The Future of Play-to-Earn Games with Axie Infinity
In December 2018, the Vietnamese studio Sky Marvis launched a new gaming app to encourage gamers to play more by adding a cryptocurrency reward for winners. Isn’t that a fantastic thing? The world didn’t recognize how much potential it had until 2020, during the pandemic lockdown that gamers from some developing tried it. After a while, they began to make much more than they would have made doing regular jobs.
Meanwhile, businesses were folding up at that time, employees were losing their jobs and all sorts. But these game players remained in the comfort of their homes and enjoyed the game. It also comes with raking in some funds as cryptocurrency. Apart from this product from Sky Marvis, the gaming company, an alumnus of Ubisoft’s Enterprise Labs, created some other decentralized apps. Examples include the marketplace, a steam-like crypto game launcher, and a crypto wallet.
Why the Hype on Axie Infinity?
In recent times, the Axie Infinity has become a growingly incredible tool for game lovers and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The game also became a huge topic when social media learned about its explosive growth within four months. It surpassed 1 million DAUs in an accumulated lifetime trade of $1 billion.
This new growth came as the company announced and promoted its Play-to-Earn (P2E) model. The model involves game players cashing out their in-game rewards and winnings into a real-life treasure. This feat particularly became a saving grace for Filipinos locked in during the COVID19 pandemic lockdown. Not only there, but it also affected other professions.
However, many people have projected that Axie Infinity has a sustainable economy now to support its P2E because of the new users joining. They perceive that with time, when these new users stop coming in, and the demand for the game falls, some of the earnings may drop. And as a result, the game may not be as profitable as it used to be.
Remember that the game also contains some essential characters to play with and the P2E earnings based on the price of the ETH crypto coin. Putting all these perspectives together, some have compared this situation with the Ponzi scheme that was very popular across different countries. Though it starts with a big hype and a promise, it loses its sustainability when the number of new users or demand falls.
Therefore, this article zeroes in on the actual game economy to determine if it is truly sustainable or not. However, we cannot just jump to probing the Axie Infinity game economy without first understanding how the entire system works. So, how does it really work?
How does Axie Infinity Game Work?
The Core gameplay is perhaps the most ignored part of this NFT game. You see, contrary to the idea of many people who register for the Ponzi scheme without asking what the core principle is. In addition, one should also know on what unfailing principle is this tech design founded? For instance, at the most superficial level of the game, what are the characters or items to expect
The Axie Infinity game is a team battler game with clear-cut influences, as indicated in the Final Fantasy Tactics games in the Sky Mavis whitepaper. Each player first creates a team of three free-floating monsters called Axies. Then, he positions them in strategic places in the grid. This positioning is an integral factor that determines hitting the default target and the interaction between the axies.
There are also four different stats that a player should monitor in his axies: their health, morale, speed, and skill. These attributes will determine how effective these axies are in combat. On the other hand, each axie comes with four different cards based on their abilities. In addition, both the cards and the attached cards can be defined by the six other parts of each axie.
For example, each axie has ears, eyes, mouth, horn, back, and tail. Meanwhile, a paper, rock and scissors set of classes within the game tell how strong or weak the axies are against each other. More so, combat players get a hand of cards across their axies that may cost some amount to play. In other words, each card will determine the performance of each axie in the form of defense, attack, and support.
Furthermore, the card also influences the ability of your axies to buff, rebuff, target, and do other things. Note that the TCG and the RPG mechanics (which this game is) work together in harmony. The resultant effect is that the team composition and positioning strategies can also work together regarding card advantage and sympathy. When playing the Axie Infinity, you need to learn deep warring strategies but start simply before picking up the tempo.
How does the Axie Infinity Economy Work?
Apart from the axies, the game economy comprises of three significant resources such as
- Energy (off-chain)
Each PvE and the PvP match uses one nit of Energy in the Axie. And when a player runs out of Energy, even if they play the PvE or the PvP, they may not receive any SLP or EXP as the expected reward. The EXP stands for Experience Points, which is used to define the axie level. In other words, the proper way to retain Energy is to secure the reward. Moreover, the amount of Energy that the player acquires and how he quickly recovers from energy loss is a factor of the number of axies he owns. This strategy is a subtle way to ensure that players get more axies and not rely on just three for the entire game time.
- Smooth Love Potion (SLP), (Off and on-chain)
Kindly note that the actual reward every player is playing for comes from the SLPs. In other words, the grindable resource that a player gets when he wins matches or combats in either the PvP or the PvE environment is an SLP. In addition, the SLP is one of the two essential resources you need to breed new axies. The other one is the AXS.
The on-chain protocol known as the AXS or $AXS symbolizes the ERC-20 governance token used in the Axie Infinity game. It is a token backed by a smart contract with many exciting uses. First, you can use it to vote on the game’s development decisions.
Secondly, you can also use it during the staking process. But of course, the most important use is to apply it alongside the SLP when it comes to breeding your Axies.