In addition to being one of the largest play-to-earn (P2E) games available, Axie Infinity is also one of the largest NFT initiatives in the whole community.
Axie Infinity is the most widely used NFT in a major portion of the world. The opportunity to make real money while playing games was one of the offers it made to consumers when it first launched in March 2018.
But Sky Mavis’ Poké-clone has had a difficult few months. The Ronin network hack, which occurred in March 2022 and resulted in the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from the firm’s coffers, has left the company still in shock. Since then, the game has been gradually losing players, which culminated in a huge exodus in June 2022, when more than 1.5 million gamers abandoned it.
Are there any motivations remaining to play what was once the most popular play-to-earn game on the market, given the stacked deck against it? Take a look for yourself. Despite this, Axie Infinity still offers a pretty simple entry point into both P2E gaming and the NFT industry as a whole.
What is Axie Infinity?
In the play-to-earn online game Axie Infinity, players gather, breed, and mint creatures known as Axie before using them in combat.
It operates on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing for simple access for potential participants and reducing transaction delays and costs with the aid of the sidechain Ronin.
The first version of the game had a fighting mechanism called “idle battlers” that was evocative of the mobile game Idle Heroes.
This kind of game is intended to function in the background with little player participation. The game switched to its current system with a December 2019 update, providing players with a richer gaming experience.
The object of the game is to defeat every adversary that your squad of three Axies is up against. A player must carefully choose which cards to play each round to increase their chances of winning.
Each battle makes a player’s allies a little bit stronger. Player-versus-player (PvP) and player-versus-environment (PvE) modes of the game, which pit users against artificially intelligent (AI) foes, respectively, are both made simpler for players to complete with stronger Axies.
The PvP mode in Axie Infinity, like other online games, allows players to improve their matchmaking rating (MMR) with each fight, allowing them to move up the ranked ladder with each victory.
Players may anticipate receiving higher SLP payouts with each victory after passing certain predetermined MMR levels but at the expense of facing more stronger opposition as they advance in the ranks.
Getting started with the game
So, precisely how does Axie Infinity operate? Unlike traditional video games, you must do more than just buy a copy of the game or, in the case of free-to-play games, only download it to get started.
A user must first secure a Ronin wallet, as stated on Sky Mavis’ website. Users may then move on to the next phase, which is to buy Axies, after filling it with ETH.
Axies? What are those?
The focus of the entire game is Axies. Digimon has Digimon, Monster Rancher has whatever this guy is meant to be, and Pokémon has Pokémon. Axies, on the other hand, have a real-world price tag, unlike those other virtual creatures.
This implies that you must purchase a monster rather than having a nice professor give one to you. However, it operates both ways.
Axies may also be bred to sell on the secondary market, perhaps for a sizable sum of money if you’re extremely fortunate. An Axie sold for 300 ETH in November 2020, which at the time on the secondary market was worth much more than $1 million.
Different characteristics of each Axie dictate their function in combat. The four stats that each Axie has are Health, Morale, Skill, and Speed.
The class and body components of an Axie have an impact on its numbers. Axies have classes as well, and each class has strengths or weaknesses against other types, much as how a water Pokémon will excel against a fire type,
You may download the game and begin playing as soon as you have three Axies.
Breaking down SLP and AXS tokens
But not simply Axies themselves may be exchanged for actual money. Additionally, you may exchange the virtual money you earn while playing the game for real money.
By beating other players in PvP mode, players may earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP), an in-game money that exists on the blockchain as a cryptocurrency. This can also be converted into fiat money.
But the Axie Infinity team said in a blog post on August 11 that they were taking SLP out of traditional (v2) gaming and leaving the token for ranked games starting on August 12.
It was then that Origin Season 0 began. As anticipated, as part of Phase 3, we will transfer SLP from Axie Infinity Classic (V2) to Axie Infinity Origin (V3). This indicates that the V2 will entirely stop emitting SLP, according to the company’s blog post.
Expanded powers to balance the SLP economy are a significant advantage of switching from Classic to Origin. As a result, the SLP incentives system with Origin is being adjusted to be in line with that objective.
Players won’t be able to mint SLP during Season 0, which lasts for 30 days, while the team keeps an eye out for issues.
The cryptocurrency used for the game’s governance is called Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). Users have the option to stake these tokens, which grants them advantages like the ability to decide how game patches will proceed in the future.
Staking this currency also gives players the chance to earn additional AXS through interest at the expense of the game locking up their staked money. Fees for breeding and taking part in the game’s economy are also paid using AXS.
The Axie’s homeland
Are you prepared to own a piece of the metaverse? You’re in luck since Axie Infinity allows users to own Land plots that may serve as residences and bases of operations for their Axies.
Genesis, Savannah, Forest, Arctic, and Mystic are the five different types of Land that players may select from, each of which gives a unique set of special goods. While the cost of the plots varies, a rare Genesis Plot sold in November 2021 for 550 ETH, or around $2.48 million.
Utilizing a range of resources and crafting materials, plots may be improved over time. Landowners may also discover AXS tokens on their plots of land, or they may explore resource nodes on the map with the Axies that live there.
Although it may seem exciting, the gameplay for Land is still being actively developed and will be released in stages, thus those Land NFTs are now useless.
1/ Thanks to everyone that tuned into our land development stream today.
We’ve received and reviewed tons of early feedback on the presentation. Your voices have been heard. pic.twitter.com/ezWtfihPa0
— Axie Infinity?? #AxieOrigins (@AxieInfinity) April 11, 2022
Who created Axie Infinity?
Axie Infinity began operations in March 2018—previous to the enormous bull run anticipated for the NFT sector in 2021. Before becoming the crypto-giant it is now, Sky Mavis was first just a gaming concept by Trung Nguyen, a Vietnamese developer.
According to Tech In Asia, Nguyen was inspired to create his own blockchain-based game after falling in love with P2E OG CryptoKitties in 2017.
Nguyen collaborated with a group of friends to make this vision a reality, drawing inspiration from the “sophisticated genetic system seen in CryptoKitties” and the “competitive gameplay of the Pokémon series.”
The game’s beta was finally released in 2018. To scale up the game, Nguyen and his partners later founded Sky Mavis, and the rest is history.
A ‘life-changing’ game
How much money can you make playing Axie Infinity then? Players have claimed to have earned between $8 and $40 a day playing the game at its height.
In a vacuum, Axie Infinity’s P2E structure should provide gamers more fair earning opportunities than the present gaming industry, with the promise of bigger rewards the better you are at the game.
However, to varying degrees, the influence of Axie Infinity on a significant portion of its player base deviates from this ideal.
Given that the Philippines is home to more than 40% of Axie Infinity’s player base, what better market to study there?
Sky Mavis claims that the popularity of the game grew swiftly in the area due to “high English proficiency, a thriving gaming culture, and extensive smartphone usage.” While these elements likely contributed to the game’s appeal in the country of Southeast Asia, they leave out the game’s main draw: money.
Axie Infinity appeared to be the ideal opportunity for many to augment their monthly income in developing countries like the Philippines, where the average household yearly income seldom exceeds the five-digit threshold when translated to USD.
As a result, according to a Finder study from November 2021, Axie Infinity and NFTs as a whole experienced an explosive rise in popularity across the nation.
Early game adopters from the Philippines got to see the P2E format’s full potential during the bull run that the cryptocurrency and NFT industries saw in 2021. In a report published in November 2021 on CNN Philippines, the majority of the interviewees expressed optimism.
Local players were able to enjoy some additional pocket money to spend on snacks at least — and a life-changing cash opportunity at best, since 1 SLP was worth around 3 Philippine pesos (5 cents for Americans) at the time.
Even gamers who couldn’t afford to buy their Axies outright were allowed to make money through the game via a “scholarship” mechanism by more affluent users. Through this method, Axie owners may rent out their Axies to certain people, and they can get paid for these rentals using a portion of the SLP that the renter makes while using their Axie.
Though in principle an excellent concept, this system left Axie Infinity academics in a terrible financial situation (and frankly burned out, to put it lightly).
In 2022, the crypto and NFT markets entered a bear market, and academics began to lose interest as a result.
An unhappy former participant even talked with TIME Magazine about his experience, openly denouncing the game and advising others to avoid it.
The Ronin Network hack
The Ronin Network suffered a hacking loss of $615 million in March 2022. The last two high-value transfers on the network were fraudulent withdrawals for 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC after Ronin’s bridge was placed on hold following the attack.
According to an FBI study, the Lazarus Group and APT38 cyber cabals were in charge of stealing the funds and using them to support the North Korean government.
The Block claims that the multi-million dollar loss was caused by a bogus LinkedIn job ad, which tricked an Axie Infinity senior engineer into applying for a position at a business that didn’t exist.
The engineer received an offer in the form of a PDF after several rounds of interviews, which they downloaded, “enabling malware to infect Ronin’s systems.”
The Sky Mavis team said that as of June 2022, the Ronin Network has been entirely restored, and all users have been “made whole.”
What’s next for Axie Infinity?
⚔️Origin Season 0⚔️ is here!
This marks the transition into Origin Phase 3 ?️
Phase 3 comes with a variety of important gameplay and economic updates so make sure to review the article carefully.
?: https://t.co/xuUu9IcxeZ pic.twitter.com/vyS5U2Uw6e
— Axie Infinity?? #AxieOrigins (@AxieInfinity) August 12, 2022
Axie Infinity: Origin, a far more user-friendly version of the game that was approaching early access in April 2022, was announced by Sky Mavis just a few weeks after the multi-million dollar breach of Axie Infinity.
The goal of this experience was to provide both new and veteran Axie Infinity players the chance to continue playing the game as the team worked to make up for the losses sustained during the hack.
Axies are now distributed for free to new players, therefore making the game free to play, in addition to several gameplay changes designed to make it a “faster, more dynamic experience.”
The start of Origin Season 0 and the entry into Origin Phase 3 was announced by the firm on August 11.
As was already noted, the adjustments brought about by Season 0 include the addition of SLP prizes to Origin’s ranked gaming option and their full removal from Classic.
The team also included Runes and Charms, which can be minted onto Ronin through the Market and cost SLP and Moon Shards to produce. The company’s Substack has a complete list of all the changes.
With Axie Infinity: Origin Season 0 already underway and Season 1 soon, we should be able to get a good idea of the game’s long-term viability. This is because the game’s unique P2E functionality isn’t included in the early access version.
There is no reason why Axie Infinity can’t succeed in the same way as Neopets, which is still popular today despite being rife with cheats.