The play-to-earn game, Axie Infinity, has caught the blockchain community’s attention in the past few months. The price of its governance token has kept rising, now it has hit an all-time high and players are earning some serious money.
Axie Infinity, the cute NFT pet game currently rakes in more protocol revenue than Ethereum and Bitcoin, and more than the next 11 top-ranking dApps – that is, Uniswap, PancakeSwap, Aave, Compound, SushiSwap, QuickSwap, MetaMask, Lido Finance, MakerDAO, and Synthetix – combined!
In this blog, we’re going to give an overview of this attention-grabbing blockchain game. Let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
Before overviewing the game mechanics, let’s understand how it’s related to blockchain in the first place. Each Axie is a non-fungible token NFT, existing on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC721 standard.
Axie Infinity is essentially an evolution of the popular CryptoKitties game and more. While in CryptoKitties all you could do was own and admire them, in Axie Infinity, you can do so much more.
Axie Infinity began life on Ethereum but migrated to the Ronin sidechain in May 2021, which piqued people’s interest in the game. With almost half a million daily active users and an estimated 60% of those coming from the Philippines, Axie is exploding.
Basic Game Mechanics of Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is not an easy game to play. Nor is it simple to cash out your in-game earnings.
It’s a part of the emerging play-to-earn movement, where players of blockchain games can earn yield in the form of tokens or other rewards. Those rewards can be used in-game, or they can be traded on an open market if the player chooses. The latter option represents an important shift in the gaming world because traditionally in-game assets were confined to the centralized protocol from where they came, unable to be moved off the platform.
There are four main things that you can do with your Axies:
- Level up and train them
- Breed them
- Battle with them
- Trade them
Players need three Axies to play the game, each of which is a unique NFT. When players battle Axies, they are rewarded with a token known as SLP — Small Love Potion — which is required to breed further Axies, an essential part of the game.
Some of the pets you will find in Axie Infinity
Players can liquidate SLP into either Ether or Tether, or transfer it directly to other players. SLPs also surged this month, reaching an all-time high of $0.4003 on July 13, according to data from CoinMarketCap, which also contributed to an increase in players’ income.
Leveling Up and Training Your Axies
One major part of addictive video games is leveling up!
Axie Infinity sticks to this basic model, but with a twist: instead of evolving the whole Axie, you can evolve specific body parts instead, which adds new moves to its arsenal and increases its overall stats.
The different types of body parts and their rarity
Let’s take a look at some statistics now!
Axie and the Market
The game has gathered a huge following in countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, and India, where crypto coins earned by playing the game go much further than they would in a wealthy country.
- The most expensive Axie sold was transacted in November 2020 for 300ETH, worth about $130,000 at the time, but it adds up to more than $600,000 in today’s market!
- It also featured one of the earliest high-profile NFT sales amid the craze earlier in 2021, when an NFT of a plot of land in the game sold for 888.2 ETH in Feb, $1.5 million at the time.
- AXS currently has a market cap of ~$977,474,089.
- With the game’s rising popularity and expensive transaction fees on the Ethereum network, the price to get into Axie has increased significantly. In mid-2020, it cost just $5 to buy a team of three Axies. Today, a decent team will set you back around $1,000.
The basic framework that Axie Infinity is following is nothing new, but it is proven. With a few twists to the good-old Pokémon model and integrating it with blockchain, Axie Infinity has created a fun and captivating game that is the first of its kind on the blockchain.
In particular, the launch of Axie Infinity’s mobile app is something to look forward to. Still, in its early stages, its future developments could propel this game into a full social experience that has the potential to go viral.
From a broader perspective, it will be interesting to see how this and other blockchain games fare as cryptocurrencies continue to mature.
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