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Axie Infinity and the rise of NFT Games

The NFT gaming industry is not something new that suddenly came out of nowhere. NFT-centric games have existed since 2017, and the first game in this genre is Cryptokitties. However, this genre did not gain much traction at the time. In fact, the chart-topping Axie Infinity was released in 2018 to very little fanfare.

The sudden explosive popularity of NFTs and their mainstream success resulted in NFT games entering the limelight. Games like Axie Infinity and Cryptokittens suddenly became a popular topic, and the former used that interest to rise above the rest. Presently, the game has a market cap of nearly three billion USD and reached 1.1 billion USD in sales. Axie Infinity rose above its peers and is now the highest-grossing NFT game in the market. This article provides an insight into the game and analyzes its meteoric rise in popularity.

Before we get into that, let us first understand blockchain gaming.

NFT games

A blockchain is an online system that stores data in the form of blocks. Each block is connected to another forming a ‘chain.’ One notable aspect of blockchain is that every block is immutable and one-of-a-kind. The thing that separates blockchain games from regular games is that every digital asset is unique. We call these digital assets NFTs or non-fungible tokens. An NFT is a unique data unit stored on the blockchain.

A notable feature of NFT games is that it utilizes a play-to-earn model. This model is where players earn unique NFTs or cryptocurrency for participating in the game and earning achievements. The players can turn these rewards into real money and generate revenue. Additionally, there is the play-to-trade model where gamers earn a token and either sell or trade it for real money.

The unique nature of NFTs means that blockchain technology embodies the principle of ownership of a digital asset. NFT games give players total control of their digital assets. Traditional games have players spend money on digital assets. Players could lose these assets if the game server shuts down. However, NFT games overcome this issue and give asset control to the players. It ensures that the players can trade their assets with other players, sell them for money or use them on other gaming platforms.

NFT games are an attractive investment opportunity and a source of income generation. This model allows players to earn money by playing games. This model opens up a new monetization model that can change the way free-to-play games generate revenue.

Overview of Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is an NFT-based game developed by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese gaming studio. The game takes inspiration from the popular Nintendo franchise Pokemon. The game has its own ecosystem and features a variety of small monsters called Axies. Players here can breed, raise trade, and battle Axies with other players or teams. The gameplay loop here also shares similarities with the Pokemon franchise.

Every Axie in this game is an NFT character as are the in-game accessories and products. Players can trade Axies for real money on the game’s marketplace and generate profit. Axie Infinity also has a virtual economy and here players use two cryptocurrencies: SLP (or Smooth Love Potion) and AXS (or Axie Infinity Shard). Players also use these coins to purchase Axies, buy land, farms, etc.

The Appeal of Axie Infinity

Players here own Axie NFTs and can resell them or exchange them for rewards. However, entering the game requires a significant initial investment. Players can only start playing the game after they purchase three Axies. Earlier, the prices of basic Axies were low and anyone with ten USD could register their profile and start playing. However, the game’s popularity meant skyrocketing prices for entry-level Axies. Presently, users have to pay two hundred to three hundred USD for each Axie. Players can also purchase Axies on secondary marketplaces like Kraken and Binance.

Axie quality increases in rarity and rare Axies sell for significantly high prices. In 2020, a very rare Axie type sold for 300 ETH. At the time, that transaction was worth 130,000 USD and was the most expensive Axie sold in the game.

The high entry barrier deterred many people from playing as they do not have that much money to spend. That said, players who do register retain total ownership of their NFT items and can sell them for real money. Axies are an investment and generate tangible rewards as you play the game.

The value of Axies changes and fluctuates like cryptocurrencies. Their value changes based on factors like their statistics, abilities, and body parts. Players who upgrade their Axies and equip them with several abilities stand a better chance at winning battles and generating rewards.

Axie popularity

Axie Infinity saw a sudden popularity surge in June 2021. Several players earned money through the game and it generated nearly 780 million USD in sales in thirty days. The thing that attracts people to the game is its earning potential. In July 2021, Axie Infinity generated more fees than Bitcoin or Ethereum in seven days.

The game is popular in developing countries that use it to earn revenue after being displayed by COVID-19. Players from markets like Vietnam generate significant revenue every day from their Axies. In fact, some play the game to pay for their household expenses.

Trend to be inspired

The popularity of Axie Infinity led to other companies and organizations trying to emulate their success with their own NFT game. This desire to grab attention resulted in several games like Axie Infinity being launched on digital marketplaces. Anyone looking to capture the success should definitely look into the history of the Axie Infinity the raise and emergence.


The allure of NFT games and the ownership they provide is the driving force behind Axie Infinity’s increase in popularity. NFT games like Axie Infinity are making gaming as a career a viable option and can become an even bigger trend in the coming years. Hence, it is crucial to take advantage of this trend right away and launch an NFT game like Axie Infinity as soon as possible.


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