“You could fish, work, run back and forth”

The possibility of making money from games is increasing and is closely related to the technology “NFT”. Wealthy Western investors have previously paid players from countries such as the Philippines to perform menu services in pay-to-earn games. The expert Mikhai Kosser suggests that there is something more to look for.

Who’s talking? Mikhai Kossar speaks. He is part of a group that advises companies on NFT gaming projects. He gives an interview to the Rest of World site (via restofworld).

This is his proposal:

You have people who have money but don’t have time to play a game and you have people who don’t have money but time to play a game. […]

Because labor is cheap in developing countries, you can use people from the Philippines as NPCs, real NPCs, in your games. They could just populate the world, maybe do some work or just run back and forth, fish, tell stories, be a clerk in a store – anything is possible.

Mike Kosar

NPCs are “non-player” characters, they populate a world and give it color. Maybe these MMORPGs would still be alive if they had better NPCs:

5 MMORPGs That Should Have Been WoW Killers But Failed

Investors were already using cheap labor for menial services in games

Is there already something in the direction? We reported on MeinMMO in April 2022 about the German YouTuber “Sw1pe”: In the pay2earn game Axie Infinity, he employed 16 players from the Phillipines, but not as NPCs, but as “farm bots”:

  • You played the game for him, earned the in-game currency, and he then shared his profits with you. Swipe sees itself as a kind of investor who wanted to generate passive income in this way.
  • In return, the German provided them with the expensive pawns they needed to play Axie Infinity at all.
  • It was going well until the “real money value” of the in-game currency in Axie Infinity completely collapsed.

NFT is the new trend in gaming, companies are worth billions of dollars – but why?

The Rest of World post tells a similar story, but in a Minecraft-based NFT game called Critterz. An investor named “Big Chief” used a team of Filipino children to gather materials for a casino, which he then had “professional Minecraft builders” build.

Big Chief saw himself as a benefactor because he does so much for the children of the Philippines by providing them with a secure livelihood:

I have a lot of kids playing for me and they play because they want to make extra money in a country that just keeps them down.


According to Big Chief, members of his guild had to work 8 hours a day. However, he completely rejected the idea that he was an exploiter.

But the in-game currency collapsed in this game as well. Now, Big Chief is said to be annoyed that he can’t do as much for “his kids” anymore:

I’ve treated many of these kids like my own, so it’s kind of sad that I can’t offer them as much anymore. I used to help a lot of the kids by giving them the opportunity to earn some extra money for their families, and now it’s kind of stupid that I can’t do that anymore.


Maybe one day he’ll hire a few just to populate such a virtual world. Instead of cutting stones and driving them to a construction site, they could fish, do any work or walk back and forth.

More on the case of the German YouTubers:

Deutscher Employs 16 “China Farmers” To Edit NFT Game – But Market Collapses

Leave a Comment