Axie Infinity: The Story Of One Of The Most High-profile P2E Games From Dawn To Dusk

Table of Contents

We tell how the rise of one of the most popular NFT games Axie Infinity began and why the project failed to stay on top

In this article:

  • What is Axie Infinity
  • How and how much you can earn in Axie Infinity
  • Dawn of the game
  • Project sunset

What is Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is one of the most popular games in the play-to-earn (play-to-earn) segment. The concept of the project was presented in December 2017 by Vietnamese developers from Sky Mavis.


According to the development team, when creating the game, they were inspired by the concept of the Pokémon project. At the same time, the mechanics of the platform are more reminiscent of CryptoKitties.

How and how much you can earn in Axie Infinity

The developers offered players to collect creatures – axics, each of which is presented in the format of a non-fungible token ( NFT ). With their help, you can earn money.

Axis animals

Players have several ways to earn income in the project. For example, users can breed axes or participate in battles.

Battle in Axie Infinity
Combat in Axie Infinity

To start playing, you need to buy accessories. To do this, Axie Infinity users have access to an internal marketplace, which the developers launched in March 2018. The cost of aksiks varies depending on their characteristics. The most expensive animals are those that can bring maximum profit to the owner.

Marketplace Axie Infinity
Axis Marketplace

The most expensive axik – Sir Gregory, according to DappRadar, cost its owner 369 WETH (about $819.66 thousand).

Also in the game, there are digital lands. The largest transaction for the purchase of the virtual real estate in the project was 550 WETH (about $2.33 million).

The average earnings of Axie Infinity players at the peak of the project’s popularity were about $450 per month, with an average entry threshold of $600.

Dawn of the game

The project attracted the attention of investors and players in 2019 – against the background of the developers receiving $1.5 million in seed investments from Pangea Blockchain Fund, Hashed, ConsenSys, and Animoca Brands.

In October 2020, the developers launched the seed of the project’s native token, Axie Infinity (AXS). The initiative helped the platform earn $2.97 million.

Axie Infinity (AXS) cryptocurrency chart
Axie Infinity (AXS) chart. Source: Trading View

Later, the developers repeatedly managed to attract funding. For example, in May 2021, the project received $7.5 million from a number of major investors, including Libertus Capital, Collaborative Fund, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Axie Infinity received particular attention from low-income countries, including the Philippines. Citizens of such jurisdictions were interested in the opportunity to earn money without leaving their homes. At the same time, income at Axie Infinity turned out to be higher than local salaries. The increased interest in play-to-earn projects has given regulators a reason to think about taxing players.

The project activity peaked in autumn 2021:

  • $800,000 – the maximum transaction volume in the game was recorded at the end of September 2021.
  • 740 thousand – the largest audience in the entire history of the project was recorded at the end of November 2021.
  • 6.7 million – the maximum number of transactions in the game network was recorded at the end of November 2021.
Project activity
Axie Infinity activity. Source: Dapp Radar

After the fall of 2021, the game’s activity figures began to decline. The fall is still going on.

Project Sunset

The decline in Axie Infinity occurred during the correction period of the entire digital asset market after Bitcoin reached an absolute maximum on November 10, 2021, at a height of $68,789.

Here’s what game activity changes look like over the past 30 days:

Project activity
The number of users and transactions, the trading volume of the game, and the number of funds blocked for the needs of the project. Source: Dapp Radar

In addition to the general downtrend in the digital asset market, a number of factors contributed to the decline in activity in Axie Infinity. Here are some of them:

  • The rise of fraud. Attackers began to distribute tokens on the market on behalf of the company.
  • Unsuccessful updates. In March 2022, the creators of the project were criticized for an upgrade in favor of rich players.
  • Loud hacks. In March 2022, after an unsuccessful update, more than $600 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from Axie Infinity. The developers have allocated 2 years to return money to users affected by the exploit. Later, in May, information appeared about the hacking of the project’s Discord bot.
  • Fraud by the developers of the project. At the end of July 2022, the head of the developer company Axie Infinity was suspected of insider trading.
  • Players’ attention to other projects. In 2022, STEPN and other gaming platforms with play-to-earn mechanics entered the arena.

Against the backdrop of hacks, a drop in the rate of the native token, and a general decrease in activity, publications began to appear on the project network that Axie Infinity left many players without a cent in their pocket. The stories of some platform users turned out to be even sadder. Some of the players, in an attempt to make money on investments in the game, got into debt. They failed to make money on the project. At the same time, no one canceled the obligation to pay debts.

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