No smooth love potion can restore Axie Infinity's glory. But something else could do it: Origin, the most significant update in the short history of the GameFi pioneer.
On April 7, Axie Infinity quietly released the next iteration of its game with a soft launch. Axie's legions of players who have relied on its tokens to make ends meet in the real world are hoping this will rejuvenate a company that has ushered in the play-to-earn model.
Gabby Dizon, co-founder of YieldGuild, a group that supports Axie players, is optimistic that the move will pay off. "The bear market will allow funded projects to build without the noise, applying the lessons learned during 2021 and ensuring that the 'fun factor' is a priority when designing gaming experiences," she told The Defiant.
Origin will have its work cut out. Axie Infinity's governance token, AXS, has dropped 90% from its peak last November and the game lost half of its players in June, according to Messari and ActivePlayer.
Additionally, Smooth Love Potion (SLP), the token that rewards Axie players, has plummeted 98% from its May 2021 high.
The blockchain-based game, owned by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, is under stress like never before. $ 620 million was stolen from Axie's network in March, but no one noticed until a week after the hack, which heightened doubts about the project.
Despite this, Axie Infinity product manager Philip La has rejected the notion that the game cannot bounce back.
“The game still exists, with major improvements being made regularly,” La wrote in a blog post. and we will continue to propose other games that apply all the knowledge acquired over time. The narrative that we are in an existential state and have no time left is false. "
Players buy monster NFTs and have them fight each other. Players can raise, breed and fight their digital pets, called Axies. Under the play-to-earn model, players own their Axies and trade their gaming assets in the market as NFT. The Axie terrain is tokenized and serves as a home and base of operations for the Axies.
New battle system
Origin changes that by allowing players to do their thing without having to purchase Axis, making the game more accessible to those on a lower budget. Axie also introduced a new battle system with more strategic and interactive features, and users can now stake their terrain to earn tokens as a reward.
While Origin is still in beta, there are many developments that players look forward to, such as crafting (a feature where materials are converted into runes, charms, and other items) and the evolution of Axie (where players can level up their Axie's body parts).
Whether Origin will address the problem of flawed tokenomics and the game's lack of playability remains to be seen.
In his post, La complained that the media are creating "misleading narratives" around the game. He said Axie is evolving from the current play-to-earn model to a play-and-earn model.
"There will be more ways for players to spend on the things they enjoy," he wrote. She also pointed out that Axie will continue to reward community members. Each member has the freedom to create games that generate unlimited revenue using Axie Infinity's IP.
Is Axie's new game model capable of reversing the situation? Pedro Herrera, head of research at DappRadar, said he was a bit bearish in the short term.
"Battles last longer, so people who play to farm don't like it," he told The Defiant. "And it also becomes more difficult for content creators like YouTubers to engage their audiences with long-lasting battles."
Herrera said community and growth tactics are two critical factors for web games3, which Axie has done very well, but many projects fail because they prioritize growth over value, making an ecosystem unsustainable when a game isn't. inherently playable.
"I have to say there will be more fun games to play in the blockchain space, so while Axie will likely remain relevant, I don't expect the same success as its first iteration, where it spearheaded the play-to-earn narrative," he said. .