What is Axie Infinity?
First off, Axie Infinity was developed by Sky Mavis in early 2018. They wanted to create a game on the blockchain and develop these little axolotl-like creatures quite similar to Pokémon. The team saw how crypto kitties, another NFT game where you can breed digital kittens, lacked in their long-term economics. They realized once you owned a few kittens and bred them, there wasn’t much more to the game other than just collecting them. Axie Infinity changed this by making the game much more addictive and adding economic incentives that made players want to play longer, interestingly. Most of the early users of Axie Infinity came over from crypto kitties.
Each Axie is born into a category, and there’s a total of eight categories. Each category does have benefits, but it also has drawbacks. For example, fire will have an advantage over grass, but a weakness to water exactly like how Pokémon works. Unlike Pokémon through each Axie has six possible body parts out of a total of over 500 different body parts to be randomly selected from. Even more so, each body part has a dominant recessive and a minor recessive ability or a stat. This means there are many different possibilities for Axie. The breeding mechanism slightly randomizes their abilities and stats, pretty much like how our genetics work.
How is it a play-to-earn game?
Here you use your Axie NFTs to trade battle and breed. Trading is pretty simple where you trade one Axie for another Axie. One benefit of trading is to breed certain Axies that you have with new Axies creating an offspring that has a semi-random collection of its parent’s traits. By doing this, you can start to win matches which is possibly the most fun part of Axie Infinity. You can battle NPCs in adventure mode to rank up and win something called SLP. You can also battle other real-world players to earn SLP. Either way, the more you play, the more you earn. One thing to ponder here is that it’s easier to play with adventure mood, and you usually lose less. Hence there is a cap for how much SLP you can win. However, in the PvP Arena, you can play as much as you want. At this point, you may be thinking and pondering what SLP is. SLP stands for smooth love portion and is a cryptocurrency token you earn to win battles in Axie Infinity. You can trade this token for other cryptocurrency tokens to which you can sell it for real-world money.
Smooth love Potion is also used for breeding. Each Axie can only be bred seven times, and each time you breed it, it takes more and more SLP to make a new Axie. Breeding also requires one AXS, which is another token that you must buy unless you’re good at PvP. Then you can earn AXS by ending up in the top ranks of the PvP leaderboard at the end of the season. Now AXS Stands for Axie Shards. An Axie Shards and Smooth Love Potions are the two main tokens used in Axie Infinity, and these two tokens power the play-to-earn game. AXS is a governance token, and the fees from breeding go to the Axie Infinity Treasury.
SLP also allows you to buy in-game digital items. Whenever you breed a new Axie or buy items from the marketplace, that SLP is burned, meaning that SLP is removed forever. However, since it’s constantly being produced whenever you win games, it’s technically inflationary. This doesn’t stop people from playing for hours and earning hundreds of dollars in crypto each month. Both AXS and SLP were originally on the Ethereum network as ERC20 tokens. But since April of 2021, they have been mostly on the RONIN blockchain, which is a side chain to Ethereum, and they did this to lower the fees to play the game. However, it is a bit more centralized.
Where is the money coming from?
There are a few accusations that Axie Infinity is some sort of Ponzi scheme but gamified. First off, to play the game, you must buy three Axies that are quite expensive. Better Axies cost more money, with the best ones being tens of thousands of dollars. There will be many people who buy Axies and do not earn their money back, and even with the best Axie, there is only a limited amount of SLP you can earn per game. So the Ponzi scheme theory kind of dives off here. However, it doesn’t mean that buying Axies and earning SLP with them is an investment.
Axie Infinity is more as a game long-term because nothing like this has been attempted before. Axie Infinity uses cryptocurrency to stand up a new kind of video game, one in which you can earn meaningful income just by playing. Play-to-earn blockchain game Axie Infinity has been stealthy yet drastically causing a “digital revolution” with 2 million daily active users backing it. Axie Infinity has its own perfect, fully functioning in-game economy with a complete operating secondary market. Like most gamers play games to have fun and not to earn, Axie Infinity’s longevity lies upon just how willing players will continue playing the game, with or without monetary compensation. The intrinsic value of simply playing Axie Infinity will make the game, along with its cryptocurrencies sustainable.