I have always wanted to get down in writing one collection of my ideas on why I think Axie Infinity will truly become a staple in the world of gaming and beyond. This piece is going to be that stream of thoughts and ideas. One place where I lay out every factor that I think will contribute to Axie and it’s long term success. There are so many aspects to cover so expect this to be a longer piece and I may even miss some topics that you think are important.
To give you a TLDR, just know: We are going to the moon.
Since there are so many things that I want to cover, I am going to start with the fundamentals of Axie as it is now, and later get into the upgrades that we have coming up.
Axie was born in the bear market:
I think this is a good place to start because it sets a clear boundary between Axie and it’s “competitors” — especially the ones that we see popping up now. When I was reading Benjamin Graham’s, Warren Buffet’s mentor, book on Value Investing, one thing that stuck out to me and relates to where we are at now in the NFT cycle is that: most IPOs happen during a bull market, when everything is good. This fact is rather obvious to some, but I still think it is an important difference to elaborate on.
It is easy to launch a project when the market is in an upswing. Emotions are running high, people have money in their pockets, investors are throwing capital around…projects are a new paradigm shift. Axie never had that luxury. When Axie launched, crypto had fallen off the 2017 hype bubble and was labeled a scam, NFTs were lame, and the idea of play to earn did not even exist yet. Projects were failing left and right during this time, few made it to where we are today. What this really means is that Axie is battle tested. Nassim Taleb would loosely call it: anti-fragile. Meaning, in my very basic terms, that the longer a project has been tested against time, the stronger the chances of it surviving long term. Time is the judge, jury, and executioner.
The projects that are being built now have not endured time. Axie has.
Axie has an engaging community:
In my recent podcast with a long time Axie community member and former moderator, Artic, he said something that really resonated with me: communities are fickle. The emotional pulse of common communities can be directly correlated to the price of whatever their asset is. They come for the hype, and don’t stay long. The communities that are built around making a short term profit will never make it. There isn’t enough to keep them going when things turn for the worse.
The community that Axie built is truly different. If you are a part of it you understand exactly what I am talking about. The Axie discord is filled with 50,000 plus people that want to help the project succeed. Whether that is via making sure that newcomers are welcomed and have all their questions answered, or making Axie fan art: we all have one purpose in mind, to make Axie the best it can be.
This purpose is what strong communities are built upon. The inclusivity is just a by-product of that. Many Axie members hang in the Discord to talk about things beyond the game. While these conversations are done in the appropriate #Random channel, they still occur because people now come to the discord for the people. This is the fundamental difference: I spend more time talking with the digital friends (from all over the world) that I have made in this community than I do with the physical friends that I have met in real life. And I can guarantee that I am not the only one that can say that, there are many more who have shared this same experience. Like Jiho says all the time: we are building a nation. This is bigger than a game.
Axie has tons of user generated content:
When I examine a community, the main thing beyond Discord activity that I look for is user generated content. How much are the members talking about the game on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, whatever the social platform is, how much content is being generated by the community? It is very easy to tell the difference between an active community and a dormant community. The active community has art, YouTube videos and tutorials, podcasts, newsletters and many other types of content that attracts new players. I see Axie fan art all over Twitter and on Rarible or OpenSea and it is amazing. People have such a strong passion for the game that their art is inspired by it. Think about that, Axie is inspiration. Axie is beauty. But the result from this that I think is most important is that: user generated content attracts new players to the game.
The only marketing that Axie has done is…none. And this is how it should be. If you have a strong community, word of mouth is the best form of marketing. Every piece of content that gets put out onto the internet, can be seen by anyone all over the world. All it takes is one glimpse of Axie art, or one play of Cagyan’s Axie videos or one time finding Axie Chat on Twitch, to gain new members into the community. The best part is that it costs nothing to repeat the process. Content can be seen over and over again at no further cost to the creator. Once an article is written or a video is edited, it can be watched 1,000,000,000 times, with no extra work. The more content that gets put out there, the more iterations Axie has at gaining new community members at no expense to the team — the community is the marketing team.
Axie Infinity is on mobile:
I think this is one of the most under appreciated things about Axie. With a large percentage of gaming being played on mobile, in order to compete in the evolving gaming industry you have to have some form of the game being available on-the-go. Axie has both an iOS and Android app, making it available to probably 99% of smart phone users. The amazing thing is that the majority of the players play on their phones, which means Axie is positioned nicely to dominate in the mobile future.
Axie Infinity is Social:
This point runs parallel to the previous point about the community, but there is a certain distinction here that is important. Axie Infinity is the focal point of where people spend their time now and will spend their time in the future. But not only do people spend their own time playing Axie, they recommend it to their family members and friends too. We have entire villages in the Philippines where they come together to play Axie Infinity. Further, we have parents that teach their young kids how to play strategically and enjoy the game together. Families bond over Axie.
On a different note, there is a lot of fuss going on now about metaverses and digital worlds/land. I think Axie Infinity is underrated in how it will capitalize on this emerging trend. I truly think that the experience of playing land gameplay will create a totally different social experience than anything we have ever seen before. Think RuneScape/WoW/Clash of Clans but with a totally new dimension built on top of it. Players from all over the world will create guilds, teams, structures, etc. and be able to interact and engage with each other while playing. They will be able to go on boss Chimera battles or raid a PvE dungeon or visit events in Luna’s Landing together. Millions of Axies will pile into the Axie Dome in Luna’s Landing to watch events happen in real time. All while being able to earn.
Futher, with all of the attention being in Lunacia, companies and other projects will want to advertise in it. This will bring outside attention and revenue streams into the Axie Infinity ecosystem. Can you imagine renting out space on your land plot to allow outside companies to advertise? Or can you imagine large companies buying up essential landing spots so that they can advertise to users? Or having companies contribute to the treasury in order to sponsor events and tournaments? Some may not like this idea in Lunacia, but I think the important thing to remember is that outside companies wanting to be in Lunacia adds value to the overall ecosystem, whether it be funding or spreading Axie to a wider audience.
Axie could have its own TV Show:
It seems so natural that a TV show would be a perfect fit for Axie Infinity. The art, breeding, parts, leveled up parts, single mystics, double mystics, triple mystics, agamogenesis, Chimera and land gameplay all feel like when combined with a little bit of lore, you have the making of an incredible series.
Instead of evolving like Pikachu, Axies level up.
Axie is building their own sidechain, Ronin:
I wrote an entire piece on the benefit of Ronin and why it elevates Axie to another level. Having an in-house developed sidechain where Axie can customize onboarding, create their own wallet, and be able to fulfill all their needs for what they want to accomplish is huge. With Ronin, transactions are seamless, cheap, and fast. Players even have 100 free transactions per day. This solves the high gas fee problem and increases the user experience 10 fold. I remember how seamless it was to migrate all the land over from Loom to Ronin, and the team made it happen with 2 clicks. Also, as a reward mechanism they gave everyone an NFT for doing it. Having Ronin gives Axie full autonomy and flexibility to create whatever they want to create. They know how their chain works and are easily able to code amazing smart contracts and features.
Axie won’t be the only one that is able to develop smart contracts on Ronin, players and companies will be able to as well. This opens up the opportunity for developers all over the world to create a mini game inside of Lunacia or use it to build projects outside of Axie, like RoninSwap(?). Ronin creates endless opportunities for player developed projects.
Battles V2 and eSports:
With the already strong and extremely rewarding competitive scene (~$50,000 distributed in rewards this season with ~$3,000 going to #1), Axie is positioning itself to be a top eSport game in the future. This is especially true with the highly anticipated battles v2. The team has been iterating on the battles v2 application for a while now, and I am sure even some of the details found in the picture above are out of date! What makes me most excited is that there will be more depth and skill added to the game. This will force users to have specially designed and tested teams to handle energy consumption, energy destruction, and the opponents classes. The level of competition that comes out of battles v2 and the rewards for being good in PvP will draw a lot of attention to Axie. Just look at the Fortnite World Cup or League of Legends tournaments. People from all over the world come together because they can relate to the gameplay and the rewards are large enough that dedicating your life to it pays off financially. Both of these will follow suit with battles v2.
Add in the fact that Ubisoft said that battles v2 was an amazing upgrade to the current battle system, and you have the perfect complement to PvE and land gameplay!
Axie is banking the bankless and truly creating a digital nation:
On my first podcast with Gabby, we talked about the potential of the digital world. He painted the picture for me, and the potential is clear — it will change the way people make a living. If the pandemic has done anything, it has pushed us to become more and more digital. Whether it be with remote work or just where we are spending our time: not being able to go out has forced people to utilize digital landscapes for social interaction. I think this transition is only going to accelerate from here. Whether we like it or not, we will see a majority of people say they rather spend their time in a digital landscape than in physical reality. The foundation of that digital landscape is built on the blockchain.
Axie is utilizing the blockchain and incentive structures to create tokonemies(?) (token economies) that add value to digital goods. The perfect example of this is Axie Scholarships (looking for scholarship btw). By designing a strong economic system around SLP, Axie has created jobs where people in the Philippines play Axie to earn SLP to make a living. Many are making more, much more, now than they were before pandemic. But SLP was just a test run, an experiment on what the potential of proper incentive structures looks like. Add multiple levels of complexity onto that…you have a digital nation. A digital nation where everyone can play a role. Whether you are a farmer, a potion maker, a PvP battler, a land owner, a Axie hotel owner, a item-smith, whatever it may be, you will be able to contribute to the overall Lunacian Economy and you will have the potential to make a living playing a video game. Yes I just said that, and no I am not joking. We are creating new jobs in a new world that has limitless, untapped potential.
Axie will have play to earn:
My previous point flows directly into this point: Axie has play to earn potential. With AXS at the center of the ecosystem and the community treasury distributing value to players, users will be earning while simply playing. I can talk about this further, but I think the best place to read about AXS and play to earn is from the Axie Infinity Whitepaper.
Axie will be free to play:
Many people are stuck on the Axie floor and how expensive it is to get started. That is simply the result of supply and demand economics with a sprinkle of high gas fees. It is not the end all, be all, though. Axie has been working hard at developing soulbound, or starter Axies, which users get for free to start playing. While you can’t breed or sell these Axies, you will be able to try out the game before committing to buying Axies. The balance that they have designed is that you will not be able to earn as much SLP as you would with your own Axies. This is important for Axie owners as you don’t want your Axies being undervalued when millions of users get onboarded and millions of starter Axies get used. But, the most important thing to remember is that: starter Axies break down the barrier to enter and open up the opportunity for mainstream adoption with millions of users.
Axie has strong partners:
The old adage goes, “Its not about what you know, its about who you know.”
Well, Axie knows a lot of powerful people…or a lot of powerful people know Axie.
Ubisoft, Binance, NonFungible, Animoca Brands, SPARQ, and Dapp Radar.
I think that list of names speaks for itself.
Axie has incredible designed tokenomics:
Delphi Digital and the Axie team did a great job coming up with proper lockups and incentive structures to create value around AXS. The community treasury, staking, and other rewards were extremely thought out. Every first level, second level, and tertiary consequence were designed for. Take staking and the airdrop for example. For staking, the rewards were designed so efficiently that they estimate a 40% yield. Whether you want to stake 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months, all these options are available. But when I say its so thought out, this is where I mean it: you won’t be able to dump your rewards right when you get them. There is a year long lockup period where your staking rewards are held from you so that users can’t dump. If staking rewards were available sooner, there would consistent downward sell pressure on AXS. I think (but am not 100%) that the same lockup mechanism was used for the airdrop as well to keep recipients from insta-dumping. These are just basic examples of a more intricate design. Check out the Delphi Digital staking report here.
But aside from all of that, I just love looking at this image below. It’s so simplistic, yet so intricate at the same time.
Axie has land gameplay:
I saved this one for last for one important reason, to show how much is possible, and how land gameplay is the foundation for it all. Land gameplay is Axie’s ethereum, it is the layer 1. Everything else is built on top if it. Land gameplay will be everything we want it to be and more. It will be the building blocks of the future of play to earn and the digital world. It will be where friends are found, where memories are made, where we bond with our families, and where go to work…all in one place.
I think that last sentence sums it up pretty good. Whenever you think growth is slow or that development is taking longer than you want it to, it is important to take a second to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. There are a ton of different factors at play and the details have to be right. I trust that the Axie team is taking the necessary steps to creating the new world that we want to see. Axie is going to change the world.