Axie Slump

The original play to earn title continues to lose

In the middle of 2021, Axie Infinity took off and started communities on a play-to-earn fever run. The game boasted very simplistic but strategic gameplay using NFT avatars with certain stats to play. Each Pokémon-inspired Axie had its own play style and was deemed more valuable if certain criteria were met. If your Axie hadn’t bred any children, if your Axie had higher HP, if your Axie was a certain race of Axie, all led to a higher value for your NFT.

The cost of getting into the game was originally very high with the entry point being over $1500 for a basic team, teams with NFT at higher stats were even more costly. This high price of entry began what was known as “Scholarships” which meant the ones that had the money to purchase the NFT were then able to take advantage of those that didn’t by “renting” out the NFT for gameplay and giving the renter a small percentage of profits from gameplay-basically crypto-minimum wage labor for monotonous work.

 Lowest prices on Axie NFT, you need 3 to play

The game was making a lot of money and a lot of players were praising Sky Mavis for creating a platform for people to earn while playing a game. Things, unfortunately, took a turn as the game was attacked by hackers who stole over $600 million from their native Ronin wallet. This led to a massive drop in the price of the AXS token and many were skeptical about the future of the game in general.

In its prime, the game network recorded over $4 Billion in sales volume but the current sales of the NFT now are nowhere near that high resting at $3.18 million instead for June and $7.09 million for May. This means that June’s sales were 55% less than the sales in May.

It is worth keeping in mind that this is not just an Axie issue as most of the market is suffering due to this year’s very aggressive bear market. The NFT industry is definitely taking a blow the same as crypto. Currently, Projects such as Mutant Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Moonbirds NBA Top Shot, Meebits, and more are recording record low sales.

To put the Axie drop in more perspective one need only compare the January sales to June. January saw a monthly high with 314,642 unique buyers making 1,296,870 transactions concluding in almost $126.49 million in sales volume. June saw only 52,507 unique buyers with only 307,431 transactions resulting in $123.32 million less in sales volume.

All does not look bleak as there are still players and the game does have a new play style that has been offered with their new Axie Infinity Origins revamp. The team has also received $150 million in investments which they say will be used to reimburse users that were victims of the hack. The company is also backed by big names in the sphere such as Binance, A16z, Animoca Brands, and a few others, all which do not wish to see the game fail.

The team at Sky Mavis also plans to reopen the Ronin wallet after some security issues have been addressed properly and Binance has already reopened trading. The team has called the hack a “socially engineered” attack that took advantage of trade-off vulnerabilities. There is a total of 56,000 ETH that has yet to be returned to the Axie DAO and probably won’t be for the time being as the team works with law enforcement to hopefully get the funds back as the 168K Ethereum or $540 million is still sitting in the same wallet

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