In brief

  • Axie Infinity surged in popularity last year, but has seen declining token price, NFT valuations, and trading volume lately.
  • Ethereum NFT game Axie Infinity will institute a number of economic changes.

The Ethereum game Axie Infinity has been a smash hit, popularizing the play-to-earn gaming model while racking up nearly $4 billion in NFT trading volume.

But last summer’s surge has given way to tumbling token and NFT prices of late, calling the entire play-to-earn model into question. Now, Axie’s creators have announced changes designed to resuscitate its flagging economy.

On Thursday, Sky Mavis announced a series of economic changes that will launch with Axie’s upcoming 20th in-game season. Essentially, the PC and mobile game will hand out far fewer SLP reward tokens and shift more of the focus on rewarding online arena battles.

Axie Infinity is a monster-battling game based around NFT assets. NFTs are the blockchain-based receipts that prove ownership to a digital item—in Axie, that primarily takes the form of colorful monsters that you can breed and battle. Each Axie NFT costs money, and you need to buy three of them just to play the game, but then you’ll earn token rewards for playing.

That unique “play-to-earn” model was established when Axie Infinity launched in 2018, but the Ethereum-based game exploded in popularity last summer after launching its Ronin sidechain, which made transactions faster and cheaper.

The play-to-earn model led to community-led “scholarship” programs, which see NFT holders rent Axies to players—particularly…

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