Blockchain Technology brings about a major revolution in the way that companies are built. The power and rewards will no longer be centralized to the people at the top and the shareholders, but will be distributed down to the token users/consumers. A lot of companies will fail at making this transition, because they are unable to convert from a centralized organization to a community-driven business model. In this tokenized economy, the community is what will determine what is valuable and what isn’t.
Besides the determination of value, what role does the community play in these decentralized companies?
In the several months that I have been a part of it, the Axie Infinity community has proven to be one of the most helpful communities when it comes to understanding the game. When I first started playing, I lost every single match I played. Not only does this impact your place on the leaderboard, but also impacts how much experience your Axies get per battle. I was struggling to break the top 100 as I did not get the points for winning. I was at a loss for strategy and did not know what I was doing wrong. Frustrated, I decided to reach out to members individually who were at the top of the leaderboard, asking about the best strategies and move rotations. Without being in the game long I did not think that I would get any responses. Little did I know, every single person I messaged got back to me, going above and beyond the questions that I had asked. Using the strategies they suggested, I re-designed my teams and found myself doing better and better in battles. Without reaching out, I would never have been able to learn more, and become better at the game.
If any new users have a question, which may seem basic to the veterans, no one has a problem speaking up and helping. Even if the question is more in depth, as there are many different components that make up the battle system or breeding strategies, no one has an issue with directly talking you through what you are confused on. There is even a website, created by Coco and Clumsier, which aggregates all the guides and tools developed by community members.
There is no one teacher in the community. The community teaches each other. This is important because in order for a decentralized company to survive, the community must be willing to help each other out. If no one took the time to share the wealth of knowledge there is, then there would be no growth.
The community has the role of helping grow the ecosystem. I have seen it daily with the amount of people hosting their own giveaways, or telling their friends, or streaming the game on DLive. In order to share the word of the company, the community takes on the responsibility of educating and informing the public. One of the best ways of marketing is through word of mouth, as we are more willing to do what our peers tell us to do. That is how I got into the game in the first place. My friend, who has been in dApps longer than I have, told me about the game back in early November. First hooked on the opportunity to make a side hustle and a little extra money, I found myself becoming fixated on all the little intricacies of the game. The budget went out the window, all my sleep hours were lost, and I became enthralled in Axie Infinity — breeding, battling, and collecting everyday. I call this Axie Fever, and I have sure caught it. I told several friends since then about the game, and they too have loved playing.
AI is one of the only communities that is more willing to reach out to new people and tell them about the Axie Infinity name. They don’t act from a position of superiority, but rather from the perspective that old and new, are equals. On top of word of mouth referrals, streamers like Zakke, Lt Zonda, RCTech, PBTV, Flow, and JoshBaked, have taken the time to help grow the Axie Army by showing their viewers what the game is all about. RCTech has even created the very first Axie League, where players will battle on teams to become the first Axie League Champion.
Another form of growth is the technological growth through community developers. In Axie Infinity there are several community members: freak, Owl, Coco, Clumsier, edd, ODP, kevdogerino, wehmoen, that take the time to develop tools and games that enhance the level of gameplay. They have taken it onto themselves to add new features and functions for the benefit of the players. The community members feel truly a part of something bigger than themselves. The community makes the game, and the game makes the community.
The most important role that the community plays is through the development of the culture of the community. The developers set their vision and their roadmap, but they can only do so much to enforce the values that they hold. It is up to the community members to enforce the values and standards. This is done by the veterans who have shown that an open community is the best community. Owl may be out of a job soon because there is not much that is needed to moderate! (joking, as spam is unavoidable everywhere).
I used to be afraid of posting in general, thinking that people would judge about to simplicity of the questions or comments that I had. At one point though, I wanted to join the conversation. The community responded openly and allowed me to enter into the conversation as if I had been there from the beginning. Now I not only talk with the community every day, but I also enjoy these exchanges.
If the community does not embody the message the developers and members of the team set out, then the community and company will cease to exist. This developer-community relationship is one that is essential for the growth of both, as they are dependent upon one another.
Why would the community go out of its way?
Because we, the community, have stake in the system by truly owning our game assets, growth in the size and strength of the network can have positive financial implications for the players!
Aside from the community run tournaments, there is a community run and often funded Axie Scholarship program, which offers new players their first team for free. This is to allow new players an easy way to get started with the game.