game-playing community and a staggering number of game developers that need to up the ante if they are going to create a game that keeps audiences engaged and wanting more.

But this could possibly beg a bigger question at hand – what more could a gamer possibly want from their game other than what is already readily available to the masses?

Well, think about what people, and not just gamers, want more than anything. What do people strive to obtain more of each day through hard work and dedication than any other tangible item in the world?

That’s right, you guessed it – money!

So, to answer the question from before, the opportunity to make money through gameplay would sound a whole lot better than perhaps winning a custom banana clip magazine on their AK 47 during their first POV shooter game.

But where would these money-hungry gamers find such a game? Well, luckily for you readers, we have all the answers to those questions right here.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into how to build ‘play-to-earn’ games, more information about NFTs, and why using Unreal Engine is the best gaming engine to use when building these types of gaming environments.

But don’t get too excited yet! Before we dive into what these games are like in their entirety, first we’ll discuss the technology that goes behind creating these immersive, ‘play-to-earn’ gaming experiences.

The Blockchain World Takeover is Here

Blockchain World Takeover is Here

Blockchain-based solutions are the latest technological trend to take the world of gaming by storm. Changing the way games are both developed and played, this form of ledger technology is helping to create a reliable and transparent gaming environment.

By making decentralization one of its core competencies, blockchain continuously improves data reconciliation, preserves vital records, and enhances gamer autonomy.

Crucially, this facilitates a secure gaming framework for players that use their own money to pay for in-game assets. This has helped popularize Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and accelerate the rise of NFT gaming.

Through the way it safeguards in-game assets and enables individual digital ownership, reliable blockchain technology provides gaming developers with a new way to monetize their games.

The Game is Changing

For many modern gamers, the blockchain-based ‘play-to-earn’ gaming model is considered the lifeblood of the Metaverse gaming infrastructure. It allows players to engage in profitable activities while playing games and exploring virtual worlds.

Players of Splinterlands can earn up to $4 per hour – that’s not a bad wage for having fun!

With this money that they earn, gamers want the ability to purchase virtual goods without having to worry about their private financial details falling into the wrong hands.

They also want to take their gaming endeavors to the next level by experiencing real-world excitement whenever they play their favorite games.

NFT gaming meets both of these consumer demands and much more. Since being greenlit by Epic Games and integrated into its downloadable roster, several blockchain-based NFT games have massively increased their stock.

Games such as CryptoKitties and Axie Infinity are currently proving popular because they go beyond providing in-game satisfaction. They allow players to own and trade digital assets safely. Despite not being tangible, these digitized items still hold significant financial value.

This has given way to a whole new currency market, one that aligns itself perfectly with the uber-popular Crypto-Metaverse movement. As players buy, trade, and sell their assets, they feel they are investing in something worthwhile rather than just being charged to play. Obtaining a rare NFT asset is more than a mere gaming goal – it has the potential to be a solid form of income.

Arise, Unreal Engine NFT

Arise, Unreal Engine NFT

‘Play-to-earn’ gaming has recently enjoyed real traction among the game-playing community, and this burgeoning trend isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. To capitalize on the popularity that this innovative form of gaming is currently enjoying, game developers are now rushing to roll out their very own non-fungible tokens.

There is tremendous scope for NFT marketplace development. However, building and integrating in-game tokens via code plug-ins does pose several challenges. Ownership issues, royalty payments, copyright violations, data pack usage, and graphic design costs are just a few of the issues that NFT developers are currently facing.

To circumvent these problems, it’s essential that game enablers opt to build their ‘play-to-earn’ platforms using a robust and reputable creation engine. Unreal Engine more than fits the bill in this instance. Since its inception in 1998, this powerful source-available software has helped thousands of enablers – in a wide range of niche media fields – to optimize their middleware development process.

To find out why Unreal Engine is the perfect platform to create NFT-based ‘play-to-earn’ games, be sure to read on.

Gaming and the Crypto Metaverse – A Match Made in Heaven, Powered by Unreal Engine NFT

The convergence of gaming technology with the crypto Metaverse isn’t just a fleeting trend – it’s a seismic shift towards a new era of autonomous gameplay. Leading tech organizations across the globe are now trying to tokenize their in-game assets mainly because this allows them to align themselves with today’s decentralized gaming sector.

This meets current Metaverse gamer specifications as it provides the user with complete control over their in-game objects. These objects include tokens, cards, skins, and weapons.

In-game purchase solutions help forge a deeper connection between the user, the games they play, and the virtual currencies they use. As they buy, collect, trade, and grow their catalog of in-game goods, the user begins to feel far more integrated into the virtual Metaverse realms that they roam. No matter what digital objects they choose to purchase, a sense of belonging is generated whenever users spend their non-fungible tokens.

Just as it is in the real world, in-game value is driven by human emotion. Individual passions and ideals govern how certain gamers feel about certain digital assets. This then impacts the monetary value of virtual goods because the more sought after an in-game product becomes, the more worthwhile it is deemed and, in turn, the higher its price rises.

What is it Metaverse gamers value specifically?

Unreal Engine is used by multiple verticals across an extensive range of media sectors, which means it is fine-tuned to meet these niche audience demands. Whether they need to create graphics, augmented reality, high-fidelity tasks, visualized cities, or NFT game development services, middleware game enablers can rely on UE to power their Metaverse engineering process.

Gaming/crypto convergence is not a new concept for Unreal Engine; Quantum Works and Illuvium are two ‘play-to-earn’ gaming platforms currently enabled by this efficient creation suite. The fact that blockchain-based assets like Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana are now readily available on the Unreal Engine store only helps to establish this platform’s shift towards decentralized gaming.

Why Use Unreal Engine?

There is a plethora of reasons why Unreal Engine is ideally suited to NFT marketplace development. Here are a few reasons just to name a few:


Customizability is one of Unreal Engine’s standout benefits. Modern UE-based platforms enable users to access tailor-made virtual products, collectibles, and game rewards. The deeper gamers dive into their unique virtual worlds, the more incentive they have to carry on purchasing in-game assets.

This is excellent news for developers. It helps them to create cutting-edge Metaverse eco-systems capable of resonating with their paying consumer audience.

Epic’s Horizon Worlds underscores this level of customization and the critical role it plays within the Metaverse. Soon to be released on Unreal Engine 5, this NFT-based platform allows players to be whomever they wish to be upon entering the virtual world. This allows them to lead a ‘second life’ in which their NFTs hold real, almost tangible value.


More importantly for ‘play-to-earn’ gamers, Unreal Engine helps to streamline the taxation process. As is the case with all forms of cryptocurrency, ‘play-to-earn’ gamers must declare their earnings with the taxman. UE successfully manages to convert transactions into tax tokens thanks to its seamless integration of custom-made wallets.


No matter how or even if they choose to spend their non-fungible tokens, above all else, gamers want an immersive gaming experience. They want a level of game-play quality befitting of today’s most powerful consoles. Unreal Engine is robust enough to meet this consumer specification.

When they use UE, Metaverse development teams are afforded the chance to achieve visual fidelity that mimics the movie-going experience. Only this time, the user is the protagonist and they’re spending their own virtual currency!


Is UE easy to use? Absolutely! You don’t necessarily need to have any prior experience using Unreal Engine to optimize your usage of this 3D creation tool. This robust platform becomes easier for novice UE users to understand and utilize with each new installment.

The latest UE incarnation, Unreal Engine 5, makes next-gen, NFT-based content creation viable for all. Once enrolled on the official UE5 Early Access Quickstart course, burgeoning developers learn how to explore this platform, how to execute its best practices, and ultimately how to get started on your first project.

This program teaches users to:

The Bottom Line: Why Gaming Developers Should Use Unreal Engine to Create NFT-Based “Play-to-Earn” Games

Why Gaming Developers Should Use Unreal Engine to Create NFT-Based 'Play-to-Earn' Games

All in all, Unreal Engine is one of the most powerful gaming engines on the market, equipped with a complete suite of gaming development tools that provide game creators across all industries with the freedom, control, and opportunity to deliver cutting-edge, highly immersive, and super realistic virtual worlds.

If you’re looking to create the next big NFT-based game that will blow players away not just through the gameplay, but by placing extra cash in their pockets, then leveraging Unreal Engine is your best bet. Hiring a professional team of game developers is also the smartest play if you want to achieve the best results possible in the shortest amount of time.


Chetu, Inc. does not affect the opinion of this article. Any mention of specific names for software, companies or individuals does not constitute an endorsement from either party unless otherwise specified. All case studies and blogs are written with the full cooperation, knowledge and participation of the individuals mentioned. This blog should not be construed as legal advice.

Chetu was incorporated in 2000 and is headquartered in Florida. We deliver World-Class Software Development Solutions serving entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 clients. Our services include process and systems design, package implementation, custom development, business intelligence and reporting, systems integration, as well as testing, maintenance and support. Chetu's expertise spans across the entire IT spectrum.

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