Axing It in the Gaming Industry: The Rise of Axie Infinity
Gaming has long been a popular form of entertainment. With the advent of blockchain technology and the emergence of cryptocurrencies, the world of gaming is taking on a new dimension. Axie Infinity, a non-fungible token (NFT) based game, is a prime example of how blockchain technology is revolutionizing the gaming industry. This article will explore the rise of Axie Infinity and its impact on the gaming industry.
The Web3 Game Expands
Axie Infinity was brought to life in 2018 by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese studio, and is built on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. The card-based strategy game allows users to buy, breed, and fight Axies. Axies are creatures that resemble Pokémon and can be collected, traded, and sold as NFTs. Last year, Sky Mavis launched the latest version of the game called ‘Axie Infinity: Origins’, which is available through the company’s Mavis Hub and in limited countries through the Google Play Store.
The game initially launched in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The game has 1.5 million installs across all platforms and plans to continue its global expansion through mobile users from Google and now Apple.
According to Jeffrey Zirlin, co-founder of Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity is the most played Web3 game right now. However, the number of active users has fallen sharply since the peak at the end of 2021. Zirlin has said that the limited rollout will help the company “gather data on retention rates” ahead of an eventual global launch.
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The App Store Conundrum
Zirlin said Sky Mavis worked with Apple for about a year to get approval for the game to launch on the App Store. In October, the iPhone maker banned the use of NFTs to conduct business outside of the App Store. It is also no easy task for a crypto-related application to enter the App Store; it took Uniswap months before it finally got the green light from Apple.
However, in May 2022 users from a select number of countries in South America and Southeast Asia can now download the game from Apple’s App Store. Zirlin has said that the launch on the App Store was “one of the most requested features by our players for a long time”.
Despite the launch, Apple’s crypto and NFT policy remains a point of contention for many cryptocurrency and gaming enthusiasts. Zirlin remains optimistic that Apple will change its policy in a positive way in the future with regards to in-app purchases for NFTs that will enable integration with third-party marketplaces.
The AXS Cryptocurrency
Axie Infinity has its own cryptocurrency called ‘AXS’. AXS is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. The token can be used to breed Axies, acquire land, participate in gameplay, and vote on governance proposals within the Axie Infinity ecosystem. In June 2022, AXS hit an all-time high of $140.66 per token, surpassing the previous high of $131.87 on May 7, 2022. AXS is currently ranked within the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
The Future of Gaming and Cryptocurrencies
Axie Infinity’s popularity highlights how blockchain technology can disrupt the gaming industry. With the rise of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, gamers can now own in-game assets and monetize their skills. Gaming companies such as Ubisoft and Atari are also embracing blockchain technology with their own NFT-based games.
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However, the integration of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in gaming also raises questions around regulation, security, and accessibility. The gaming industry and regulatory bodies will need to work together to ensure that gaming experiences are safe, transparent, and accessible for all.
Axie Infinity is a prime example of how blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are revolutionizing the gaming industry. The game’s use of NFTs and its own cryptocurrency, AXS, demonstrate how gamers can now own and monetize in-game assets. However, challenges remain around regulation, security, and accessibility. The future of gaming is an exciting one, and blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are set to play an integral part in shaping it.