The popular play-to-earn (P2E) crypto game Axie Infinity has scaled to new heights in 2021, with huge spikes in transaction volumes and revenue and winning millions of community members. But as we’re nearly halfway through 2022, there’s a question: will Axie live up to its hype?
Axie was launched in May 2018 by parent company Sky Mavis, but only picked up steam in the second half of last year.
Co-founder Jeff “Jiho” Zirlin told Marketingwithanoy that “2021 was a year of growth and scaling,” while “2022 is a year of building, shipping products, and delivering better and more accessible gameplay experiences.”
Zirlin said he went to conferences and talked about Axie until he lost his voice. Now it needs no introduction as one of the biggest and most well-known play-to-earn games in the crypto space, he said.
“We had this amazing growth cycle that put us on the map and gave us the resources to make this a decades-long journey,” Zirlin said. “Right now I think we’re building out the products that will take us into the next growth cycle.”
For the uninitiated, Axie Infinity is a crypto-focused gaming universe and platform featuring creatures, or Axies, that players can purchase or collect as pets and then use to fight, breed, and raise for crypto rewards.
At its peak, its fully diluted market cap (for Axie’s AXS token) was approximately $16.7 billion and total revenue from in-game purchases and market fees paid was $364.4 million in August 2021, according to data on Token Terminal. From the top, market cap is down 19.76% to $13.4 billion, and total revenue is also down about 99% to $2.5 million by April 2022, the data shows.
“Crypto is very cyclical, and sometimes you’re in a growth cycle and other times you have to build,” Zirlin said. “You can’t always have exponential growth; there is a refractory period.”
Earlier this year, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network suffered an exploit worth about $625 million, making it the largest crypto heist to date, according to REKT Database. Shortly after the hack, Sky Mavis raised about $150 million in a round led by crypto exchange Binance to compensate victims.
“We made mistakes because we went so fast, rushed for more adoption, and I think the whole saga from last month will be seen as a badge of honor for those who make it through,” Zirlin said. “It’s hard to think about counterfactuals, but the obvious answer here is to invest more in security for Ronin and prioritize it. [going forward]†
While market cap and sales have fallen dramatically from their peaks, the company is still flying much higher than a year earlier – Axie’s market cap is up 228.3% and total sales are up a whopping 50,950.8% over the year. compared to the same time last year , Token Terminal data is displayed.
The game also attracts new users. Last month, the company launched Axie Infinity: Origin, a free-to-play version of the game in an effort to appeal to more users who might want to try it out first, Zirlin said.