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Why Axie Infinity’s co-founder thinks play-to-earn games will drive NFT adoption – TechCrunch

The popular play to earn Crypto (P2E) game Axie Infinity reached new heights in 2021, with huge spikes in transaction volume and revenue, and adding millions of community members. But as we’re almost halfway through 2022, one question arises: will Axie live up to its hype?

Axie was launched by its parent company Sky Mavis in May 2018, but only really picked up steam in the second half of last year.

Its co-founder, Jeff “Jiho” Zirlin, told TechCrunch that “2021 was a year of growth and scaling,” while “2022 is a year of developing, shipping product, and delivering better and more accessible gaming experiences.”

Zirlin said he used to go to conferences and talk about Axie until he lost his voice. Now it needs no more 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 resources to make this a decades-long journey,” Zirlin said. “Right now I think we’re in the midst of developing 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, then use to fight, breed, and raise for crypto rewards.

At its peak, the 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, as reported in August 2021 U.S. dollar Data at the token terminal. From its peak, its market cap is down 19.76% to $13.4 billion, and its total revenue is also down about 99% to $2.5 million as of April 2022, data shows.

“Crypto is very cyclical, and sometimes you’re in a growth cycle and other times are times where you need to build,” Zirlin said. “You can’t have exponential growth all the time; there is a refractory period.”

Earlier this year, Axie Infinity’s Ronin network suffered an approximate value exploit $625 million at the time, making it the largest crypto heist to date, according to reports REKT database. Shortly after the hack, Sky Mavis raised 150 million dollars in a round led by crypto exchange binance to compensate victims.

“We made mistakes for moving so quickly and pushing for more adoption, and I think last month’s whole saga is seen as a badge of honor for those who went through it,” Zirlin said. “It’s hard to think about counterfactuals, but the obvious answer here is to invest more in and prioritize security for Ronin [going forward].”

Even though its market cap and revenue are down drastically from their highs, the company is still flying a lot higher than it was a year ago — Axie’s market cap is up 228.3% and total revenue is up a whopping 50,950.8% over the same period last year, tokenized terminal data shows.

The game also brings new users. Last month, the company launched Axie Infinity: Origin, a free-to-play version of the game, to appeal to more users who might want to try it out first, Zirlin said.

Why Axie Infinity’s co-founder thinks play-to-earn games will drive NFT adoption – TechCrunch Source link Why Axie Infinity’s co-founder thinks play-to-earn games will drive NFT adoption – TechCrunch

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