Axie Infinity is the newest game riding a wave of popularity across the world. The game features fierce (but undeniably adorable) little creatures called ‘Axies’ that players pit against one another in online battles. Players build teams of Axies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and can even breed them to create new creatures.
The game was made by Vietnam-based company Sky Mavis, a corporation now valued at over $3 billion. Axie Infinity skyrocketed in popularity this year when its value increased by 23 times its previous worth between July and August.
Although many games have capitalised on the success of creature combat games like Pokémon and Digimon, few have provided their players with the benefit that Axie Infinity offers: real-world income.
Axie Infinity & NFTs
The secret sauce making Axie Infinity such a lucrative enterprise for players is non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs.
NFTs are a type of cryptocurrency in the form of a digital token. ‘Non-fungible’ means they cannot be equivalently exchanged. Unlike Bitcoin, where each coin has the same value and traits, NFTs are unique. They’re a part of the Ethereum blockchain and each individual token has its own distinctive data. Here’s where it gets interesting.
Basically anything that holds data can be an NFT. From images to songs to GIFs, owning digital art has become its own economy. Earlier this year, the iconic Nyan Cat GIF that dominated the internet a decade ago was sold as an NFT. Anyone can view or copy the GIF, but only one person owns it. This is valuable in the same way owning any art is—Anyone can go to The Louvre and view the Mona Lisa, but they’ll never own the original. That’s what gives it value.
Back to Axie Infinity.
SLPs & AXS
Despite the name, what makes assets in Axie Infinity so valuable is their finite nature. Each Axie creature and every piece of acquirable gear is an NFT, completely unique to its owner.
Players can also build their own formidable armies of Axies by breeding them. To do this, players will need to pay in the form of the game’s other crypto currencies—Smooth Love Potions (SLPs) and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS).
The wonderful and nuanced world of cryptocurrencies is a lot, but it comes with a major payday for those willing to invest. Top players this year have earned SLP1,500 (almost $600AUD) per day, depending on the rise and fall of SLP value.
Roughly 40 per cent of players are located in the Philippines, followed by Venezuela and the United States. However, its speedy growth has gained attention from players worldwide.
With the game earning more and more attention in neighbouring countries, Australia may be the next nation to see the Axie Infinity obsession firsthand.