Hype of the Week: Axie Infinity
This week, the digital pet Non-Fungible Token (NFT) game, Axie Infinity (AI), has grabbed the headlines. With a 172% surge in player activity this week, AI has clinched the 4th spot on the most playable blockchain games. Spurring this increase in activity is a $162,000 purchase of five Axies (pets) by independent research and consulting group Delphi Digital.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) function as a proof of ownership and authenticity and are digital representations of assets that are characterized by non-fungibility. In relation to gaming, the concept of non-fungibility and NFT’s facilitates the monetization of a user’s gaming experience; generally pertaining to the monetization of in-game creations, characters, and items.
Founded in 2018, AI is a blockchain-based digital pet game, where users can singularize their pets (Axies) by breeding, equipping, battling, and trading them on AI’s marketplace. Additionally, AI runs on Ethereum, utilizing the standardization protocol ERC-721 for its tokenization mechanism. Since the start of the year, the number of Axie Infinity downloads has increased ~800%.
For Axies to fulfill the conditions of non-fungibility, they must be unique, rare and indivisible. Hence, developers have created over 500 unique body parts to customize each Axie, alongside a variety of different classes, skills, items and categories of Axie. The price of an Axie on the market can range from $25 — $300,000.
This week, Delphi Digital purchased 5 “Mystic Axies” for $162,000. According to Delphi Digital co-founder Medio Demarco “As the game increases in popularity, the value of these NFTs can also rise given their rarity and utility […]As 3–4 mystics, they’re the rarest most scarce Axies in the game […] they can be used to generate a yield from battling and breeding them”.
Mystic Axies are simply “Original Axies”, Axies that were released during the game’s pre-launch in 2018 with a fixed supply of 4088 — making them relatively rare. However, only 30% of these Axies have a “mystic” trait, with levels of “mystic” increasing the rarity. Additionally, these Mystic Axies are guaranteed via smart contracts.
What does this mean?
Across the globe, the amount of time spent in game has been increasing year on year. However, due to Covid 19, the amount of time spent gaming rocketed up by 51% to 6.8 hours per week, and in-game expenditure hit $11.6 billion in the U.S. (April — June). With users spending more time and money in games, the ability to monetize one’s own in-game productivity via NFT’s has opened a host of possibilities.
Thus, games like Axie Infinity no longer represent mere sources of entertainment. With further investments and future success, such platforms may one day become a staple source of income for millions of dedicated gamers and collectors around the world.
If you wish to find out more about Axie Infinity, follow the links below:
Author: Stephan Eduard Pàl Roth