Enthusiasm for Axie Infinity, the once-popular NFT game, is again picking up steam. By no coincidence, interest seems to be coming on the heels of the launch of its new NFT land staking feature and continual upgrades to the Origin battle game mode. The Play-to-earn (P2E) metaverse game saw its NFT (non-fungible token) sales spike to 205% over the last week.
This new (old) level of interest spurred the project’s co-founder, Jeff Zirlin, to take to Twitter where he confirmed that Axie was “healing” due to NFT land staking, the Ronin bridge back up, and marked jump in downloads and NFT sales.
Cryptoslam, the Mark Cuban-backed analytics firm, reported that Axie Infinity made $1.3 million in sales over the last week from over 23,000 buyers—a 205% increase.
Among the causes of this turnaround is the precipitous increase in desire for Axie Infinity Land NFTs following the staking support launch on July 4th. This enables Land holders to earn weekly prizes in the game’s Axie Infinity (AXS) token. As of July 10th, according to the Ronin Chain explorer, over 90% of the 16,794 circulating supply had been staked.
Another cause of increasing interest is the second phase of upgrades to the new game entitled “Origin.” The game is in early access mode before its imminent worldwide launch and gives users the power to collect, trade, and battle others with their gamified Axie monster NFTs. These upgrades claim to have fixed a slew of bugs from the previous iteration, and as of mid-June, the game had 600,000 sign-ups.
Ronin bridge relaunched on June 28th, which also aided in increasing NFT sales volume. As a sidechain constructed for Axie Infinity, Ronin enables users to transfer assets between the game and Ethereum mainnet. The bridge had been out of commission since early spiring after the well-publicized $600 million hack.
The company will roll out content focusing on building the story behind the game’s world, Lunacia. It will partner with the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) Strider to make these adjustments. The Axie Infinity team also announced it launched three new programs to foster community growth. “Lunacian Codes” and “the Creator Program” will reward users for referrals and for creating content. “A fellowship collaboration” gives funding for 200 fellowships as part of the Axie Infinity creator academy.
While it may sound impressive, that tidal wave of growth in the last week only places Axie Infinity as the 18th highest selling NFT project in that timeframe—a fraction of the numbers it saw at the end of last year. In November 2021, Axie Infinity saw $753.9 million in sales while the AXS token hit a record high of $164.90.
As of last month, Axie’s NFT sales totaled only $3.1 million for June, while AXS was down 91% from its all-time high at $14.18. These figures echo what many experts and insiders predicted would be a hard summer for Axie Infinity. However, with the latest upgrades, tweaks, and products announced or already in play, the former NFT gaming giant might have some more fight in it.