Everybody is talking about Axie Infinity and how it is so popular among people that know at least something about cryptocurrencies and NFTs. We see news pop up here and there telling us about how millions of people are playing this game and how the younger generation in developing countries have found this game a better way to support their families. At the same time, the headlines all sound too good to be true. All of these Axie Infinity Scholarship programs supposedly let you earn money without any investment. That’s not how the real world works, is it? Today, we’ll try to demystify the phenomenon of Pay to Earn games in general and Axie Infinity in particular. We’ll talk about how these games came to be, whether you can really earn in them, and whether this is just another financial pyramid scheme.
Axie Infinity was founded in early 2018 by 3 people. The game is inspired by Pokemon and Tamahochi. It consists of thousands of cute, cartoony monsters called “Axies”. And there are 3 things that you can do with them:
- Multiply them
- Play them in battles
- Trade them
Axie Infinity breeding is the process of generating new creatures. They all fall into one of nine categories, which are similar to Pokemon types in that each category has an advantage over another during combat. In addition to categories, each Axie has six of over five hundred possible body parts. Each of these body parts has 3 genes. When two axies are bred, the likelihood that these genes will be passed down to the offspring changes based on the type of gene, with two of them having the same success chance and the third one being the “rare” one. Some physical traits are more desirable than others. This tends to depend on what category the Axie falls into and what build you’re using in combat. The best Axie team has a good mix of these traits or focuses on a single game mechanic.
Axie Infinity The Engine of Progress
The basics of combat are that Axies fight in teams of 3 against teams of other players in the arena or against AI in the adventure mode. Players use an Axie Infinity card to order their creatures to perform various abilities that either protect them from incoming attacks or deal damage. When you win in the arena, you get rewarded with SLP Axie’s own currency. They are required for breeding.
In terms of the backend, this game operates on the Ethereum blockchain. Each creature is an ERC-721 token. Therefore, SLP and Axie Infinity AXS are the brands of ERC-20 tokens. Since April 2021, the brand has moved to a Ronin sidechain, which was created by Sky Mavis (the studio developer of the game) for the sole purpose of hosting the brand. Ronin is centralized and controlled by Sky Mavis. This game’s core philosophy is “Play to Earn NFT”. It is a new kind of model for video games where unlike traditional games that almost always require you to pay money to play it (and sometimes continue to pay in order to continue to play), P2E game actually does the opposite. It pays you for playing it. As you might have guessed, the rewards come in the form of SLP that you earn from playing the game. Plus, you could sell extra Axies and profit from the increase in their current NFT price.
The Innovation That Actually Works
There’s an entry barrier. To start playing, a person must first make the NFT purchase and obtain 3 Axies. What is extremely unique about this game is that it introduces a completely new way of playing any online game by offering something called the Axie Infinity Scholar. And this is where the insane numbers of players come from. You see, if you want to play the game but don’t have the starting capital to get your first team, you can ask existing players to rent out their teams. Therefore, you get access to the game by using someone else’s team, with one catch: you share the rewards. Basically, it means that players can establish a little business of their own where they lease their Axies in exchange for someone else’s time and, more importantly, NFT passive income. Why is it passive? Because in order to make any kind of decent money in this game, you must grind it. With the current prices and the player population, players must play the game for 10 hours a day on average to earn good money. This isn’t a great arrangement as far as jobs are concerned. However, in some countries, such as the Philippines and Venezuela, the prospect of earning a livelihood through playing Axie Infinity is leagues better compared to work opportunities for the teenage population.
The First of Its Name
There are lots of stories out there about young people from these countries being able to support their families and become completely financially independent thanks to this game. And this is no joke. If we look at the Axie Scholar tracker, we can see that more and more people are learning about this opportunity and taking advantage of Axie Infinity being essentially free to play.
At the end of the day, the mistrust that exists in the general media about this game has a lot to do with the struggle of the crypto world to reach mainstream adoption. Axie Infinity is the first project that is becoming increasingly mainstream by smartly mixing NFTs and video games. These two things turned out to combine really well with each other. Every Axie Infinity guide out there is no different from the guide written for something like Heartstone.
In conclusion, this game is by no means a game that will make everyone rich. The SLP price Axie struggles to be around one cent, and the developers are constantly working on stabilizing the economy they created while trying to develop more features for this game. At the same time, this game can wholeheartedly be called a breakthrough as far as successful P2E projects are concerned.