What Happened To Axie Infinity 5 Years After Its Launch?
Axie Infinity took the NFT gaming world by storm in 2021. Yet, through 2022, the game saw a steady decline in popularity. This left many actual and potential investors asking, what happened to Axie Infinity?
While the crypto-winter undoubtedly played a part in the decline of Axie Infinity, there is a larger, more profound message in their story that should serve as a guide for future NFT mobile gaming developers.
The story of Axie Infinity could be described as a tragedy with multiple reasons. We will all find out in this article.
To learn more about what Axie Infinity is, how the game is played, how its ecosystem works, and its impact on the users and gaming community, check out the article we’ve published in this link.
The Philippines’ Heavy Investment
When Axie first launched, it saw tremendous success in the Philippines, as it offered people a chance to play games to earn real sums of money. At one point, the Philippines accounted for over 40% of the total Axie Infinity player base.
The early adoption of Axie Infinity in the Philippines saw a swell of interest and active players. People who are living below the poverty line could earn an income by playing a game. The potential rewards for doing so far exceeded their wage potential. However, the passive nature of the game became its own worst enemy.
The Pandemic Contributed To Its Success
Axie Infinity hit the market in 2019, with the first battle system entering its alpha phase in December 2019. The launch of the game coincided with the global COVID-19 pandemic. As jobs were lost and people were confined to their homes, a chance to earn money by playing a mobile game ticked multiple boxes.
Playing a game helped to stave off boredom, while the crypto-NFT element offered a chance to supplement the lost income. However, the Axie gameplay mechanic is not overly engaging. Instead, the game embraces the hard-grind mechanic commonly associated with JRPG games.
The lure of potential profit pulled in a large player base. However, the slow and unrewarding gameplay saw many people fall away. Especially once the realization of the Axie Infinity payout structure became apparent.
Earnings Became An Issue Later On
Anybody who wonders what happened to Axie Infinity only needs to look at their play-to-earn mechanism. While there is a genuine chance to earn real money playing Axie Infinity, the rewards do not come close to matching the effort.
Rather than offering better rewards for those heavily invested players logging significant hours, it instead focuses on a reward system that grows based on the number of active players. As a result, the payout system more closely resembles a pyramid scheme than anything else.
The need to grind Axie Infinity took its toll on players. As the world started to open up once more, these people found themselves stuck. Playing long into the night for a reward that was not worth the effort. In addition, many players have cited physical and mental health problems. Caused by the hard work needed to get even a small reward in the Axie economy.
As more play-to-earn titles hit the market, offering more interactive and entertaining gameplay, many jumped ship away from the Axie universe.
The Costly Hacking Scandal
The cryptocurrency market struggled in 2022 due to the crypto winter that saw many blockchain-based currencies plummet. In addition, Axie Infinity also had to deal with a hacking scandal that saw over $600 million in SLP tokens stolen, further weakening the game’s infrastructure.
Not only were people finding the game boring with few enticing rewards, especially in the face of newer games, but gamers could suddenly no longer trust their confidential information to be safe.
Many players quit playing Axie because what little profit they made was wiped out. by the overreliance on new players investing in the game, despite existing player investment.
What The Future Holds For Axie Infinity
There is still hope and future for Axie Infinity, but everybody needs to be on board with it. The Axie currency SLP has plummeted in value, leaving those still invested in the game at something of a sticking point. The amount they have invested has decreased, yet to pull out now would forever leave the question of what it is they worked for.
The real problem with what happened to Axie Infinity is that the developers lost or changed their initial focus. The crypto winter and hacking scandal affected Vietnam-based developers Sky Mavis greatly. As a result, they created a new version of Axie Infinity based on the more traditional microtransaction model.
Axie Infinity: Origins is a free-to-play game that is crypto-free. Everything runs on microtransactions. This works to the advantage of the developers but sadly leaves original Axie Infinity players adrift.