Michaël van de Poppe - 23 March 2022
Axie Infinity: The most popular play-to-earn game is getting an update
written by Tristan Thieme
Axie Infinity is the most popular play-to-earn game. The Axie Infinity universe is filled with NFT-based creatures called Axies, that players can collect as pets. Players aim to battle, breed, collect, raise, and build kingdoms for their Axies. What makes all of this so special? Players can truly own, buy, sell, and trade resources they earn in the game through skilled gameplay and contributions to the ecosystem. Axie infinity has an in-game economy consisting of these Axies NFTs and two tokens: AXS and SLP.
Axie Infinity metrics
Axie Infinity’s AXS token has surged to a peak market cap of over $10 billion in November 2021 and has been one of the best-performing tokens of 2021. Users can buy Axies with the AXS token. The game was especially popular in south-east Asian countries whose tourism sectors were affected by the pandemic, with around 35% of Axie Infinity’s traffic coming from the Philippines. Some players in the Philippines were earning more from the game than their previous job.
According to Token Terminal, Axie Infinity’s total revenue peaked at around $17.5 million in a single day on the 6th of August. This revenue is made up of breeding Axies, pre-sales, and marketplace fees paid by players. The total daily revenue has been dropping substantially since the end of 2021 as the hype around the project faded away, as well as the rest of the crypto market dropping. SLP’s bad tokenomics have also contributed to the game’s recent decline.
Axie’s SLP token
Users that battle with their Axies earn “Smooth Love Potion” ($SLP) tokens, which can be sold for other cryptocurrencies or cash. The high-inflation tokenomics of SLP led many users to sell their tokens, as there was little incentive to buy the token. SLP has lost around 93% since its all-time high but has recently made a slight comeback since the bottom. This comes as Axie Infinity’s new experience, Origin (Battles v3), which is moving closer to launch.
Origin update and controversy
Axie Infinity: Origin will have new interfaces, game mechanics, art, special effects, and storylines. One issue that the increased popularity of Axie Infinity has brought was the rising price of Axies, making it too expensive for many people to play the game.
With the update, new players will get three Axies for free to help them start, although these are not NFTs and cannot earn SLP yet. SLP will also gain a burning mechanism as it has to be used to craft NFT-based Charms and Runes. This is especially a good new mechanism considering SLP’s hyperinflation, although more improvements will likely be needed to fully offset this. The update is scheduled to launch before the end of Q1 2022, meaning that we are a month and a half away from the launch at the very latest.
The update is a positive development but there have been some controversies around Axie Infinity lately. The game moved from the Ethereum mainnet to its own Ronin Ethereum sidechain (developed by Sky Mavis – the same team behind Axie Infinity). Users fear that this move will give the team full control over the data of the chain. This would make the game more centralized and is against the decentralized nature of blockchains.
Axie will have to work hard to maintain its position as a market leader and will aim to do so by consistently improving and expanding gameplay and other core features. This upgrade is a good first step, as it makes it easier for new players to join without investing too much money to buy their first Axies. The new gameplay will be exciting for existing users, and the improved tokenomics of SLP will likely lead to less selling pressure, which makes the ecosystem more sustainable.